I never cared to ski, mainly because I didn’t want to wear a ski suit. Well, okay, that’s not true. I sucked at skiing, but I also felt a little victimized every time I put on ski pants. It took me back to when I was just a small child. It also makes me now think of the movie, A Christmas Story, where Randy was bundled up by his mother to go outside. That was me.
Mothers like to bundle their kids up when they are sent outside to build snowmen. My mother was no exception. The problem with my mother was that she didn’t know that we actually wanted to move once we got outside. I don’t think I could bend my arms.
“What do you mean you can’t bend your arms. Sure you can. See!” And she would take my arms, and contort them around. It’s probably why I could put my arm around my head and grab my chin after that. Try it. Not easy to do.
I was not allowed to drink anything an hour before she layered me up to go outside. Because it took so long to dress me, and because I had a really weak bladder. I had to pee all the time. I always told her I had to pee right before she shoved me out the door. So, I was a parched, bundled-up snow child. I would go outside, climb to the top of our backyard, get on the sled, and go down the hill. And then come into the house. I was cold. And I had to pee. I don’t think my mom liked me very much, because she would smoosh her cigarette out, grab me by the arm and unzip my coat, and without saying a word, motion with her cigarette-less hand to head to the bathroom.
I really did have to pee. Even with the one hour mandatory no-drinking rule. But, there was something about being bundled up and shoved out into the snow. I just didn’t like being cold. My lips and fingernails would turn blue. Sure, all the neighborhood kids were in our backyard, having fun. I watched, standing in front of the picture window, deciding if I wanted to try it again, or shed the rest of the layers and eat some refrigerator cookies. Some of my friends would motion me to come back out. I would wait until the blue fainted from my lips.
“Mom, I want to go back outside.”
She would sigh and then put my snow suit back on me. I really think she enjoyed being by herself, alone with her Salem cigarettes. So, she would zip up my snow suit all the way up to catch the skin in my neck, shove the boots on my little narrow feet, and open the door. This time I would stay out longer. I promised her. So, I would go outside, get hit in the head with a snowball, and come right back in, crying.
I still hate the snow.
So, years later, when it was my turn to be a mom, I bought cool snow suits and got them ready to go outside…with their father. No, I wasn’t going out there. I did my job bundling them up. I told my husband that it was Daddy bonding time. I was a stay-at-home-mom and loved being home with them all day. This outside activity was just for them. I think he knew that I was full of bologna (another word comes to mind), and just didn’t want to deal with the cold. I whined and still whine when I am out in the cold. Just not my cup of tea.
And besides, it makes me have to pee.
But, my children did something different with their snow suits. One day, after sledding and playing outside, I washed and dried their snowsuits. I could hear tumbling noise, but thought it was just the plastic buckles on the suspenders on their snow pants. Oh, I was wrong. For some reason, my children decided to put crayons in their snow pants pockets. I don’t know if they intended to color the snow or what the hell they were going to do with the crayons. They wouldn’t fess up. But, the crayons were washed and DRIED with the snowsuits.
I opened the dryer to take out their nice expensive snow attire only to find the suits were now a lovely rainbow of colors. The crayons had melted from the heat of the dryer and colored wax was all over the suits and all over the inside of the dryer. I stared into the dryer for the longest time. Just staring, wondering why anyone in their right mind would put crayons in their snow pants? They were going sled riding. They weren’t going outside to make snow angels and then color them, right? Or were they?
I decided right there and then that I had to pee.
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