Footnotes: Thoughts from the margins of a mom’s life

I have two toddlers, which means I have two heads, two necks and four little hands to keep covered in winter gear – not to mention the four feet, which seem to require so many socks and boots! I don’t know about other moms out there, but I think that keeping those appendages cloaked in the proper winter garb should be worth big money. Because, let’s be real, it’s practically a full time job.

The moment I exit my house, where I have collected approximately half a dozen of each item for each child, the pulling begins. Little hands pull off little gloves. A hat is left in the snow. A scarf unwinds from the neck and is strewn on the floor of the car, alongside muddy muck that instantly renders it unwearable. I arrive, at last, at some destination only to notice that my children’s feet are bare. They’ve worked the zippers down, kicked out of the boots and peeled off the socks. Need I say that finding these items in my car is a losing game?

Oh, sure, I’ve worked out some strategies. I keep the strangest hats around in case of emergency. An old hat from my extended family’s favorite football team. I’m not sure to whom it originally belonged, an uncle perhaps? A hat decorated with pig eyes and a snout from last Halloween, a bright purple hat with an unusual weave whose origins are unknown. Gloves missing their mate are tucked in a box, for the inevitable next glove that will also be missing its mate.

In addition to all this, there is a large suitcase in my basement with miscellaneous winter gear dating back to my college days. Scarves a mile long from friends who were just learning to knit. Fancy wool hats with coy buttons on the side. I can’t get rid of the suitcase, though I feel I should, in the interest of streamlining my life. I need the suitcase as a backup to my backups, because I know when I look in the rearview mirror, I will see my children’s hair, sticking straight up, messy from the hat they somehow managed to discard when I wasn’t looking. I count down the days until April. Until then, I hoard my hats – all my hats, every last hat in the house – and remind myself, “This too shall pass.”

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