The following post, "10 Simple Steps for Dressing Your Kids in the Cold," originally appeared on the blog Nursing & Cursing.
I can't have any more children. And it's not just because my husband and I can't stay awake long enough to find the end of Stranger Things, let alone locate our sexual chemistry (I feel like it's under the laundry pile?). Or, because after three kids, my pelvic floor is so distressed that it's beyond the hope of modern medicine and is a job for HGTV now.
No, none of these reasons are why I gotta call it at three. The real reason is: if we had another baby, it would probably live on earth and therefore require boots/coats/gloves/hats in the winter. And I ain't got time for that. No, I mean for real. There are only 24 hours in a day, and it isn't feasible to spend 19 of them trying to dress a child so that it doesn't freeze to death.
In order to help my fellow mamas, I have created a step-by-step guide to getting your kids ready to go out on a Winter's day. See below.
- Real quick, can you move to Florida?
- Ask yourself: Are these children literally mine and/or my responsibility today? If there is even the *slightest* chance that your partner, a babysitter, your own mom, your mother in-law, or even Child Protective Services will be showing up soon, let them handle this and go back to bed. Best of luck to them.
- Make your coffee extra strong. If you are used to extra strong coffee, consider doing cocaine today instead.
- Figure out who you are going to dress first, and how much time it will take. Work from oldest child to the youngest, because as a rule, the youngest child in your family can only be dressed by 1-3 phD educated adults working in perfect tandem like a well-honed circus act, but can UNDRESS herself without anyone's help in the time it takes you to refill your coffee or do more cocaine. So like 45 seconds.
- As soon as the youngest child is seasonably dressed, YOU NEED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE RIGHT NOW. As a guideline, it takes approximately 15 minutes per child to get ready for a winter's day, but this time can vary and is usually much, much longer and never shorter.
- Start with boots and work your way up. Remember what it was like getting your shoes on when you were 8 months pregnant? How you would bend down to tie your laces? That is a 7-year-old trying to put on boots AFTER her coat. Don't worry, it's OK. This is the whole POINT of Daylight Savings. Our culture has chosen to build an extra hour of daylight into your morning with your kids, so that you can use this time together to hiss at her to PUT. HER. FOOT. ALL. THE. WAY. IN.
- Ok, gloves. If only we could staple them to their tiny little fingers, things would be better. The obvious problem with any "pair" of gloves, is that there is only one glove present and your child probably has two hands. Multiply the number of hands by the number of children with which you have been blessed, and the math is not in your favor. Once you have tracked down roughly enough gloves for your children, administer the gloves to their stubborn, unwilling, clenched little fists. Disregard any feedback your children give you about "fingers, " and instead put the glove on like a sock or a condom and move on.
- At this point, you are probably perspiring lightly. This is a great time to take some deep, meditative breaths. Go ahead, you're late now anyway. Inhale. Exhale.
- Coats! The trick to your child's coat is: where is it? WHERE. Save time by *not* looking on the coat rack, it's not there. Places it could be: your child's cubby, the gym at school, on the school bus, slung over a park bench, or being currently worn by some other child who thought it was theirs yesterday and has been wearing it ever since and might have lice. Pretty easy to get on when you locate it, though.
- We have arrived at hats!!! You made it to the top. Phew, it is hot in here or is it just you? It's you. But hats are the easy part! Just pop it on. A word of caution: be very careful not to acknowledge to your child that this is happening, because for some reason, if they ever notice that they are participating in hats, they become very angry and then they rip their condom-gloves off and tear their hats off and then throw them in a corner that's hard for you to reach.
- Congratulations! One child is ready! Instruct your rapidly over-heating/whining child to sit on the couch. AND NOT MOVE UNTIL IT'S TIME TO GO. Give her your phone. Move on to your next youngest child, completing steps 1-8, until all your children are dressed for this 40 degree day. Go grab your keys, return to find them all huddled around your phone wearing only t-shirts and shorts and begin again.
Leave the house and feel the warmth on your face because it is April now. Come inside and spend a not-insignificant amount of time looking for last year's swim suits.