Just sitting here this fine morning remembering some shenanigans, yes, shenanigans . . . wait, am I on Facebook? Never mind, I’ll keep the word. As I was saying, thinking way back yonder to some of the crazy things the kiddos did.
This particular incident happened during the month of, “Brrrr!!”
That’s what some of us Canadians (or maybe it’s just me), call February because it’s easier to pronounce with chattering teeth.
“Brrrr!,” typically has temperatures somewhere north of -30 degrees Celsius, that’s about -22 Fahrenheit for our southern neighbors.
Now, the exact transgression of Isabel, our youngest, escapes me. Perhaps she’d zigzagged a pen across big sister, Amanda’s, latest fridge art, or Picasso’d her sibling’s prized teddy bear with a Sharpie and had coerced our cat, Marble, into upholding the Law of Omerta.
Being the sole adult in the domicile that evening, I sentenced her to a ‘time out’ in The Corner. No doubt, in that cozy little triangle of contemplation, she reflected with great remorse on the “heinous” doings.
The Kleenex budget was yanked into the red, by the fistful. The boxes emptied, Big Sis’ dabbed the last raindrops from her cheeks and glared at the condemned before stomping to her upstairs bedroom.
Isabel was paroled after three minutes, one minute per year of age . . . that seemed to be the accepted formula back then. She boldly stepped across the perimeter of the invisible box and wonder of wonders! Knew that formula worked! Never a doubt.
“I’m a changed girl. Sorry for what I’d done. Yessir. Nope, never lift a pinky against Amanda again . . . except to love her to pieces.”
A hug of reconciliation? Oh, okay . . . I suppose since you both just stuck out your tongues at the same time we’ll just call it a draw. Yes, head on back to your bedroom wall finger painting, Amanda. I’m glad to see that you’ve chosen oil based.
Satisfied for the skirmish was over, I elected to empty the garbage can and bring the bag to the lidded garbage bin in the garage. We don’t have trash pickup in these here parts, so we keep it in there until I can drive it to the dump.
I had to sidestep little Miss Golden Hair Ringlets, as I descended the two steps into the coat room that opened to the garage.
The garage had no working vehicle door at that time, so every cubic square of air was jam packed with icicle-toothed no-see-um’s, that surged in via that gaping maw from the tar black country night. Even the moon and the stars had fled these lands, and the overhead fluorescent lights, forcibly confined, had chosen hibernation.
The garbage bin was just outside the coatroom door, so I slipped on my crocs, left the coat to rest on the hook . . . my pj’s would suffice for the short trip. Great move, right, professor?
The last thing I saw, just before closing the door, was the cherub faced shenaniger (repurposed for this post). Those beautiful, blonde, curly cues framed an adorable smile as she waved to me from the upper step. “Good luck.”
You bet, another brilliant move, Holmes.
I stepped into the garage and quickly shut the door behind me to keep out Jack Frost’s invisible minions. Good Luck?
I shall never forget the heart melting pitter-patter of little feet across the coat room floor, seconds before the click of the lock being engaged.
Yes, Mary, here, let me pour you another glass of Perrier and imagine how splendid it will always be! Is the baby kicking? Hmmm . . . maybe she’s trying to tell us something?
Sorry, back to the story. Faced with becoming an ice sculpture, I diplomatically begged, nay, cried, for the young lady to open the door. Awe, there’s that adorable giggle.
Mind you, there was a spare key, but that would mean crawling over piles of half finished projects, just waiting for the chance to maim. Pay back for being relegated to the land of misfits.
I yelled for Amanda, who was, by that time, probably in the bathroom using the ‘good towels’ to clean the paint off her fingers.
Welp, nothing for it but to go cross country. Thankfully the wall to my left was clear of debris, so I followed it and ran for the front lawn. The front door was unlocked, I remembered that much. Now, if I was a snow hare, the trip would have been quick and painless.
But people aren’t snow hares, and when crocs hit the crunchy top layer of “Brrr!” snow, well, they crash the party until they hit rock bottom. About knee deep in this case. The ice moles were less than pleased, but the no-see-um’s had a banquet.
Yep, every step was like slogging through a freshly poured slushy, sans the sweetness and color. Well, maybe the color, because we owned a dog.
The worst part was passing the bay window, just after both of my crocs abandoned me. I witnessed a mass of golden ringlets flying past the windowsill, headed straight for the front door.
Oh, Mary, listen! Is it my imagination, or can you also hear the pitter-patter and the giggles?
Oh no, you don’t! She did. Click!
If you’ve ever seen Fred Flintstone pounding on the door after Dino locked him outside, you’ll get the idea of what happened next.
No giggling now . . . just a thumb in that grinning mouth. The other hand was busy with the necessary work of twirling those ringlets into coils.
When telling this story, someone once commented that I should be embarrassed at being outrun by a three year old. Um, beg pardon? You do realize that those suckers can move with the speed of a velociraptor over open ground, right buddy? I swear they make the same noises, too. At least when they’re racing for a prized toy . . . you know the sound, that guttural squeal, “Miiiinnnneeee!” Or maybe it’s more like Chewbacca?
I owe my digits to Amanda for coming to the rescue, though I only use one on each hand to type.
She moved in like a gift shop sized King Kong! Nothing violent, just blocked her sister and opened the door.
That was a decade ago, and it’s a funny tale now, but not so much at the time. Don’t get me wrong, both my daughters are loving and kind.
I really don’t think a three-year-old can conceive of the dangers of locking someone outside mid-winter. But nonetheless, I now always wear my winter coat and boots when taking out the trash. 😊