Little Legs raced out into the snow, his shoes disappearing into white with each step. Baby Brother followed closely behind. Neither able to travel very quickly with the winter version of quicksand pulling at their feet.
It took no fewer than twenty minutes and a near mental breakdown to assemble the coats and hats, socks and pants, sweats and sweatshirts, wrestle each boy down, and pull the layers onto their various appendages. At one point, Baby Brother pulled his socks and shoes back off, while I fasted the Velcro straps of Little Legs’ shoes.
I stood up and said, “Fine, I will leave without both of you.”
They knew I meant business as Little Legs hurried to pull on his coat and Baby Brother held his head against my legs and said, “Shoes?”
“This is your last chance to cooperate.”
“What is cooperate?” Little Legs asked.
“It means we work together.”
“Ok, we work together,” he said.
Suddenly, I realized we were not working together. I was just cramming their heads into hats and fingers into gloves. I was not giving them a chance to help. Going outside to play in the snow was on my agenda, not theirs. They would much rather prefer to stay in the warm house and race dinosaur cars. Me too, for that matter, but we needed fresh air, and I, as their fearless leader, would show them the way.
“Let’s do this again, together.”
“Together,” Little Legs said with a hug around my shoulders. (Like seriously, how sweet?)
“Shoes,” Baby Brother said in agreement.