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The art of a well secured mitten

You might think that the end of the world actually arrived if you read my Mamalode post. I’m feeling sentimental about dings in my walls.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me either.

We walked to our local bakery for cocoa this morning, bulldozing the slush with our snow boots and avoiding the eves to keep cold drips off the back of our necks.  I was annoyed if you want the truth.  Full-size rear wheel drive vans suck in the snow and I suck at being housebound with my four beloved children, who SUCK at playing nicely and not being annoying.  And yes I do know that is the exact opposite of the sentiment every other human being on the internet is espousing.

You are hugging your kids tighter and I’m all, “stop whining, you suck when you whine.”

Inside my head.  Relax. 

So we walked to get cocoa.  My friend Amy brought her two kids over to walk with us, which saved me from myself, as connection and friendship often do.  She rolled her eyes at me over her son’s head and yanked her pastry out of her daughter’s hand, generally reaffirming my faith in the fact that the basis of any solid relationship is shared humor.

The kids worked hard at chapping their lips and rosying their cheeks, which was cute, even if they did gradually strip off the layers the donning of which took me a solid half an hour.

Southern dwellers have no idea of the art involved in achieving a well secured mitten. It must be put on first, before the coat, and then threaded through the sleeve with care, fastening the Velcro snow barrier tightly around the wrist over the mitten, but not too tightly, lest there be discomfort and then whining and then mitten removal.  It pains my heart, pains my heart I tell you, to see a well secured mitten heedlessly removed to allow for better snow scooping.

“Do you want anything?” I asked Amy in the very long line at the counter.  Puff pastries and quiches filled the glass case before us. Our six imps wound through the maze of tables, steaming from the top of their heads as they dried and knocking people’s coats to the floor from the back of their chairs.

“No. The cocoa is terrible here.”

I laughed out loud.  The cocoa is terrible.  It’s an adorable little bakery tucked into our neighborhood in an old general store. Its walls are the perfect cozy dark red. Its chalkboard is checkered with chalk calligraphy and sweet little pictures. It’s always packed with happy, chatting people and it’s awful.  The food is awful, the coffee is awful and the cocoa is awful.  It stays in business on charm and location alone.

We settled into couches situated around a lovely low coffee table.  A perfect set up for a long, delicious conversation that we could not have over our over excited menagerie.  They tackled the cups of hot chocolate topped with whip cream and sprinkles like the serious business that it is.

Very. serious. business.

I found the joy in the chaos.  Of course I did.  As Jessica so beautifully wrote, “the silence of loss makes the noise of life music to my ears.”

Yesterday, we made snowflakes for the children at Sandy Hook Elementary even though it’s such a small thing to do.

It’s something.  You can too.

18 Responses to The art of a well secured mitten
  1. maggie may
    December 21, 2012 | 11:36 pm

    Merry Christmas beautiful friend. I love you and your kiddos. xo

  2. Korinthia Klein
    December 22, 2012 | 1:00 am

    Thanks for the address. My kids are starting their snowflakes tonight.

    (And how hard is it to make cocoa? Can you slip them some Swiss Miss packets under the door?)

  3. Alexicographer
    December 22, 2012 | 2:27 am

    The claim that a place survives on the basis of its location in — where the heck is it that you live? Seems a bit tenuous to me, but … okaaaay. Bad cocoa, though, is clearly a serious yet plausible reality, I’m so sorry.

    Glad to live in a part of the country where mitten placement is an infrequently practiced art.

    Thank you for the address. We haven’t contemplated snowflakes yet, I’ve been busy with contacting my elected officials and today sending an angry message to the NRA (Ha! That’s sure to have an effect! If any ill comes to me or mine, please notify they authorities of what I’ve done, eh?), but we should take those on.

  4. Elise
    December 22, 2012 | 2:53 am

    Lovely, as always. And we made snowflakes today, such a great idea, thanks for sharing it!

  5. Stephanie Precourt
    December 22, 2012 | 4:11 am

    That really could be the title of a (your) book. I love it.


  6. Sharon
    December 22, 2012 | 12:56 pm

    (I’m still not over your comment about not wanting the dog gone in your momalode post!) I have a glitter glue hand print on my “bronze” colored dining room wall that it about 2 years old. It was placed there about 2 weeks after it was freshly painted!

    But this post, oh I feel all this too. And we don’t have snow on the ground and it’s seriously only the first cold day or 2 here in southeast PA. I don’t have the gumption to pack them up and walk them out to the store. I need to force myself to do this.

    • anymommy
      December 22, 2012 | 5:41 pm

      That dog. I love and hate the dog. I would love him more if his ears were normal.

  7. tracey
    December 22, 2012 | 2:54 pm

    We did it, too. And just take heart that soon, you won’t be responsible for mittens or gloves. Soon, you will be like me, who comes downstairs after neglecting her children so that I could wrap presents for hours on end only to find that they are in the back yard (in about 1/2 inch of snow and 10 degrees and a WINDCHILL) wearing highly mismatched, ill-fitting winter-type gear. There will be an old Halloween pumpkin smashed across your yard and you will have visions of hundreds of baby pumpkins covering your lawn next summer and that suddenly won’t sound like such a bad idea. I mean, we won’t have to mow then, right?

  8. Lady Jennie
    December 22, 2012 | 7:51 pm

    Please spare me the June Cleaver life is perfect I am a perfect mother sap. Give me a good eye rolling any day! :-)

    I know we would hang out a lot if we lived nearby.

  9. Marinka
    December 22, 2012 | 11:09 pm

    Your kids are so annoying. I mean ADORABLE! ADORABLE!

    And what a nice idea about the snowflake. I know, all gestures feel small, but we have to start. Thank you for starting.

  10. MeggieB
    December 23, 2012 | 7:42 am

    Ugh! I hear you, sister. I live in Minnesota and my southern peeps just do not understand the winter layers.

  11. Amy
    December 23, 2012 | 4:22 pm

    “For the record”, it was MY pastry! ;)

  12. Candice@NotesFromABroad
    December 23, 2012 | 9:49 pm

    Should I join in any eye rolling and whining about my own miserably hot and humid Christmas ?
    While I struggle not to scratch the dozen hot red bites that no one can figure out the source , of said bites.
    As I listen to yet more inane jabbering on television while I wonder what it will be like to listen to it in English … do I really want to know that ? Is it really better in another language? Do all TV newscasters in South America have huge breast implants ? ok .. the heat has gotten to me.
    Merry Christmas.

  13. deborah l quinn
    December 31, 2012 | 2:59 am

    Varda’s December round-up sent me over here & I’m glad it did. So many mean-mommy moments can be saved by a snarky good friend, a few well-placed eyerolls (& children who can be bought off with a squirt of whipped cream & dollop of chocolate). The brutality of Newtown, you’re right, makes the humdrum chaos of regular life seem beautiful.

  14. deb
    December 31, 2012 | 5:49 am

    ah, the well secured mitten: i know it well. just wait, you’ll blink and they’ll be too “cool” for mittens (no matter how “cold” they are) But the end of mitten securing responsibilities is a parental milestone for sure!

    you should tell them they’re hot chocolate is bad! that’s just not ok.

    and the snowflakes. yours look beautiful. i actually got my 15 yr old son to make some. i was proud that he did it, but apparently, snow flake making does not improve with age.

    i had almost forgotten to send them off. tx for the reminder!

    • deb
      December 31, 2012 | 5:51 am

      woops. meant “their” hot chocolate is bad. man, i hate stuff like that! :)

  15. Alexandra
    January 2, 2013 | 6:29 pm

    Just. Crying.

    At the thought of all those snowflakes, and how I HOPE HOPE HOPE those children feel the world’s love for them.

    So little, so LITTLE to have this be part of their childhood memories.

    Love to you, very dear woman. Peace joy love, and good health.

  16. moving frederick maryland
    January 30, 2013 | 8:54 am

    I have learn some good stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot effort you set to create this type of excellent informative web site.

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