Sunday, February 8, 2015

Day Three: The Mitt Episode

Today started early, with my alarm going at 6:30 a.m. Cody was already up, and the other three were up by 7. I fed them all and got Jamie and Micah's hockey equipment ready, and once everyone was dressed and we were packed, we were off to the next town at 8:15 for our game, which started at 9:30. Our family has a reputation for always being late, which I hate. This morning, we were the first ones there. We were so early, there weren't even any lights on in the dressing room.

Micah fought me all morning, stating that he hates hockey and that he would not be playing today. I had to come up with an analogy for him on the way there, to inspire him. I told the kids about greyhound races, and how the dogs chase a fake rabbit around a track, (though I am no expert on that, and maybe it's different now) and I compared the puck to the rabbit. Then, in a fit of inspiration, I thought of Nabbit, a character from Super Mario Brothers. If you're not familiar with the game, Nabbit is a pesky rabbit that steals treasures from one of the little mushroom guys. When Nabbit shows up on a level, your job, as Mario, is to chase him down as fast as you can and catch him.

So. Today, I told Micah the puck was Nabbit, and he was Mario. Well, he certainly went after the puck. He even touched it. Once. I doubt I sparked any kind of love for hockey, but at least he tried.

We made it through the game, and Jamie even scored his signature hat trick, despite minimal effort for the first two thirds of the game. Even still, the end score was somewhere way over 20 for the other team, and six for us. Ah. Just like every single game we have played this season.

After hockey, we came home and I fed them all lunch, and then did as much cleaning as I could cram in before having to leave again to drop Cody off at a birthday party for the afternoon. We had less than an hour and a half back at home again before going back to pick him up. Then I made supper, fed the crew, bathed the crew, cleaned Jamie and Micah's room with them, cleaned Lauren's room without her, and tucked all three of them in. Cody was last, but he is easy.

In order to make tomorrow easier for myself, I got all three backpacks out, lunch kits on the counter, wax paper ready to wrap sandwiches in the morning, snacks sitting ready to be packed, and then I laid out all their outdoor clothing. Except Micah's mitts were missing.

Micah's mitts are notorious for disappearing. We ordered them online in the fall, just before the cold weather hit. They are good mitts. The first time he lost one was a few weeks after we got them. We had gone away for the weekend, and came home seemingly without one of the mitts. Actually, Lauren came home with only one mitt too, and hers were also brand new, good quality mitts. We searched the truck multiple times and came up empty. We contacted the people we were with and nobody had seen the missing mitts. So, a week or so later, we ordered another set for Micah exactly the same. Lauren had another set, so she was okay. A few days after we ordered them, I found both mitts. In the truck. Don't judge me, they were extremely well-hidden!!!

We sent the new set back, so we didn't have to pay for them, thankfully. But last weekend, we went into the city again and stayed at a hotel. Guess who was missing a mitt when we got home? Yes, Micah. Same drill. Searched multiple times, and no mitt. I dug out an old ratty pair for him, which he used all last week. But today, when we got home from hockey, I told the kids there would be a special prize for whoever could find the mitt in the truck. I just knew it had to be in there. Sure enough, Cody found it. So, he got chocolate chips. Exciting, right? And because I suck at giving prizes, I gave them all chocolate chips. But I gave Cody more, so it was still a prize, right?

So here I am, it's night time, and I'm trying to be organized and get their stuff ready so we don't miss the bus in the morning, and now not one, but both of Micah's mitts are missing. Unbelievable. I checked really well in the house, but I just knew they were in the truck. The same truck that swallows mitts without a trace. Now I had to go outside and find them, because I knew there would never be enough time in the morning to search and still make it to the bus on time. So, I bundled up, because it's freezing outside! (And I live in Manitoba, so please take that quite literally. Okay, okay, it's not that cold. But -21 with the wind chill feels too cold to be running out to the truck in the dark.)

That brings me to the other part. Dark. It is very, very dark out there. The moon seems to have disappeared. Or maybe it's just cloudy. I didn't take the time to notice. We live far away from civilization, so there are no lights around. When it's dark out, it's very, very dark. I turned the outside light on, which lit the deck quite nicely. But once I rounded the corner, it was pitch black. I mean, I couldn't see anything. I took a tiny LED flashlight with me.

Can I just say I watched a news interview the other day with a man who was very recently attacked by a cougar and survived to tell the tale? Living in the country, surrounded by trees, with no civilization visible or in walking distance has its perks. In truth, I love it. But it took some getting used to. I used to be quite creeped out, not being able to see what was out there. Anything could be watching me from the bushes. For the most part, I have gotten used to it. But sometimes, at night, if I have to be outside by myself (other than on the deck, which is nice and high up), I get scared. Always, it's the thought of cougars. We have tons of coyotes here, and many times have seen them near the house, but they don't really scare me. Cougars do. The good news is, I have never heard of a cougar in this area. But there is one within about 20 miles or so, and they do travel a lot.

So, sad as it is, this grown woman rounded the corner of the deck into pitch blackness, and felt scared. I turned on my pitiful flashlight and took one step down the staircase into the darkness below, and my flashlight flickered. What the... I shook it, and it was bright again. Phew! Another two steps down, and it flickered right off. A violent thrashing of the flashlight ensued. I smacked that thing until it came back on, and then I hurried to the truck. Fortunately, when I opened the truck door, the interior lights came on. Sure enough, the mitts were sitting on the back seat. I was so thankful they were not well-hidden this time. I grabbed them, not unaware of the vulnerability of my back end, sticking out into the darkness behind me. I got out and slammed the door, my flashlight completely useless. I ran like a crazy person to the stairs and ascended them much faster than I ever have before. I did not stop running when I got up on the deck. All I could think of was that the cougar could be right behind me. I burst in the door, and Cody stared at me. I held up the mitts, huffing and puffing. He commented on them. And then said, "Why were you running?"

What do you tell a child that asks you that? "Well, I was afraid I would get attacked by a cougar. Now go to bed. Sweet dreams!" I told him it was super dark out, and I got creeped out so I ran. Nice. I totally didn't validate his fear of the dark. Nope.

Anyway, now I'm safe in my bed, and the wayward mitts have been found. Everything is ready to go for the morning, so my job is done. Sort of. Lauren keeps fussing, which is a stark reminder that my job is never done. Either way, I'm soon off to bed. Goodnight.

No comments: