Oooh baby, it’s cold outside!

Oooh baby, it’s cold outside!
by Andrea Rennick

It’s awful cold out there lately. At least I think it is, as I actually haven’t set foot outside since last Thursday. Sure, it looks pretty, all nice and sunny and blue sky, but that’s just a ruse ol’ Jack Frost has used to lure me with the promise of some white fluffy fun. I know as soon as my gloved hand leaves the doorknob, Jack will snatch my breath away and maybe a layer of skin off my nose while he’s at it.

You know Jack Frost must be a man, because any Mom worth her salt knows the struggles involved between small children and many layers of Thinsulate and Gore-Tex. Someone has to be bleeding or the freezer has to echo before Mom will leave the house. Too bad the freezer was a little warmer than the backyard.

Being stuck indoors requires new survival skills, I think. I have seen Finding Nemo approximately 67 times. That’s just this week. Our whole house is very fluent in whale now, and I’m thinking we could drum up some cash in the spring by putting on a stage production of the film. And why not? Even Emma has all the lines memorized.

It is not often I am able to just get up and leave, and winter only makes it worse. The sheer logistics involved in making sure six people, including myself, are dressed appropriately and in a vehicle within the space of five minutes of one another, should easily qualify me for a career in the military after said children are grown and gone.

Invariably, we have barely turned the corner before discovering something important has been forgotten. Not quite so often, thankfully, we have to use our training gathered from many viewings of action films to do a swift about-face after hearing a spine chilling, “I have to go PEE!”

Really, this should be turned into an Olympic event for mothers. Anybody who can get out of the vehicle, unlock the door, whip off mittens, untie hoods, unzip zippers, undo buckles, whip down pants and place a bottom precisely where needed within the span of thirty seconds, deserves some sort of medal.

And then you have to do them all up again. It’s like being stuck on repeat, and I often have a lingering sense of deja-vu. Didn’t I do this before? Why yes, three times to be precise.

I do remember a time when, longing for company in the middle of a snowstorm, I decided it was the perfect time to visit my neighbour. This was back when we lived in the country, when the big kids were very little and country neighbours, even though next door, required firing up some sort of locomotion to get there. And get there I did. My car never did make it up their long driveway, and I waded through knee-deep snow, a baby strapped onto my front, a small toddler on my back, and a bigger pre-schooler breaking a path ahead of me. It was the best pot of tea I ever drank.

Now I have grown a little more sensible in my old age, and on a cold winter’s day I seek company the best and warmest way I can. Through email! The warm glow of the monitor sure is soothing, and I can warm my fingers, stiff from typing, on the ever-present mug of tea beside me.

See you when it thaws!

Andrea Rennick is a homeschooling mom of four children, ranging in age from 2 to 15. A sense of humour is a big part of dealing with the ins and outs of her day. She can also be found at her website, Reach her at