As long as time has faithfully tick-tocked on the universal clock, mothers around the world have had one thing in common. Their children have tried darting out the door without coat and hat in the coldest of winter -- and they've had to call them back in.
I know my Mom did, and I know I did with our three children! I suppose the anticipation of playing in the snow or kicking through the leaves on a frosty morning overrides all thoughts of proper clothing. This came to mind yesterday while babysitting my friend's 3-year-old granddaughter.
Mary came to spend a few hours with me and visit a pup that has taken up residence at our place. (That's another story for another blog.) It was bitterly cold out, but she desperately wanted to befriend the lil' guy... so we went outside a bit to run and play in the leftover leaves.
The pup was curious about our little visitor, but he gave her a wide berth. Probably because three-year-old children don't usually walk around. They dash and dart, squeal and holler, arms waving and legs flying. I suppose it scared him to death!
Back inside, we read books by the fire awhile. "Time for a Rhyme," a Rand McNally publication from 1966, was a favorite. The realistic children rendered by the artist were intriguing, and the enchantment of rhyming words relaxed Mary. Her long lashes began to droop.
I was feeling quite proud of myself at that point. If she got a nap, Mary's mommy and grandparents would have a lovely evening with a well-rested child. But I'd forgotten what her grandmother told me usually happens when she gets sleepy. To keep from dozing off and taking that dreaded "nap," Mary relies on a sure-fire cure. Activity!
She suddenly jumped off the sofa and announced, "I want to see Sport again!" The child who was nearly out like a light was now out the door hollering for the dog. With no coat and no hat, her long blond curls were flying in the frigid wind. I called her back in to get bundled up properly, lest she get sick on my watch.
We had a good day together, and just before her Papa Joe came to pick her up, we scrolled through photos on my computer. She loved the pix of Jason Cody, our two-month-old grandson, modeling hats at the mall for his Mommy and Nana Linda.
Here in Alabama, we often get by with a light jacket in winter and sometimes none at all. But little boys (and girls) in Virginia need coats and hats in winter! In fact, Jason Cody saw his first snow this past week -- five inches! A friend teased, "Oh! He can make baby snow angels!"
To tie this story together, here's my grandson, parental paparazzi in tow to capture the moment. Which hat do you think they chose? I've given each a caption.
Nah, too many snaps and flaps.
Dad's right -- I am one handsome dude!
You've gotta be kidding me.
Oh, yeah ... this one has "ME" written all over it!
I'm glad they're keeping that sweet little head warm. He's loved, he's happy and he's a joy to us all. I'm sure there will be times -- in the future -- he tries to dash outdoors without a coat and hat, just like his Daddy did here at home.
I'm also sure his Mommy will call him back with a phrase that's stood the test of time in every century and every language. "Don't forget your coat and hat!"