The cold is here. I knew it was a matter of time before winter would come slamming its frigid way in. Despite being a native New Yorker, I approach each year’s arrival of freezing temperatures with angry denial:
“What?? It’s… (cold, freezing, snowing, etc)?? But, I- just- I mean, I don’t understand.“
Don’t get me wrong- I’m very grateful for the warmer temperatures that lingered far longer into the winter season than they normally would; I felt like I’d been given a reprieve. But now that the cold has finally arrived, my deepest desire is to park myself permanently inside my warm house, and hibernate until the warmth of spring returns.
But life goes on, even in the winter, and it requires a great deal more preparation in the mornings for the daily school dropoff than before. So when the cold spell finally hit, I scrambled to assemble a set of gloves, hat and scarf per child, which is far easier said than done*.
(*gloves are like socks. They are notoriously poor partners, often leaving their loved one behind to pursue a better life. So like our socks, we have a basket containing the Lonely Hearts Glove Club.)
And some of the past few mornings have been COLD. The wind chill alone generates that painful frozen-nose sensation as you walk against it, which is not so much refreshing as terrifying.
So the walk from the car towards the school building is typically a brisk run of endurance until I scramble back to the warmth of the car.
The other day, I was carrying #6 as I escorted #5 to her Pre-K door. The wind was brutal, so he tucked his head into my neck as we walked. After dropping #5 off, I hustled back to the car and began strapping #6 into his car seat. As I reached forward to affectionately touch his cheek, it happened.
I gave him a shock.
I should have mentioned that while I may not be Supermom, I DO have a superpower, but it wouldn’t be considered a heroic one. I generate electricity at any given moment in the cold months, rendering myself and often loved ones the recipients of a painful surprise. From October to March, I should come equipped with a warning label:
#6’s face crumpled in a mixture of confusion and dismay. Since he had never before received a shock, he didn’t know what to make of the sensation. Hence the following conversation:
#6: “You…. *pause* hurt me.”
Me: “Ah! I’m so sorry! Accident, buddy.”
#6: “You hurt me. Ouch.”
Me: “So sorry! Accident. It was a shock. Accident.”
#6: “A …. shock?”
(Granted, I’m fairly educated, but trying to explain the dynamics of electric conduction to a bewildered toddler didn’t seem the best investment of time.)
So we drove to the store, and every few moments #6, would talk to his toy car, pause, and say, “You shock? You shock me?”
We managed to grocery shop without further mention of the incident…. until we reached the checkout. As the cashier swiped my items, #6 jerked his head around and loudly announced,
“You hurt me, Mama! I shocked!!”
Needless to say, the mom with the hidden electric superpower was out of the store like The Flash….