“Okay. To begin with you need underwear and pants.
No. I’m sure. You want to have a lot of warm layers.
You have to put the snow pants on before the boots.
Sit down and I can help you take the boots off.
I’m sorry. I didn’t know the melted snow was going to be there where you sat down.
Don’t cry. It’ll be okay, you just need a new pair of pants. Go get them and I’ll help you.
What do you mean you can’t find pants? Did you look in the laundry basket of clean folded laundry that I brought up to your room earlier this week for you to put away in your dresser?
Yeah, there might be some pants in there.
Okay, so we’re ready now? Let’s start with the snow pants.
Sit down on this towel I put on the floor and we’ll start at the feet.
I know the pants underneath get pushed up, I’ll help you pull them down once we’ve got these on. First this leg, then the other.
No. Different legs go in different holes.
All right, so you’re in, and then we just pull these up. Hold on, the straps are twisted. Okay all snapped up. Now we get the boots on.
They should be right here, we just had them. How can a pair of snow boots disappear in a hallway this cluttered?
Let’s just retrace our steps.
What? No. It was not the leprechaun.
Oh! Here they are! Behind you, underneath the towel I laid down. Okay. Put your hand on my shoulder while you –
Socks. You need socks. Go get some socks and come back.
They don’t need to match. Ready? Okay put your hand on my shoulder to balance and –
Other foot. I know but the shoe I’m holding open for you goes on the other foot. Okay let me just-
No, other, other. Other foot! Okay, just pick a foot and I’ll find the shoe to go on it.
Right then there’s just the other.
Can you handle the rest yourself? Great! Let me know if you need me I’ll be in the kitchen.
No Sweetheart, of course your hand is stuck. You have to put the coat on first, before the gloves. Well, because your glove will get stuck inside the sleeve, kind of like it has now.
Okay, coat on. Let me just zip you up. Hold up, zippers jammed.
Yikes! I’m sorry! Oh Honey, I’m so sorry! I didn’t know you’d be looking down like that and the zipper would catch you in the lip like that. No. It was stuck and then it was just going fast. The leprechaun did not push my hand to do that. Just a little bit of blood, see hardly anything. Let me put a little bit of chapstick on that so it doesn’t hurt if you start licking your lips while your outside.
What do you mean, what do I mean? You’re always licking your lips out there like some snowman lizard. No offense. Oh Honey, I didn’t think it would sting. Yes it’s mentholated.
Okay then. Ready for those mittens?
Hold your hand out for me. Now spread your thumb out. Aim for the thumb hole sweetheart.
You have to make your hand kind of stiff so the glove – that’s it. Okay almost done. Here’s the hat, and let me just pull the hood over that. There all done.
No, I’m coming. Well of course I don’t want you to die of the heat in here, I just didn’t know you couldn’t turn the knob with the gloves on. There you-
Honey, you have to step back so I can open the door. There you go. Have fun. . . .
3 minutes later
Okay, okay, okay. Let’s get the coat off and then we can pull down the snowpants and you can go straight to the bathroom.
You don’t have to take the boots off if it’s an emergency. No, really we can just pull them down.
Okay all right. All set? Okay go go go. What do you mean where? You said you had to use the bathroom! Okay. Yes.
7 minutes later
Well of course your hands are hurting, you took off your gloves! Why did you take off your gloves?
Did you even play at all out there or did you just sit there and eat it while your hands froze?
Yes, I’ll make some cocoa.
Now? Are you serious? You want to go out now? You know you’re brother just came in. You sure you don’t want to play with him? No, the great outdoors, I’m a fan too. Okay can you find some socks for yourself?
What? Really? Leprechaun must have taken them. Oh well. Want some cocoa?”
Alice Mullen says a lot of things, and hardly anyone takes her seriously. You shouldn’t either. The Blue Ridge Leader is not responsible for what she says, only the punctuation and grammar with which she says it. If you are a raging lion of literary litigation, longing for lunch and feel particularly litigious there are tastier morsels elsewhere. Shoo bad kitty. Meow.