"It's snowing!" K declares.
"Can we play in it?" asks A.
I sigh a yes, knowing whats ahead. Finding snow clothes, dressing children and getting them outside into the snow is a herculean task. They all need help at the same time and not one of them has patience.
I send A off with the task of hauling the bucket of snow clothes upstairs and I brace myself for the chore ahead. And since it's the first snow of the year, we have to go about the task of passing boots and snow pants down to whomever they may fit. I start making mental notes of who needs what to survive this winter.
O gets help first, and I get her all bundled up. I can see the anticipation in her eyes. "Outside?" she asks. "Yes, in a minute."
I move on to K. The baby is in my lap, arching herself backwards while the boys hop around, attempting to put on snow pants inside out. I inform them of their error, which has them on the floor giggling. I try to get K to hold still long enough for me to tie her boots while keeping E from hurling herself off my lap onto the tile.
I finally get up, exasperated, and go put E in bed. I know she will cry, but I need two minutes without her so I can get the kids dressed the rest of the way and out the door. Five minutes and a very upset baby later, I shoo four kids out the back door with a warning.
"Come in through the garage!" I holler, not knowing if they will actually listen. I settle the baby down and put her in her crib for a nap.
Finally. Quiet. I know it will be short-lived and that soon I will be stripping wet clothing off of the children. But for the moment the house is still.
There are many months ahead of enthusiastic children wanting to play outside. I can only hope for patience and efficiency. Perhaps next time it will all go more smoothly.