I loaded three children into the minivan first thing this morning to take them for their annual flu shots. Emma vomited herself out of her flu shot last night and won the envied spot on the couch watching movies with Daddy. Jealous of Emma though they were, Naomi, Toby, and Hannah were herded out the door while Emma grinned.
The frigid white wind that met me outside was nearly as welcome to me as another vomit covered child, but it instantly brightened Hannah's mood. "It's snowing!" she announced, and she heralded the glad tidings all the way to the doctor's office. "I can't believe it's actually snowing! Finally, finally! I love the snow! It's not quite covering the grass yet, Mama, but it will 'cause it just keeps snowing and snowing!"
Toby pulled a kitchen chair up by the hot crockpot on the counter to inspect the contents. "No, Toby!" I yelled. He startled and fell backwards off the chair onto the kitchen floor. I scolded him, "That's HOT! Toby, it will BURN you!" Ah, yes, burn. He seemed to remember that and opted to relocate his chair to beneath a shelf of breakable Christmas decorations.
"Toby's so naughty," Hannah commented, "but he got a sticker from the doctor today even though he wasn't brave."
"No, Toby!" I yelled again as he stretched to reach a dangling evergreen swag, but he didn't heed my warning. His little toes lost their grip on the edge of the seat and he toppled off the chair. I showed no sympathy.
"Next time we go back outside to play I'll be wearing snow pants!" Hannah continued unfazed. I did my best to tune her out as I fried a pan of bacon. A moment later the living room lights dimmed, then glowed bright again, then dimmed. I left the bacon to find Toby teetering on the arm of the recliner and running the light dimmer up and down. "Bright!" he announced cheerily. "I think it's about time for lunch," I lied again, strapping Toby into his booster seat.
"Mommy," Hannah chided, reading my emotions, "you're supposed to love your enemies."
I love him. I just love him better in his booster seat. And I love Hannah, but sometimes a small piece of duct tape is tempting, just until it stops snowing.