The Morning Routine Includes Frostbite

Getting out the door on time in the morning doesn’t happen on its own. Little people must be hurried along. Every step of the process needs to be asked for at least five times before I end up doing it anyway. We need to leave the house on time to get to the little one’s daycare on time to get to the big one’s pre-school on time so I can get to work at a reasonable time. Our morning routine runs like a New Zealand watch. (Fun Fact: New Zealand is exactly opposite from Switzerland.)

It is very common that I forget something in the process, though usually it is something minor like brushing my own teeth. But hey, after a cup of coffee at the office who’d know the difference anyway.

This morning was a little or hectic than usual. The little kid was crabby about everything, and the big kid want to “help”, which consisted mostly of constantly handing me my keys that I then set back down on the counter next to my phone and wallet. I put them there so I easily grab them all before I go out the door. FORESHADOWING!

After fighting the miniature lady to get her socks, boots, jacket, and mittens on – because it was 15 degrees outside – we were finally almost basically to go. I remote started my truck to get it nice and warm, then I just had to brush my own teeth (hey, I remembered) and pack my own lunch. While I was putting leftover pizza in a baggie my “helper” brought me my keys. I put my pizza in my computer satchel, grabbed the kids backpack and lunches, grabbed my phone and wallet, and we were out the door which I locked behind me.

Somewhere between my third and fourth step out the door noticed my keys weren’t in my front right pants pocket. Surely then they must be in my jacket pocket, right? Right?!? How about the other pocket? Or that other pocket over there? Good god man how many pockets does a jacket really need to have?!?

In all my live I had never used more self control than I did in that moment trying not to drop an A-bomb of an F-bomb in front of my kids. To my credit, all I dropped were the bags I was carrying as I dashed back to the door to check, double check, and triple check that it really was locked for real. Which of course it was.

The front door! We used that yesterday, maybe we were irresponsible home owners and left that unlocked over night. That sounds like us. Unfortunately, responsibility prevailed last night. Locked.

Windows! I can pop out a screen an slide one open, no problem. Expect its February in Michigan, we haven’t opened a window in three months. All locked.

At this point I started to weigh my options. I could kick the door in. Pro – always wanted to do that. Con – gonna have to fix that later. I could break a window. Pro – seems like fun. Con – seems more expensive than a door jamb. The little window in the shower doesn’t really lock, it just sort of latches. I bet it could find a way to wiggle that lose and drop one of the kids in there. Pro – the most McGyver like option and an opportunity for family bonding. Con – possibility of dropping kid in their head in the bathtub and they won’t have their wits about them to remember to go open the door for daddy.

I began calling my wife repeatedly. She works in a dentist office, so she can’t have her phone on her but I figured trying a dozen or so times can’t hurt. Luckily she hadn’t seen her first patient of the day yet and she glanced at her phone. A quick conversation later and she was on her way. Now we just had to hold out for twenty or so minutes in the cold. Which is all mental. 15 degrees you say? Nonsense, feels like at least 17! Pass me a daiquiri!

The kiddos on the other hand were starting to break. Cheeks and noses were redder than they were rosy. Playing in the snow became more standing still and poking the snow with a stick. Then came, “Daddy, its cold.”

A scan of the neighbors houses showed they’d already left for work. The garage would stop the wind, but it wouldn’t stop the cold. But at least were were only feet from my truck which had the heat cranked since I remote started it. What a special torture that was.

I decided to walk to the coffee shop about a half mile away. It will be an adventure! I can carry the little one and the big one can walk, and when we get there – hot chocolate for all! Dad of the year!

Going as fast as three-year-old legs can go (which is not very fast all), I was making my way through the bitter cold with my children to find find our refuge. And cocoa. And wifi. Just like the pioneers.

We got about half way there when I saw my wife’s van come into view. She blew right past us. She went to the house to get it unlocked and my truck started back up, and I turned us around and walked back. By the time we got home the little one was crying and snotty-faced. The big one was very confused. I was going to be late. But hey, at least I ended up getting to walk that full half mile.

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