After a short, exhausting time playing in the snow, local mammy Maria Rushe reflects on the different memories made by her two girls.
Oh Look Darlings. It’s snow!
Hurray! We shall frolic and flail in the snow, making snow angels and building snowmans while singing the Frozen songs, and then we shall return to the house, rosy cheeked and fresh and snug as bugs to sip hot chocolate and snuggle up on the sofa…”
And as quickly as the snow thaws and leaves a sloppy, shitty mess of reality in its wake, so too do Mammy’s nonsense notions of Mary-of-the-Poppinsy frolicking.
Indeed we did play in the snow. Indeed we did make snow angels and go sleighing. And indeed we did have fun.
The snowman did not materialise however, such was the powdery fluffiness of the sneachta. Not a hope!
We also had runny noses, red fingers, sore cheeks, wet toes, cold legs.
There was frustration at slippy ground, frustration at stones in the snow, frustration at disobedient snow which wouldn’t stick where it was being shoved, and general frustration at not knowing why exactly we are grumpy when we should be frolicking in the fucking snow.
And then begins the trauma. The UTTER drama of trying to get the Eskimos unwrapped from their onions of layers.
Sticky wellies, wet trousers suckering onto skin, fingers regaining their nerve endings and burning in the sudden heat, stepping into puddles of water as they step out of the wellies… Faces stinging, tummies rumbling, noses running…
Mammy did make hot chocolate and for a while, all was well. Except that in my attempt to get my Nigella on, adding some actual chocolate into the pot of simmering brown sweetness, I made hot chocolate that was unacceptable by Granny’s standards, for you see “Granny makes it propawy”.
The washing machine was started for the 13th time as everyone heated their backsides and enjoyed the sensation of feeling returning to their limbs.
And then, the exhaustion hit and the rest of the evening was spent with two incredibly knackered little farts who both decided that their one mission in life today was to drive each other, and Mammy, absolutely MENTAL.
Fighting, crying, complaining, declaring oneself as abused as Cinderella, declaring oneself to be missing her teacher, refusing to eat ANYTHING put in front of them, “tidying” by re-positioning crap from one room to another… You get the gist?
And then, just as Mammy thought she was going to go outside to drink gin with the leftovers of the snowman that never was, they decided they were best fwends again and all was right with the world again…
“Did you have a good day?”
“The BEST Mammy!”
“What was the best part?”
“Playing in the snow ALL DAY!”
There you go… We were outside for all of 34 minutes and yet that’s what they remember.
What was a small part of a very long day was the best day ever to them. And suddenly the stresses and snots and tears and tantrums and screaming melted into oblivion, along with our Snowman outside.
Playing in the snow is fab. It’s like a snowman actually… fab and perfect for a very short while, before disintegrating into a big wet puddle!
But the carrot and stones and scarf that are left behind are just like the memories…solid and the only thing that matters.
And worth every sore finger and wet backside.