The annual thaw

Marc Lalonde
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It's that time of year again - it's hard to quantify my excitement at the spring thaw, but there is no single word that describes it better than exhilaration. I can breathe again! I can go take the garbage out and not have to dress in three layers to do it! No starting the car 15 minutes before leaving and no more snowpants!

That's the best one, right there. Snowpants are the worst. My son, who is delightful and wonderful just cannot put on snowpants or take them off to save his life. Moreoever, he insists on trying to remove said snowpants while his boots are still on - what a maroon.

The best part of that is because he is so mercilessly stubborn, even after I tell him his snowpants will not easily come off while his boots are still on, he insists on doing it his way - and yelling ‘myself!' at the top of his lungs, implying that he, in fact, will be doing this by himself.

That is, until halfway through the exercise when he realizes that he is never getting his snowpants off without some sort of help from a parent, he plaintively calls ‘Daddy! You help?' as though I would say ‘No, boy. You're on your own.' Getting the kids into warm winter outdoor clothing was a lot easier when it was insanely cold out. Then, if they were giving me a hard time, I simply open the front door, let the cold air rush in, form icicles on their faces and they rush to put on their warm stuff.

Now, with daytime temperatures in double-digit highs (barbecue time!), I face another conundrum. It's still far too cold in the mornings to send the kids off to school and day care in sweaters and sneakers, but it's obviously way too warm by 3 p.m. to justify packing them in a parka.

So, what to do? I have devised a foolproof formula that entails checking out the Weather Network in the morning, followed by an exhaustive analysis of the weather by looking outside and staring at the sky for a few minutes and then asking my wife what she thinks.

It's worked wonders so far, but only insofar that we've had sunny skies so far, but when it's raining, my answer is easy. Raincoats, rubber boots and splash pants make the job of getting the kids outfitted for the day so much easier.

But then, we run into the problem where my son wants to take off his splash pants before his boots come off, and then, even though it's really hard to take them off and he gets mad when I suggest otherwise.

Stop me if you've heard  this one before.

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