It’s Not All Mary Poppins

No, she doesn’t want to do daycare when she’s older. But she does babysit…

Emma kneels in the front hall amidst a swirl of snowsuits. Blue, navy, red, lilac, pink. Hats, mittens, boots, scarves, babies.

“There! You’re done!” She stands Emily on her puffy lilac snowsuit booties and calls over to where I’m putting together the snack for our outing. “You know, mum, if there was a contest for putting on snowsuits, I would so win!”

I chortle. “In your age category, anyway.”

“Pfft! I’m faster than most of the parents!”

She’s probably right. With a deft combination of good humour, calm authority, and distraction, she pops those kids into those contraptions with remarkable speed. Not that the kids aren’t doing their toddler best to stick a spoke in the wheels of efficiency.

“Okay, Nigel. Let’s get that foot in your boot.”

“Foot in boot!”

“That’s right.” She puts his toes in the opening of the boot. “Okay, then. STTOOOOMP!”

This is how we encourage the kids to push their feet into their boots. Yes, we could sit them on our laps and haul the boot on from behind, but once they can stand on one foot, this is way more fun – and a step on the way to independent dressing. Sometimes, mind you, you do have to lift the other foot to give the kid the necessary weight to slide fuzzy sock against the resistance of fleecy boot lining.

“Uh, uh, urgh, oog, ah.” Nigel’s face is screwed up in concentration, and his effort sounds prodigious. Emma, however, is unimpressed.

“Nigel, you have to push down. All that grunting doesn’t do anything, it just makes you sound constipated.”

“Uh, uh, uh, uuuuuuuuh.”

“No, STOOOOMMMP!” She cues him with the word always associated with the same action, but he’s oblivious, too engrossed in his effort-ful-sounding noise.

“Uh, uh, uuuuuhhhh.” For all the grunting, Nigel’s heel is woefully short of the bottom of the boot. He’s not pushing at all. His toes are barely in the top.

“Now you sound like you’re giving birth, you silly kid. Hang on to me, and say ‘STOOMMP’!!!” This time, the cue works. His face lights up.

“SSTTTTOOOOMMMPPPP!” His toes vanish, there’s a slight pause when his heel slips in, and then – thud – he drops into his boot. “In!” He crows.

“Yaayy, Nigel!! Now the other foot, and no noise this time, just STOMP!”


“Yaayy!” As Emma claps, Nigel walks toward the (locked) front door, waving a mittened hand.

“Bye-bye, Emma! See you inna moe-nin.”

“I’m not sending you outside by yourself, you,” she giggles. “Sit down over there while I get Anna into her suit.”

“Bye-bye! See you inna moe-nin.”

Bye-bye, Nigel, you noodle. See you sit on the step, please.”

“O-tay!” He plonks his butt.

In another couple of minutes, Anna is dressed, the snacks are packed, and we are on our way. Model of efficiency, I tell you.

March 21, 2007 Posted by | daycare, Mischief, my kids, outings, the cuteness!, Uncategorized | 13 Comments