Were inside people now. Just like that.
When I venture out in the early morning down coat over bathrobe to feed the chickens, Im always startled at how low in the sky the sun is hanging, almost appearing stuck in the tall, scratchy limbs of our neighbors aspen trees. And then a 10-degree particle of air slams my skin, some errant, precoffee brain cells fire and I put it all together: the cold, the low lying sun its winter!
Our inside lives roll like the changeable headlines for a tabloid magazine chronicling the lives of a tempestuous and beautiful couple:
Rose hits Col and tells him hes a bad guy. Col steals Roses ducky and she howls. Col and Rose: bonding over bandaids and reunited.
Before the sun even rises, Col can be found piecing together a dinosaur puzzle while Rose perches at the very edge of a glossy T-rex, kicking through his pile of puzzle pieces. She examines her work of scattered dino shapes and opens the bullhorn of her throat, Blanga blanga blong! Blanga blanga blong! Do you like my song, Coley?
Thats a little too much singing Rosie, Col says without looking up.
Rose inches closer to Col and picks up a book about pandas, pretending she just happens to be malingering a quarter centimeter away from the Stegosaurus newly snapped into place. Blanga blanga blong, she murmurs as if reading straight from the book while her little fingers pry up the edge of a Diplodocus.
I try to think of what my friend Sue would do. (She raises her voice so infrequently at her children that when she does, they regard her like shes wielding a saber in her teeth.)
While Im silently rehearsing potential Sue-isms, Col shouts Rosiiiieeee, STOP! Which seems like the perfect thing to say, even if a hundred parenting books will say its not.
Suddenly, the puzzle is abandoned and the kids, collaboratively, are searching for a pair of scissors to cut a turtle pendant off Cols necklace, which I dont want them to do. I quickly hide the scissors in a move of total conflict-avoidance and shrug from behind the newspaper. Hmmm, I dont know where those scissors are. Keep looking.
Rose runs to Col with a can opener. Will this work, Coley? They huddle conspiratorially over the turtle necklace, jabbing the can opener against the string before abandoning the can opener for a cherry pitter.
By the time I realize we have another pair of scissors to hide, theyve left their useless cutting implements on the floor and have scurried off to stage the latest game of princesses and pirates. All is well for a full 20 minutes when Col comes running to me crying.
Rosie hit me!
No I didnt, Coley. I punched you.
And then the sun rises, and I wonder what were going to do with our long, winter day.
Rachel Turiels column runs the first and third Sunday of the month. Read her blog, Growing children at 6512 feet, at http://6512andgrowing.wordpress.com.