I've Reached Maximum Winter

Winter has worn out its welcome. Truly.

Each weekday I pick up a small, curly-headed child from her elementary school. Said child runs across the blacktop towards me wearing boots, snow pants (she tucks her dress into her snow pants, ya'll), mittens, a coat, a hat, and usually a scarf. As soon as she gets home, her winter gear is cast off into six different locations around the house. Then the dogs help out by dragging around some of the items with their teeth. I round everything up again, muttering under my breath as I go.

Now that it is March, the crisp freshly-fallen snow has given way to . . . snirt. Giant, dingy piles of snirt everywhere. And snirt is somehow exactly as appealing to a small child as snow is. All the kids at school scale the snirt piles on the playground and roll back down them. Therefore, my child is usually dirty when I pick her up - or at least her snow pants are. I've washed those bleeping pants at least a hundred thousand times this winter. Yesterday, she fell in a mud puddle and came home with sodden earth stuck to her right leg. You could have planted a modest crop right on my child's calf. The label in her snow boots gave no indication that they are machine washable, so of course I tossed them into the washer. I figured things can't get much worse.

So that is my first beef with winter: dirty snow gear. My second beef is with my own back yard and . . . the poop swamp. The poop swamp is a section of our back yard that receives very little sunlight for some reason. It's also the area in which the dogs most enjoy pooping. The poop swamp is located just outside the window of our guest room/office. My mother always exclaims over how awesome it is that she gets a swamp-front room when she stays at our house. "I don't even have to crane my neck to get a view of the poop swamp! It's right there!"

Now that the snow is melting, we'll have to start our annual expeditions into the swamp to clean up the poo. P and I usually take turns, leaving behind a "send out a search team if I don't come back!" note just in case. After the fecal logs have been freezing and thawing all winter long, sinking deeper into the muck with each passing day, you can imagine what a delightful job it is. Every spring, we actually give some consideration to not feeding the dogs for a couple of weeks until we can get caught up. And we're only half kidding when we say that.

"Dear God, please send spring soon. Mostly so I can wear my cute new spring jacket. Amen."

Poop swamp's in full effect, yo.