When Snow Pants Attack

I hate snow pants. Not on a personal level. I appreciate an extra layer of warmth. I like that my kids don’t come in dripping after recess. But damnit, they take so long to get in and out of! The process of getting ready for recess shoots up from 2 minutes to about 15. Yes, jackets must be zipped, gloves located, boots put on, scarfs detangled and unwound from other peoples faces and necks. But it’s snow pants that take the longest. In an age of space travel, electric cars, and skyscrapers, why has humanity yet to invent a better way to keep the damn things on?

One of my kids this year has a pair that’s way too small. Like most kids, he grew quite a bit in a year. I assume that last years snow pants were taken out of storage, put in a bag, and sent to school to be put on for recess. Where we teachers discovered that they were not going to fit, no matter how much we pushed and pulled. For the morning recess, we left them unbuckled, and the poor guy waddled around the playground constantly hitching them up. For lunch recess, I figured I’d improvise. The straps wouldn’t go over his shoulders, so I buckled them under his arms. This apparently worked great, until he tightened them to the point of pain and couldn’t get them undone.

The best (or worst, depending on perspective) snow pants incident happened to one of my students a few years ago. This little guy was prone to the dramatics, and had a knack for getting himself stuck in strange situations, so I wasn’t too surprised. The rest of the class was trickling back into the room after de-eskimo-ing themselves, and one reported to me that someone was having trouble. I walked out into the hall to see my little friend lying on his back, rigid as a board, one arm in his snow pants, the other clenched at his side. Tears were leaking out of his eyes, he was bright red and breathing fast and heavy. Prompting only resulted in “I-I-I- my-my-my- these-hic-hic-hic-stupid-hic-blub-glrg-SNOW PANTS!” He was stuck. It took a substantial amount of strength, flexibility, and patience on both our parts, but eventually he was free.

And the very next day, wearing them again. If anyone out there can invent a better pair of snow pants, I have business to discuss with you.

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