Meredith C. Carroll: How to get kids ski-school-ready in 42 easy steps
1. Have them pick out their ski clothes the night before.
2. Get them to bed early — a full day on the mountain requires ample rest!
3. Gently wake them up 90 minutes before departure time.
4. Gently remind them to wake up two minutes after that.
5. Gently, but firmly, remind them to wake up two minutes after that.
6. Two minutes after that, turn on the lights, lift up the shades, and tell them you really mean it this time.
7. Come in five minutes later, pull off their covers and start whispering to them in a way that would panic a Navy SEAL.
8. Drag them out of bed and down to the kitchen and then rush to tell the neighbors that, despite the blood-curdling screams, neither Child Protective Services nor the coroner needs to be summoned.
9. Endure a laundry list of complaints at the table about their meal including, but not limited to: the pancake isn’t as round as the moon, and who says gum isn’t a breakfast food?
10. Listen to your child rattle off the ailments they insist should preclude them from skiing including, but not limited to: a sore pinky, an elbow scratch, hurt feelings, and how can anyone ski when Donald Trump is president (which is a fair point, but still).
11. Have them get dressed in their ski clothes.
12. Wait while they pick out new clothes because the ones they settled on the night before are the worst, apparently.
13. Tell them to put on their ski boots.
14. Remind them their feet haven’t grown four sizes in one week and, in fact, they absolutely can fit into these boots.
15. Get out a bucket and mop to wipe up the tears they shed while putting on their boots.
16. Shed your own tears when they “accidentally” step on your bare toes in ski boots.
17. Make a mental note to Google if purposefully stepping on someone’s bare toes in ski boots is among Dr. Phil’s 14 characteristics of a serial killer.
18. Remember that your child needs $12 cash for ski school lunch.
19. Remember that you spent all your cash yesterday on the special breakfast your child won’t eat today.
20. Search the couch cushions for quarters.
21. Remain stoic as your child insists they cannot walk, but instead must be carried to the car in their ski boots.
22. Get in the car and start driving.
23. As soon as you crawl through the worst part of traffic and are more than halfway to the mountain, turn around when your child announces they left their ski pass at home.
24. Once you pull into the driveway at home, stifle a blood-curdling scream as your child announces the pass was, in fact, zipped in their front left pants pocket, which is exactly where you told them to look.
25. Turn around and head back toward the mountain.
26. As soon as you crawl the worst part of traffic and are more than halfway to the mountain, go back home again when your child announces they forgot a glove.
27. After 15 minutes waiting in the car, go looking for your child in the house and locate them watching their zillionth YouTube video of the day on the iPad you purposefully hid from them (not well enough, apparently).
28. As you sit in traffic again, listen again as your child explains just how ineffective you are as a parent.
29. Arrive at the mountain and console your child for their awful life because they’re made to carry their own skis and poles.
30. Remember that you forgot the $12 in nickels, quarters and lint you found at home and scan the crowd for a friend to borrow $12 so your child won’t starve at lunch, which they’re already hungry for because it’s 9:21 a.m. and breakfast was inedible because of the moon and Trump.
31. Get snot and tears wiped on your jacket and face by your child, who thinks the nicest ski instructor on the planet is either a kidnapper or Trump supporter.
32. Consider calling 911 because it appears your child can only be removed from your leg via emergency surgery. 33. Apologize to the ski instructor and claim for the zillionth week in a row, “This never happens.”
34. Feel horrible leaving them and question your choices as a parent — and as a human.
35. Spy on your child from the lift in the middle of the day as they ski skillfully and happily with their group.
36. Watch your child’s mouth turn from a smile to a frown when they spot you as they ski down at the end of the day.
37. Watch your child cry hangry tears as they tell you they spent $12 on gum and ate only snow for lunch.
38. Buy them the same lunch they could have had at their actual lunchtime, except spend way more than $12 because that deal expired when ski school ended.
39. Watch them fall asleep in the food you purchased in lieu of that month’s 529 contribution on the car ride home.
40. Heat up leftover pancakes for them to eat as an apres-ski snack.
41. Make more pancakes because apparently, they taste better as an apres-ski snack.
42. Try to neither laugh nor cry when they ask if the whole family can ski tomorrow.
Follow Meredith Carroll on Twitter @MCCarroll. More at MeredithCarroll.com.