The Mitten Monster

It is the same thing every winter – around mid-February, I start pleading with Mother Nature to please, please warm up. Don’t get me wrong… I have learned to accept the cold, being holed up in the house, the lack of daylight, and the occasional dumping of snow that accompanies a Central-Illinois winter.  I actually, thoroughly enjoy the “chore” of shoveling the driveway and sidewalk, when it does snow.  I understand and appreciate the life cycle of nature, and feel privileged that I can witness the growth, death or hibernation, and rebirth of my gardens, trees, and bees in all four seasons.  But…….

Our family has a Mitten Monster.  She is an unruly beast, and far more heinous than her cousin the Sock MittensMonster.  The thing is she doesn’t just stop at mittens.  Gloves – work gloves, gardening gloves, dishwashing gloves, mechanic gloves, MY GLOVES, are all a part of her sick obsession.  She pilfers our drawers, the garage, my gardening supply box, and swipes ONE.  Yep, you read right.  One glove or mitten.  If a pair turned up missing, then as alarmed as I would be, I would come to the conclusion that someone obviously needed that pair of gloves more than my family.  But one?!  She is the one thing that causes my OCD-ass so much anxiety throughout the winter.

I’ve tried to outwit her.  Every fall, I purchase several pairs for each person in the family.  I have a bin in the hall closet that contains hats, scarves, gloves and mittens – the gloves and mittens are even safeguarded in their own Ziploc bag.  Apparently the extra step to even get to the gloves and mittens is child’s play to the Mitten Monster.  It is probably some sort of a sick game to her.

I’ve attempted enlisting the kids in my fight against the Mitten Monster.  I have offered bribes and rewards to the child who was able to protect their gloves or mittens from her for a whole week.  The idea of sweet treats and extra tablet time must have infuriated the Mitten Monster, because the gloves and mittens turned up missing at alarming rates.  I also tried issuing punishments, if the kids failed to keep their gloves or mittens out of harm’s way.  The sadist must have actually enjoyed seeing the time outs and allowances handed over, because this method also went over like a lead balloon.

If I didn’t have to fear the kids getting beat up at school, I would seriously contemplate those mittens on a string, that I was forced to wear when I was little.

I have come to the conclusion that the Mitten Monster, as loathed and despised as she is, is a part of our family, whether we like it or not.  She’s like that obnoxious cousin everyone has; the one who, when her name is mentioned, you cringe with embarrassment of even being related.  There is no way around it, she is here to stay.  So I will just accept her, and continue pleading to Mother Nature for the early arrival of spring.

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