The signs were there. Yet, I chose to ignore them. I was bound and determined to make things work.

This snowshoeing play-date was going to happen, damnit, and it was going to be FUN.

My first sign that not all was as it should be was when I woke up this morning feeling like an alien was trying to claw his way out of my pelvis—either through my lower back or straight out of my uterus.

My next signs came as I was picking up Henry from pre-school. He came right over to me when he saw me open the playground gate. He was quiet and his eyes looked a little glassy. While it might be typical for your child to be ecstatic to see you at pick-up, my boys have always wanted “one last (insert any activity here – slide, turn on the swing, race, etc)” before acknowledging that I am there to take them home.

Then, to top things off, as I was buckling our snowshoes, I noticed that mine didn’t quite fit. I hadn’t thought to try them on before taking them out for the first time this year. Never mind that they aren’t actually mine but rather, my husband’s. I must have been delusional to assume adult snowshoes would be one size fits all.

And yet, I pressed us on. “It’ll be fine,” I assured Henry, his friend and his friend’s mom.

But it was not.

The snow was crusty, not fluffy, and almost immediately, we were faced with a steep incline. Henry began whining. I whispered encouraging words.

Did I mention that this was a first play-date? You know, the slightly awkward, put-your-best-foot-forward-and-test-the-waters get-together between parents and their kids? The one where you and your child attempt to make a good impression? Or, in my case, where I try to act—and to get my child to act—normally enough so that the other parent doesn’t leave believing we are Satan and her spawn?

Alas, it was not to be.

The whining escalated to whimpering which converted to crying. I ended up carrying him up and then down the hill while Henry’s friend’s mom kindly carried my ill-fitting snowshoes. Total play time? Fifteen minutes.

Fifteen minutes of Hell.

And now my little cherub is asleep.

Who’s betting on whether we’ll get a second date? Not me.

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