Your gloves aren't on YouTube

By Daniel Dunkle | Dec 28, 2018

Mornings are a frantic affair.

An alarm clock goes off. There are four people in the house, but only one bathroom. People must groom themselves, dress appropriately, find something to eat for breakfast, and, this time of year, clear the driveway of snow and ice. Then each child has to be brought to their respective school in two different towns using only one vehicle.

Wesley is 17. Samantha is 13.

Christine and I have achieved a new level of exhaustion, day or night, and our parents cheerfully warn us that it's only going to get worse.

You would think that mornings would eventually get easier. I mean, they happen every day. The best people, the people who have it all together, the folks who are not us, have this down to a science, a routine. Every morning they pop awake at the appropriate moment, fully refreshed because they did not stay up all night binge-watching Netflix. Their coffee machine, should they even need such stimulants, is not still full of viscous bilgewater from the day before, old coffee grounds growing a fungus from neglect. They know where their clothes are.

This is not us.

Wesley is simultaneously the most sleepy member of the family and the most stressed about us getting out the door on time. He usually ends up attending to various chores in the morning, including cleaning snow off the car and taking out the trash. Sometimes his eyes even open during this process, a good four hours before his normal Saturday wake-up time. Also, I have learned from bitter experience that in the morning he has absolutely no sense of humor.

He does this while Christine and Samantha argue about Samantha's attire each morning.

The other day, the entire family, except for myself, was out scraping the car. Samantha came out in her favorite (and our least favorite) tie-dyed hooded sweatshirt with no gloves, despite the fact that the air was freezing. Christine told her to go inside and get her coat and gloves.

Samantha disappeared into the house for a prolonged period of time. Finally, she used her mother's cellphone to call Wesley from inside the house. Wesley responded by having a fit. And there is a good reason for this.

Christine's phone is linked somehow to our Nissan. This allows her to talk through the car radio to her mother and Wesley while we drive back home from the grocery store after work, but it also has the side effect of making things very confusing when attempting to call Christine's cell while in proximity to the car. For example, I called Christine in her office from the car one day, just trying to tell her I was there to pick her up.

The car radio burst into life, much like Stephen King's haunted car in "Christine." I started muttering, using some of my colorful vernacular, only to realize that I was no longer talking to Christine, but the school nurse, who was contacting us about one of the kids.

The result during the ice-scraping operation was that Samantha's muffled voice was coming through the car radio. As Wesley yelled at her to stop calling him from the house like a dork, his only answer was his own voice through the car radio. Samantha's message was simple. She still couldn't find her gloves. No one can find anything, except Christine.

Eventually Christine went into the house to find out how the search for the gloves was going.

Samantha was sitting in her room with a pair of socks and scissors, watching a YouTube video on how to make gloves.

This is what a digital native looks like, folks.

"At least I was resourceful," our daughter said.

Just not resourceful enough to look in her jacket pocket, where her gloves had been the whole time.

With the mystery solved, the family headed off to the various schools.

Looking back, it was right before Christmas and the homemade gloves would probably have been more appropriate. Samantha would look like a Dickens character shivering at her desk with socks on her paws.

And where, you might ask, was I during all of this? Well, dear reader, I'm happy to report, I slept through the whole thing.

Stay tuned for next time, when we solve the mystery of "where are my sweatpants?"

Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and The Camden Herald, and author of the novel, "The Scrimshaw Worm." He lives in Rockland and can be reached at

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jan 01, 2019 05:58

Positively refreshing family life story. Thanks.

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