4 years ago

The Truth About Snow Days with Young Children


If the love I have for my boys is measured by me going against my better judgement and taking them outside to play in the snow, then they should have no question about how much I  love every fiber of their little beings. Ever, ever again.

I woke up, last week, to Lexington jumping up and down, hollering:
“It’s a lot of snow– There’s a lot of snow out there– IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY!”

It took me all day to work myself up to getting them out to play in the snow.  And when 3 pm came around, I’d attained the courage, and announced we would do it.

Lexington, the only one to whom my announcement registered, offered his knowledge:

“Okay, first we have to find some pants that won’t get wet from the cold snow. So we need to find …some shorts …cozy, warm shorts!  And make sure no one pukes …and nothing happens to make me sneeze.”

The 45 Minute Prep.

“Just throw some coats on them, how long can that take!?” 45 minutes, wise one.

I’ve gotten smarter in the whole prepping-of-the-children to go anywhere. A valuable piece of parenting information the Langenkamps have passed onto Craig and I is also very simple: dress the oldest children first.

Well, we have our middle child, Emmett. Emmett, with Autism, who doesn’t like long sleeves or coats or certain kinds of shoes. It’s not a simple “I don’t like sleeves” (which he has never actually said) it’s more like a lay-on-the-ground-and-writhe-and-scream-I-don’t-like-sleeves, once I’ve put the shirt over his head.

So yeah, if we are ever out in public and it’s subzero degrees outside and you’re shocked to see Emmett wearing a tee shirt and assume I must be a neglectful parent, it’s really because writhe-fests get so old so quick and I have to function like a normal human being sometimes and get out of the house.

So I’ve learned to dress Emmett last to keep the bellowing to minimum duration.
Bundled up and sweating, 45 minutes later, I crammed Emmett’s much detested boots on his feet and flung him out the door, mid-tantrum.

Tantrum haltingly abandoned by bewilderment of the tangible snow.

Snow Day: aka Snow minutes.

Emmett’s bewilderment lasts 5 minutes maximum and I managed to grab a few photos of my 3 boys all looking the part of cheerful, rosy cheeked snowbabies, and then Emmett’s hands got cold and it was the end of the world.

Both boys, seconds pre-doomsday meltdown. Gotta capture those beautiful memories, youse guys.

Need I mention that I dasn’t attempt even putting gloves on this child? Putting on a coat had been tolerated (I believe, with happy anticipation that we’d be driving somewhere), but re-introducing his boots sent him over the edge.  So for me to cram his hands into such a claustrophobic encasement as mittens (Or in my case, Dad’s socks, because I fail at life and don’t have gloves for everyone), and we never would have gotten out the door.  One traumatic clothing article at a time.  So, after 45 minutes of dressing every child on the face of the earth, I chose leave the gloves and GET. OUTSIDE.

Collin became upset as a chain reaction to Emmett’s misery, and I hauled them both inside as they gnashed their teeth, and I tore off their layers in 30 seconds– the 45 minutes layers. Really funny.

Lexington remained outside in the winter wonderland and this is where I am so thankful to not live at Bumpy Bridge House any more.

Yay for fences.
Yay for muchos windows so I can see his every stumble.
Yay for a small back yard.
Yay for no bodies of water anywhere near the house.

Emmett continued to be traumatized by cold fingers mixed with wanting go go back outside for 20 minutes (guttural screams) until I distracted him with a favorite Disney movie.

Ah, if we’d all stayed in and watched the movie in the first place…
But Lexington’s delight in the snow was enough to halt the why-do-I-even-try in its tracks.

Soooloooo, I’m ridin’ solo.

‘Tis But a Dream.

One hour and 5 minutes total prep and de-prep time for a grand 5 minutes of walking in a Winter wonderland outside: worth it?
For Lexington’s delight? Yes.
For me to do it again any time soon? No.
I love yas awll, and clearly you know that because I proved it by doing this activity but, moreover, I prove it by getting out of bed every day, but you’re only 1, 3 & 4 and there be plenty years ahead to play in the snow.

Even if there isn’t, I doubt anyone on their death bed says, “I wish I would’ve tortured my children by bundling them up for 45 minutes and letting them freeze their fingers off for 5 minutes in the snow.”

As I hauled my two youngest, crying children inside, I laughed in defeat knowing I cannot possibly be the only parent who’s ideal of the holly, jolly, frolicking snow babies is but a farce.  Actually, I correct myself, it’s about a 5 minute truth.  THIS, is the rest of the story.

you better believe these clothes are “still drying” 4 days later.
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