Taking little kids outside in the winter is like going on a five hour road trip to spend 20 minutes at a theme park that looks really fun from the car but once you get inside it’s mainly just standing around and manual labor.
Also, there’s some crying.
It’s not the cold I mind so much (that’s a lie– I mind the cold), but more so the herculean effort it takes to winterize my children prior to crossing the threshold into the great outdoors.
Generally, my snow day timeline goes something like this…
6 AM: It’s a snow day!
7 AM: Time to look out the window. Holy wonderland, cue the Hallelujah Chorus because I love every inch of this. The whole world is white and still and magical. I basically live in Narnia.
8:00 AM: My kids are awake. COFFEE.
8:30 AM: I love playing with my children!! LET’S DO ALL THE ACTIVITIES!!!!!
10 AM: How much longer do I have to play with my children? I’m serious. How much longer?
11 AM: OMG. Look at the neighbor kids. They’re sledding! Should we be sledding? Gosh darn it, why didn’t I think of sledding?? We have to go outside so we don’t look like hermits.
11:15 AM: We officially do NOT own a sled.
11:30AM: …or gloves.
11:40AM: …or boots.
NOON: Why did I get myself dressed first?? I’m suffocating in wool and trying to zip coats onto two children who are squirming like cats in a bathtub. I’m about 30 seconds shy of a full heat rage.
12:15 PM: How many pairs of baby pants equal a snow suit? 3? 7?
12:20 PM: Socks are gloves.
12:25 PM: EVERYBODY OUTSIDE.
12:30 PM: We did it. We’re outside.
12:35 PM: …
12:40 PM: …
12:45 PM: I guess we should make a snowman or something…
1:00 PM: Hold up– this is actually super fun. Squeeeeeel! I love it out here!!!! Wait… why is my daughter just standing there. Daughter? You are having fun. This is what fun looks like.
1:05 PM: Sheesh, Kid. This is snow, not acid.
1:08 PM: Seriously though. You are not dying. Unless… flipping frankfurters your hands are FREEZING and these sock/gloves are worthless. I’m so sorry…
1:10 PM: Too many people are crying. I’m taking some pictures or this family fun might as well have never happened.
1:15 PM: And, we’re done. Everybody inside and don’t touch anything or step off the doormat because you’re both slinging ice chunks like Elsa on coronation day.
1:30 PM: Clothes off. Pajamas on. Fire in the fireplace. Tea in my cup. I LOVE THESE PEOPLE.
2:00 PM: Naaaaaaaaaaaaaptime, slack time, mommy’s-got-her-life-back time….
4:00 PM: It’s been two hours… I miss the kids… maybe I should wake them up…
The funny thing is, no matter how exasperating it feels to prep for our outdoor adventures, no matter how much muscle and angst it takes to get my kids inside their coats (and hats and socks and sock/gloves), at the end of the day I don’t really remember all that (except for maybe this time since I just wrote it all down). Sometimes, it’s okay if hindsight is more Currier and Ives than 20/20. It’s okay if our brains dispense with the nitty gritty, reserving only the lovely parts for memory keeping.
And today was a whole lot of lovely.
Plus, our snowman looks bangerang.
How do you spend your snow days? Anyone else feel like getting the kids out into the snow takes a colossal effort? Tips for speeding up the process (other than having my kids grow up faster because no thank you)? It looks so easy when the neighbor kids do it! What’s their secret…