Friday, December 30, 2011

Snow Snow Snow!

Right in the mouth.

So it's snowing. So other than my wife nearly dying in the Saturn Slip N Slide - and then calling me to tell me she bought a Jeep on trade-in the snow has been great. My daughter loves snow. Snow Mountain, icicles and sledding may be the three things she likes most between Christmas and Easter. But when she was in her first real snow (as in could put the clothes on and stand up) she hated the snow. The timing was slightly off so she was just that little bit too young. She couldn't move very well in it. The boots were too clunky and the snow too deep. Add the cold isn't romantic and fun at all. For a large part of mid-Winter it hovers around -8F. For those of you who can't figure out what that is it's -22 Celsius. It's unbelievably cold. And if we go up north a bit they don't even bother with temperatures - they just tell you how many minutes you can be outside until your exposed skin will die.

My daughter hated it too because the mittens made her hands completely useless. Which is pretty annoying when all you want to do is pick up snow and hold icicles and sled string. I thought putting a kids foot in dress shoes was scary - try jamming a kids thumb into a mitten. You know it's going to snap off. Weirder though was that sledding seemed to put my daughter in this weird catatonic state. She would express no emotion of any kind whilst in the sled so you'd assume she wasn't having fun - but if you took her out to back inside she'd complain. And being a child of that age she had no idea when to come inside so would inevitably get too cold. You see that's how you know you've been a good parent - that you got your child to an age where if you dumped them on the side of the road that they probably wouldn't die but would go get help.

So I wasn't sure what my son would think about snow. He's a little older for this season than my daughter was. So a few days ago when I strapped him inside all the gear and whatnot it didn't fill me with confidence that he hated the whole experience. Putting the snow pants annoyed him. The boots and gloves pissed him off even more. The hat - the one that looks like a snowmobile turtle-fur that he cannot get off even if he tried - made him seethe with rage. He kept hitting me with his useless hands.

Then I stuck him outside and he ran around giddy as a goat. He freaking loved it. He had no interest in sledding at all but he wanted to go charging about roll around in snow. He liked the whole icicles (Nature's Popsicle) to munch on too. I couldn't wait to show him how much fun snowball fights were. I knew the bets way was to just start pummeling him with baseball-sized honkers. I used to literally knock my daughter over with some chest-cracking sluggers and she thought it was hilarious. As long as I didn't get her right in the face she would laugh maniacally. Sadly it was the wrong kind of snow (yes, British Rail - you have a point). It wouldn't form good snowballs and would just fall apart. So after spending collecting rocks from the driveway to put inside snowballs I came to. "What the hell are you doing?" I thought. "This is crazy. What are you doing? Why are you pulling rocks off the driveway to throw at your children? There's a coffee can of old screws and nails in the basement that you don't need any more. Just use them instead."

He was a bit nonplussed about snowballs. What he really wanted me to do was lie on the ground so he could sit on my face - but in the snow. I didn't know that until I tried to make a Snow Angel. After I made it I just lay in the quiet. The sky was all one color and silent. My daughter was busy lying on the ground eating the snow like a wild animal. I lay there for about 3 o 4 minutes and thought that this is probably what David Suzuki is on about when he says people should get outside and literally sit spend time with the Earth. I also fleetingly thought that this would be a pretty peaceful way to go as well - save the agonizing burning of frostbite and being woken half-dead by something eating you. Oh and the kids being alone obviously. But the silence was wonderful. I closed my eyes and promised myself it would only be for 30 seconds. Then I heard my son laughing and running. I figured he was just chasing the dog or his sister was pulling him on the sled. Then he landed on top of me and wiggled about until he was sat on my head. I shrugged him off and his glove had come off and his nose had grown an enormous Plymouth-green snot dribble. That glove has come off three times now. Yep - time to go back inside.

Normally when we come back in we get hot chocolate and cuddle under a blanket to keep warm. But we don't have any hot chocolate and my son wanted to play trains. So my daughter and I decided to do our Daily Dance-off while he kept himself entertained. Feast your eyes on this.

Control yourselves.

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