Snow Daaaaaay! As a kid, I’d wait with baited breath for that announcement at the sign of the first snowflake. Once I had a kid, I learned the truth: snow days are the worst. Not only is it a hardship for us if schools close because of the weather, since my husband and I both work full-time, but trying to have fun in the snow as a parent can be the coldest version of hell. It’s wet, freezing, and no, I don’t want to build a snowman.
I have to pull it together when my kids start bouncing off the walls in excitement. Snow in New York, where we live, doesn’t stay clean for longer than a minute, and quickly morphs to slush, so there’s a narrow window to get out and frolic in the fresh powder. While it’s lifesaving to get the kids out, playing in, and eventually becoming exhausted by the snow, getting kids dressed for snow can be a traumatic experience. For everyone.
As we hunker down for a blizzard to descend upon us on the east coast, our preparedness shouldn’t be limited to stocking the fridge and loading up on batteries. We need to brace ourselves for the emotional rollercoaster of snowsuit season. I'm taking a deep breath, readying myself for the eight stages of dressing my children to play in the snow:
The thought of spending the next 20 minutes swaddling the kids in multiple waterproof layers while we all sweat in our overheated apartment, causing the children to resist said layers because they are so hot already is the most un-fun thing ever.
Through the squirming and the whining, you stuff little arms into jackets, twitchy legs into snow pants, and, for once, snap the placket covering the zipper, which you never do because no child had ever stayed significantly warmer from doing so and that is proven no matter how many dirty looks passersby give you when you think you’ve neglected to properly protect your child from the cold.
Where did I put the new mittens? These are the old mittens. Didn’t we buy new mittens? Are they in your pockets? Are they in my pockets? Can you just keep your hands tucked into your sleeves, and build a fort with your feet?
Stop. Kicking. Me!
This counts as a workout.
They’re dressed! They’re ready! Snowball fights! Tunnel digging! Let’s go!
Now you have to pee???
Exactly Nine Minutes Of Joy
Until someone face-plants or a boot gets permanently wedged in a snowbank. Wimpily retreat inside, but turn it around with treats! For them: hot cocoa and marshmallows. For me: that flat Prosecco I opened on New Year’s but fell asleep before drinking.