You know what really grinds my gears? WINTER. No not really, I just wanted to put that in there.
I like snow. I like it to fall and be all pretty for Christmas, and then I just want it to please, please just go away. So I’m really not a huge fan of winter itself, though I will say that I had a hard time when I lived in Florida-it was difficult not really having that change in seasons. Last winter was a fairly warm one here in Iowa, and we really only had two snows, one which wasn’t even during actual winter (in November, actually!)
When my husband and I were first married, we lived in a nice little trailer that we owned. Winter meant frozen pipes about once a year. I remember losing more than one hair dryer to the undercarriage of the trailer. Eventually my husband bought a space heater and just left it under the trailer by the evil pipes. It was all ready to plug in for the inevitable. I do remember it always seemed to happen at the most inopportune times. The year I was 39 weeks pregnant, for example, was not a cool time for that to happen on Christmas Eve.
I do remember having all kinds of fun in the snow as a child. I spent a good amount of time outside. It may have had something to do with the fact that “The Empire Strikes Back” came out around the time I was in kindergarten. All that time pretending to be on the ice planet Hoth. We built forts and snowmen and snow tunnels and all kinds of really cool stuff. Come inside? It was more fun OUTSIDE!!
Now we have two children who really like the “idea” of snow, but aren’t so keen on the snow itself. They get all fired up to go out the first time it snows, and will play outside for awhile and then come in. The next time, they aren’t as enthused, and by maybe the fifth time I ask them to go out they will suddenly invent other things that they have to do inside. They have been wanting to build a snowman, but lack the motivation and knowledge to do so. My son actually came in and asked for directions. I really think he wanted me to pull out a laminated instruction book!
I’m not sure if I should be trying harder to get them to toughen up or write them up some plans on what to do while they are out there. Today for example, I actually got them to go out. We have a fenced in backyard, so I can let them out and just keep an ear to the door while they are out there. Within five minutes I hear ear piercing screaming. I went outside and investigated. Princess Difficult was sitting in a sled, shrieking, and her brother was standing next to her, bopping her on the head with one of those balls you sit on and bounce around on. He wasn’t hurting her, but apparently she really didn’t like it. I should have taken a picture. What do these kids think they are supposed to do in the snow? I’m thinking we’re going to have to go find a big hill-that might make things a bit more interesting. We live in the flattest town in Iowa. There are really no hills! In order to go sledding we have to drive somewhere to do it.
We have investigated the array of snow enjoyment materials they have at Target and Walmart. Of course they had sleds, which only really helps if you have hills. They did have snowshoes for kids-these looked very tempting to me but were a little pricey for a kids item (I think they were $10 each). I really think I might go to Goodwill and buy tennis rackets to make my own for them. Other things I saw included some sort of snowball launcher (which made me think of the scene from Elf). My husband made a lot of fun of that one. There were these little tubes of colored stuff that you could use to “write” in the snow. Couldn’t you do that with paint, or with your pee (come on boys, you’ve ALL done it!) We HAVE all the good stuff: shovels, buckets, snow brick mold. If only we could convince our kids to use them!
How long will we have this weather? It’s only January. Since we live in Iowa the length of the season can go either way-it can be warm and end early in March (unlikely, unless you count last year) or it can be freezing cold and snowy and last clear into June (that has seemed to happen more than once). I vote for a winter with some snow to throw my children out into and ending right around the last week of March. That would be just peachy.
In the meantime, we’ll get out a little every day when we can, make sure we have plenty of warm blankets and warm drinks so we are toasty warm and happy all winter long. Then we’ll move into a season I can really get behind-good old SPRING!
If you didn’t find this blog through Theme Thursday, come on over to Something Clever 2.0 and read other people’s takes on “Winter”! If you did-HEY, go back and read some MORE!