Snow Day

There really is nothing
cuter than a small girl
using trek poles. 
It's March and I have Springer Fever. Not to be confused with Spring Fever. It is probably highly unpleasant for any thru-hiker starting out in Georgia this week. M and I spent only a few unpleasant days breaking trail on the AT and it was exhausting. And cold. Do you know how hard it is to stop and pee in snow? Nonetheless, I do have that urge to start walking and keep walking. I've been watching this movie on Youtube while I wash dishes. Daydreaming and scheming. Anything is possible. In the meantime, we live near a 500 acre park, and Laurel's school was closed today. When I am working, snow days are the pits. Two hour delays, too. That's one thing I think a lot of working parents don't budget for...the layers and layers of backup childcare you need to keep your days flowing. And when you don't have anyone to cover you? Then comes the laughable "work from home" scenario, in which one attempts to follow conference calls while on mute because, while your children are mesmerized by Wild Kratts 99% of the time, the ONE time you need them to shut up, they refuse to watch it, and instead insist on wrestling around at your ankles. But I digress. Today, the snow day was cause for celebration and some much-needed outdoor time. It was really cool to hear the spring songs of some of the birds who have started returning.

Dress for success. Layer it up.

 Last week I read this article about German parenting, taking special note of the following quote: “there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”
I disagree with the Germans to some extent, or perhaps we actually have crappier weather than they do, but if it is below 10 degrees or freezing rain or lots of ice on the ground, we stay inside and watch Netflix all day. (But also, if we just had heavier coats, ponchos and crampons we probably could go out then.) Balaclavas and windproof/waterproof gloves have been key in taking our outdoor comfort to the next level. I haven't found good gloves in Laurel's size yet, so I just carry a spare pair in my pocket so she can swap her fleece ones out when hers get wet. There was a lot of ice underneath the snow today, so we took trek poles. Marko rode in the backpack. We headed through the park with the plan to obtain a few groceries and stop by our usual Thursday morning playgroup. Having everybody bundled up is very important because kids walk slow and want to stop and look at a lot of stuff. Therefore, you can't rely on body heat to keep you toasty, the way you might if you were just going out running or something on your own. 

We saw several people cross-country skiing in the park, as well as a few hard-core dog-walkers out. Everyone who was outside today seemed to be very happy to be outside. "Lovely day!" neighbors called to us as we passed. The woods were serene, with all the branches covered in snow. Every sound was muted. Our stop at the neighborhood store warmed us up. Maggie gave us free samples of the wedding soup and she put on a fresh pot of coffee for us. 

A few people have recently asked me about our ability to get up and out of the house in time to do morning activities. For instance, I regularly take the kids to Phipps before school starts, when there is a two hour delay. We also walk or take the bus a lot of places, which takes some added time and so people see us out and about, throwing snow balls and playing tag. They admire our lovely Facebook photos of Quality Family Time. It is true...we really are having an awesome time together. But I must dispel the myth that we must be superhuman, super organized, or have super well-behaved children. It is just a matter of prioritizing. When you prioritize, something gets neglected. In our case, we tend to just leave the house a total wreck and worry about it later. I feel bad about our filthy habits. But not enough to sacrifice my outdoor time to actually clean up before we leave. You can't have it all, friends.

I'm assuming no children were harmed
in this toppling of the high chair. If they
were, they did not tell me about it.
This doesn't actually look too bad, but it illustrates my point. If you zoom in, you will see sandwich crusts everywhere, and smears of what is hopefully peanut butter. Notice the toppled over high chair. We are the type of people who will pick up the high chair the next time somebody wants to actually sit in it. Until then, it will remain tipped over as if our house is part of a wax museum display about an earthquake that suddenly struck and caused the residents to flee. The dishes have been cleared, but unfortunately they are sitting in a half-full dish pan. Not pictured, because it's disgusting. The kids got the memo to put their dishes in the sink, but not to scrape them first, so when I return home, there's always a pan full of disintegrated bread and yogurt cemented onto cereal bowls. I curse myself and swear that the next day I will wash the dishes before we head out, but....yeah, it never happens. 

Also, we miscalculate sometimes. Stay out too long. Read the wrong weather report. The kids cry. Marko was out in a sleet storm without a hat the other day, super miserable and with good reason. They get hungry and we don't have a snack with us. They have to pee and there is no place to go. They fall down and we don't have a bandaid. Nosy old ladies admonish us for their snotty noses and red cheeks. Every moment is not magical. I just don't usually pull my camera out then. 

I only put this out there because some moms feel bad when other moms are doing awesome things. They worry that there is something wrong with them because their day unfolded differently. No you aren't doing it wrong. Jealousy is a misguided beast. Usually when that feeling tugs on my heart, I realize that the person who has something I want, has given up something else to get it. 

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