Thursday, January 27, 2011

You Will Not Have Any Fun Until These Mittens Are On, Do You Hear Me?!

Trying to get two year-old hands into mittens is like trying to plug spaghetti into an electrical outlet or load a worm into the barrel of a gun or shove play-dough in the nostril of a child. Oh, wait. That last one is a bad example.

I've got the mitten wrapped around the tips of his fingers and push with all my gentle maternal might. I command, "push!" and he stares blankly, maybe wiggles his hand a little bit or something. There is zero resistance there. Zero! Well, there is his resistance towards getting dressed at all. But there is nothing for me to push against. I turn him around so his back is to me and then try to pull the mitten on. Same difference.

There was a point in time when I would actually try to get him to put his thumb in the thumb hole. Ha ha ha! So naive. Ninety-nine percent of animals do not have opposable digits. And they survive. Granted, they do not attempt to make snowmen. But my son will be fine for 15 minutes of snow play with all his fingers crammed into one comically oversized mitten if he would just (grunt) let me (gasp) get it (pant) on him!

So, half an hour later, we're finally ready to head out the door when Fifi makes the fairly obvious observation: "We forgot our snow pants!" Oy.

At last, we go outside and, would you believe, it was actually worth it? Playing in the snow is usually 80% effort, 20% fun. But today, the fun factor was sky-high. It could be because it was not cold or windy. And because all the kids from the whole neighborhood--and then some--were out.

We're lucky to live on a small quiet street. Instead of feeling frustrated that plows never visit, car owners just seem to accept they won't be driving until spring and let the street become a free-for-all snow party extravaganza. We make snow slides for sledding on and snow forts for hiding in. There are squeals of laughter and dainty toddler snowball fights. Parents pull sleds full of howling children through the street, and lovingly scoop up whichever kid has found himself stuck supine in the snow.

I watch the kids have the time of their lives and I realize these are lifelong memories in the making. They won't remember the mittens being shoved on or the pants that chafe. They'll remember the fun. And just when I start to get swept away in precious thoughts of my children's future nostalgia, the sweet peace of young friends enjoying winter fun comes to an abrupt halt as my daughter screams bloody murder for the snow that's entered her boot and all but gangrened her foot. Alas, it was good while it lasted.


  1. Hi, just wanted to let you know I've been really enjoying your blog, and one of these days when I need inspiration, I will be using some of your ideas. I live in PHilly and have twin boys who will be two in about a week, so I'm always looking for ideas! I think i found you through the KSOW group. Loved your opening to this post... yes, forget those thumbs, who knows if they're even going to stay in the thumb holes? Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks for your comment! And thanks for reading. If you see me and my little ones around, be sure to say hi!