• Thu, Nov 29 2012

I’m Praying My Kid Is Finally Old Enough To Play In The Snow By Herself

playing in the snowWe’ve only had a few flurries so far, but any day now the snow will start piling up in my front yard. With the holidays around the corner and Frosty The Snowman specials on television every night, it’s only a matter of time before my daughter starts begging me to go out and play in the snow. And I’m really hoping that I can skip out on the whole thing this year.

I’m not a Grinch. I promise. I just really, really hate being cold. Like, I despise being cold with a kind of intensity that’s almost surprising. Even as a child, I wasn’t really excited to go outdoors after October. I was happy to curl up by the fireplace with a good book. I liked to hibernate.

Now I have a child who completely loves to get outside in her snow pants. She wants to help shovel the walk. She wants to build forts and throw snowball and make snow angels. And she wants me to help her build a six-foot tall snowman that we can decorate with carrots and buttons and a scarf.

For a couple years now, I’ve indulged her. I would be a pretty awful mother if I didn’t let my little girl experience the wonders of winter, right? That’s what I tell myself every time I pull out my hat, gloves, and boots, ready for frigid play time. I even try not to suggest we go in for hot cocoa too quickly. I try give her a little time running around.

When it comes to sledding, don’t even get my started. I can’t lie. I outsource sledding. That’s a daddy or poppa event. Freezing my extremities off is one thing. Getting a dozen bumps and bruises while I do so is a whole different ball game. I’m the least-fun winter mother ever.

Maybe this year will be the year that my daughter can play with friends or cousins outside, instead of demanding that Mommy come out and start throwing snow balls. Maybe global warming will get rid of all our snow all together. A girl can only dream. (I’m not a climate scientist, but I think the changing weather patterns just mean we’ll have bigger, crazier winter storms, not that we’ll get rid of snow all together.)

Yes, I realize how selfish I sound. A grown woman should be able to soldier through a little frostbite for the happiness and enjoyment of her child. I know, I know. I’m ruining the spirit of the holidays in all their snowy glory. That’s why I’ve spent the past three years sucking it up and shivering through weekends of igloos and snowy walks in the woods and oh-so-many snowmen. This year, I’m just hoping that my daughter old enough to not need mom’s involvement in so much freezing cold play. Is that really so horrible?

Maybe I’ll offer to pay a sitter double if they’ll go brave the cold. That’s not out of line, is it? I promise, I’ll make it all up when summer hits and I’m playing in the pool all day long!

(Photo: BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock)

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  • chickadee

    This made me laugh. I can’t sympathize AT ALL about hating winter, since I was yanked away from my beloved seasons at the age of ten and was forced to live in the south. I love snow and cold weather with every fiber of my being.

    However, if we switch it around so that you are dodging the heat, then I am with you all the way. I was the mother who tried to avoid playing outside…I can’t stand sweating for no purpose and heat wears me out. Tell you what–we can trade places this time of year. I am excellent at building snow forts.

    • LindsayCross

      Yes! I would love someone to switch with. I’ll deal with all the hot stickiness. You build armies of snow men!

    • chickadee

      You’re on. I am also very good at snowmen. We used to have a whole drawer of snowman accessories.

    • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

      I understand you. My dad was the one who hated cold so I grew up in the south. I HATE being all sticky. If it wasn’t for swimming and other water related activities I think I’d have been inside 4 or 5 months of the year. :)

    • Justme

      I live in Texas. As of right now on November 30th, I am in shorts and a t-shirt. These are the days that I pray for snow….but come March when spring hits and I’m busting out the flip flops, I’m always thankful for the warm weather.

    • chickadee

      I used to live there, and the weather drove me insane. Shorts at Christmas are not okay.

  • To Celebrate Women

    I live in Canada (so, you know, super winter), and in my teens I babysat for this one family once or twice a week for about three years. The mom avoided pretty much anything outdoorsy, winter and summer, partially due to health issues and partially out of genuine dislike. So all that fun stuff became a sort of treat reserved for when the babysitter came – “Rachael will take you to the park and build snowmen” “Rachael will take you guys swimming”. They had fun, I didn’t have to come up with stuff for them to do, Mom made sure the kids were doing what they wanted even if it wasn’t something she could/would do. Outsourcing can be a really valuable parenting tool, is all I’m saying, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about “missing out” or anything. Trust me, your kid will likely be cool with it!

  • katydid0605

    100% agree! i like nothing about snow. except maybe its kind of pretty through a window

  • Anne Cordelia

    I don’t think it sounds selfish at all. What does strike me as strange is this modern trend where mothers are expected to play, play, play with their children all the time.** When I was little, I played by myself, and was perfectly happy to do so. Likewise, my son mostly entertains himself, and is fine with it. I mean, I’m happy to go out and go to the park or kick a soccer ball around or play tag, things like that. I spend plenty of quality time with him, but if we’re just in the house, I have things I need to get done, and I feel like he needs to learn to keep himself occupied, anyway. Meh, whatever works for each family, I guess, but if I had to constantly get down on the floor with him and play GI Joes, I’d want to run screaming from the room in pretty short order!
    **By no means am I equating this with your post or your habits; it just brought up some idle thoughts for me. :)

    • LindsayCross

      Hehe! I don’t take offense to the assumption. In general, I do feel guilty when I’m not getting down on the ground interacting. I’m not sure if that’s because I really want siblings for my daughter and haven’t been able to have them? I always had siblings to play with, and I do feel sorry that my daughter doesn’t.

      In some ways though, I think it is a trend of modern parenting. We feel much more obligated to get down and entertain and teach and play much more often. At least, that’s something I’ve noticed. And I know my mom definitely didn’t feel that way.

      Really, I think you bring up a good point.

    • LiteBrite

      I want to echo the same thing LIndsay just said because I too feel guilty when I’m not constantly interacting with my son. For me it’s less to do with wanting siblings for him and more to do with the guilt of me working all day and feeling like when I come home I should be spending time with HIM, even though like you I’ve got things to do.

      And yes, I’ve noticed it too with other parents, and I can say with confidence our moms didn’t feel that same way (my mom sure as hell wasn’t playing with us all day long). It doesn’t seem to matter if we’re SAHMs or working ones; we all seem to have this overriding obligation to constantly entertain our kids, and I wonder where it comes from.

    • Justme

      I think you bring up a great point. There is a lot of pressure (from who or where, I’m not sure) to always be actively engaged with or engaging in activities with your children. Whether it’s playing fort under the kitchen table or running them off to piano lessons and soccer practice. Kids need to understand that life isn’t always exciting and entertaining and that sometimes….being alone is okay.

    • ipsedixit010

      I think it’s important to try and put the guilt aside and let kids learn to occupy themselves….at least for a short period of time. It keeps mom and dad mentally healthy. My niece and nephew insist that my SIL play with them all. the. time. After 6 years, you can tell it’s mentally draining and stressing her to the point where sometimes she just snaps. Even if Dad is there to play goalkeeper, she can’t have 10 minutes to herself unless she goes and hides upstairs.

  • LiteBrite

    I can so relate to this. I HATE winter with a bright purple passion, and since I too live in a northern area I know the snow is will be flying any day now. (Although it’s supposed to be in the high 50s this weekend, so maybe not.) The problem is that when it comes to winter outdoor games – sledding, snowballs, snowmen – I’m the go-to parent because I’m the one with the snowpants.

    I don’t mind the first couple of days of snow, but after a month of it I’d rather sit inside wrapped in a blanket with a cat draped on me. Oh well. It’s only three months of winter, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

    I don’t blame you at all. I can’t STAND being cold. I’m so lucky that it doesn’t snow often where I live, or else I’d never leave the house during the winter.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    I really can’t blame you. I, too, hate the cold (and snow!) with a passion, and would rather just hibernate.

  • Rebecca

    Nope- I don’t head outside unless it’s under 80 or over 50. I would happily pay someone to take my kids out to play. They’d have more fun with someone who didn’t absolutely hate the outdoors anyways. I can’t step outside without wondering when
    I can go back in. I don’t even like swimming!

  • Elissa

    Well if you’re selfish, than so am I. I also hate the cold and I think my kids have been outside about 3 times this winter (for longer than it takes to walk to the car, that is). I struggled with it as a clear failing of mine for a while, but finally decided that if the worst my kids can say about me when they grow up is that I didn’t play with them in the snow often enough or with enough enthusiasm…yeah, I’m ok with that! We’re outside nearly every day from April – October. Good enough, I say. Soon they’ll be old enough to just toss out in the yard while I sit inside with a mug of tea and some DVR’d procedural drama. They can make snowmen then.

  • Kam

    You’re normal. I am Canadian and hate snow with a passion. I am so miserable to be around when there is snow on the ground – if I can’t go to work – that people leave me alone. I still wear shorts and flip flops year round though. I’d rather freeze to death than wear winter clothing. ;) Outsourcing works though!