Monday, January 18, 2016

Parenthood: Week 136 – The Worst Part of Winter


Toddlers are not easy to get out of the door.

If they aren’t throwing a tantrum about not wanting to get out of the house, they are probably taking off their shoes (which you just put on), or getting interested in a toy which you can’t logically take with you, which will probably lead to a tantrum.

When it’s autumn you need to put shoes and a jacket on your kid, grab the diaper bag (which you hope you previously double-checked for extra diapers), then get dressed yourself with shoes and a jacket.

This process is challenging, but it’s not impossible. Ollie is pretty good at putting on his jacket himself and he tries to put on his shoes, which keeps him engaged for a couple minutes.

While in the autumn, this process is challenging, in the winter, it’s . . . um. . . . sigh. Well, let me explain. I’m not talking about the, “Waah! It’s forty-five degrees outside and I have to wear a jacket”-winter. I’m not even talking about the, “Groan! It’s thirty degrees outside and snowing and now I have to wear boots”-winter. I’m talking about the “[insert explicative here] It’s four degrees outside and with the wind-chill, it’s so cold that I can feel my eyeballs freezing”-winter.

You would think that if it’s this cold, any human being with any level of reason would want to bundle up as much as possible with a jacket, hats, gloves and whatever one could possible find to provide warmth.

The problem is that toddler logic doesn’t always extend two minutes in the future. When you tell a toddler that is currently inside and warm that they will be going outside when it’s really cold, that doesn’t necessarily register as requiring that they get dressed for the cold before you go outside.

If you toddler agrees to allow you to actually get them ready for the cold, that’s only half the battle. The hat is usually pretty easy to manage and if that doesn’t work, there’s always the hood. With toddlers, we aren’t talking about gloves, but rather mittens. Last year Ollie’s mittens didn’t even have thumbs and now that they do, the process of getting said thumbs into the right part of the mitten is almost as much fun as trying to help Ollie get his legs in the right legs of his pants without the entertainment of watching him almost lose his balance and fall over.

As an adult, when I put on a jacket, hat and gloves and sit in a cold car, I know that once the car warms up and I get to a stop light I can take off my jacket. While Ollie can take off his gloves and his hat, he can’t really take off his jacket in the car seat. To help with this, if it’s under thirty degrees I will run out and warm up the car for him (my car is parked outside). This way if he refuses to wear his hat and gloves (which is more often than not), Ollie will not freeze as the car warms-up.

I don't really a positive turn around for this post.  Does the effort of getting Ollie dressed for the winter make the destination that much more special?  No, not really.  It's too cold outside.  The windchill is -15 degrees right now.  That ain't right.  If last year is any indication, there is hope.  Eventually Ollie put on his gloves and hat voluntarily.

Too bad it was 60 degrees outside and April when he hit this milestone.

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