I hate winter. I especially hate winter since I have had children. They make everything more complicated. I do like that they give me an excuse to go sledding again. Beyond that, I would rather just sit in my nice, warm house drinking hot chocolate and look out the window at all the pretty snow. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work with kids.
Here are the ten things I hate about winter with kids:
I have an entire mountain of mittens and gloves for my two children. However, we can never find a matching pair. On our way out the door to school in the morning, the gloves go flying as the kids frantically dig through the pile. Also, I think there must be a mitten-eating monster at my son’s school. I send him to school wearing mittens and then by recess, one is missing. Logic would say that the mitten must be inside the school somewhere, but it never turns up. If my kids do manage to bring their gloves home, they are invariably soaking wet and covered in mud. Gross!
In an effort to find lost mittens/gloves, I have had to face a parent’s worst nightmare: the lost and found pile. In the winter, the lost and found pile is an overflowing box of lost winter attire. The horrible part is that it stinks. It also gives you false hope when you spy a black mitten just like the one you are searching for. However, the majority of kids have black mittens and when it turns out not to be yours, your hopes are dashed.
To be fair, I hated icy sidewalks even before I had children. When I was pregnant, I was terrified that I would slip and fall, hurting my unborn child. Now I have visions of my children slipping on the ice and falling into the path of an oncoming car. Sometimes my vivid imagination is not such a good thing. Luckily, my kids are close enough to the ground that they don’t worry about falling. I’m jealous.
Shoving babies and toddlers into snow pants is next to impossible. It gets easier when your kids can put on their own snow pants, but then they are apt to lose them. Once you make the effort to put on snow pants and go outdoors, your children magically have to pee right away. It’s a shame that snow pants don’t come with butt-flaps. My kids always come home from school with wet, muddy snow pants. Also, my son has a special knack for tearing his snow pants. I get to stitch them back up by hand. Aren’t I lucky? The worst thing is when your child outgrows/destroys/loses his snow pants in the middle of February. Good luck finding a replacement pair of snow pants at that time of year!
In the spring, summer, and fall, I am a champion of finding free outdoor activities. I have a pass to the Vermont State Parks, I know of many beautiful hiking trails, I own plenty of toys to play on the shores of Lake Champlain, and I know where to find fantastic playgrounds. In the winter, none of these ideas work for our family. My daughter refuses to hike in the cold and sledding is our one and only outdoor option. Our other options, like skiing and snowboarding, cost a small fortune. Even a sleigh ride will set you back a pretty penny. My entire family daydreams about Sand Bar State Park all winter long.
I really don’t know how to respond when one of my children cries out, “I’m cold!” I’m usually just as cold and miserable as the child in question. My poor daughter hates getting dragged out in the cold to go pick up her brother from school. My son, however, has a strange liking for cold weather. One day, he came home from swim lessons wearing a short-sleeve t-shirt and a balaclava. At least he didn’t complain about being cold. My only advice to my daughter is to walk faster and dream about summer. We both hate winter!
My son’s snow boots smell like a festering garbage can on a hot day. I have tried putting them on a boot dryer, but that didn’t help at all. Even when my son removes the stinky boots, his socks are contaminated by the stench. It’s extremely gross and I have no idea how to fix this problem.
Pushing a stroller through the snow is a grueling workout. You will sweat, your muscles will ache, and you may even utter a few swear words under your breath. I have actually managed to dump my daughter out of the stroller once. Don’t worry. She didn’t get hurt. She landed in the snow, of course. Pushing a grocery cart through the snow is a similar type of torture. If this happens to you, I recommend buying some chocolate and rewarding yourself with a tasty treat after braving the elements.
I hate putting kids in car seats in the winter. In order to keep them safe, you have to unzip their jackets before buckling them in. Of course, it’s freezing cold, so you also need plenty of blankets to cover them back up again. Meanwhile, their snow boots drip all over the floor of your vehicle. Without fail, the blankets end up on this same floor, where they become soaked and dirty. I’m generally left with cold, dirty, complaining kids. They go along great with my cold, dirty car.
I particularly hate winter days because they are so short. It’s difficult to get my kids outside to play after school when it gets dark so early in the afternoon. My children are also not fond of the dark, so they tend to follow me around the house once the sun sets. While I love spending time with my children, it is much harder to pack school lunches and cook dinner while they are underfoot.