January 20, 2008. That was my first winter, and the first time I actually experienced fresh, falling snow. Prior to that my image of snow was what they create for you in movies and TV shows — a wonderfully romantic winter wonderland (complete with the appropriate soundtrack playing in your head). Kids are making snowmen, and snow angels, and laughing while tossing snow balls here and there. ‘Tis the season for making fireplaces, drinking hot cups of coffee and toasting marshmallows — ahhhh yes. All the warm fuzzy feelings (sigh!).
However, after a total of 6 snowfalls all at most an inch-thick, I’d have to say — the movies are quite far from the actual reality! I never really pictured all that “loveliness” with a big round belly on me, and an active toddler by my side. Oh boy.
Yes, laugh if you must. It gets better.
No one told me snow was cold! (Uh, duh. I mean of course it is; but keep in mind, in my romanticized fantasies, snow outside was equated to warm and toasty inside!) It’s so cold (and so thin) you really wouldn’t want to make snowmen and snow angels! For one, it’s not quite that easy to get into my warm winter clothing because of all the layers and layers that come on. It’s not very easy you see, when you cannot reach your toes, much less see them. In my first pregnancy I used to be able to balance on one leg while putting on my UGGs, one at a time. Now, I have to balance AND avoid being run into by an excited child who can’t wait to go outdoors into the freezing air (Why don’t I sit down to put them on? Remember, I already strain to reach my toes). So by the time I’m dressed, I’m almost out of breath.
And that’s only me and the boots. When I layer Sam’s clothing, at the end of it all she looks like a marshmallow Michelin child, where her arms don’t drop down to her sides anymore. That’s not all. Try getting her into her car seat dressed that way. Add gloves to my hand and the struggle escalates (Then again, either way with or without gloves, I can’t feel my fingers, so why do I even bother?)
Now who says that once you get all these lovely winter accessories on her, that they will stay on? Of course at one point in time she is uncomfortable and will start to pull off her gloves, or her UGGs, or her beanie, and so the process of chasing her around in the cold winter-y air begins. That’s not to mention my constant fear of her catching a bad cold and cough or worse because let’s face it, this weather and a toddler — all new to me. I am still in winter-learning-mode.
It is quite a sight to see me with the big belly (even with less layers I already look like a marshmallow Michelin mom) bouncing involuntarily after a child who thinks it is a fun game to run away. I do presume that to her, the entire sight of me in pursuit is quite hilarious.
What can I say, it is an experience. I’m not complaining; I am in fact quite amazed at the opportunity to live in sub-zero temperatures, and to experience what an actual winter would be like (albeit pregnant through two of them). The cold, the layers and the freezing air, I’ll admit it takes a little getting used to. The toddler and the, err, bouncing — well — isn’t that a part of it all. But I can’t say it isn’t fun to watch her squeal in delight. And besides, she does look cute in all those wintery clothes, even if they are hard to put on.
I think ahead to next winter when it will be yet a different winter-learning-mode. Hopefully there will be no belly of any kind (post-pregnancy flab included), so that it will be relatively easier to chase after a toddler AND lug around a baby, all in our marshmallow Michelin outfits. I wonder what hilarious misadventures we will have then.
You want to know another story? Over the Thanksgiving weekend we rented a cabin at Smoky Mountain, bought firewood and prepared to make a fire (and toast marshmallows too! or Smores! Just like in the movies!). Of course, Daddy’s first attempt set off the fire alarms and filled the cabin with smoke. Ah yes, the romantic visions of my winter wonderland, all up in smoke. Literally speaking.