Jan. 24 — but perfect for today! We are on our fourth day of not leaving the house — and I think we've hit our threshold. We have soccer practice this afternoon but I'm still weighing whether it's wise to take a 30-minute walk in 18 degree weather. We've exhausted our usual indoor pastimes like baking, fort-making and block building. The lifesaver this week has been that Zoe is finally able to play with play dough without eating it — so Leo and Zoe have spend a lot of time at the art table molding dough.
The kids begged to out to play in the snow even though I told them it was ridiculously cold outside. I gave in (knowing full well that my 45 minutes of bundling them up would yield about 5 minutes outside) and we headed out into the frigid cold. Leo did love it for the few minutes we were out there — he ran around, barely able to lift his little legs higher than the snow and threw himself into the piles of snow and rolled around.
Zoe hung back for a moment and watched her brother frolicking with glee — then, always his mimic, tried to take off after him. Of course she couldn't clear the snow with her short and snow-pant covered legs so she took a nosedive right into the snow. Unlike her brother who is taller and wiser to the secrets of snow frolicking, she wasn't able to keep her face — the only exposed part of her body — out of the snow upon her fall. Bundled up like a sausage, she could barely roll to sit herself back up and when she tried to wipe the snow out of her face she was appalled to find that her snow-covered-mitten was only making it worse. Oh, I sooooooo remember that feeling from my own childhood snow adventures.
Of course this was all only a matter of seconds, then I was able to pick her up and wipe her face with my still dry and warm hand. After that she was a little more cautious, but she still enjoyed the brief minutes of being out in the snow.
They both know that after playing in the snow (however briefly) there is always hot cocoa. Still, they indulge me by allow me to ask, "Who wants hot cocoa?" and then pretending to be shocked and elated as they both jump up and down raising both hand over their heads and yelling, "I do! I do!" Well, Zoe's is more of an "Ada! Ada!"
I really want to take them to Clark Park to sled in the bowl, but I think it's still too cold. Maybe when it hits at least 25 degrees. Maybe even over the weekend since it would be nice to have a back up parent on the scene when barreling down a hill with two small kids.
The other highlights of the week have been homemade pizza and a movie night — which I'm inclined to repeat tonight. I could seriously eat pizza three times a week for the rest of my life and not get sick of it. But perhaps I should consult the rest of the family before putting us all on an all-pizza diet.
The biggest thing I've taken from this week (aside from the cabin fever) is how lucky I am to not really have anywhere to be. This time without an out-of-the-home job, before school begins, when we have everything we need within these walls is kind of like a magical limbo in life. I can actually look forward to a snowstorm because it means pajama days, hot cocoa, baking, reading books and enjoying the beauty of the white-covered landscape. It does not mean a messy commute, running out of supplies or struggling to stay warm enough. I'm so grateful to be able to join the kids in looking forward to snow days — but I'm not feeling guilty for also looking forward to getting back to our regular adventures out of the house.
Sandra Telep is a West Philadelphia mom of two. This post is adapted from her blog, West Philly Mama.