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Friday, February 22, 2013

my thesis on proper steps for dressing children to go outside in frigid weather

It is snowing again.

Picture the face I am making. Keeping in mind its February and cold and I am growing bulbs indoors to give myself hope for green things to return to the world again. One day. Someday.

Okay, now we continue. Remember the face.

I would like to expound today on my experiences with a difficult mama matter, one that requires careful precision, planning, and exact timing in order to be successful.

I am speaking, of course, of dressing your child to go out to play in the winter.

You southern mamas that dont have to deal with this issue have two choices. Read on, for amusement's sake, or go pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and toast to your good fortune.

I very much believe in getting outside to play. This is why we moved out to the boonies anyhow. Therefore I feel obliged to go through the following - some might call torture - on a routine basis as soon as mother nature is kind enough to raise the temperature above 20 degrees or so. I have done lesser temperatures but one day last month I was horrified to realize baby dear had a patch of frostbite on her fat chubby chin, due to exposure and drooling, and so now I try to stay in unless its above 20. Or 18. At least 18.

So yesterday it was 18. And little man begged and begged. And the sun was shining.


Here is what we did.

And note, its very important to follow all the steps and in order, otherwise you might find yourself in any one of the following uncomfortable situations A) sweating by the time you get out into the frosty air B) dragging three year old back inside to pee after spending 20 excruciating minutes getting ready to go out C) not ready to go out by the time six year old comes back in declaring it is TOO COLD.


Here are the steps. FOLLOW THE STEPS.

So the first. Everybody pees. Including you. Seriously, trust me.

Second. I take a Naproxen. Mama has suspiciously developed achy joints this winter. The pre-emptive Naproxen is required.

Third. Silk underwear on the kiddies. We got ours, much too large, at a local outdoors store, on sale because they were snagged. Snagged silk underwear are still warm. Large sizes can be grown into and rolled up and tucked into for now so they stay on. Baby gets her wool shirt and woolie pants.

Four. CHECK BABIES DIAPER. Crucial. Nothing worse than a suspicious smell as you are heading out the door (finally.) I put her in somemthing with a fleece lining to keep wetness from getting on her little tushie.

Five. Everyone puts on their snowpants. You need snowpants too. Nothing worse than cold thighs that are chapped by the time you get inside. Seriously next fall I am getting old man style fleece or flannel lined jeans, for the days when its 30+ out. Maybe even overalls. Do you dare me? Ha. I totally will do it. You know I will. (Several sisters are cringing at me as they read this. Oh, God Sara. You are beyond help. Did I tell you one sister gave me makeup in my stocking this year? This makes me laugh as I write. Tears actually. Like lipstick and eye shadow and everything. I am beyond the help my dear girls. HA HA HA. Oh, I crack myself up. Little miss saw it the other day and was like, WHAT IS THAT? WHAT DO YOU DO WITH IT?? HA HA.)


Now put on your wool socks and boots. But dont put on anymore layers yet, until the last minute. THis is crucial. I have this thing that if I am hot and sweaty and wrestling children (or like a heavy bag or something) I just totally lose my patience.

Also crucial. Gather your supplies at this point. Put tissues in your coat pocket. (Runny noses WILL happen and you all have wiped noses on your sleeve before, right? Right???) Also a cough drop or two. And your smart phone (for when you get bored watching them make snow angels in the yard...Over and OVER and OVER.) I have also started carrying around extra gloves for the kiddies. Nothing is worse than being in the far meadow from our house and a kid falls into the snow and the gloves come off and are wet and the kid whines...then you can be like, oh hey! MORE GLOVES! YAAAAAAY!! Commence rejoicing.

So, where were we?

By this point you have snowpants on. Now get child A. Put on gloves (yes, before coat) Put on face mask. (Necessary!) Put on coat. Now boots. Tuck the ends of the snowpants into the boots. Make sure all sock seams are straight and no prickers are in said boots. (Child A is the child that will demand a boot and sock removed in the middle of the snowy forest because "SOMETHING IS STICKING INTO MY FOOT!")

Send Child A outside. Or alternatively just dress to the point of gloves and facemask and then repeat the process on Child B. Then do coats. This ensures the proper timing of outdoor departure, thereby minimizing risk of scenario C as mentioned above.

Now, coats. DONT PUT YOURS ON YET. Remember scenario A mentioned above.

Now send both A and B child outside.

Now chase down toddler, who is upstairs pulling all the wipes out of the wipes container. AGAIN. Stuff the wipes back in the box. Gather up her little puffy snowuit, facemask and boots.

We have a great down-filled snow suit for her, with turn down feet and mittens. We use the turnover cuff mittens. SO GOOD. Toddlers pull all mittens off. All toddlers. All mittens. OFF. Turn down cuff mittens are essential.

Put baby in suit. Put on her facemask. Put on her boots. NOW. (Arent you glad you already peed? Here is where I realized before, CRAP now I have to pee! Hence adding it to the above checklist.)

Okay, are you with me? Almost there, YOU CAN DO IT.

(Side note: I am still laughing about how someone gave me lipstck for Christmas. HA.)

Okay. Home stretch now.

Step number forty two. Put on your coat. Put on your hat. Grab a scarf. You dont think you need it but you will. (I dont have a facemask. Again, I am gonna get one...and I will wear it...)

Now. Strap Ergo on, over all your layers. My toddler naps in the Ergo on my back EVERY. TIME. WE. GO. OUTSIDE. (Hence the importance of the Naproxen step as mentioned above.)

Now. Take a deep breath, chase down toddler (who has likely tipped over somewhere in the living room and cant stand back up because of all the layers.)

Now go outside.

Now come back in 20 minutes later and do the process in reverse, and then make hot chocolate.

Fun times!!


Guess what little man just walked into the room saying? MAMA, CAN WE GO OUTSIDE!? LOOK AT ALL THE SNOW!


(Lipstick. HA HA HA HA HA)

happy and warm. five minutes after going out.

note child A. ready to melt down because his glove fell into the snow.

i look like an old russian woman in this picture. like siberia.
notice how the scarf casually draped around my head is now
covering as much as possible....

lipstick....HA HA HA

sleeping toddler on back. EVERY TIME.

conked out! and tranferred to bed! YAY!


  1. Sweet. This part was when I quit Minneapolis and moved to Hawaii.

  2. ha! we quit minneapolis and moved ... further north ha ha ha! you got it right i think. i totally envy you though. i'd love to move to HI someday! (was born there so i think i have it in my blood) day someday... :)

  3. It's such a happiness to read this! the real life!! like mine's ! :D

  4. ha! glad i'm not the only one.


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