Maude Michaud | La parfaite maman cinglante
Winter is upon us, it’s already cold and the lost-mitten-and-scarf season has officially begun. Now that you’re thinking about the -20°C or -40°C temperature that is going to hit you like a two-by-four as soon as you set foot outside in January, you’re perhaps wondering how you’ll get through another Quebec winter with your little ones. Calm down and take a deep breath—here are my top five tips for preparing yourself to tackle winter.
#1 The dilemma of the one-piece or two-piece snowsuit
You probably bought one last January if you’re forward-thinking, or in September if you’re not. In all cases, if you have a child under two or three, before running out to buy the said garment, you’ve no doubt asked yourself whether it was better to buy a one-piece or two-piece suit, simply because this is one of those existential mothering questions.
You’ve undoubtedly Googled something like one-piece or two-piece snowsuit for two-year-old, asked your 48 mommy groups the same thing not just one but three times, and finally opted for one or the other after wasting a lot of your precious time mulling over your options.
I’m telling you all this so that next year you’ll buy two-piece snowsuits for any child over the age of one. Because the day you have to go grocery shopping with your kid, you’ll want to be able to throw his coat on instead of stuffing him into a one-piece in which he’ll squirm wildly, getting overheated in exactly three minutes 15 seconds, and forcing you to do your errands at warp speed! Been there, done that. Believe me.
#2 Darn screens
You complain about screens all year long, nagging your kids to stop watching TV or playing video games and to go play outside, and you’re totally right. But now that four feet of snow are blocking the front door and there’s a nor’easter making it feel like -30°C when you go out to shovel (with the same enthusiasm you muster for 8:00 a.m. swimming lessons on Saturday morning), I’m telling you that all the tablets and TVs in the world are a sound alternative for entertaining your little ones instead of going out to play and freezing your behind off in the backyard. Just stash away your guilty feelings in the closet until March.
#3 The board game reserve
You’re maybe not a big family board game fan, but believe me when I say that in the middle of a snowstorm—after watching two animated movies and half an hour of tablet time—you’ll see that chatting around a game of snakes and ladders is a pretty good idea after all. But watch out, don’t naively think that you can just play anything and have a good time. If you don’t want to have to explain the rules for 45 minutes and then argue with your youngest—who assures you that he did NOT cheat—for 30 minutes after that, choose something easy and suited to your children’s age. This will make all the difference between a really fun afternoon and endless family wrangling. And if you’re at a loss as to what to buy when confronted by the plethora of games on the shelf of your local toy store, ask for a clerk’s help before throwing 40 bucks out the window.
#4 The power of hot chocolate
When it’s cold, neither you nor your kids particularly feel like going out. Don’t underestimate the power of hot chocolate to motivate the troops. Just telling the gang that you’ll make hot chocolate with oodles of marshmallows after they go out and play for half an hour should convince everyone to waste no time in pulling on their two-piece snowsuits! Even you.
#5 Dress for the weather
You often complain that you don’t have fun when you play outside with your kids in the winter. But the killer question is: What in the heck are you doing outside in your jeans, skimpy little coat, and no hat?! Put your suit on, and you’ll stop shivering like a wet dog thanks to the foot of snow you’ve been hauling around in your boots. Maybe you won’t look like a top model with your Skidoo boots, but perhaps you’ll start having fun when your body stops spending most of its time trying to warm up. Just sayin’...
So I guess that’s it—now you are all ready to tackle the -40°C January weather. You’re welcome!
Photo credits for the cover image:Freepik