Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Snowy Mountain: A Photo Essay

Generally I don’t post pictures of my kids here unless they’re disguised – maybe you’ve noticed and wondered if I think I’m Michael Jackson or something, but no. I don’t. As I was writing this story I said to my husband, “Is it ok with you if I post this picture of J from last year on my blog?”

And he said, “Sure. You’re the one who’s all stressed out about putting pictures of them on the internet.”

“No,” I said, “I never do it because you're the one who’s stressed out about it.”

He shrugged, “No. I think it’s fine.”

Ah, communication – it’s a wonderful thing.

For New Year’s we took our third annual trip to the “snowy mountain.” I hate cold weather, but since I grew up in the Midwest, “kids never see snow” is one of many items on my mother-guilt list. Now J and my husband love the snow. My husband is always trying to sell me this nonsense that it would be so fun to go snow-camping. He has this amazing saw or something that would make a perfect snow fort and, well, sure, I’d be a little bit freezing cold the whole time, but we’d have the proper gear so I wouldn’t get FROSTBITE or HYPOTHERMIA or DIE or anything. I’d just be miserably uncomfortable – that’s all. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

But I’m not even the problem on our annual snow trips. I’m quite a trooper, actually – at least compared to the little one. As we drove off to go home, the little one immediately passed out and my husband smiled back at him and marveled, “It must be a lot of work to sit in a sled and whine all day.”

Now when we organize these trips we generally have three things we hope to accomplish. My husband and I want to get a good cardio workout, we want the kids to have fun playing in the snow and sledding, and we want everyone to be comfortably warm, fed and hydrated. So we begin our day in snowshoes and my husband and I take turns pulling the kids in the sleds. After a few miles of that we take off the snow shoes and just re-climb the same hill and sled down it until everyone is sick of being out there. Sometimes we build a snowman.

So this trip, before we even get everyone situated to begin our hike, Little One says, “All of the parts of me are too cold Mama.”

Now last year we had a terrible scare with regard to this, so we don’t take it lightly; however, we learned a lot last year and we knew he wasn’t too cold this time. Although, next time we try this we’re going to get him a ski mask, one of those one-piece snow suits and I don’t know, a space heater or something, because basically, he just doesn’t like being out in the cold. When I undressed him after being out there for two and a half hours his whole body was very warm, so seriously, this time he was just complaining. But we do want him to have fun too, so we’ll keep buying different things and hoping to make him happy.

J and me last year before we knew we were in trouble:

Little one and me last year desperately praying that we weren't really in trouble:

Shortly into our trek I wondered if maybe he needed a snack. We pulled everything over and I told him to just sit in the sled. I couldn’t have him take off his mittens since he was already “too cold,” so I squatted there like a servant and fed him a peanut butter sandwich. This improved his mood enough that he made motoring sounds the rest of the way and when we got to the bottom he and I took a turn together going fast down the final hill and he laughed and we screeched and it was a blast. I chirped, “Should we go again?!”

And he answered, “I’m ready to go to the restaurant now.”

I asked my husband if he thinks the little one is kind of prissy.

“Definitely," he said, "prissier than you even.”

And listen, when we go out into the wilderness my husband brings water, army rations, nuts, matches, something that keeps us warm… I bring a cell phone, an asthma inhaler, lip gloss, my memory stick, and sunglasses (Hello – Crows feet!). So to be prissier than me is no easy feat.

But don’t get me wrong – the little one is not to be messed with either:

When I tucked the kids in that night J went on and on about what fun he’d had and what we’ll do next time. I asked Little One if he had fun and he said, “I like to be warm.”

“I know,” I laughed, “Me too. Let’s plan a hiking trip to the desert this summer. Daddy and J will complain the whole time, but you and Mama will have fun!”


Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

I might not be girly but I sure am wimpy! When I go skiing, I must have all the warm clothing and even then take a break after practically every run. I don't post photos of the kids either, but sometimes wonder if I am just being unnecessarily paranoid.

btw - I've been reading, just not always commenting!

Susan said...

I am also prissy. And proud of it.

You've got quite the cute little pirate there, you know.

landismom said...

Love that last shot--it's every parent's dream, both kids sacked out at once!

slouching mom said...

those photos are great -- your kids are lovely!

(and BOTH my kids are wimps about being cold.)