Friday, January 6, 2017

The Winter Rule I Want to Ignore

I grew up in New England. I love New England. I may talk about leaving every now and then, but realistically, I don't think we'll ever really have reason to leave. I love hot summers by the pool with the ocean a short drive away. I love how gorgeous the fall is, and how perfect the weather can feel. I love watching the world explode back into green when spring comes. I even love how pretty the snow looks.

Looks. Just how it looks.

I don't love feeling cold. I don't like getting out of bed, after the thermostat has cooled the house for the night and it hasn't warmed back up yet. I hate getting out of the shower (and, let's be honest, into the shower too) when it's cold. I bundle up with the best of them and look at the pretty snow, but mostly, I'm yearning to just hibernate underneath some warm blankets.

And if it's cold enough to snow, or, as happens for a few snaps, too cold to snow, I'm definitely no longer a fan. A few days ago we took the girls out to lunch and the movies, and it was mid-30s with an icy rain and a bone chilling wind. Most of our day was obviously spent indoors, doing indoor things, appropriately dressed for the winter. But those times we had to get in and out of the car had me whining every time about how much I hated that kind of weather that just chills you completely through.

And then I feel even worse, because of the girls and their carseats.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that kids shouldn't wear their big coats while they're in the carseats. It's just not safe. I know, it feels like it should be, but physics doesn't lie, and straps that are pulled out to accommodate the bulk of the coat will be way too loose in a crash. Car ponchos are a great alternative for little ones - and it's a craft even I can do!

On a regular day, this isn't a big deal. The girls have heavy fleeces that pass the carseat safety test, and when they add a scarf and hat and mittens at our destination, they're fine to scurry with me through the parking lot until we're warm again, and then scurry back. My car doesn't heat up instantly, but it doesn't get warm fast, and even in cold temperatures, a fleece is sufficient about ninety percent of the time.

But when I'm feeling super cold, I really, really, really want to ignore that carseat rule. Pretend I don't know it. Pretend the trip is too short to really matter. Or the physics is wrong. Or luck is bound to be on our side.

When it stinks is days like we just had, where a fleece is not a good choice in the icy rain, and their thin raincoats are nowhere near heavy enough for even the short walk. Or like last night, when we went to an arena and had to walk a good distance in the cold from the parking garage, then wait outside in a line. In those cases, we bring the heavy coats and luckily, they're old enough now to put them on themselves in the car when we arrive, and take them off when we get back in. It's a pain in the butt, and on an errand day, it feels absolutely brutal.

What parenting rule do you desperately want to ignore?
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