Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 65: Snow-vember

Ah, yes, mid-November in Wisconsin.  Doing a 12-mile training run at 24 degrees Farenheit.  Shoveling the driveway for the first time.  Seeing 9 degrees on the thermometer as we're leaving for work on a Monday morning.  Actually, I think I'm beginning to adapt to life here--after all, I did the training run, sort of enjoyed shoveling the driveway, and decided that if it was "only" 9F I didn't really need to find my hat, the hood on my jacket would be enough.  And, I'm complaining about the weather in that semi-ironic tone of voice that everyone here seems to use to discuss the climate of our beloved home state.  It turns out that spiked hot chocolate, a Badgers win, and a Packers win can do a lot to keep one feeling optimistic through an early cold snap.  On Wisconsin!

The thing that really made this cold snap special, though, was watching Lemon really react to snow for the first time.  Of course he saw it last winter, but he was too young to really comprehend it.  This past weekend, though, after we stuffed him into his snow suit and boots and opened the door, the shock, curiosity, and delight on his face was transparent.  He was hesitant to even step onto the snow at first, but after his first step he started running after me, laughing and pointing.  That lasted for a solid 10 minutes, at which point he made the discovery that snow is cold, and had to go inside to observe the snow from a safe vantage point.

I'm eager for the stage of cognitive development that allows him to understand that mittens are actually helpful, not just torture devices that unkind parents use to prevent their children from picking things up.  I'm also starting to wonder what we will do all winter, when we can't spend as much time outside.  Even when he does come to accept mittens, I'm figuring Lemon won't last for more than a half-hour outside most days. 

So, internet pals, what should I do with a very active toddler all winter long?  We have a music class and a gym class lined up, which accounts for about 2 of the 84 waking hours every week.  Our downstairs playroom is all set up, but I'm looking for ideas about what to do in the playroom that will be somewhat more stimulating for both toddler and parent than building and knocking down towers of blocks.  Even at only 3 blocks per tower, that's a lot of blocks between now and June...

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