Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Are all East Coast Mothers Superhuman?

Do children east of the Mississippi have a higher incidence of motor difficulties?
I ask because I just took my children to the snow this past weekend. We live in a sunny part of the world where winter rarely calls for more than a fleece. Being from Scotland, I decided I needed to celebrate my recent milestone birthday in the snow.

In preparation, I set off for the local REI and purchased some oh-so-cute little snow outfits. Finally the big weekend arrived and we set off.

After unpacking the car - we could hold back the five year old no more. We began the 40 minute process that is getting ready to go out and play in the snow.
Everyone looked adorable in hats with sweet little ear flaps, coordinating gloves, pink fluffy boots and puffy snow pants and jackets. Puffy. It's a light, airy sort of word, suggesting clouds or marshmallows. Why is it then that my kids can hardly move?

The nine month old is completely immobile. Arms stuck out from her body at 90 degree angles. Unable to bend in the middle. When we sit her on the snow she immediately, falls over, rolls over and is stuck there like a beached whale. Our five year old fares better but still finds it hard to reach her arms above her head or walk with a stride wider than six inches. Kids that live in this weather must use at least 50% less of their range of motion during the winter months. Has anyone studied the long term effects of this?

Sledding, as it turns out, does not need much movement of the limbs. We manage an hour of fun. Then are derailed by a bathroom break.

Frantically trying to remove 5 layers of clothes is exhausting. Then you have to put it all back on. Repeat this for lunch and another bathroom break (or two) and you've completed a marathon. Are all east coast mothers superhuman?

Is this why, when we make snowmen they don't have arms or legs? Were the first kids to make a snowmen simply reflecting how they felt - limbless?

Why can't snow gear be thin and warm? I found out on day two of our trip when my five year old and her friend suddenly veered off the sled run and bounced off a tree - padding!!


  1. I had to comment because I live in northern Michigan which supposedly hasn't gotten this much snow in 50 years - literally its been about 3 ft thick since november. Once we had all of our gear we needed for my now 16 month old son I was so excited to get him out in the snow - spent all the time bundling him - we went outside - he took a few excited steps through the snow - fell down - inevitably due to the restriction of his limbs - turned around and looked at the house and started motioning with his mitten-clad hand and reaching towards the house...then yelling - agh agh agh as he reached toward the house. Ok, I thought, well thats it for today. He is now finally getting really into it and has figured out how to maneuver with all the layers but it has taken a lot of effort. I do believe all moms are superhuman but this has taken quite a bit of patience!

  2. I'll send you some pics. In them, everyone looks very jolly and active and outdoorsy, even the baby.

  3. It seems the fleece coats are warm without being too bulky. Sometimes I'll even layer my coats, wearing a fleece jacket under another jacket. The silky long underwear is thin and warm, great for cold weather! I love playing football in snow with everyone bundled up--that's great fun!

    Visiting from SITS. Merry Christmas!

  4. I'm on the East Coast and I'm already tired of all the winter gear needed to go outside!! Warm weather is so much easier!

    Stopping by from SITS-Merry Christmas!


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