Have you ever had that dreaded outdoor family play date in the cold or an invite to a chilly day out? Every parent will have one of those days where if you hadn’t “committed” you’d curl your little ones up with a warm blanket or focus on indoor activities. However, you’ve committed so the dreaded putting on all the warm clothes begins. Every parent wants their child to be cute and look adorable but being a mother of a 2.5 year old and who grew up in Northern B.C. you also want them to be warm – above anything else! Still, you don’t look forward to spending 20 minutes getting them dressed to only have them complain after 5 minutes about wanting to go home or go inside.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been the parent who was more interested in getting the ooohhhs and aaaahhhs and the “she’s so cute” comments but now I’m the parent more interested in the comments like “Wow, she’s so happy and not complaining and she’s been out here all day…and it’s cold out here.”
Several weeks ago my husband’s ball team had their fall playoffs. Normally, weather permitting we would come to cheer them on. Then I got the call – could I sub for them at their 8am Sunday game. Normally, not a problem…but the weather had turned to being chilly and cool and that meant we had to be out of the house and heading to the fields by 7:15am. My thoughts went beyond just wanting to play to thinking there is no way that our daughter will manage as it’s cold out and she’ll be miserable. But, my response was to play, and cross my fingers that our daughter will enjoy it. We put on our ski pants, ski jacket, mittens and hat then ventured out. The fall temperatures were pretty chilly but not cold, and we fortunately had dry days, so I expected some odd looks from those at the field whose children were dressed in only pants and fall coats. Most of those children didn’t end up moving much as they were bundled up in blankets to stay warm. Our daughter was the one up and about, cheering on the team and playing with her toys. She had a great time and we were able to stay through our next games while she continued playing, laughing and cheering. Many parents commented on how well she did despite the chilly temperatures.
We kept her bundled up despite the sunny day and warming weather and it wasn’t until about 1pm when we were about to the start the quarter finals before we finally took off her coat and put on a vest. People said she looked like a little fireman in her ski pants. I guess we could call this a day of success in that having her warm proved to be pleasant for everyone, especially her, and allowed my husband and I to play our games without worrying about her being comfortable.
So back to my point of being prepared for the cold - if you and I are chilly then you can guarantee our little ones already are. If they are protected from the elements not only will they enjoy themselves and play outside till their hearts content, but we as parents can do the same. By keeping them warm and protected, not only are we hopefully keeping away the cold germs, we are letting them enjoy the fresh fall air. And of course, all that fresh air is good for their little bodies but also helps them sleep like babies…a win win for EVERYONE!
(-written by Tanya Miles)