I’m not panicking, YOU’RE panicking. Blame the cold weather for bringing it on.
The freeway is a little busier than normal, a little earlier than normal. The grocery line? Filled with jittery bread and milk toting denizens, is a little longer. The weatherman, bless his perfectly bronzed heart, is trying to stay cool on the outside whilst screaming, “AMERICAN METEROLOGICAL SOCIETY AWARD” on the inside. And then, as the barometric pressure drops and the mass hysteria rises, a single, drunken snowflake ambles down from that menacing cloud you’ve had your eye on.
That’s right, y’all. It is snowing in Nashville. Let the games begin.
If you’re expecting me to pull a “Don’t Worry! I’m Canadian!” and flash my passport whilst saving the entire city from being swallowed by a wild and unremitting squall, I’m sorry to say that I have no such power. What I do have are Canadian friends and their wonderfully sound winter weather tips:
Sled Don’t Tread
If your outdoorsy neighbor’s Subaru thing can’t make it up the paltry incline by your house, chances are that the umbrella stroller you bought off a buy/share/trade won’t fare any better. SO. You’re going to be housebound. Forever.
Kidding! That’s what these are for!
Pulling a sled is soooo much easier (and likely safer) in winter weather. Plus, it’s especially fun for your tot who will love treating you like his or her personal husky. (And let’s be honest. This is probably the perfect metaphor for your relationship.) Older toddlers will be perfectly happy in a traditional model, but even babies can get in on the fun with a safe and affordable infant boggan.
Mittens . . . with Strings
Unless your toddler is a master calligrapher, you can go ahead and skip the gloves. Mittens are your friend. Keeping all of those tiny little sausage-y fingers together generates extra heat. And as somebody who has built more than a few igloos in her day, I can promise you that they allow for more than enough dexterity for the vast majority of snow-tivities.
Also? Mittens are best, like all healthy adult relationships, with strings attached.
Invest Where it Counts
Please don’t make your baby wear a capelet.
If you’re going to unfurl that large wad of fun money you’ve been carrying around in your diaper bag for a fashion emergency, spend it where it counts: on protecting those miniscule extremities. Splurge on high quality, waterproof pieces for extra-vulnerable hands, feet, and ears. Rely on layering to keep the trunk and legs toasty.
Don’t Wait, Urinate
“Mooooooooom! Daaaaaaaaaaad!!!! SNOW! It’s snowing! In the air! Right NOW!”
Your little nose-miner’s face is aglow with all the glimmering magic of the season. In fact, he’s so excited he could . . . And he will. All over that sweet LL Bean winter get-up from Grandma.
Always remember to get a good pee in BEFORE putting on the snowsuit and heading outdoors. Trying to get a kid with a full bladder out of his snowsuit is like trying to disarm a ticking bomb.
Snow Cream is for Amateurs
Officially: Don’t let your kids eat snow. Especially in an urban area. It’s dirty and gross and probably full of pesticide and garbage water.
Unofficially: If you’re going to let them eat snow, make it a next level treat like we do up North!
Nashville, meet maple taffy — snow cream’s tastier, more worldly cousin.
Grade B Syrup only, y’all.
*For the love of Frosty — Do not use dirty snow. You’re better than that! If you don’t have a few solid inches from which to harvest a bowl of flakes, my friend, you will just have to wait until the next blizzard.
Do NOT Overdress Those Kiddos
Just because your backyard looks like something straight outta Narnia doesn’t mean you need to dress your kids for a trek across the East Antarctic Shield. More is not always better. Overdressing your kids is not only a giant car seat safety no-no, it can actually be pretty counterproductive when it comes to heat retention. If your child becomes too warm and begins to sweat, then she’s stuck battling cold and moisture. This intensifies the effects of the already frigid weather on her body. Follow the AAP rule of thumb, and dress your children in one more layer than you would wear. And always be sure to remove bulky outerwear before strapping your child into her car seat!
Snowburn is a Thing
Sun protection is just as important in the winter as it is during the summer. While less skin is generally exposed, those little cheeks and noses are still vulnerable to harsh UV rays — especially if there is snow on the ground. The snow reflects the sun’s light. Cover unprotected skin with a good sunscreen and slap an adorable pair of shades on your little guy! He’ll look like a teensy weensy ski instructor. Cue all the heart-eyes.