Wednesday, February 23, 2011

An Afternoon Spent Sledding

Or, Why I Shouldn't Ever Need a Gym Membership in Winter

 It's Winter Break here in the arctic tundra Saskatchewan, which means a blissful week free of marking, commuting, and early mornings. A week to sleep in late (7am), lounge around (catch up on laundry), and spend quality time the fam damily.
This afternoon we decided to go sledding. Looking outside and seeing the bright shining sun we thought it would be a perfect afternoon to spend outside. Windchills of -28C won't keep us inside, we're Canadian! We don't wait for warmer days, we brave the wintry weather with smiles frozen on our faces!

Getting myself and my two kids ready to brave the boreal weather is no small feat. The task of finding enough toques, mitts, scarves, snow pants, etc. to prevent frostbite and whining is enough to exhaust anyone, never mind the job of stuffing everyone into said toques, mitts, scarves, snow pants, etc.

By the time everyone was dressed, I was sweating, panting, and weary, and we hadn't even stepped outside the door.

I sent the kids outside to play in the snow fort Eric built last week and I ran around the house like the madwoman, grabbing the truck keys, the camera, and some batteries.

 I made my way outside, helped Maya get the snow tubes in the back of the truck, wrestled the kids into their seats, and we were off! And it only took 45 minutes!

I was so warm from just getting ready and being layered in my winter gear that my sunglasses fogged up.

We got to the sledding hill and Maya and Ben cheered. We were the only ones there! We had free reign over the hill. We could slide like crazy people in all directions without having to worry about running in to anyone else. Suh-weet!

Then we opened the truck door and realized why nobody else was there. It was ridiculously cold. The wind was so biting I had an instant brain freeze.

But hey, we're Canadian! We don't wait for warmer days to go play! We brave the wintry weather with smiles frozen on our faces!

Maya jumped on her snow tube and rushed down the hill. Or, at least, she *tried* to rush down the hill. Her tube stopped half way down the hill. I plunked Ben on his tube and gave him a push. He didn't make it as far as his sister.

Being the good mother that I am, I laughed hysterically at my sweet children stuck on the hill.

Don't worry, I helped them back up the hill. Eventually.

We attempted a few more slides down the hill, but the 40 km/h winds and fresh snow proved too much for my two light weights. They never did make it all the way to the bottom of the hill. After 5 minutes of unsuccessful, freezing-arse-cold sledding effort, I convinced Maya and Ben that we should head home by bribing them with offering a pleasant alternative activity: hot chocolate at home. They were really excited about this idea.

Or not.

The stripping of winter layers thankfully took less time than putting on the layers. All told, it was nearly an hour to get dressed and undressed for 5 minutes of sledding. Right now Maya and Ben are colouring happily, warm and content with bellies full of hot chocolate. I'm exhausted and spent, needing another cup of coffee.

I'm thinking next time the kids want to go sledding I'll trade spots with Eric. He can brave the wintry weather with a smile frozen on his face. I'll spend the afternoon the way he did - having a long winter's nap.

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Ramble on. . .