Thursday, December 28, 2017

child's play

While storms covered states to the east of us and states to the west of us with a mess snow, as you can see, we've had hardly any of it. Yes, there's the bitter cold. But infinitesimal amounts of snow. It's a world that's tough for children to enjoy right now. A  dangerous cold, without the playful elements of winter.

But today, the weather gods relented, just a wee little bit: We climbed all the way to 8F (-13C) -- this is just a momentary reprieve: we're coming into an even colder period, with -40F wind chills (which actually also is -40 in Celsius). But today, it's a toasty world out there at 8F. And, we got an inch or two of snow.

The consequences of this are immediately evident. After breakfast...

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... we look in on the cheepers. The two older girls had wandered into the garage and cannot imagine repeating the journey back to the barn. Ed has to coax them, cajole them, encourage them...

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(And yes, he is wearing shorts. Just don't even ask.)

And after noon, Snowdrop comes over, bursting with joy that finally, finally, there is reason to put on her new pink snow pants.

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We can't stay outside for long.  Even with a warm scarf covering some of her face, her cheeks quickly turn as pinky pink as her pants! But still, it is a joyous time for her, for all of us!

Her immediate concern is our walkway: a shoveling job is in order.

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Anywhere else?

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Let's take your baby sled out! I think you'll still fit in it.  (I had resisted buying a bigger one because, well, there was no snow...)

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Oh, she loves it alright! Ed comes out to see what the excitement is all about. (And no, I can't understand how he can go out with bare legs.)

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Snowdrop is not ready to go in. She wants to give her baby a ride in the sled.

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Hard work, being a mother to those babies!

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But oh, the joy!

Snowdrop, those cheeks are getting very pink!

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Just one more angel...

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Well, if you can't play in the snow, you may as well read about it...

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Nap time, Snowdrop.
No, first let me dress these girls...
Nap time...
Just two more minutes!
Just one more minute.

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Later, much later, when it is already dark outside, Ed sets out to close the cheeper coop.
I want to go!
Yes, oftentimes Snowdrop wants to accompany him. But today, it's such a production: the pants, the scarf, the jacket, the mitts, the cap, the snow shoes...
I want to go!
Okay, Snowdrop.

She trots off, confidently, happily. Leading the way.

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This is the time when the cheepers are sleepy and calm. Willing to let her pat them.
And she does.

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We walk back to the farmhouse. She's not done with the outdoors.
Can we take out the baby sled?
Can you tell a little girl no? Winter is harsh. Winter is seemingly forever. Isn't it grand that she doesn't feel its relentlessly long drag? For us, it's something to tolerate. For her -- it's child's play.

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He pulls her in the sled, flashlight in hand. They do a circuit and then we all call it a day.

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If you live in the Upper Midwest, for much of the winter, you daydream about spring. With good reason. These Arctic blasts just suck the warmth out of you.

But not for kids. Snowdrop knows about spring, but at age two, she cannot count down to it. She does ask me if we are near summertime, but I think that's attributable to the book we are reading (about warmer seasons).

In the meantime, she plays, we watch and laugh. Snowdrop surely keeps us focused on the important stuff: warm snow boots and chicken visits. Babies and sleds. Pink mitts and pink snow pants. THe important stuff.