Wednesday, January 31, 2007

the immanent threat of frostbite

monday morning we had all of 3/4 of an inch of snow. in this age of global warming, the only inconvenient truth is that such a small bit of snow amounts to a whiteout. it was our first snow of the year. and it was the first snow we've had since jack has been old enough to play in it. so, we put on the coats and hats and gloves and boots, so as to avoid frostbite, and headed into the winter wonderland. well, actually, it was equal parts grass and snow. jack got a new sled for Christmas, so i cleverly sprayed a liberal amount of wd-40 on the bottom of that sucker, and we made a ski slope out of our front yard (do you think that will kill the grass in the spring [at least i will have to be careful there when mowing the lawn]?).

jack loved it for about 10 minutes. he was warm and cozy in his snow-wear. but it wasn't long before the gloves became uncomfortable and cumbersome to him. so he begged us to remove them. he cried and whined, and, against my wishes, his mother, weakened by the hormones of pregnancy and the naturally inferior feminine chemistry, removed his gloves, the only protection he had from the menace of the beautiful yet potentially fatal frozen ice crystals.

he was fine for another 5 minutes. until he fell (which is a common occurrance when you aren't used to wearing snow boots and you can't bend your knees or elbows due to the 9 layers of clothing with which you mom has outfitted you). when he fell, his gentle little hand was swallowed up by the harsh clutch of the icy snow. their was a moment of silence. he looked down at his hands, covered by the pure white weapons of cold. he took it all in, as his brain received signals quickly rushing from his nerve endings, a sense of shock rapidly setting in:
and he began to scream. and scream. and scream. he would have had less of a scream if we had actually removed his hands with a blunt and somewhat rusty metal instrument. and so that brought to an end our front yard (mostly) snowy adventure. i brought the sleds in. shannon turned on the hot water.

and we capped it off with some hot chocolate right out of the mug. well, technically it was lukewarm chocolate. we wouldn't want to hurt his sensitive little tongue...


cathyQ said...


Well, what do you expect? Those precious little hands don't have thick skin and callouses on them to protect them from the cold. We need to get him a better pair of gloves that aren't so combersome. I'll begin looking this weekend! He looks so cute in the snow though. Did he try to eat it? Every child needs to taste snow! Funny how snow has so many different meanings and connotations. Mostly I hear people who hate it and want it to go away. children just love it and cannot get enough of it. That is so refreshing!


mego said...

It's fun to see how kids react to the snow. Both of mine like it, but being a bit older, Ella has realized that being cold isn't super fun and doesn't last too long. Catherine just doesn't care. She'd stay out forever.

We haven't gotten a chance to sled ride yet- looking forward to it. The snow has been melting too quickly!

A few weeks ago I found toddler size stretchie gloves that work perfectly for Ella. They were on clearance so they might be gone by now.

greg. said...

i love love love snow. i don't like it a few days later when it is brown and wet, like a chocolate slushy, but i love it when it is white and draped over everything, making the whole world sort of blend together. i love that.

taryn said...

my friends and i went out to play in our 1 inch of snow because we are that cool and i forgot gloves. needless to say, i feel jack's pain.

greg. said...


i only see one difference. you are not two years old. assuming that you have the capacity to make decisions for yourself, well, you can draw your own conclusions.

joe king.