It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Cold. Cold, cold, cold

thermometerIt’s cold here this week. Nothing like you readers in the north experience, I know, but cold enough! (For you readers in the south who think I’m north? Noooooo. There’s whole lot of Canada north of Ottawa. Days like today I am very, very glad I don’t live there.)

I woke this morning, checked my handy little Weather Network icon in my toolbar, and saw -29. Ick. Clicked on the icon to get the fuller story, and discovered that with a brisk wind out of the NW, it’s going to feel like -37. (That is -20F and -35F for you 19th-century holdouts to my south.)

Oh. My. Lord.

I’m wearing jeans, a tank top, a turtleneck and a big sweater. That’s fine for in the house. But now? I have to walk the dogs.

I have to go outside.

So the regular old jeans are switched out for the distinctly un-glam and boxy flannel-lined jeans. Under which go long johns. I have a down-filled jacket, but it stops at the hips. For today, I am snitching my daughter’s down-filled parka, which comes to the knees AND has a fur-lined hood. The scarf, wrapped as close to my nose as my damned glasses will allow. A hat for inside the hood. Leather mittens. Not gloves. Gloves are for spring and fall, and mild, mild winter days. Gloves are not for -29, -37 with windchill.

‘Damned’ glasses because the scarf can channel your exhalations upward, where all that hot, moist air immediately condenses on the glass, and, in these temperatures, just as immediately freezes. So you don’t just have a moment’s fog on your glasses, you have FROST. Which you have to scrape off. Scraping off means taking off your mittens, and you really, really don’t want to do that.

Whee. fun.

The dogs get walked. Indie, being part husky, doesn’t even feel the cold. She looooves the snow! She romps, she frolics, she rolls in the stuff. Daisy proffers me a dainty paw to de-ice at intervals, but she has no complaints, either. But this is a strictly business walk, girls. Once they’ve pooped, we head home. No 45 minute romp in the dog park this morning, my sweets. We were home in twenty. Boom, done.

And will the daycare children be going out, today?

I think not.

Instead, we will bake something. Stinking cold weather demands baking, I always figure.
We will read, we will do puzzles, we will colour, we will play dollies and trucks and blocks.

But these are toddlers, and toddlers need to burn off steam. So we will play popcorn and sleeping bunnies. We will build an obstacle course and let them climb and clamber and squirm over and under furniture. We will turn on the music and dance, dance, dance. I will put each of them on my knee for one bouncy game after another.

And … I take a deep, deep breath … Mary will relieve them of the “We WALK in the house. WALK!” for at least an hour today.

An hour of running. With five house-bound toddlers.

Hold me.

January 23, 2013 - Posted by | Canada, Ottawa | , , ,


  1. I did the same thing yesterday, as it was a snow day here and very cold – “OK, you can run in the house for a little while. BUT NO SCREAMING OMG”.

    Ha! I have the exact same stipulation, when I let them run. “You may run, but you MAY NOT SCREAM.” Because, agh! ENOUGH. Why does running = screaming, in the mind of a small child? Why, indeed, must they SCREAM instead of talk, when they are inches from each other’s faces? WHERE’S MAH MUTE BUTTON?

    Comment by Hannah | January 23, 2013 | Reply

  2. Oh that was us yesterday. We keep an inflatable bouncy thing in the basement which is for jumping not wrestling. For jumping not tackling. For JUMPING with your feet not on his head! Lord save me from boys. The best part of it is that it is quieter than running.

    Oooh, a bouncy thing. That sounds like fun. Even with yelling, it’d be quieter than running. Too bad my basement is unfinished and unsafe for play. Oh, and that I don’t have a bouncy thing… darn. Also, “lord save me from boys” made me laugh. You’re saying they have far more energy than good sense?

    Comment by Samantha | January 23, 2013 | Reply

  3. It’s cold here today too, but not nearly as cold as you! We are also staying in. Last year I bought one of those mini trampolines with the handles and today is just the day for it.

    I have one, but no handles, so it’s no so good for the smalls. I once saw a playpen with a bouncy bottom, which I thought was a great idea. It was in a playgroup I attended, but no one seemed to know where it had come from!

    Comment by Kate | January 23, 2013 | Reply

  4. That’s how it is here too-SUPER cold all week and I struggle with “letting” them get those wiggles out but I have to! Poor kids need it and in the end so worth it to get through theses long winter days. I am with you about the baking, but really hard with the bitty ones. I did try a game where we couldn’t use our feet and they loved it…crab walking, bottom-scootching, and crawling for fun!

    I know it does get super cold in Minnesota, but right now we have a solid 25 degrees Farenheit on you. (This morning we were -35F, a whopping 51 degrees colder than your current 16. Incredible, huh?) No matter how much I enjoy getting them outside, it’s just not responsible to take them out in those temperatures! So inside and rowdy it is. Counting the days till this cold snap is supposed to end, and I’m soooo glad it’s not like this all winter!

    Comment by jbjokne | January 23, 2013 | Reply

  5. My just turned 3 niece will do sleeping bunnies at the drop of a hat if she has an audience! My sister has the opposite problem, they are in Dubai and in the summer it gets too hot to go outside. 50C outside and the toddler is tantruming by the front door to be let out! I’ll stay where the weather is sensible thank you very much! Hope the cold snap finishes fast so you can go outside before you and the tots lose your minds!

    Comment by anabels | January 23, 2013 | Reply

  6. It is 9 F here in Boston. We ve some weird weather lately, wild swings in temp, storms that are predicted to be a foot or so but only spill a dusting. The poor weathercasters are so confused lately. We will have this cold snap then on Monday a high in the 50’s. Outside will be such an adventure!

    Comment by Kathy | January 24, 2013 | Reply

  7. We’ve been dealing with 30-40 below windchills where I live in Minnesota, and I am SO excited for Spring to hurry on up!

    Comment by | January 25, 2013 | Reply

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