Saturday, February 23, 2013

Walking in A Winter Wasteland

A few weeks ago Toronto had the largest snowfall in five years. Air travel was cancelled, businesses closed and people gave up and carried their Smart Cars under their arms the rest of the way to work.

Both my wife and I grew up in areas where large snowfalls were commonplace, so for us it was business as usual. I’m happy my oldest daughter is only five-years old and still enjoys school, because when I was a kid, the sentence, “Busses are cancelled, but schools are still open,” would have sent me into a tantrum not seen since God turned that dude’s wife into salt, thus dooming us to worry about our sodium intake forevermore.

A herd of deer and cows devoured her moments afterwards

For us it just meant bundling up and heading out. I do sometimes feel bad for the baby. I bundle her up in a fleece onesie, a snowsuit, boots, hats and bubble wrap, only to take her out of it again twenty minutes later. We do this four times a day between errands, shoveling the walk and taking her older sister to school and back. She does tend to get crabby after the third time it happens.

"For the love of God help me up, I don't know whose hands those are that are reaching for me."
"Enough of this shit. I'm moving to Florida."

When there is this much snow, traveling with children can be difficult. I heard many stories of strollers abandoned in neighbor's front yards, like a toddler version of an apocalypse movie where cars have been abandoned and the passengers either eaten or fled. I have a million dollar idea for parents. A snowblower with a baby carrier on it. This would clear the snow as you walked your baby. I call it, “The Baby Blower”. On second thought I may rethink that name.

Trust me, this will sell better than my baby wood chipper/stroller

I didn’t attempt the stroller, instead opting for the trusted carrier which goes on my back. The only issue with the carrier is that it acts like a roofie making my daughter fall asleep instantly, with her head hanging at unnatural angles. I’ve been often told by strangers that my baby must be dead as necks aren’t supposed to bend like that. I normally reply by shrugging and saying, “Oh well, I guess I’ll just go sex up the wife to make another one. Babies are the ultimate renewable natural resource after all.”

Whoops broke another one. This is why we can't have nice things*

When my oldest was under two years old and before I became a pro baby carrier, I only wore her on my front. In the winter I would wear a large coat and zip her up inside it. This opened the door for old men, who likely only ever carried cigars when their children were born and never an actual child, to comment that I was obviously smothering my child and that I should be ashamed of myself. My only retort was to flick their varicose veins and run away.

I can't help it is she keeps dropping her breathing tube!
With the heavy snowfall I got a new concerned citizen comment regarding the baby on my back. “Snow is gathering on her face.” Sure enough a small drift had formed on her sleeping face that was pointing straight up at the sky. I did not have a snow scraper and had to ask strangers to help clear her face. Had I been thinking I should have salted her face before leaving the house.

Getting the five-year-old to school was another issue. I thought I was brilliant in pulling her and her friend to school in a toboggan. Two five-year-olds in a toboggan, me pulling and carrying a baby on my back and fresh soft snow did not make for an efficient trip. I imagined that I was a part of an avalanche rescue team saving three people from a fresh slide.

Exactly like this, but with Baby Mum Mums.

When we arrived there was dozens of other parents who walked their kids there in hopes of an afternoon nap while they were in school. I saw one mother coaching her child who was making snow angels. She instructed him to "wave your arms like you are on fire." This lead to a lot of thoughts for me. First, how is being on fire in his frame of reference. Was he once on fire, and if so why would this mother make him relive that? Second, when on fire you stop, drop and roll, not lie on the ground and wave your arms up and down.

I swept away the ashes before taking this picture.

*Thanks to Jen Hendriks for the photo. See her blog at My Sensitive Girl Hole


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  2. I am getting the images just fine.

    Jason you are the only thing keeping me sane these days, my reason to keep going, just to read your blog and have a belly laugh. In short my husband had brain tumor surgery last June, it ended with a stroke and life has been a struggle since. So please keep my laughing.

    1. Dear knittingsouth. I'm sorry that you and your husband are going through such trying times. I'm happy that my silly little blog is helping to bring some laughter into your daily life. Keep strong. Things will get better.

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