There must be hundreds of mummy bloggers out there in England who are posting about their baby’s/toddler’s first taste of snow (figuratively as well as maybe literally?!) I thought I’d hop on the bandwagon and share our first family experience of snow.
In recent years I’ve come to a state of annoyance and frustration whenever snow is forecast, because it’s usually meant disrupted travel plans and worrying about whether we will make it to see family at Christmas. Having spent quite a lot of time working in Switzerland for my PhD, where they not only ‘cope with’ but positively ‘know how to get on with’ snow as part of everyday life in winter, I often moan about England’s pathetic malfunctioning when a few flakes of the white stuff fall on her green and pleasant land. It’s not that I’m against snow in general – give me a skiing holiday and I’m as happy as they come (anyone offering?!….thought not), but when I have to go somewhere or do something that’s goodness knows how many times more dangerous because of the snow, that’s when I get annoyed with it.
But this year’s snow has softened me a little, and changed my perspective. Well, it’s not the snow itself that’s changed me (I’m not letting it have too much credit), but rather the fact that I have a toddler to enjoy it with now, of course. When we first lowered him down onto the crunchy white layer covering my parents’ drive yesterday, he didn’t quite know what to make of it. After a few gingerly steps came the inevitable fall on the bum, nicely cushioned by his many layers of clothing and the fluffy stuff itself. Then came the inevitable exploration with bare hands (he won’t keep gloves on for more than about 10 seconds), leading to the inevitable tasting trial. Sorbet, lovely! With our help he managed to walk all the way to the front door, leaving a trail of oh-so-cute footprints.
That was yesterday; this morning was even more exciting, waking up to see a thick (for this country) covering as far as our eyes could see. I’m glad we’re staying in a house with a big garden, I couldn’t wait to get togged up and step out into the pristine snow. Andrew wasn’t too sure, but then again the snow did come up to almost his knees, and for someone who’s only just mastered walking in general, it was no easy task trudging through the sticky crunchy snow. Plus he was a bit tired, in need of his morning nap. It wasn’t long before the covering was no longer pristine, covered in footprints from Daddy- to toddler-sized, and a snowman was making his way into existence. While Andrew looked on hesitantly, Granny and I built him up, which was so easy because the snow was lovely and sticky – perfect for snowman making! A few sticks, stones, and a carrot later, and ta-dah, Mr Snowman was complete. Sorry, almost complete – just a hat (of course a Blues one – Birmingham City Football Club) was needed to finish him off.
Although I was somewhat stressed about the drive west to my parents, seeing the sky getting greyer with every mile, in the end I was pleasantly surprised about how excited I was by waking up to lots of snow, and how much I enjoyed playing in the snow. I loved watching my newly walking boy become fascinated by a new experience. It made me think back to my childhood memories of snow, and how much fun I had, and therefore I temporarily forgot all the adult anxiety and annoyance that has dominated snowy days since I had to actually get stuff done. Let it snow I say! (Just not on our journey back home today, please.)