Saturday, December 03, 2005

How to defrost a two year old boy

I have lived here my whole life, except for a few short years in college when I lived directly south in NE. Yet, the snow still amazes me. Maybe it's because now I have two small children who are in awe of the little white flakes that fall and make huge piles of snow. This week has been particularly important in the accrual of snow. We have almost 15 inches. We have had no less than 3 days of solid snowing that started with rain and almost 50 degree temperatures on Sunday and Monday and continues today (Friday). Thursday evening bottoming out at 15 degrees below zero. Thousands of homes have been without power here. The power lines succumbing to the heavy weight of ice and snow on the lines. Lots of schools have had an extended Thanksgiving vacation because of the snow and power outages. I think I missed my calling....should have been a weatherlady. Anyway, back to my kids.... If you have small children then you already know that the amount of time it takes to put on snow gear is most often at least twice or more the time that the children actually spend outside. On Monday, we went out with the sled but the snow was so wet and heavy it was not enjoyable. On Tuesday, the drifts were so high, the kids couldn't even walk until we shoveled some paths for them. My daughter was so concerned that daddy was going to move all the snow that she wouldn't have any to play with. Wednesday the air was so cold we stayed inside. Thursday morning, my three year old ran to the patio door, looked out and said, "Mom, will we ever see the grass again?" Last night, in frigid temperatures, both children, my husband and the dog spent 45 minutes shoveling and scooping the snow from the driveway. My son refused to come in and by the time we finally coaxed him his cheeks were cherry red and so was the tip of his nose. It took a whole plate of spaghetti, a breadstick and a full cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows (drunk with a straw, of course, don't you?) to defrost him. The way he defrosted was particularly painful to watch. He immediately wanted to wash his hands. They were frozen and I think he "felt" something on them. But as soon as we touched the lukewarm water he decided it was not in his best interest. I vigorously rubbed them until he was fed up with my warming techniques. As we sat down to supper, his cheeks had a white puffy appearance and I thought at first that they had been frostbitten. I was on the verge of freaking out when my husband said to just wait and see what happened. Slowly, as the steam rose up from his plate of spaghetti, his cheeks returned to normal color. My son, however, was completely oblivious to this entire process. The truth is, I'm not sure what color his cheeks were under all that tomato sauce.
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