So, what do you do when you wake up on an absolutely splendid morning-sunshine, white snow, and temperatures so high you don't even need mittens? Well, you bundle up your kids, and head outside of course!
After wrapping and tucking my kids into layers of down and capilene and wind-proof fabric and fleece, I stuffed 'em into their car seats, then plied them with cheetos and juice to keep them happy on the road. Finally we arrived at our destination and I extracted a rather grumpy two year old from the car seat and plopped him in front of his beaming big sister, who was eagerly waiting for him in the big blue sled, in which I was happily planning to pull them around in the morning sunshine. I had gone maybe four inches when he started complaining that he was cold. (What? Cold? But it's almost 35 degrees!)
I picked him up. Screams increased, made more intense by the wide open space. I tried to put his mittens on his hands. His fingers were wadded up into balls, and he thrashed and screamed and yanked his hands away.
"I want more Cheeto's! I want to go inside! I want to go home!" He screeched. "I'm cold!"
L was still in the sled, pulling in armloads of snow, happily burying herself while she watched the drama unfold.
J cried. He screamed. I tried to put him back in the sled. He flopped out, then exploded with rage when he got snow on his bare hands. He screamed some more. I picked him up. He screamed.
"I'm cold! I want to go home! I want to go inside, can we go inside!" I urged him to try walking. He flailed around a bit, then begged me to pick him back up.
Feeling torn and guilty, I looked at L who was happy and would have stayed outside all day if I'd let her. I tried again to convince J that this was fun.
Who was I kidding? He wasn't having fun. He was cold. He wanted to go inside. I quietly resigned myself to this: It's just not worth it,this is not fun for him right now, no matter what I do/tell him/try.
What do you do when, despite your best efforts to make everyone warm, well fed and comfortable, someone just is not up for an outdoor adventure?
You go inside.
Thank goodness I have an understanding 4-year old.