At this moment, my son is struggling to take a nap, which is not a normal occurrence. During most of the year, he is so exhausted after running from playground to playground with various playdates in between, that it's all I can do to get him to stay awake until naptime. In the Winter, however, it's so cold that your boogers instantly freeze as soon as you step outside, and thus way too cold for a tiny 2-year-old to be on the playground. Spring, Summer, and Autumn truly helps us live our best lives; Winter, however, is just obnoxious.
Sure, there are some things about Winter that look endearing from an outsider's perspective. Snow, of course, being one. But do you know how exhausting it is getting a toddler dressed to leave the house? Snow brings on another level of frustration because snow boots and squirmy legs do not mix.
Then there are the snow activities, lugging a child up and down a hill to sled, all while keeping an eye out for rogue snowballs. "Pull us faster," they cry out as your lungs burn in the brisk air, sweat freezing on your forehead.
Even if your Winter is comparatively mild, frequent rain and low temps make playgrounds an activity non grata. So instead of hustling your children to the park like you might normally do, you're left with the germ infestation of an indoor playground. Sure, it helps build immunity, but it's also helping me build up my supply of empty tissue boxes and Children's Tylenol.
Too cold to go outside and too many germs inside, we're stuck in a state of cabin fever for months. It's like The Shining, but instead of going crazy from isolation and ghosts, it's because I've had to pick up the same exact toys seven times a day. All play and no sun makes mama go a little stir crazy.
But hands down, the worst part about Winter is that it goes on forever. December is never too bad because the holiday season tapers the struggle with its copious amounts of mulled wine and family outings. Snow is pretty in December, as are the lights and festive activities. By February, the lights are gone and that pretty snow has disappeared; all that remains is black parking lot snow and two more months of cold weather.
Meanwhile, your children are asking when they can go outside again without needing an entire L.L. Bean catalogue to keep them warm. It's like a never-ending game of "are we there yet," except the "there" is Spring, with the destination nowhere in sight. You've stopped answering them, of course, because you're too busy constantly cleaning up the snow and mud tracks their boots have brought into the house.
So Winter, please, give parents a break. Scatter in a few sunny and warm days to pepper the gray monotony. Let our children play outside without 15 layers, and most of all, please don't linger as you go.