Toddler Rescue Mission

How to entertain toddlers on a snow day: taking balloon puppies for a walk around the house
How to entertain toddlers on a snow day: taking balloon puppies for a walk around the house

Q: What sounds like whsssssshhhhh KAPPOOOWWWWWW!!! *GUNSHOT volume* fwishhhh, followed by a startled-awake, screaming baby? A: Ice and snow calving off your roof and crashing to the ground.

Oh, March. What a sense of humor you have.

Yesterday, Outdoor Play turned into Toddler Crevasse Rescue Mission. The snow was so deep, and the snowblower broke in two different ways, so Geoff didn't have time to clear us out before he had to leave for work. So he walked through the blizzard to work, and we were snowed in.

He's been working so hard to battle winter - chopping wood in the darkness, taking on snowblowing and building the fires all by himself. I felt kind of bad thinking of him having to get out there and take care of it all, alone, when he got home. So I decided I'd bundle everyone up and go out in the 17-degree weather and shovel the drive as well as I could alone with two bitties playing in the driveway and on the hill that connected our driveway to the neighbor's yard. I figured they couldn't wander too far as deep as it was. Well, I would be wrong.

When I try to walk in the snow, I'll sink in 5-6 inches most of the time, but sometimes when I take a step (especially if I'm holding a child), I feel a creeeeeak of ice many layers below grinding a long silent crack. The floor weakens. And a step or so later? FWOOMP - I'm in up to my thighs and there's still snow under my boot. Truth be told, there's no telling how deep it is, especially with the wind causing drifts (that means it's deeper in some places than others).

But when munchkins walk across the snow, they're so light, that unless the snow is really fluffy, they can walk right on top of it, no problem. And if it gets too deep, they are naturally inclined to sit in it and scoot on their rear ends. And they aren't opposed to just laying down and sliding down hills. As it turns out, they love to do this and are kind of like baby polar bears - they just spread out and slide and giggle all the way down. "Oh, how cute!" I thought, and continued to shovel...until I realized they couldn't slide back up, of course. I heard G fussing at the bottom of the hill.

I had to roll across the snow just to get to her, because walking caused me to sink in past my knees. At this moment, if I was my neighbor, I would have been videotaping this to put on YouTube.

G had followed C, who was was pretending to feed the thick pine tree, which was all weighed down with lob-globular snow blobs on its branches. The bottom of the tree was buried in 2-3 feet of snow, so you couldn't see the trunk, and the bottoms of the branches were buried, too. He discovered that this made an a magical snow house if you just dug your way under the protection of the tree, and he was right. You stepped down off the snow a few feet, and you could stand on the ground. When you looked up, the walls were white and glowing from the sun. A warm, bright, magical hideaway from the grey and wind. I suddenly understood how the birds survive.

The only problem? Getting out.

I had to lay on my side, lift her up out of the deep pit from under the pine, then crawl holding her entire body in one arm until we got to the hill. Then I had to kinda toss her up on her all fours, crawl up a bit myself, pick her up with one arm and toss her up a bit more, etc. to get to the top of the hill, where the driveway was (because we couldn't get over the snow banks at the edges of the yard to just walk up the street). She found this to be great fun. I however, got an acorn (acorn?! I totally forgot those were down there!) in my boot, so mid-rescue, I had to sit in the snow, take off my boot, and shake the darn thing out. Of course it was still in there when I put my boot back on, so while I was making what must've been a very entertaining display for the neighbors, G slid down the hill again past me, smiling and saying, "WHEEEEEEEE!"

So today, we went to McDonald's PlayPlace and the library. Because that's how we roll. Well, when we're not rolling on the snow....