Friday, February 24, 2012

Winter in Canada

I am amazed by how well Seth and Lizzie have adapted to the cold winter weather in Canada.  Geoff and I were both worried that this first winter would be pretty tough on them.  But there was no reason for worry. Though it is true that the winter, overall, has been considerably milder than the norm, there have still been a number of really, truly cold days.  The kids have been undaunted by it.  In fact, Seth, who sweats very easily, has mostly refused to wear mitts or even often to zip up his jacket.  There have been many times this winter when I've climbed into the van and discovered Seth, all buckled up and ready to go, but not even wearing his winter's somewhere on the floor below him!  And I'm talking about -20 or -25 degrees celsius.  He just doesn't seem terribly affected by the cold.  In fact, I'd say that both of my boys prefer the cold of winter to the heat of summer.  They miss bike riding terribly, but from a purely weather perspective, they simply like the cold.  I don't get it, but each to his own I guess!

The boys are also taking weekly skating lessons and are coming along pretty well.  Lizzie started the fall with them, but she wasn't all that thrilled with it and so we decided after Christmas to keep her out of lessons for a while longer.  Seth has gone from not having a hot clue what a skating rink was in September ("what's that mommy?" pointing to the ice), to zipping his way around the hockey rink looking a little like a marionette puppet on a string who keeps going and going and you think he's going to fall and you're positive he's going to fall but for some reason the strings manage to keep him on his feet and he bobs and weaves his way down the rink.  It's funny (and fun) to watch him.  Matthew's been in skating before and so he's doing harder stuff like learning cross-overs and how to stop.  But both boys are really enjoying it and we're so glad that they're learning a skill that will come in handy in our Canadian winters.

It's also been so great, from my perspective, that the kids are all able to dress themselves in their winter gear.  I showed Seth and Lizzie the 'ins and outs' of snowpants and parkas and mitts and boots the very first time, and they've been great doing it by themselves since.  It was startling how much of a relief that was for me - I'd been dreading having to get three kids dressed for playing outside or for heading out to the van.  Lizzie has been able to 'do up' her own zippers since last summer, and that includes her outerwear, and it's just so helpful.  So on the really cold days, when they want to go outside and play, they dress themselves in snowpants, boots, parkas, balaclavas, and about four minutes flat!

Quintessential Lizzie, allowing someone else to do the work for her!  And note the pile of snow in her hands and on the shovel - that's the snow for her personal consumption!

Not the greatest shot, but I laughed when I saw the driveway being shovelled in a novel manner.


  1. I had to go look up balaclava! My new word for the day.

  2. Oh--I adore these photos! Unbelievable that underneath the snow the grass is green. Did it even go dormant this winter?