I assumed the kids had each grown only a couple of inches since we moved from Michigan and that their winter wear last worn two years ago would be fine for our trip to Wisconsin. You can imagine my surprise, then, when they pulled on their coats and snow pants and multiple inches of arm and leg were showing at the wrists of the coats and out the ends of the pants.
We compensated with extra-long shirt sleeves, large mittens, tights, and knee socks and, while I was embarrassed by my oversight, the kids couldn't have cared less. (It also helped that my two-year-old niece's coat and snow pants were too big for her, so my sister and I traded Lily's too-large snow wear and Hallie's too-small snow wear and then everything fit everyone perfectly.) Luckily, my mistake and the kids' clothing challenges didn't negatively impact the fun we had outdoors.
Sledding was without a doubt the most popular activity. My dad built a sledding hill - using a bale of hay and the 17+ inches of snow he shoveled off of the driveway - from the top of the deck and across the backyard, and this hill was the perfect size for Hallie to start on. (We took Will sledding quite a few times in Ann Arbor, at the Lodge, and at my parents' house, but Hallie had never gone.)
|Where's the flood? Seriously, their snow pants|
barely covered their knees.
|Attempting to walk across the backyard.|
|Giving the sled run a try.|
|I'd like to think she's laughing here, but doing so|
goes against everything I know about Hallie.
|Approximately three minutes after Hallie'd gotten out of the car, I predicted|
that she'd last no more than 10 minutes. More than an hour later, when we went
home only because our sleds needed to be reinflated, she was still going strong.
|Our sledding pro.|
Disc golf was also most definitely out, much to Tom's dismay.
Our last winter "must try/do" activity was ice skating. I'm embarrassed to admit that I - a born-and-raised Wisconsinite - took Will ice skating for the first time just a few weeks ago and that Hallie had never been ice skating. I hang my head in shame.
When it comes to nearly everything physical, Will is a slow learner. He is timid and unsure of himself, and he lets those feelings weigh so heavily on shoulders that his first attempt at anything new is usually a disaster. Ice skating was no exception. Despite having a cone to hold on to, he literally could not even stand on the ice. After 15 or so minutes of struggling just to keep his feet under his body, Will gave up, tears in his eyes. My heart breaks for him in situations like this (soccer, swimming, basketball, the list goes on), but on that day, I was secretly kind of glad to abandon ice skating because my body ached from keeping 45 pounds of kid from falling on the ice (while wearing ice skates myself).
Will may be a bit slower than others when it comes to these new and intimidating physical activities, but eventually he figures them out. The problem/challenge is that the process takes a LONG time. I knew from experience that Will's second time on an ice skating rink would in no way differ from his first. Worse, I had a feeling that ice skating wouldn't pose such a challenge to Hallie, and that her success at something he struggled with would be a disaster.
I was right, to a certain extent. Will struggled, and Hallie - equipped with a little crate to push around (Will tried two different crates, a child-sized walker, and a hockey stick) - ice skated like it was her job.
Hallie's skating faster than it looks like she is in this video. I'm skating backwards as quickly as I can go (without risking a fall) while I film, and she's keeping up with me easily.