We don’t need no stinking scarves; we’ve got fun to keep us warm

We’ve had old-school winter weather lately. It’s makes me nostalgic for Seals and Crofts music because it’s just like the ’70s again. Though I don’t hate snow, I don’t have the same high regard for it as I did when I was nine.

My boys love snow; that’s why I can’t dislike it. Shoveling is a pain, especially the re-shoveling after the snow plow has tossed all the street snow into my driveway. But I have two willing helpers, to the extent that they understand the goal of shoveling the driveway, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. There’s plenty else to sneeze at this time of year.

We got more than a foot of snow one day, followed by near-zero daytime temps, which is always a nice cherry on top of your winter woes. I no sooner got out my long underwear than my boys saw their chance to play in the snow. Thus began the ordeal.

The ordeal, if you don’t know the combination of snow and children, is the combination of snow and children. Finding all the pieces of snow attire, collecting them in one place, and getting them around the various edges of a child, is no mean feat. The last part of this circus should be performed with the child sedated, for if the child is conscious, the complaints will be incessant.

In the house, children rightfully complain about being restrained by the overburden of garments and the lack of suitable ingress for oxygen through the holes in their faces. They loathe breathing through scarves and similar impediments:

BOY: “Daddy, I can’t breathe!”

DAD: “You can breathe just fine.”

BOY: “No. I really can’t.”

DAD: “People who can’t breathe are too busy choking to complain.”

BOY: “No they’re not. They always say ‘I can’t breathe!’”

Two-foot drifts waited to be removed from the driveway, but we spent 15 minutes arguing about the habits of highly suffocated people.

His face soon extricated itself from the scarf, at which point he rightfully began to complain about his cold nose. I had no answers for him.

fort building

His nose may be a little cold, but at least he’s breathing again.

By now, Mommy had the little boy bubble wrapped in insulation. He joined us outside and immediately shed his mittens. Three trips back into the house later, he learned that keeping mittens on was prerequisite to staying outside.

Big Brother had given up clearing the concrete and was making a path to his fort beneath the pine tree by moving the excess snow into the driveway. He’d quit complaining; the idea of a fort always warms a kid’s soul.

going to the snow fort

Welcome to my fort. No mittens – no service.

Next, it was time to slide down the snowbanks I’d made with cast-off snow, bringing avalanches flowing back down into the driveway. Then we went back inside to leave a trail of snowy clothes through the house as we boys must do. It helps make it challenging to find all our gear next time, and that’s an integral part of the ordeal.

snowbank slide

There are lots of fun ways to get all this snow back into the driveway.

Later, I snuck out alone to shovel the driveway.


Finally made it to the end of the driveway. Now who’s gonna shovel the street?


26 comments on “We don’t need no stinking scarves; we’ve got fun to keep us warm

  1. Have you ever seen a television show where someone who couldn’t breathe DIDN’T say, “I can’t breathe!” I think he’s got you there, dad. Television is the utmost authority on everything after all.

  2. Growing up in the Phoenix area, I have never in my life had to think of shoveling snow, and I know this probably sounds crazy, but it looks like such fun with the kids!

  3. Nicola Young says:

    Whenever we are getting ready to go out in the snow, it takes about an hour to get everyone’s kit on. Usually I am boiling hot by the end and dying to get outside, but five minutes after we finally get outside, one of them will complain about being too cold and want to go back indoors again.

  4. Traci says:

    As a person who thinks a hard day of winter is 52 degrees, I stared at the photos in a catatonic state. Would you believe that when the temp dipped down to 19 degrees one night (back up to 40 the next day), parents called to see if we could cancel school? Based on those stats, people in North Dakota would receive an education about three days each year.

  5. You almost made me miss the snow the and the freezing temperatures. Almost.

  6. Lolly says:

    We haven’t had much snow here yet this winter, it sure has been cold though. I’m excited to get snow!

  7. xtrememom says:

    Going out in the snow with kids whether it be for 5 minutes or an hour is something like a mandatory half day commitment- the soaking wet gloves, scarves, hats, puddles of water on the floor. And God forbid they have to go inside and pee… It’s quite an adventure.

  8. A. van Nerel says:

    I spent part of my childhood in Toronto and remember thinking of shoveling snow as a fun activity. Don’t know what I was thinking (perhaps I wasn’t breathing enough)…

  9. yearstricken says:

    Shoveling snow, also known as playing with shovels, seems to be just the winter activity for you and the boys. It includes exercise, communication, and bonding.

  10. Good lord that’s a shitload of snow! Our plow dude pushes all the damned street snow in front of my driveway and mail box too. It was a four foot wall this most recent snow. What a pain. I’m ready for spring now please.

    • We didn’t get mail for a couple of days because our mail lady couldn’t reach our mailbox from her truck. I finally broke down and got out the shovel, AGAIN. Now there’s a pleasant little cut out in the snow bank, a cozy mail nook, if you will.

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