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Snow! Again!

April 15, 2011
by Erin B

I don’t know why this bothers me.  As a single person I used to bike or walk in the snow all the time.  I think it’s the snow suit.  Not my snowsuit, toddler girl’s snowsuit.  You know the one.  You try to get the kid to pee.  She swears she doesn’t have to.  You put on the snow pants, the mittens, the coat, hat and scarf.  You stuff on her boats.  Then after five minutes outside, she has to pee RIGHT NOW!  Sometimes if you run (and are lucky) you can get all those clothes off in time to get to the potty.  If you don’t quite make it in time…. you spend the rest of the day doing laundry and you aren’t going anywhere.

It becomes easier to just take the car.  There is a lot less outerwear involved in a car trip.

I don’t really like taking the car more than I have to.  This is why we spend most of the winter in the house getting cabin fever.

Before toddler girl, I would have considered just getting a Pugsley.   However, I have found that once you adds kids to the mix, all those “go bike, go!” tips fall apart.  This winter I went to a winter cycling workshop.  It talked about staying warm, being visible, traveling with a cell phone and cab fare in case of sudden snow storm.  When I asked about winter biking with kids, the presenters started responding as if I had said “teenagers.”  When I clarified that I meant toddlers, there was an uncomfortable silence before everyone on the panel slowly admitted they had no ideas.

In a room full of people who had drunk the bike everywhere cool aid, no one wanted to say you can’t bike in the snow with tiny people.  Or at least that’s what it felt like.  No one said it isn’t safe.  The people in the audience said, watch out for your trailer tipping.  Don’t let the kid go to sleep in case they get hypothermia.  (How do you keep a kid in a trailer from falling asleep?  Toddler girls naps every time.)  They said stop every few minutes to check the kid for cold spots.  The list of safety things to keep in mind made it unrealistic to bike for transport with a toddler in the winter.

Once they are on their own bike or even a tow behind half bike, you can do it.  But for littles in the snow……  take the bus.

Ha!  Ever tried minding a toddler and enough groceries for a family of five on the bus?  I know there are people who do it, but it is REALLY hard.  Especially when you have to walk several blocks from the bus stop and the toddler wants to be carried and you are already at load capacity for the bags of groceries.  Plus people don’t always shovel and if I slipped while carrying her I could crush her.

I think I may have to go change my goals to account for snow.

The snow didn’t last, but I stayed inside and painted the bathroom anyway.  Two coats of paint and three loads of laundry made for a full day.   I wish Peg Bracken was available on the Kindle….

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