Mia is four, so this year, she knew what snow was and what you could potentially accomplish with it. But, she was also suddenly aware of the down sides, like when it goes down the back of your neck when you least expect it, or when you get pelted with it by naughty little boys at school. Bram (who is still two) seemed a bit in the dark as to what all that friggin' cold white stuff was exactly, and what on earth he was supposed to do with it. And, why Mama was taking pictures like her life depended on it with a big goofy grin on her face.
The very first snow was a bit of a let down. There was just enough to create a snowman of sorts, which ended up looking more like a large, white frozen pimple. Mia embellished it with most of the contents of our vegetable drawer and the stripey scarf (which Bram unknowingly donated to the cause) really helped give it a little character. Mia was thrilled.
She was less thrilled, however, when I told her she the snowman would come to life if we brought it inside. She told me how snowmen are supposed to come in, dress up in papa's clothes and have a rest in the freezer! Like the movie. Aha.
I figured the only way to convince her would be if she saw with her own eyes that not all animations are actually real life documentaries. We scooched the snow-boil onto a frisbee and brought it in, after which time she promptly forgot all about it. At one point, I brought her attention to her sad slushy creation, which had to be rushed outside
stat. The matter was never brought up again.
The next big snow was definitely more promising, and the mission this time was: build a bigger snowman.
The task seemed simple enough, but the snow had the consistency of extra dry powdered sugar so making the snow actually stick to itself in any way was virtually impossible. Bram, who prides himself on knocking down any structure Mia might erect, added an extra dimension to the challenge. It was my job to pile snow and keep Bram at a safe distance. Finally, Mia managed to
Mission (more or less) accomplished. The kids posed with what we affectionately nicknamed the 'Snowmound', Bram resisted the strong desire to trample, but Mia seemed far from proud of her achievement. She almost seemed ashamed of the thing she had created.
The snow kept falling days after that, but it was quite a while before we went out in it again. When we did, the mission was yet again: build a snowman.
That was really the only thing we could do in the snow, since a snowball fight can only end in crying and pain, and making snow angels is just asking for trouble. In fact, coming in contact with the snow was something both kids were keen to avoid, so this particular snowman was pretty much my own work. We did manage to roll three actual balls of snow, and the kids cheered me on in the back-breaking process.
We piled them up, stuck in some veggies and twigs and Mia put on a scarf. Even the first snowman, the 'Snow mound', got some extra accessories in the way of dead branches for hair. A job well done, and we went back inside to warm up and admire our work from the window.
That's when it occurred to me, the snowmen did not look happy. In fact, they both looked like they were about to gouge each others' eyes out. My husband (again proving himself to be the wise one in our family) pointed out that snowmen are loners, and here we made two, standing right next to each other, side by side. I could only imagine what they might be saying to each other:
Snowman 1: Hey, who're you supposed to be?
Snowman 2: Well, obviously, I'm the Snowman. Who are you?
Snowman 1: (chuckling) I think you're confused, buddy. You see, I'm the snowman in this yard. You're on my turf.
Snowman 2: (chuckling a little harder) I think you've got a charcoal button loose, pal. I am clearly the more superior snowman here. I'm made of actual balls. You're just a pile.
Snowman 1: Well, I was here first, 'pal'.
Snowman 2: Oh yeah? If these twig arms could move, I'd give you what for!
Snowman 1: Oh yeah? Well bring it!
Oh, the horror. We've created snow-monsters and our reward is that we have to watch them hate each other every day as they melt. There's nothing sadder than melting snowmen...especially ones that couldn't stand each other. Oh, God, let it melt, let it melt, let it melt.