Getting Outside

LauraEarly Elementary Education, Healthy Living, Motherhood

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it: when it comes to cold weather, the girls and I have become downright wimps.  And I’m the chief offender.

I let a perfectly good cold-frame garden die because I just couldn’t go outside in the cold. And wind. And rain. And snow. (Can’t you just hear me whining? Ah, yes, this farmer has some growing up to do.)

However, I’ve had enough of my excuses why we can’t play outside a little each day (not that my girls are begging to). I’m determined to GET US OUTSIDE.

Motivating me:

1. A Quotation: “There is no such thing as bad weather; just bad clothing.” (We just scored Lands’ End’s amazing kiddo gloves. These gloves swallow your kids whole so that they don’t ever get wet or cold.)

2. A Realization: Though a certain 2 1/2 year old may feel overwhelmed by the country wind and variable terrain, it’s good for her. And it’s good for her equally overwhelmed mother. As I always say, wind makes trees stronger; it’ll make us stronger, too. (Unless it blows us over.)

3. A Desire: By Spring time, I want two little girls who clamor to get out the door to play, play, play. I want them to be bursting with ideas and passion for the great outdoors. I want them to tap into their inner dog; I want them to need that run-around the house. But if I let this indoors-only habit fester much longer, by Spring, we’ll be the first potatoes popping out of the ground.

So here’s what I didn’t do: I did not bribe the girls with marshmallows! (Hooray for me! Though, a couple of weeks ago I wanted to break their “I live in a chilly farmhouse, and I don’t wear socks” habit, so I bribed them to keep their socks on all day for one marshmallow. It worked. I’m telling ya, there is power in the marshmallow. The girls have been wearing socks all day every since.)

Here’s what I did do: I said, “GIRLS, we are about to embark on an adventure together. We are going to get outside for fifteen happy minutes every day! No matter what! Within reason.” (I included “happy minutes” because no whining allowed. I included “within reason” because caring grandmothers read my blog.)

Viv and I made up a simple chart to hang by the shoe shelf.

And we, I’m proud to say are 100% so far. On Day 4.

Of course I dream of doing extensive winter nature walks and spending hours studying the tundra. I dream of hiking up snowy mountains and skating on frozen ponds. But, we find ourselves at a very distant starting line. Nevertheless, start we will.

All bundled up, soaking in the sun through one small opening between our eyebrows and chins.

Look for the brilliant outdoor-fun ideas that I’m hoping will come my way… any. day. now…