Thursday, January 25, 2007

Baby, it's COLD outside...

I had a long talk with yesterday with one of the teachers at the Boy's daycare. Apparently, the Boy doesn't like the cold. This wasn't altogether revelatory news to me. I mean, who really likes the cold? After all, we live in Toronto, a place where they call in the army to deal with a snowstorm...I digress.

The Boy REALLY doesn't like the cold. The toddlers go outside for two one-hour blocks each day, weather permitting. The teacher said that the Boy won't play, he just sits down and cries, asks to be held for the whole hour, or asks to go back inside. Aside from my heart breaking at the rather pathetic scene playing out in my head, I recognized that I really don't know what to do about this situation.

Mr Earth and I are no toboggan-lovin', snowshoein' winterbabies, but we certainly don't hate the cold. In fact, as long as I'm properly dressed, I like to run in the winter more than any other time of year. We take the Boy outside at least once a day, regardless of the weather - usually for a walk in the stroller. Bub and Pie wrote recently about the ordeals and rewards of going outside and admittedly, we haven't really taken the Boy outside to actually play. This is in part due to our aversion to snow play, but mainly it's because I don't think the Boy would have a good time. I think he would:


A) Not play, and ask to be held the whole time.

B) Not play, cry and ask to go inside.

C) Not wear his mittens, and end up with frostbite.


Sound familiar? So, the question is: How do you get a two year old who doesn't like the cold, to enjoy playing outside? You can't reason with him, because he doesn't understand. I can't dress him any warmer than I already do (if his snowsuit was white, he would actually be the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Baby). I can't take off layers, thereby giving him the mobility that I know he craves, because he would be too cold. I don't want to force him to spend time outside, because he would more likely see it as a punishment than an attempt at fun.

If it were left to me, I would probably let it go, wait for summer, and hope that he likes winter more next year. However, it becomes an issue when he is the only kid at daycare who doesn't want to go outside. That's a problem that must be dealt with. So tell me...do all your kids like the cold? Have they always liked it, or did you have to convince them? What's your secret?? I am at a loss.

11 comments:

mamatulip said...

Can you bribe him by telling him that he can take an ice cream cone outside and fill it with snow to make a snow cone?

I'm half-serious...

Good luck with that one; both my kids LOVE the snow. Then again, we're Canadian...

metro mama said...

I don't have any wisdom on this subject...but I want to ask you, are you going to U of T or York? How are you liking your courses?

Mayberry said...

That is a tough one. It is VERY hard for me to keep mittens on my almost 2-year-old. To some extent, though, I think problems that happen at day care need to be solved at day care. There is only so much you can do when you're not there. Are there any outdoor games/toys he loves that he can still use in the winter -- that you can suggest the caregivers tempt him with? Yesterday, e.g., my son was dragging his toy rake all over the snow and having a ball.

ewe are here said...

Hmmmm. Maybe it's me, but I think two ONE HOUR blocks outside in the snow is a bit much for a two year old who's unhappy about the cold to begin with, even when he's with you and his dad. His little tiny fingers, ears, nose, etc. probably hurt; who can blame him for wanting to go in. We take MF out to play in the cold (20 months), but (a) only when he seems to be enjoying himself, and (b) we constantly check his hands and face to gauge when he needs to go back in or (c) recognize the other signs when he wants to go back in.

Can the daycare people cut the length of time outside for some of the smaller ones?

Oh... and as for the title of your post... great minds and all. :-)

Mad Hatter said...

Miss M is also reluctant to go outside at this time of year. For her it is a combination of the immobility and her intense fear of slipping and falling on the ice. We usually take her out in the stroller or for a short walk/carry to see the moon in the evening but that's it. I don't know how we would manage if she were in day care. Best luck.

bubandpie said...

I'm with you. An HOUR outside? My children love it out there (despite their inexperience and standing-around-not-knowing-what-to-do) and there's no way I'd keep them out that long in winter, much less twice a day.

I was like the Boy: I hated outdoor play from day one. I don't think it has anything to do with socialization: my children don't seem to feel the cold, never have, but I hated being cold, and nothing ever really changed that.

Beck said...

If it's as cold there as it is here, what are they doing bringing toddlers outside for an hour? I would suggest an alternative activity for them.
Have you seen those long skidoo mittens that go over the coat and go nearly to the elbow? They're very hard for a toddler to take off and you can get them at Canadian Tire.

NotSoSage said...

I'm pretty sure that our daycare has two one-hour outdoor stints, too...but I've noticed, with the recent cold, that they haven't been out as often.

My little one loves the cold and *asks* for her mittens to be put on (I've been lucky that way). Wish I could offer some advice!

nomotherearth said...

Thanks for the suggestions - especially the extra long mittens, Beck. I may have to try those!

Just to clarify, they "schedule" two hour long stints outside, but that includes getting everyone dressed and undressed for winter, so it probably ends up being about a half hour. They won't take them outside at all if they think it's too cold. They just set up slides and stuff indoors.

We're going to try to play outside tomorrow and see what happens...wish me luck!

Kyla said...

No advice here..we NEVER get snow, so I've never had this problem. If it snowed here? We'd spend the whole day out in it, because it would be amazingly rare.

kittenpie said...

Bundle him up to his eyebrows so he's as warm as possible. Take him somewhere not too long a trip - like the backyard. Distract him with snowballs and snow angels and jumping in snowbanks and sled rides and feeding squirrels and making funny footprints. Then carry on about how wonderful it is to go outside so that you can go inside and get warm hot chocolate in your belly, and follow through.