When Allyson woke up and wandered downstairs this morning, she found me standing at the back door, praising God for the gorgeous snowflakes that had been steadily falling ever since I'd woken up.
"It's snowing!" she croaked in her morning voice.
"Yes! Isn't it beautiful? Now we need to eat breakfast and get dressed for the gym. When we get back, you can go out and play in the snow!"
At noon, I bundled Allyson up as best I could and sent her out to play in the snow with Lola. Since it so rarely snows down here, she doesn't have any proper snow gear, so I improvised a waterproof "slicker" out of a trash bag. She wore her blue snow boats and Daddy's toque, but no gloves. I searched high and low in the two minutes before my weekly team phone conference was to begin, but they were nowhere to be found.
Before you laugh too hard about the trash bag, I want to state for the record that I got that idea from Bill, who did the same thing for Ethan on a snow day a few years back. I guess I cut the neck and arm holes too big, though, because it wasn't nearly as effective on Allyson as it had been on Ethan.
Allyson joyfully ran out to play while I watched through the window, thankful that my team meeting had given me an excuse not to go outside. (I do NOT deal well with the cold.) After only ten minutes or so, Allyson came back in and slammed the door. Leaning her back against the door, she panted, "I wanna come inside now. It's too cold out there!"
I smiled and nodded and helped her take off her coat. I didn't have the sense, however, to take off her boots, and I soon found out that ten minutes is plenty of time to muddy your feet. Allyson tracked mud all over the kitchen floor! I didn't bother to mop it because I figured Ethan would do the same thing when he got home from school in the afternoon.
When Bill got home at 4:00, it was (amazingly) still snowing heavily, and Allyson was ready to go back outside. This time, Bill was in charge of bundling her up, and he showed me how it should be done. She wore wool tights under her brown camouflage track pants, and she wore two shirts and two windbreakers. Over all of that she wore her bright red rain coat. Bill also managed to find her black hat in the back window of the car and her pink-striped knit gloves on the floor of our bedroom with all her other clothes. (We gave her changing table/dresser combo to Baby Charlie a couple of weeks ago and are still awaiting her new furniture.) He forced the damp blue boots back on her layered feet, and she was ready to go! With such a wild combination of colors, she looked only marginally less ridiculous than when I dressed her, but she was definitely much warmer.
She stayed out with Daddy for over an hour, helping him shovel the driveway and build a snowman while I made supper.
A little before 6:00, she hollered for me from the doorway to the garage. "I'm so c-c-cold!" she complained through white lips, which contrasted starkly with her rosy cheeks.
I peeled off all the sodden layers, starting at the bottom and working my way up. She winced when I took off the soaking wet gloves. "My hands are so cold I can't move them a inch!" she exclaimed. I held her icy red hands between my own for a moment, and then carried her upstairs to dress her in dry clothes and wrap her in a blanket.
Meanwhile, Ethan had been playing in the park for hours with all the neighborhood kids. He claims they built a snowman that was 11 feet tall, but he was a little fuzzy on the logistics of just how they managed that feat without a ladder. He'd planned to stay out another 30 minutes or so, but as soon as the sun started to go down, he couldn't bear the cold another minute; he called and asked me to pick him and Tin up, but Bill graciously (and grumpily) offered to go instead. He was probably afraid to see what might happen if I backed the car down our steep, slick driveway.
Ethan was half frozen, and his cheeks were crimson, but he was practically giddy with stories. It was a lively dinner, though there were long minutes of silence while Ethan, Tin, and Allyson attacked their spaghetti ravenously. I smiled with contentment while the fluffy flakes continued to drift gracefully down outside the kitchen windows.
It was the perfect snow day!