Thursday, November 04, 2010

Where Have All the Leaves Gone?

My toddler is in complete denial about the end of summer. He asks whether it's a "long sleeve day" or a "short sleeve day" even though the answer has been "long sleeve day" for at least three weeks consistently now. So, in rebellion, he asks me to roll his sleeves up. When he puts his pajamas on at night he pulls the pantlegs up to his knees, presumably turning them into shorts. The footie pajamas are never chosen. The winter jacket is refused mighily.

Who can blame him, really? Even though I go on and on (and on) at length about how great Fall and Winter are, do I really mean, "Oh, I know, I'd rather be in shorts and tee shirts, too. Sucks, doesn't it? It'll be a long, cold time before we see shorts again!"

Well, I at least partly believe in the joy of the season. I do admit that Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays, and it's a known fact that I could spend the entire season locked indoors fattening up anyone who comes near with all the baked goods I'd happily crank out. And the holiday decorating and crafting? Absolutely my favorite. Going outside in the cold? Not so much.

Last weekend I braved the cold (okay, more like slightly cool) weather to take my Wee Pumpkin out for a "nature walk." Unlike his boy counterparts the world over who LOVE to play outside regardless of the weather, this boy has wanted to be inside playing for MONTHS. I had to talk him into going, mostly, I think, because of the wardrobe requirements (hat, mittens, jacket, pants pulled down from their position around his knees).

Once we got there, and I helped him see the fun in being outside, he got it. I ventured off the nature trail, overturning logs, peeling bark off decaying trees, examined mushrooms -- basically acted like some other person -- until he started to follow suit. And you know what? I think he liked it! He and I started to notice things, like the fact that not a single leaf had managed to cling to a single tree after our crazy wind storms of a few weeks back. Or how old stumps get soft and squishy and you can leave your footprint in them if you step down hard enough.

I'm glad we broke the ice and got outside. I'm glad we braved the winter gear. Because if I'm stuck inside with this child until next April, I may just go insane.

Have you gotten outside lately?


Elizabeth said...

I'm totally an indoor person too. I sometimes think of any future children I may have and hope they have really good friends whose parents will take them camping and hiking. And let's not even get started on amusement or water parks!

Jen said...

Tot is oblivious to the cold and asks to play in the sandbox every day. Which is fine for him. But then he wants my company and I am COLD! But my new winter coat should arrive tomorrow and then I'll probably want to sit outside all day long, too.