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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Parenting in Winter

I used to love winter but that was before winter meant having to coax a toddler into a coat, a hat, boots and mittens. It takes forever, especially since I can’t explain why she needs to wear a hat when I don’t. Maybe I need to buy one of those knit Rasta caps and hope it would be spacious enough for my hair. 

The park and the playground are completely empty today because folks around here treat the temperature of a little below freezing like it’s the Apocalypse. But Klara was so happy and energized after an hour-long walk that I’ll keep taking her out even if nobody else comes. 

Also, what’s weird is that whenever kids at the kid gym or wherever approach each other and try to play together, moms immediately sweep in to separate the kids and get them to play in their separate corners or with the children of their friends. It’s like if we didn’t come to the gym or the museum together, something horrible will happen if we let our kids play with the same toy railroad or do a puzzle together. It’s beyond weird. I don’t interfere when Klara approaches other kids and starts playing with them, and the other moms look daggers at me because it seems to be a huge social faux pas.

I don’t get this, folks. It can’t be a class thing because if we all pay the (truly ridiculous) amounts to attend these activities and have the leisure to be there in the middle of the day on a work day, it’s clear we are all at least middle class. So why not let the kids play in peace? Isn’t that the whole point of bringing them to the activity? It’s not like people don’t have all the same toys at home. 

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5 thoughts on “Parenting in Winter

  1. David Bellamy on said:

    That is outrageous. I am glad things were not like that when I was a parent of a toddler.

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    • It’s weird, right? The kids aren’t being aggressive with each other, they aren’t pushing or hitting. They do sometimes try to grab the same toy but my approach is to see if they figure out how to share it or take turns on their own before interfering.

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  2. Sorry for the tangent, but this reminds me of Thanksgiving some years back:

    My mother had moved us even further out into the country, to the top of a mountain, 45 minutes from the city.

    Most of the family had come up for Thanksgiving that year, and my nieces and nephews were all excited because there was snow at our house long before it would show up in town. Their parents had all packed sleds and winter gear.

    After dinner, when the adults were cleaning up and dividing leftovers, the kids were all bouncing around begging to go out. We said it was fine, but that everyone needed to go out together and stay in a group (9 kids in all, between the ages of 5 and 10).

    There was about a half hour of chaos and rushing about and cries of “where’s my other boot/glove/hat/scarf” etc, and the older kids helping the younger ones get ready so that they could all go sledding.

    Finally, everyone was dressed and ready to go. They opened up the back door to head out, and I happened to glance out the back window. There was a large bull moose hanging out.

    “Everyone back inside!” “No you can’t go out right now”

    We let them toast marshmallows by the fireplace in consolation, but I don’t think it really made up for the wasted effort.

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  3. Shakti on said:

    I don’t get this, folks. It can’t be a class thing because if we all pay the (truly ridiculous) amounts to attend these activities and have the leisure to be there in the middle of the day on a work day, it’s clear we are all at least middle class. So why not let the kids play in peace? Isn’t that the whole point of bringing them to the activity? It’s not like people don’t have all the same toys at home.

    Such young children depend on their parents to organize their social life and people aren’t comfortable with the idea of their kids being friends with other kids without the parents also being mutual friends. Goodness, I might have to interact with someone who eats vegan cupcakes/bacon candy and I can’t deal with that! Their parenting philosophy doesn’t mesh with mine and that is a non starter! Perhaps it brings back anxieties from the time of life they couldn’t completely organize their own social circle and they want to maximize the amount of control they have over quality and quantity of people they interact with. You can’t choose your co-workers (mostly) and you can’t choose your family (mostly) but you can cultivate your parent circle.

    I’m guessing since I’m not a parent but that sounds exhausting.

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