We have four kids. We like to group them into groups of two based on their ages. Doing so gives us three groups: The Bigs, the Littles and the Middles. I don’t know what we’d do if the oldest and the youngest were to be grouped together. We don’t have a clever name for that pairing. Too bad.
We try to break up the larger group from time to time and do things with a smaller subset of the population. Sometimes my husband or I will take just one kid and have a date. When you’re one of four, you don’t get too much one-on-one attention, so it’s nice to break free from the mass of six and spend some quality time with each kid alone. Sometimes we’ll break off into one of the groups and do a date with just two kids.
The Bigs had three weeks off school for winter break. Don’t get me started on the ridiculousness of this. They had 16 schools days off. That’s 24 days total. And then there was a flood, followed by two snow storms back to back and then a holiday, so the kids didn’t attend a full day of school for 32 days. That means they were home, in this house, for over a month straight. Why didn’t we send them to break camp during the weeks they were off? Another sensitive topic, my friend. My husband insisted that he would take the time off and stay home with them. Did that happen? Ummm … I think it’s better for all of us involved that we don’t delve any deeper into this area. Let’s just back away slowly and never return.
OK then. Anyway.
The mountains near our house got slammed with well over 100 inches of snow during the month of January. After one of the storms, we decided to head up to our lake house and go sledding. The day before, 48 inches of fresh snow had fallen, and the hill across the street from the house is perfect for sledding adventures. The Littles were in school (because, blessedly, their daycare doesn’t follow the same insane schedule as the public schools in this town), so we loaded up the Bigs and the dogs and headed for the hills. Literally.
It’s a good thing we didn’t bring the Littles because I’m pretty sure we would have lost the 2-year-old seeing as the snow was deeper than she is tall. And I wouldn’t have been able to move at all if I had the baby strapped to my front. As it was, I had trouble moving and kept sinking in up to my hips in the snow as we made our way up the sledding hill.
The Bigs were troopers. They hauled themselves up and down the hill time after time, pulling their sleds behind them. I think because they’re lighter, they didn’t sink all the way in and had a bit of an easier time climbing the hill than my husband and I did. There were times when I sunk in so deep that I had to crawl forward because I couldn’t pull my legs out.
We spent the afternoon sledding, throwing snowballs, making snow angels and watching the dogs hop through the deep snow. It was a perfect afternoon with the Bigs!