Winter is coming – the good and the bad about the changing of seasons when you’re a parent
It’s colder. It’s damp. There are soggy leaves in the park to skip through, but lots of them conceal aged dog turds that the toddler cuts in half with his scooter. There are so many reasons to dread winter.
1. Getting out of the house with kids is hardcore even on a summer’s day. Getting them dressed in winter is like dressing a squid on acid. Lip balm on chapped mouths, two gloves, ideally matching, per child. Layers for them. Layers for you. You are boiling before you walk out of the front door, and as soon as you get out you freeze.
2. Killing long sunny days in the park works well in June. In November you spend a fortune warming up in the café, one or the other will fall in a puddle, and it gets dark at 3pm anyway. You spend long afternoons indoors looking at the condensation building on the window as you watch Moana for the eleventy-billionth time. At bedtime, everyone is irritable because they haven’t run off the day’s energy. You have to eat chocolate biscuits hiding in the loo so the kids don’t eat them too.
3. Having to get up for night-wakings. When the house is icy cold, the tiled floors make your toes curl, and your wee babies still need you, is grim.
4. Being snotty. Because the nursery lurgy will last until April, as will the runny noses, and piles of snotty tissues.
5. The clocks change. And that hour’s difference screws your well-honed routine for at least a week. Not even the Gro-Clock can save you.
6. Winter-loving, Christmas obsessed people, screaming about red cups, festive cheer and snowflakes are hugely irritating. Sod off. I miss the summer. I miss rosé.
But it’s not all bad.
1. The colours. The leaves are amazing. You can teach your kids copper and auburn, rather than orange and yellow. Stick leaves onto bits of paper, catch them as they fall, and jump into the massive piles of them blown into a corner of a park (ignore my comments about dog turds.)
2. The pub afternoons. Take an iPad and ignore the judgy looks as you order pints for the grown-ups and crisps for the kids. Stay warm by the fire and hunker down.
3. The food. A huge roast, spilling off the plate. Bonfire Night hotdogs. Halloween chocolate binges. Eating the advent calendar before December starts. Because you can keep your bikini body under wraps til at least June.
4. The clothes. Cover that jacket-potato-lard with a fluffy cardigan, thermal leggings, woolly socks and ideally have a cat on your lap at all times. A cuddly toddler will do.
5. September is behind us. That new-school-year-new-pencil-case feeling is over. No more headlines screaming at you to have a fresh start (at least til January, when “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU” makes you want to jump out of a window). You can be selfish, and hunker down. You can say in ominous tones, “Winter is coming.”
6. Cuddling for warmth. Beware. This got me knocked up. Maybe not so wise after all.