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Serving hot humble pie on a cold winter day

After priding myself on handling all the preparation for our first winter storm of the season, I tucked myself in bed the night before the snowfall, snuggled up with my inflated parenting ego.The kids had spent the day with me while I worked my t...

After a day spent preparing for winter, Val Kleppen discovered she'd missed one important component: having appropriate winter weather attire for her children. They improvised though, and the kids had a great time outside. Special to The Forum
After a day spent preparing for winter, Val Kleppen discovered she'd missed one important component: having appropriate winter weather attire for her children. They improvised though, and the kids had a great time outside. Special to The Forum

After priding myself on handling all the preparation for our first winter storm of the season, I tucked myself in bed the night before the snowfall, snuggled up with my inflated parenting ego.

The kids had spent the day with me while I worked my tail off battening down the hatches in preparation for wind and snow. I felt somewhat superhuman, manning the chores and tasks needing to be taken care of before the weather turned, and I let the sunshine and productivity get to my head.

While the kids played kickball and dirtied up toy dump trucks, I modeled responsible behavior in making sure every i was dotted and every t crossed in our winter prep. The kids watched while I worked, and I felt a real sense of parental achievement.

We ended the day with an outside fire in the fire pit, and an impromptu homeschool lesson on why wood crackles and pops when it burns.

Mentally, I patted myself on the back repeatedly for being such a well-prepared, responsible parent - not only in caring for our home, but in teaching my children the importance of due diligence.

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The next day, however, Little Miss and Little Man watched as Mama swallowed a heaping serving of humble pie.

After Hubs brought the winter clothing down from storage, I rummaged through it all only to discover neither child had appropriate winter weather attire.

Superhuman Mama had overlooked one of the most important annual chores of ensuring everyone has coats and boots in the appropriate sizes.

As the children were getting ready to play outside in the skiff of snow, I was feeling a little dizzy from how quickly my big head was deflating.

Thankfully, getting appropriate winter gear is a relatively easy fix, but not in the middle of a storm, and not in the moment the children are waiting to go outside to play in the very weather they need to be wearing the winter gear for.

I scrambled to make something work.

Little Man wore a coat entirely too big, with sleeves rolled up and hood cinched tight. Little Miss wore rubber rain boots over three pairs of socks, and as many sweatshirts as we could pull or zip up over one another.

Snow angels and miniature snowball fights erupted all over the yard as both kids had a total blast, but I stood in shock and disbelief I had forgotten the most important winter weather preparation of all: making sure my kids would be warm enough.

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The littles may have learned about crackling firewood, but Mama learned to make a list and check it twice. Despite my best efforts, I wasn't prepared for the humbling dose of reality of just how much of a mom-in-progress I am.

More than that, I learned my kids warm up from the inside out. They had more fun playing outside than they had shivers, and I know (and am thankful) that's what they'll remember most.

Val Kleppen is a local wife, mother, blogger and co-founder of Harlynn's Heart, a group that comforts families who face infant loss. Her blog can be read at mindmumbles.com.

After a day spent preparing for winter, Val Kleppen discovered she'd missed one important component: having appropriate winter weather attire for her children. They improvised though, and the kids had a great time outside. Special to The Forum
Val Kleppen, Parenting Perspectives columnist

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