Forgive me. I only took one photo at Winterval (Whitehorse’s take on welcoming winter/Santa Claus parade) last night.


It’s so awful that I couldn’t even make it look cool with Instagram – believe me, I tried. It’s too bad, because it was a spectacular sight. There were fire dancers, glowing hula hoopers, and people walking around with giant horse-puppet heads.

It was also a bit chilly. By a bit chilly, I don’t mean: I-could-really-use-a-cup-of-hot-cocoa-to-warm-up. I mean: pass-me-a-can-of-lava-to-shot-gun-because-I’m-riding-on-the-back-of-a-comet chilly. Even though I was standing by a raging outdoor fire pit, I was afraid to take a photo without wearing a mitten.

Being in a public space with three kids under five can be scary in itself, but being outside in -30 with a windchill below -40 at night, in a crowd with them feels like a crisis situation. While I was taking the photo Oscar took off his mittens to try to open a candy cane. For the 8 seconds of complete panic and chaos that I couldn’t find them, I imagined picking little frozen fingers out of the snow.

Maybe I’m an alarmist, but that kind of cold mixed with a preschooler, a toddler, and an infant can do that to a person. When Lucy decided she didn’t want her hood up and Monty started crying from under his 15 layers of fleece and wool, I wondered if we could be airlifted home.

Even Jeff…

…who usually doesn’t mind the cold, was semi-frantic.

Luckily, Santa waved at us through the industrial-strength windows of the passenger seat of his fire truck, so Oscar was fully satisfied.

Plus, no one cried or complained when it was time to get in the van, so I guess the cold does have its advantages.


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4 Responses to Winterval

  1. Emily Albertsen says:

    I’m with you, Colleen. I find being outside with the kids in the cold very stressful. I dress them well, but what if they take off a mitten or a gap opens up between boots and snowsuit? And since it takes twelve minutes to get their mittens on in the first place, but only twelve seconds to remove them, it’s a challenge!

  2. Carlie Beads says:

    We totally wussed out and I wondered if it really wasn’t as cold as my drive by witness had advised over the phone about the conditions on Main Street. Open river one block away, north wind and -30 seemed like a good idea at the time… Santa was going to be there after all… and he was inside a truck? Man. You guys get the super kudos award of Winterval 2012!! Santa is coming to your house for sure. 🙂

  3. Sheryl Kloke says:

    Colleen & Jeff, how blessed are you! Three beautiful children! I still think I wanna be your free live in nanny! ❤

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