400 Easy Steps to Snowshoeing Alone with a Toddler and a Bouncy Dog
- Assemble baby layers, pictured above. Layer baby as he wriggles away. You may photograph (as above), but do not video record. (There is too much muttered profanity.)
- Begin to bundle self. Add Ergo around waist for optimal tripping. Accept all that is missing — baby mittens, your own gaiters, your husband, who has abandoned you to go ice climbing. Try to decide when is the best time to add the chaos of the bouncy dog. (Answer: Never.)
- Release dog from crate, leash her up, put her outside for safekeeping. Enjoy the chorus of outraged barks.
- Gather gloves, boots, snowshoes, phone — and, oh yes, toddler. Stagger outside.
- Remember husband is usually the one to put on your snowshoes for you. Now struggle to remember how to fasten them while baby hangs suspended from your Ergo, protesting, and dog barks.
- You’re off! This is great! Look, nature! Look, serene, snowy vistas!
- Realize you are a bit overheated. And maybe should have had more lunch. Stuff baby’s fingers back into snowsuit cuffs. Bemoan again missing baby mittens.
- Fix dog’s collar, which she’s slipped. (Try not to yell too much about it.) Stagger on. Think about lunch. Worry about the baby’s fingers.
- Finally, pause for a breather beside the pond. Teach the baby how to shake tree branches. Show him how fun it is to eat a little snow. Stop to acknowledge that it really is hushed, and beautiful, and worth the wheezing anxiety.
- Return home for naptime. Realize you are one toddler snow boot short. Begin planning post-naptime rescue mission, repeating steps 1-9.