All week long Rachel has been pining for wintertime, which she thinks is an actual, physical place not unlike the North Pole featured in such films as Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph. I tried explaining to her several times that we don’t really get wintertime here, but everyday I hear something like this:
“Are we going to Wintertime? It’s very cold there. I’ll need my coat. Egypt—us—don’t have snow. Or cold. Dada likes snow. I like snow, too.”
“Are we going to go to Winter? When are we going to go at Wintertime? It’s going to be so cold at Winter. I want to bring my blankey. I want you to carry me there.”
Sometimes we even have conversations about it:
Rachel: We will be sad there.
Rachel: Because tigers eat snow. Now we need new ones. They ate it all gone. Lizards will bring the new snow for us.
Me: Lizards are bringing us new snow?
Rachel: No. The lizards are.
Me: The lizards?
Rachel: No. The lizards.
Me: So, the tigers eat the snow and the lizards bring new snow?
Rachel: No. The tigers eat the snow and the lizards bring new snow.
Me: That’s what I said.
Rachel: No. You said lizard. Lizards don’t bring snow. Lizards bring snow. Like the lizards on Rudolph.
Rachel: Yes. Lizard.
So finally I decided that I would create a Wintertime adventure for her. It took minimal preparation (freezing her little animals in ice cubes) but I made most of it up as we went. She helped think up a lot of activities to do—mostly snow activities, but without the snow.
We spread out a big, fluffy, blue quilt for our “snow.” I told Rachel we were going to go to Wintertime and she quickly grabbed a hat and put it on her head, then jumped onto the quilt and started rolling around telling me how cold it was.
When she was sick of doing that we crumpled up scratch paper into “snowballs” and had a snowball fight. Miriam participated as target, along with Rachel’s basketball stand.
That activity merged into building a snowman. Rachel started trying to get the snowballs to stick to each other but, of course, they wouldn’t, so we stuffed circles full of “snowballs” and stapled them closed. She named our snowman Frosty (original, I know) and decorated him with stick-on foam pieces.
In the middle of putting Frosty together, about the time we were deciding what shape his hat should be, Rachel took off her own hat and said,
“Wait a minute! This isn’t my Wintertime hat! This is my Happy Scary Day hat!”
She replaced the pumpkin hat with her Winnie the Pooh hat. I don’t even know how she understands that Halloween is a “scary” holiday since we haven’t ever done anything scary for Halloween.
After we were finished with Frosty I took out the ice cubes and we let her animals ice skate in the cake pan.
Rachel played with the ice cubes until all of them had melted—she was rubbing them on her face, sucking on them, and occasionally even rubbing them on Miriam’s face when she was quick enough.
All in all we played at Wintertime for over four hours together. I asked her how she liked it.
“That was nice, Mommy,” she told me, “But I still want to go to real winter.”
I have promised her that she can have snow next year. Hopefully that wasn’t too big of a promise. I figure that no matter where we end up we should either get snow or be able to drive to snow. Who knows…I might even enjoy playing in the snow after getting a two-year break from it!