Rainy Day Blues

There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather Book Cover

After hearing about this book from multiple sources, I decided to check it out from the local public library (the best way to read books: support local libraries and reuse materials). What an important book for me to read! Growing up in Seattle, Washington, I lived in the rain throughout my childhood. I don’t remember the rain, or being bummed if it was cloudy; I just remember being a kid and playing in the woods behind my house. I remember disappearing for hours with my neighborhood best friend, coming back after climbing trees and catching tadpoles.

When I had my son, I realized I had become a fair weather outdoors woman. I loved backpacking, but not if it was too hot or too buggy. I loved hiking, but definitely not in the rain. I enjoyed a bike ride but only if it was a crisp and clear day. The long Tennessee winters, the dreary sky, lack of snow and abundance of cold rain wrought havoc on my spirit. I wanted to be different for my son. I didn’t want to be timid and dreary. This book was exactly the motivation I needed to get off my couch and get us outside. I read this book in January and promptly scoured the local thrift stores for rain gear and boots for my one year old. Apparently going outside isn’t very popular with a one year old who just started walking, I had such a difficult time finding used gear and waterproof boots for my toddler.

I switched from looking at thrift stores and consignment shops and went online. After awhile, I found a waterproof onesie from Mountain Warehouse.

Light Blue Rain Suit

It was on sale for $30 and included a removable fleece liner, so that I could continue to use this through the summer and fall. I purchased a 12-18 month size and it was almost comically too big. He could still walk around and so I was glad it would last so long.

With the rain suit bought I needed waterproof shoes. If his feet gets wet he gets really cranky and wants to be held, but still wants to be outside. How do you keep a newly walking toddler’s feet dry? Rubber rain boots seem too heavy for a new walker. I had heard that Croc makes a lightweight boot but their smallest size is 6 and my son is a 4. I had to sacrifice my pocket book and I found a company in Vancouver that makes boots for the little ones. MyMayu makes boots for the very very young. They are flexible, lightweight and seemed like they would be perfect. I bought a size 5/6 with a liner so that they would fit for a long time. I justified the price with the fact that the next child would be able to wear them too. They were a tad big, but with the liner and heavy socks he learned to walk around just fine. They aren’t 100% waterproof, the liner will feel wet, but his socks never feel wet. His feet stay dry and warm.

My son loves going outside from the minute he wakes up, he likes to find his shoes and then put them in our lap, pointing at the door, “Da da da da”. While I am still not entirely thrilled that I have found myself on more than one occasion standing outside in the 45 degree rain before I have finished my first cup of coffee in the morning, I must admit, I feel better after being outside, even in these conditions. With each cold and wet morning I spend standing in the grass, I know I am learning to love all kinds of weather again. Here’s to hoping that my son will keep his enthusiasm for the rain.

I wasn’t born this way

When my son was born, I was overwhelmed and under prepared for the pressure of being a parent. I made a sound decision: to do nothing but my best for that moment and learn as I went along. Isn’t this what we all do? I originally planned on going back to work after a semester off from teaching. One semester became one year, which became the foreseeable future. I had planned on going back to teach other people’s children, as I put my own child into someone else’s care for education. The pressure to educate my own child is much more intense than when I am doing my job in the classroom. I was looking forward to going back to work and not feeling as if my child’s education depended solely on me. As a parent we feel that we must be infallible, there is no room for error. As we all know, we make mistakes all the time. I have decided to pursue the life of a stay at home parent and deal with the pressures that this brings.

I didn’t originally set up my house for a Montessori environment. It was after a year of watching my son learn about this world he lives in did I see how powerful Montessori is not just for the classroom, but for the home as well. It just made sense (to me). My parenting style is what feels natural to me. I didn’t decide to become the poster parent for attachment theory. I don’t walk around screaming about the benefits of co-sleeping and that we should ignore medical professionals’ advice. I just did what felt natural and right for my family.

The set-up of my house feels natural for not just my son, but our entire family. Allowing him to create his own independence gives me and his father more independence as well (something I crave after a year of intense attachment parenting). Oh, and also we are incredibly cheap. So while I will spend 10 years in an institution of higher learning instead of having a stable income, I will not buy something if I can find it at a thrift store or on craigslist. While I haven’t gone back to my dumpster diving college days, living modestly is a goal (although you wouldn’t say I was a minimalist if you saw my closets that are stuffed from floor to ceiling).

So you do you reader. I am doing me. I am full of Pinterest fails, messy endeavors, and chaos searching for serenity.