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The Most Important Rule of Snowsuit Shopping

Oct 25, 2012 at 5:07 PM Chime in now

Pictures of children forgetting/neglecting their perfect winter coats were not available. Please instead enjoy this wishful winter dream.

 It’s that time of the year again, parents and caregivers. We’ve known all along that it’s been coming; creeping up on us since the end of August and getting closer and closer with each passing week. After Halloween arrives, there’ll be no stopping it. It’s as inescapable as Christmas commercials the day after Thanksgiving.

Yes; it is time for a dreaded annual Canadian event.   

To be clear, I love being Canadian. I even enjoy many winter pursuits (especially those involving hot chocolate with Bailey’s and a hot tub.) There are so many great things about this country, like universal health care, long maternity leaves, and road-side maple syrup stands. For the most part we are an inclusive, welcoming bunch who generally honour and celebrate our differences. 

But no one ever talks about the dark side of having children in Canada:

Snowsuit shopping.

Tropical climate dwellers can cry me a river about the bugs, the hurricanes, the heat, the blahblahblah. I’d rather wrestle an alligator with third-degree sunburn during a monsoon than take my kids to a suburban mall to buy winter-appropriate clothing.

As much as I hate to rush them through their childhoods, I cannot wait until they stop growing solely for the fact that I will no longer need to suffer another winter clothing shopping trip. But when the inevitable time arrives each year, it’s best to be prepared. So before we even leave the house I put in several hours of prep work and research.

First, I choose a mall which has neither a Lego store, a major toy-chain retailer, or any of the popular over-scented, under-lit clothing caves my daughter so appreciates. Next, I plot our trip to avoid designer label sections of the department store. I refuse to buy $75 Sherpa hats made from the wool of near-extinct woolly mountain goats, hand-dyed by blind villagers using rare crocus stems. I could easily spend $1000 to outfit two kids to face a Canadian winter. And you can be sure that if I did, not a single wintry flake would fall.

I’ve been doing this for long enough that once at the mall, a familiar three-point pattern will emerge:

1.      If the item fits well, it will be the wrong colour.

2.      If the item is the right colour, it will not be available in that child’s size, nor the next two sizes up. The following 15 minutes will then be dedicated to explaining why the child cannot wear a size 10 snowsuit on a size 6 body. Pro tip: Mentions of “police will be called” can be useful to convince an especially tenacious child.

3.      When you finally find a jacket, snow pants, boots, and co-ordinating hat, scarf, and mitten set that you and your child agree on and can afford without sacrificing body organs to the black market, the child will return home from school stating it “must” be returned because their current school nemesis now has the exact same outfit
Most importantly, don’t spend too much time, money or effort on outfitting your child for the winter season. Because–and trust me here–the most expensive piece of the outfit will immediately be left behind on the school bus. 

See all of Jeni Marinucci's posts here.

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