Ah winter! That wonderful time of year when the weather gets brisk and cold, the snow starts to fall, and preschool teachers lose their mind. Winter is tough to deal with when you are a preschool teacher because not only do you have to deal with cold, ice and snow, you have to deal with getting small children ready and then take them out in cold, ice, and snow.
If you have a child, think how tough it is to get that child dressed and deal with going out in the winter. Now multiply that by 18, add in a lot of crying, yelling and kicks to the shins and you get an idea of what it’s like to be a preschool teacher during winter. I did it for 9 long years and to this day my eye still twitches every time the temperature drops.
What made it difficult for me and what makes it difficult for every preschool teacher is that beyond all the regular seasonal items we have to deal with, in winter preschoolers do things that defy logic. Things that drive us crazy, things that make our head spin, things that are a mystery to us.
Here are some of those very vexing preschool winter mysteries…
– How do they lose so many hats, gloves, and boots? It is just simply astounding how hats gloves and mittens can simply vanish. I’m not even talking about playing outside and one of those items falls off and can’t be found. I’m talking about standing there next to their winter clothes and suddenly something goes missing. It’s like a magic trick, one minute they are there and then “PRESTO” they are gone. I swear you can put a preschool child in a glass box with their hat and gloves and somehow they will make them disappear.
– Why is it they only need to go to the bathroom after you have stuffed them into their sweater, jacket, boots snow pants and gloves?
– How is it possible that when they put on their own boots they almost always put them on the wrong feet? It is mathematically impossible that they get it wrong so many times and yet they somehow manage to.
– They can perform complex maneuvers, figure out how to open child proof containers and work an iPad like they have stock in the company yet the ability to work a zipper alludes them.
– They will fight and argue that they do not want to wear their hat and gloves (assuming they can still find them), you relent and 14 seconds outside they complain their head and hands are cold.
– I know the snowsuit is bulky, but when they fall down while wearing one, why can’t they get back up? They lie there flailing away like an overturned turtle and will struggle until someone comes to pull them up.
– They can’t throw a ball of any sort with coordination, but put a snowball in their hand and they can hit another child in the face with it from 20 feet away with pinpoint accuracy
– Yellow snow is NOT lemon flavored yet that will not stop them from testing that theory when they find snow while out on walks.
– In fact now that I think about it, for some reason they will gladly eat snow of any color except white!
– The child whose parents worry most about them getting hurt will find new and creative ways to injury themselves (such as sticking an icicle up their nose – true story) every time they step outside
– The colder and nastier it is the finer they are. If it is a pleasantly mild winter day they will all complain about how freezing they are.
– Speaking of mild days, this mystery involves preschool parents: Why is it that when the weather starts to turn and it gets warmer do some parents still insist on bundling them up like it is February in Fairbanks Alaska? Just a little tip but if they say there is a chance the temps could hit 60 that day, you may want to peel off a couple of their layers so they don’t end up boiling through heat stroke while wrapped in a wool burrito!
– Snow is very cold yet that never seems to stop them from stuffing it in their jacket, hat, and pants.
– No matter how much their noses run, they will never seek out a tissue even to the point where they are covered in what can best be described as “snotcicles”.
– When you tell them “Please don’t throw ice” they somehow always fail to hear the word “don’t”!
– They wear 7 layers of protective clothing yet somehow end up getting wet all the way to their skin.
– It takes them 27 minutes to get into their winter clothes yet only 5 seconds to get them off.
– When they have taken off all their winter gear (and thrown them into a big pile that we have to sort through), there is always a glove or a hat or a boot that no one will claim ownership of. It could be they’re not paying attention or they don’t actually remember what their winter stuff looks like. Personally I think the unclaimed item actually belongs to a preschooler from another part of the country. My theory is when preschoolers lose something in one place it vanishes and ends up somewhere else. That may not be the right answer but trust me some day I will solve the mystery!