The Chronicles of the Arkansas Living in South Dakota – Part 2 – Cold Mornings

As the snow is melting but the temperature is staying in the teens to twenties in the morning, I am finding it hard to get my children out of bed in the mornings. This only applies to school days. On the weekend, my children will get up at ridiculously early hours because they are so excited to have the freedom to do so. One of my kids got up at 4am on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons in the dark. This same boy would not get himself out of bed this morning until 7:30 am.

I am noticing that as the weather gets colder and the newness of our new residence has begun to wear off, my children are no longer waking up excited to go to school. None of this seems to be due to any issues in their school day. They still jump into the car at the end of the day with the same enthusiasm as they did on day one. They still tell me all of the highlights of their day. I might add that this never happened when we lived in Arkansas. This was probably due to our busy and long schedule we had to endure in Arkansas. Now my kids can sleep in later and be picked up from school the moment it ends.

My husband has been out of town on a business trip since Sunday and even though our routine stayed the same, I can see a difference. Just last night three out of four kids woke up in the middle of the night. This means they scared me awake by standing in the doorway until I wake up. This was never taught to them. They just naturally know how to scare me to death in the middle of the night. It is a natural talent they all share. So, after a very restless night, I was not surprised that all four of them were asleep when I was forced to get up.

Both of my sons begged to stay home even though they were not sick. They just didn’t want to deal with the cold outside and stay in the warm comfort of their beds. If I had actually given into their demands, they would have popped out of bed and taken over the living room like it was a Saturday morning. So, like any good mom, I encouraged them to get out of bed. My oldest son’s school gives them an iPad if they have perfect attendance at the end of the year, so of course, I remind him of this fact as I encouraged him to leave the warm embrace of his covers.

After all four kids were downstairs in the living room, dressed, and watching tv, I went to tackle the car. Our detached garage is at the back of our acre lot, so many days I just leave my car on the curb right outside my house. This means that I have to tackle the effects of the cold in the morning. I went prepared with deicer and got the car ready. Surprisingly, at 19 degrees, it doesn’t feel as freezing because it wasn’t windy. If you were unaware, eastern South Dakota is very windy due to the lack of hills and mountains. Living amongst the plains has its challenges at times.

Once I got back into the house, it was now the epic battle of shoes vs. snow boots. Since my school age children can be stubborn at times, I decided to pack their backpacks with their snow boots and snow pants. I knew if I sent them to school without them and they were not allowed to have recess because there is still a little amount of snow left on the ground, they would feel as if their little worlds had ended. My oldest did not seem to see my planning as a good thing. He continued to complain even as I dropped him off at school. My second oldest got what I was trying to do when he noticed everyone walking into school wearing their snow boots and snow pants. He proceeded to change into his appropriate attire as I drove from his brother’s school to his school which is only 4 minutes away from each other.

The rest of my morning will be indoors, away from the cold snow that is melting as I type. My oldest daughter goes to a 3-hour preschool program in the afternoon which means I can avoid going out in the cold for another few hours. Once winter comes none of us will be able to avoid the cold. My children will experience weather that is colder than they could imagine. It will be an adjustment for sure, but as they get older it will feel like normal to them.

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