There are loads of really terrific things about your kids getting a bit older. Weekends improve dramatically – both mine now love a playdate and I sit in a corner with my feet up texting my friends while about 19 kids happily smash up my house, occasionally stopping to cram pizza in their mouths. The other weekend Sam went to some kid’s house ALL DAY. It was insane.
But more contemporaneously relevant is that winter improves so much. Before kids I loved winter. Rainy days, dark afternoons – who cares? Just drink red wine in front of the fire and read a spicy novel.
Then with small children, winter took on a fearsome dread and awfulness I had not been warned about. It was just snot, noro and going completely mental stuck in the house from 3.30pm until bedtime.
Now most days they’re at school and when they’re not at school I bundle them up and chuck them in a playground for the time when we’re not at home with playdates (see above). And they’re so much easier to get dressed. For a full 18 months Sam threw a massive tantrum every time you tried to put on his coat. And then their little arms always stuck out at weird angles or they kept pulling off their boots when it was minus 2.
But now they’ll put their damn coats on if it’s cold. And if they’ve been running around for 25 straight minutes and they’re obviously not cold anymore they will take their coat off and give it to me. And it’s fine.
For the last two years I have been very smug about my technical fleece-and-puffa arrangement as their outerwear, but I think I have wrecked the puffa inside-stuff by over machine washing and Kitty has broken the zip on her fleece.
And, anyway, I’m a bit bored of the sight of them – so instead secured myself two Muddy Puddles winter jackets, called the 3 Season Storm Explorer Jacket. I have been shy of these in the past because they are £75 each – BUT they come with a removable puffa gilet thingy and, I discovered only when Sam was about 2, that what you do is buy your kids clothes that are FAR TOO BIG and then you get about two or three years’ wear out of them.
I also get all coats always in navy so that when Kitty grows out of hers Sam can go straight into it without complaining that his coat is covered in unicorns and plays “Let it go” every time he does up the zip. My only complaint about these is that the hood could be a bit bigger – and if you do have a girl who is a bit fussy about what she wears, (unlike Kitty who could give a shit that she’s dressed like a football manager), they will reject this coat on sight.
I also got these mega cute snow boots. Because life is misery if your feet are cold.