1. The Mess Stays Outside
Play D’oh. Bocks. Dollhouses. What do all of these items have in common (other than, at one time or another, each has been licked by one of your kids)? They, along with many other indoor activities, leave a giant mess inside the house that needs to be cleaned up. When you are building a snowman it’s typically outside, so you don’t have to clean up—it all just melts away. And if you are one of those rare breeds that builds indoor snowmen, I ask that you stay away from me and my family. You're what my daughters would call "cray-cray."
2. It’s Hours of Entertainment
No matter how long you’ve been packing snow into the body of a snowman, there’s always more snow you can add. Is the base big enough? No way, we can make it BIGGER! Is he tall enough? No way, we can make him TALLER! Is Dad’s right knee frozen enough from kneeling down in the snow for the past 75 minutes? No way, we can make it FROZEN-ER!
3. It Keeps Them From Trying to Eat the Snow
If your kids are like mine, they will look at snow and immediately think “I wonder what that tastes like?” without taking into consideration the germs that may be manifesting. This also applies to pool water, your toothbrush, and candy that’s fallen on the floor (the accumulated fuzz on it is apparently not a deterrent). Now I’m all for catching snowflakes on your tongue, but once it’s landed and set up shop in my yard, I consider it about as sanitary as a clogged drainpipe. So the moment they attempt to grab that first bite, yell, “Let’s make a snowman!” It's the only way to get them to pass on that snow sandwich other than bribing them with candy (fuzz optional).
4. It Teaches Teamwork
There’s no such thing as “too many hands" patting snow at the same time. There is such a thing as too many people fighting over the bucket you’re using to transport the snow from one end of the yard to the other. Teamwork allows all the kids to carry the bucket at the same time without bickering or arguing. This will last until one of them has to pee and inevitably wants to take the bucket with them. The only solution: All kids go to the bathroom together so they can continue to each keep one hand on the bucket.
5. It Encourages Creativity
For eyes, should we use bottle caps or Connect Four piece? Should we give the snowman a scarf or stick with the traditional three-button vest down the front? Should we name him Frosty or Blizzard? All these decisions require some thinking and some discussion between you and your kids. The more you can teach kids to engage in creativity, the more likely they will be to solve problems on their own as they grow older. Also, it’s how you end up with a hat-wearing snowman named Bell Biv Devoe.
6. It Keeps Them Preoccupied So You Can Shovel the Driveway
My kids like to help me, especially when I’m doing chores. This is particularly true when I’m trying to quickly shovel snow off the driveway. But they either 1) want to use my big, heavy shovel which they can barely lift, thus not allowing me to shovel or 2) use their kid-sized shovel to lift snow and dump it right back in the spots I just cleared. When they aren’t "helping," I can typically shovel the driveway--and the sidewalks--in about 15 minutes. When they do help me, it takes so long that I’d be better served just waiting until summer for the snow to melt. By starting a snowman, the kids will continue to pack wads of snow into his side and let you shovel the driveway in peace.
7. It's Nearly Impossible to Listen to Justin Bieber When Building a SnowmenThis is a big win for parents across the world. Except for maybe Justin Bieber's mom, who probably likes hearing her son sing. (I wonder if she also likes all the pelvic thrusting he does?)
8. It’s fun.For most of us, the opportunity to build a snowman is rare. Not every winter brings enough snow and not every snow falls at a convenient time when you aren’t working or driving the kids to dance lessons or engrossed in the most epic game of Candy Crush. You’ll create memories that you’ll discuss later in the evening over warm cups of hot cocoa and later in life when they are packing up to head back to college after Christmas break. And the big payday will come years down the road, when your children have children of their own and text you a photo of your grandkids building a snowman with the caption, “Look who came to visit our house: Bell Biv Devoe.”
Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl
(A Dad's Survival Guide to Raising Daughters)
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