Yesterday, as I prepared to send the boys off to school, I saw the temperature: -7.
In our family, cold dips like this present a real challenge. My boys do not do well with repeated changes in routine. Switching from their fall jackets to their winter ones counts as a change in routine.
I had to decide: do I put them in their winter jackets, which they will probably tolerate, but risk having to switch them back to their fall ones if it warms up, which would probably require a tantrum or two? Or do I leave them in their fall jackets which are not warm enough for the weather.
In the end, I left Alex in his fall jacket and put Nathan in his winter jacket. Nathan is more likely to tolerate a series of back and forth switches (although I may be jinxing myself by saying so). Also, his fall jacket is a lot thinner than Alex's.
I gave Nathan a choice, which I'm hoping will also edge matters away from the tantrum direction. He could either wear his fall jacket with a sweater underneath or he could wear his winter jacket. He picked his winter jacket.
This is one of those situations which typical families don't have to deal with. If it's cold, wear the winter jacket. Not so cold, fall jacket. No problem. It's a seemingly simple problem and yet we have to come up with creative solutions.
Speaking of creative solutions, we discovered Alex was in fact ditching his hat and mitts in the van during the morning, leaving him cold all day. Now we're sending them in his bag and he's got a separate pair to wear while he plays outside in the morning. I've told the school to just keep them but they keep sending them home. At least he's got them.