“Get it in Gear”

Opening day may be more than a month a way, but in our household, ski season is ON. How did I know? For one thing, Big Guy, age 7, appeared in our bedroom last Friday morning at the crack of early to exclaim, “It’s going to snow on Monday!!!” He’d been checking Doppler Radar on the computer, apparently.

 The weather defied his prediction, however, offering a dusting that very evening on the top of Bald Mountain. Thus, our preparations kicked into high gear.

First, we adjusted the fit of the helmets. Little Guy, age 3, now fills out his helmet just a bit past the smallest setting; Big Guy’s fits on the largest setting of his. Little Guy is otherwise well-equipped with hand-me-down ski clothes from big bro, and the too-cute-for-words 16cm boots, which were a gift last year from his “ski Aunt and ski Uncle” and Elan Spyder skis purchased for him last year by his parents and the grandfather known affectionately as Parka. You can see him modeling the boots, along with his erstwhile companions, Dine Dine and Ding Dong, below. You’ll notice that he’s sporting them indoors—and while their intrinsic value as an any-outfit accessory is unimpeachable, I must put in a plug here for the age-old tradition of letting your kids play in their gear inside the house. Find a carpeted area and have them practice putting on, walking around in, and taking off the boots, then help them click in and out of the bindings and help them shuffle their feet along the carpet a bit. The more playtime they have with the gear indoors, the easier it will be to get their buy-in to put the stuff on when it counts. And believe me…no ski day was ever enhanced by a gear-related meltdown.

 

But, the gear has to fit in order to play this game. In this spirit, we piled into the car with Big Guy’s ski gear and headed to the local shop to whose Grow-With-Me program we are subscribers. He’d burst through three shoe sizes in the past 7 months, so it was no surprise the boots were too tight. Even less surprising, it was time to jump up 10cm in ski size—and the tech told us as we departed that he’ll count on seeing us mid-season for a longer ski yet.

Next stop, the outlet mall, where we replaced the ski jacket that had been lost—yet again!—at the end of last season. (Am I the only parent who has considered having jackets surgically attached to her kids?) Also purchased, some après ski mocs for Big Guy.

Next on the list: new goggles and some new gloves for the Big Guy, too. I can’t stand the shoddy make of most kids’ ski gloves, so if you’ve had luck with a particular brand, leave it in the comments section.

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