Saturday was the first legitimate snow in a remarkably snow-less winter. When we moved to Dover we were assured that it rarely snowed. Then we had two winters with multiple heavy snow storms. When Josh came in from shoveling the driveway he’d always remark, “It’s a good thing it never snows in Dover.”
I cropped my goofy self out of this one.
In anticipation of another snowy winter I outfitted H with parka, snow pants, heavy duty mittens, and snow boots. We’ve not actually need any of these items this year. Sigh. Determined to get some use out of the boots, I took her out to salt the sidewalk. H was over the moon about the snow. She jumped up and down that it was snowing and how she was going to go play in it. She’s at a stage where English fails her when she gets really excited, and it all becomes a fusion of giggles, squeals, sighs, smiles, and arm flapping. I have no idea what she’s saying, but any fool can see that whatever it is, it’s wonderful. The sidewalk was far more wet than icy. Nevertheless, the flakes drifted whitely through the air and the street had the stillness of new snow. No one else was outside. I showed her how to make a snowball and let her throw one. I threw a couple at Josh hiding in the office window upstairs taking pictures. Josh took her out later for a quick puddle-splashing/stroller trip to the shopette. She came back soaked and thrilled.
Glad the water proof boots are getting some use. I yelled at Josh about her walking in the street, but he assured me it was in the cul-de-sac.
The snow stopped by about 11am but started again after dinner. As our game of building-block phones was winding down, I suggested that we turn off all the lights and watch the snow. We all huddled on the love seat under a blanket, Josh got the lights, and we strained to see the tiny flakes blowing through the light pools of light around the streetlights behind our house. It was one of those cozy, quiet moments that last in Mom memory banks forever. H was fascinated.
Then it got better. We heard a squeak. I am convinced that we have some kind of nocturnal animal holed up in our porch/roof for the winter. I’ve heard it on and off for weeks now, but it’s not loud or persistent enough to bother me and I’m lazy, so I haven’t done anything about it. That little squeak turned what had been a sweet moment into a grand adventure in the fine art of bat listening.
I wondered aloud if the sound might be a bat. Josh’s iPhone research indicates it probably isn’t. Mere facts, however, make no impression on H. Mom said it was a bat, and a bat it shall be! She shushed us so she could hear the bat better. Every time it squeaked she’d exclaim, “There it is!” I took the opportunity to try and teach her about bats. I googled pictures, which were interesting, but the content was not quite as interesting as scrolling through pictures on the phone. I tried to tell her how bats are mammals. I was told to be quiet so she could hear the bat. Listening for bats is very serious business.
By this point it was getting late. I suggested that perhaps she could hear the bat in her room and maybe we should go investigate. This turned out to be an excellent idea. Peering out the window of her room, H attested that she could see the bat near the playground. Her eyes must be better than mine (they actually are, as I can barely see) because I didn’t see anything. PJs could be changed into, but only if we were VERY quiet, so she could hear the bat. Turns out that whatever makes that noise is not really audible in her room. H started asking, “Where’d the bat go?” I told her that the bat was probably getting breakfast.
When it was time to go to sleep, she clearly could not lay down because there was a bat out there waiting to be heard. I told her that she could stay up to listen to the bat and tell us about it in the morning. This seemed like a great idea to her until we actually turned off the light. It’s one of the few times I’ve ever seen her run to bed and throw on her blanket.
The coolest thing about a two-year-old is the way you can take the simplest idea and spin it into an entire adventure. The part of me that is sad that she probably won’t remember this particular adventure is soothed by the thought of how many more adventures we can have tomorrow and the day after that. There could be creatures to search for in the grass, or clouds to turn into animals, or cookies to bake, or if we’re visiting Mimi and Papa, there could be real bats to watch.