Here’s a confession: Until yesterday, I’d never been to Winterlude.
Everyone in Ottawa just gasped, thinking, “Why don’t you just pack it in and move to Toronto?”
Everyone outside Ottawa just went, “Winter what now?”
It’s a big party, celebrating winter, or thumbing its nose at winter, or something. There are displays and concerts and skating on the canal, when it isn’t too cold, or too warm, or too windy, or too rainy. Motto: “Winterlude: Attempting to outwit winter weather, with limited success.”
This weekend was a four-day weekend for the kids — they had a P.D. day on Friday and then Family Day on Monday. On Thursday at pickup time, almost every other mom I talked to asked me if we were “going to Winterlude.” And every time, I did not get it. What is there to do there? Skate outside, where the ice is bumpy and the kids will complain until my ears bleed? Drive for a half hour, fight for another half hour to find parking, just to spend five minutes looking at ice sculptures, if you can find them?
I don’t get it.
But all the other mommies were doing it, and I am nothing if not weak in the face of peer pressure. So we checked it out online, and it seems there was a park where there were slides made out of ice, and giant bear mascots to meet, or something. So we thought we’d spend Family Day having a grand old time, frolicking in the snowy playland that is Ottawa.
Oh, the best laid schemes of mice and men.
I don’t know what was up with our kids yesterday, but after a whole week at DisneyWorld without a single meltdown, they did not seem to be able to make it through fifteen minutes at Winterlude without whining, crying, whimpering, or all three at once. It was too cold (even though we were very well dressed and it was only minus two outside). It was too snowy. They were too tired to walk. They were too cold to sit. They were too hungry to eat. They were too hungry to wait in line for food.
They wanted to slide but the line was too long. They wanted to ski but the wait was too frustrating.
They did not believe us when we told them that BeaverTails were good, and refused to try them. Jesus, children, it’s not like it’s PIE OR ANYTHING.
They DID NOT WANT TO LOOK AT SNOW SCULPTURES!! NO!! NO SNOW SCULPTURES!!
And thus we came home.
I can’t remember a less fun, less productive outing in recent memory.
And thus, Winterlude, I must give you a giant red X. WINTERLUDE FAIL.
Today, the kids are back at school, and when I go and pick them up I’m sure they are going to be all, “How come we didn’t get to stay at Winterlude? Johnny said he went on the slides 20 times! And Kate said she had a BeaverTail and it was the best thing ever! Why are you such crappy parents?”
Why indeed, children, why indeed.