From frozen to sodden, the past month has offered every type of weather imaginable to us Brits, there was even a mini heatwave in there somewhere (albeit a February heatwave which means just above double figures!).
And while most of us would prefer to wallow inside in the warm while Winter does its thing, when you're the parent of a toddler you've got no chance. The little buggers want to get out and about whatever the weather.
Rainy days are now known as puddle jumping days in our house (Thanks Peppa, you, er, swine) and the odd day that snow graces the ground calls for nothing less than a "SNOWMAN" klaxon at 5.30am from my darling little three-year-old.
So once you've resisted the urge to fake your own death and lie motionless under the covers until they move onto some other bright idea (never going to happen)you find yourself reluctantly hunting for vest, socks and woollies to wrap up the little darlings so they don't lose a finger to frostbite or a toe to trenchfoot.
Us Brits are notorious for discussing the weather - or rather complaining about it - but it seems we're also notoriously bad at dressing for it. Which is ridiculous really seeing as we should be bloody used to rain and cold by now. The ozone layer isn't heating us up that quickly!
The 'more is more' approach. i.e. Wrap them up in so many clothes they're more likely to pass out from heat exhaustion than catch a cold. But a three-year-old's coat won't be pulled over more than three layers of a three-year-old's winter clothing, and that's a fact. He ends up looking more like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters than a human being, and ends up going arse-over-elbow every time there's a bump in the road because his hat is so far down and scarf so far up he can't even see where he's going.
Yes, I'm a terrible mother.
So I decided to investigate other ways to keep the little man warm and cosy without tempting hypothermia or dehydration into his little body along the way, and came across the layering process pioneered by Norwegian designers.
Rather than just throwing on anything, brands like Tiny Trolls of Norway emphasise the need to dress your child for the weather, without having to buy a dozen different outfits. They start off with a snug little microfleece for when it's just cool outside, chuck over a gorgeously fluffy Teddy Bear onesie when it gets a bit chillier, then add either a raincoat or a protective All Weather Coverall when the elements are against them. This protects your tiny trolls from all actualities associated with playing outside in the wind, rain or snow. The outdoor wear is designed to let the child's skin breath inside, so you don't have to worry about them overheating as they run around.
The idea of layering is such a simple one, but one that UK Mums are seemingly not too familiar with. Or at least not doing it in the right way! But with a little help from our Norwegian counterparts maybe we can learn to dress for the weather, not let it dictate to us whether we brave the great outdoors or not.
Damn it, now I've got no excuse.Suggest a correction