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Skiing Before Kids:

Get up. Drive to the mountain. Buy lift ticket. Ski all day. Après-ski. Sleep.

Skiing After Kids:

8:46 a.m. Arrive at the mountain!

8:53 a.m. Pay for lift tickets, ski school and rentals for four people. The total cost causes an audible gasp from one of the parents.

9:02 a.m. 7-year-old starts crying because she has to put a ski school jersey over her winter jacket. She can’t imagine why anyone is making her do this.  It’s the most horrific thing that has ever happened.

9:14 a.m. 5-year-old begins sobbing because she doesn’t want her head to be measured for the helmet.

9:15 a.m. Their mother wonders how people don’t get lice from rented helmets.

9:32 a.m. Everyone has their rentals. Let’s go hit the slopes!

9:33 a.m. 5-year-old and 7-year-old refuse to join their ski school class. Various instructors try to convince them. Their parents lovingly try to explain that they need to be brave. They promise it will be fun. Children still refuse to go into their class. Parents get less loving. They threaten to leave the mountain immediately!! Children still don’t budge. The parents are defeated.

9:47 a.m. Parents put children in a semi private lesson.

10:06 a.m. The kids are skiing! Sort of. At least doing some sort of pizza wedge thingy down the mountain. And when I say mountain, I mean, slight incline. Mom is cold. She would be warmer if she was actually skiing, instead of standing at the bottom of the petite bunny slope.

11:01 a.m. Time to ski together as a family. On the bunny slope. This is kind of fun. The kids are enjoying this. The parents are enjoying this.

12:21 p.m. Everyone is hungry. Head to the lodge.

12:40 p.m. 7-year-old begins crying because her ski boots are suddenly suffocating her. And she must get her jacket off immediately. And she is so thirsty. It’s the most horrific thing that has ever happened.

1 p.m. Eat lunch of pizza and hamburgers. The mother pretends it’s organic and wholesome.

1:43 p.m. The children report they are done skiing. Leave the mountain. Children are sad because they forgot to get hot chocolate. They beg to go back. The parents refuse.

There is no Après-ski.

Over the next six hours… attend a birthday party. Prepare dinner. Bathe children. Read books. Put children to bed.

Put ski clothes back in attic.


19 Responses to skiing with children

  • Nicole says:

    I hated ski school sooo much…and back then there were no stinkin helmets or jerseys, I was just a terrible skiier.

  • Tara says:

    Skiing with young kids= absolutely no fun vacation! Btw….as they get older it gets easier, but not much. Get them into snowboarding. Only 1 thing to carry and the shoes are like sneakers. Ps….we invested in our own helmets. Done the lice thing before…ICK!

  • Diane says:

    Yeah wait until all 4 of your kids – you need a 2nd mortgage and you still bring your own lunch. Fun! We hit the road for CO on Saturday. Starting to get excited!

  • Agent99 says:

    Ba HaHa! You’re brave…..I only had one. Reminding me of the days when I was certifiably insane and took my 3.5 yr old for her first ski trip. Hauled her and her gear in a sled. So cute, SO heavy. Got lost, missed group lessons, started bawling (ME)…..”I…I…I…can’t tell her she’s not skiing!). Broke down and paid for a private lesson. Totally worth it to see her speeding up the chairlift with that 80yr old guy! And, she asked to go to afternoon lessons. That was 8 yrs ago. Now I’m the instructor…..and she can kick my butt on the slopes. Instructor’s advice: drop ’em and RUN. They whine much less to us.

  • Kerri says:

    WOW bravery then I am! When I ski, it is cross-country. I went down-hill once! Scared the heck out of me, not in a fun sort of way, but in a “I am going to die” sort of way. I like water skiing too, as long as you stay down the middle of the lake, there are no trees to hit!

    Our busiest activity is riding. Not only do we have to get the kids & all their gear ready, but also horses too. Braiding horse’s manes & tails at 4 am….wooohooo! Then all the cleaning of saddles & bridles after competition.

    But it is worth every moment to see them doing something they enjoy. Sometimes there are tears & other times there are smiles & laughter. As long as they are the ones who want to do it!

    It sure looked like someone had a wee bit of fun anyways. And why is it that hot chocolate always tastes better when you have it any place but home?

  • daphne says:

    So funny — was just talking with my siblings about our new found respect for our parents — that they took all 3 kids skiing, all the time. Unbelievable. (I don’t think I’m officially allowed,as a coloradan, to talk trash about pain in the neck skiing. But I will…)

  • The last time we took our kids to the mountains (and it was two kids ago) it was pretty much like that. Then the car broke down on the way home, on New Year’s Day, in a snowstorm, and there was a huge flood that night that SWEPT AWAY the garage where the tow truck had dropped our broken down car. The two-hour drive home ended up taking three days in a hotel, a rented car (and we had to buy new carseats, too) to finally get home, and an exponentially higher budget than anticipated.

    Not much of a surprise, then, that we Never Did It Again!

  • Steph says:

    I so love your honest recounting of family outings. I’m frequently disappointed by my own unrealistic expectations of family outings.

  • The lice-helmet thing has given me pause, too–we were skating and the boys had to use rental helmets which were…scurfy inside. I figured a concussion was better than lice, frankly. Your timeline cracks me up in part b/c it’s as if you were eavesdropping in our car – it’s always the thought of the TREAT afterwards that kills me. NO they don’t want to do the activity and YES they’re going to be a pain in the butt, and then you leave because they BEGGED you to and then it’s all what about the hot cocoa/cotton candy/ice cream bar…. Er… glad you had…fun?

  • Jen T. says:

    Buy a helmet! My friend’s daughter got lice from a helmet at a dude ranch in NY last year, so I would imagine it could happen in a ski helmet as well!

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kelcey kintner