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February 6, 2013 / mommy brain

Little shredders

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Me with some of my buddies on the slopes in Poland. Can you tell which one is me? : )

Before I had a kid, the times I was most excited about having one were the times that I watched little pint-sized skiers shredding down the mountain. Kids zooming down the slopes in their puffy snow suits and big helmets with no fear are just so darn cute to me, and I’ve been looking forward to that experience with my own kiddo ever since I found out I was preggo with T. I started skiing pretty young, and I believe it’s best to learn as a little kid when your center of gravity is low to the ground and you are fearless. Falling two feet is not as scary as falling 5+ ft as an adult. Plus adults learning to ski think too much about the worst case scenario and often can’t get past the mental challenge of pointing their skis downhill.

We’ve had a preview of the joys and challenges involved with toddlers on the slopes because our good friends have a little shredder who we’ve had the chance to watch as he basically became a ski rockstar overnight. I consider myself a pretty good skier, and this 5-year-old, our friends’ son, can kick my ass down any slope at Ski Santa Fe. It’s so fun to ski with him! He started at 2, and he pretty much mastered the entire mountain by the time he was 3. He is a truly talented kid, and I don’t know if T will get to that level that fast once we get him started (of course I assume he will because in my head he’s already a rock star!), but it’s fun to get some practice skiing with a munchkin and pretty hilarious to watch as you get schooled by a 5-year-old.

We’ve been talking about when to start T on skis. Soon after I had T, I read an article in Ski magazine written by a former US Ski team member who wrote about the key to getting your kids to love skiing as much as you do. Her recommendation was lots of patience and starting early. She suggested starting as early as the parents have patience for. What she meant was that you can get out there with your 1 1/2 year old IF you are willing to deal with everything that involves including spending  two hours getting them ready for twenty minutes of “skiing,” which is more like pulling them along so they get that feeling of sliding on skis. The idea is to make the whole day, or morning or afternoon or hour you spend doing it, as much fun as possible so the kiddo wants to try more the next time you get out there.

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Here I am at Mammoth Mountain skiing 4 1/2 months preggo. Had to get T started early!

It all sounds like a blast but I can also appreciate that it can all go downhill fast (no pun intended!), and it’s all good as long as you accept that the chances of that happening are significant. I can just imagine T looking at me and saying, “poo” as soon as I have him all wrapped up and strapped in some miniature skis and boots.

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It will all be worth it; I just know it.

T is pretty happy at the ski daycare, so G and I have been able to ski pretty regularly since we became a family of three, but I’m pretty excited to get my little guy out on the slopes.

We skied Wolf Creek in late December, which doesn’t have a ski daycare. We just took turns skiing and hanging out at the lodge and playing in the snow with T. Luckily we had some friends with us that weekend so we didn’t ski alone. They were awesome and even stayed with T for a while so G and I could ski a few runs together, too.

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Here we are at Wolf Creek in late December.

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After a nap at the lodge in Wolf Creek.

In the end, I decided that when possible, we’ll stick to ski mountains with a ski daycare when going skiing with non-ski-age kiddos in the future. T was a really good sport in Wolf Creek, but it was too cold to be outside for long, and he got pretty bored in the crowded lodge where he didn’t have much space to run around. A good ski daycare is an amazing thing, and I am grateful for the friendly ladies at the Ski Santa Fe chipmunk corner.

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T at Ski Santa Fe last weekend. He was running straight toward the “choo chop” (a.k.a. chair lift) when I caught up to him.

I am hoping to take T out once at the end of this season, hopefully in March. That is if I can find rental ski boots to fit his tiny feet! We’ll see how it goes. He likes being at the ski mountain and seems really interested in the skiers and snowboarders and the lift (the choo choo according to him), and he even tried to put on my ski boots, so I’m taking all that as a good sign.

He also enjoys going fast. “1, 2, 3, go go GO” is code for “go fast mom!” Next year, when he’s 2 1/2, I’m hoping to rent him some gear for the season and get him out at least on the bunny slope and go from there. Let’s see if we can make a “trial” happen this season. I hope my patience is as strong as my enthusiasm. Wish us luck, and remember to Pray For Snow! : )

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2 Comments

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  1. P / Feb 7 2013 9:37 AM

    Thanks for the great description of V! He told me that he had fun skiing with you. Can’t wait to have T out there too. L on the other hand has no interest whatsoever in skiing right now. Such a different kid. Happiest lounging in PJs at home. :). Hopefully he will change his mind, but we probably won’t try til next year. (Are you the second in the left in the pic?)

    • mommy brain / Feb 7 2013 10:48 PM

      Yep, that’s me second from the left! Bundled up from head to toe according to Polish rules 😉 I’m so glad to hear V said he had fun skiing with me 🙂 I’m sure L will love skiing eventually, too, even if he’s not quite like V on the slopes! And if he’s not a ski rockstar, I’m sure he’ll be a rockstar at something else!

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