Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Snowy Day

The Snowy Day--it's the title of a sweet children's book by Ezra Jack Keats, and it describes Portland today, at least from the perspective of an ex-Californian. I was walking back after seeing the mommy matinee, "The Corpse Bride", at the hallowed Kennedy School (http://www.mcmenamins.com/index.php?loc=57&id=82). Suddenly, the rain seemed soft, like it had texture. A nuclear fallout? Microscopic pod people? Just the weather...snow so mild that you question it as you walk through it.

The flurry compelled me to return to a Portland mommy obsession: how do you take new babies out in the rain and cold? During this bitter snowstorm, Jenny was in a bjorn and covered with a thick quilt, underneath an umbrella. I know it screamed Californian to bundle ourselves so, but I couldn't see myself prancing around in a t-shirt and jeans shorts like my neighbor was. I mean, it's in the 30s! That's cold, right?

I've been conducting a qualitative study on baby rain gear. My sightings include: snowsuits, velour outfits, a plastic tent over the stroller, a mini-umbrella attached to a baby backpack, and, yes, shorts. I've also been doing online research on this topic. I've found what seems to be called a bunting, but I cannot figure out how it's different from a blanket or footie pajamas. I saw a gorgeous thing called a Bundle Me that comes in urban styling (this seems to translate to "more expensive"), in the color wasabi. It's lovely, and it's $65. I am an anti-consumer for the most part, but I'm also an avid walker, so I was slightly tempted. Then, I decided it was the word wasabi that captured my imagination more than anything. So the thick quilt will have to suffice to get Jenny and I through the winter.

In Keats' "The Snowy Day", the main character is a little boy named Peter. He spends his snowy day playing and then comes back home and puts on his jammies. The pjs are beautiful in the book, kind of a '60s paisley. Wouldn't it be great if I could just put Jenny in some flannel pjs with a retro design and be done with it?

1 comment:

Linden said...

Hi Serena--
When I was little I had a bunting for my doll as well a brother who wore one. My grandmother sewed the smaller, and quite possibly the larger. Made of fuzzy flannel material, they had buttons (in my versions) down to the diaper, but in a mummy-like shape. They usually have a hood and shoulders, but no sleeves, much like a poncho trying to be squared off at the bottom like a blanket, yet closed like a pocket at the bottom. Any baby in one was toasty and couldn't kick it offas he or she might a blanket. It was roomy enough not to be constricting, yet not so big as to become pythonesque. The snake, not the Monty.

Best wishes though still missing you all, Linden