The advantage of being little

They are smarter than you think. Kids. Every time I stop skiing, take my kids to the bathroom, sit with them in the gondola, or just try to get them from A to B, someone will make a comment. “O, they are so cute.” “They must be a handful.” “You are going to be an amazing mother.” “O… look at them. How old are they?” Seeing little kids that can barely walk in their skiboots, dressed in orange vests, carrying their skis by hugging them tightly or dragging them in the snow, seems to be a delightful sight. People just have to stop and say something. Their comments are mostly directed at me. But don’t think the kids don’t realise.

Don't worry, this photo was taken on a cat track where we had to shuffle to keep moving.

Don’t worry, this photo was taken on a cat track where we had to shuffle to keep moving.

“Andrea? You know… all the people always say we are cute because we are so little. But I am really just a tiny bit little.” says my 3 year-old skier. He know exactly how things are. People make comments about him and he might not completely agree with them, but he knows how to use it to his advantage. After a bit of skiing he falls over. I keep shouting that he needs to stand up. They all have to learn and the more I hike back up the hill to pick them up, the less they try and learn. So I just wait and shout. He makes some pathetic attempts and then starts looking around, uphill. He knows how cute he is and he knows that eventually someone will think: “O, look at this poor little guy. His teacher isn’t even helping him. Why does she just stand there shouting? I will stop and give him a hand.”

And why are they so cute? When one of the girls says “It is so hard to carry my skis and keep my helmet on at the same time”, I start laughing. She’s right. Her helmet is so big it really doesn’t do anything but look cute. It falls to the back of her head half the time and is way too loose. And that’s just the thing. Nothing is in proportion. At this age they’re not meant to be in ski boots. Their boots never seem to fit right. Their clothes look too big. Their heads are gigantic with goggles and helmets on. And if they then look at you with their big eyes, wouldn’t you help? Whether it’s to put their skis back together, to help carry their skis a little bit, get a push or a pole on a cat track, or to get back up when they fall. They know damn well which look to use to get some help from the big people, or even older kids. But just wait kids. In a year or two, you’re going to be just another kid on the mountain. You’ll have to do everything by yourself no matter what face you make. Exploit being little as long as you can!

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