NEGOTIATING WITH KIDS


Having kids costs ski days. It’s a tough reality that skier parents have to face. It hits the pregnant skier hardest at first, as the mom-to-be will typically buy a season pass, only to discover pregnancy is a three-month puke fest, followed by three months of less-and-less-able-to-bend-over-and-do-up ski boots, followed by four months of joint-aching, cramp over-analyzing and carting your belly around (pregnancy is 10 months. Count it.). Then, after the baby is born, there’s a bonus “fourth trimester,” where both skier parents live on 40-minute sleep increments—still with no skiing.


Harnessing the future. Photo by Andrew Strain

Once the baby gets older, the parents move into the “partner negotiation” stage of parenting. Around Tuesday, one will say, “Want to ski Saturday this week, and I’ll take Sunday?” The other parent—who saw this shit coming and has already checked the forecast—knows that Saturday will be low-visibility crap and Sunday will have perfect snow, then negotiates furiously to either claim Sunday for themself, or some other prize (i.e. an overnight hut trip with friends next weekend). But ultimately, the best-case scenario is that both parents ski half as much as they used to.

Then, everything changes when the child turns three: ski school becomes an almost-affordable possibility, and/or the kid might actually be able to ski. The parents dream about skiing more rabidly. This sparks the beginning of the “child negotiation” stage of parenting, where parents will say almost anything to their kid to persuade them to fall in line with their ski plans. —ULISES DALTON

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