It isn't so bad after a fresh few inches has covered our yard and he scoops it up to eat it out of his glove covered hand. But despite years of rule making about eating snow he still seems to defy them whenever possible. This is when I don't like him to eat snow : 1. by a road or sidewalk that most likely had salt or Lord knows what other chemical put down to melt the ice, 2. the infamous "yellow snow" all our mothers warned us about, and 3. that disgusting snow that has been there and melted down and is turning grey from mud and most likely had squirrels, raccoons and rabbits running around on it. Occasionally Daniel asks to "go outside" in these months to "walk around in the back yard". This is code for "I'm going out there to eat all of the snow I can in the next 10 minutes." He loves that coldness in his mouth and I can only guess that he gets some sort of sensory calming from it. That is why I say "ok have fun!" and turn my head the other way while he goes outside.
He also opens our sliding glass door and scoops snow up and eats it, that way he doesn't have to don his winter wardrobe for a quick fix. I was going to take a picture of the finger prints lined up outside of our door, but we received a fresh blanket over night and the evidence is now gone. There are two things that bother me about this: 1. It is well documented that raccoons walk along that part of our deck, right next to our sliding glass door. There are many times in the winter that we have been sitting there eating our dinner only to have a big raccoon face peer in wondering what's on the menu. This is always very surprising and never fails to freak me out. City raccoons are very bold. 2. Our deck gets so much direct sunlight in the summer it is in a constant state of peeling (it has a sort of paint/stain mix on it). So I worry that he will be getting that mixed in with the snow....
This all leads me to one of Daniels Christmas gifts. Hamilton Beach 68050 Icy Treats Ice Shaver, White.
That's right, we bought him a snow cone maker. I bought it on our December snow day from school, when I was sitting here panicking that I had hardly bought any presents I went online and started ordering things and this was one of my finds! It is now set up in our appliance garage next to the coffee machine and toaster, ready to make snow when needed. We have discussed that he can have as much of THAT snow as he wants. The other day when I heard that tell tale sound of the door sliding open, I gently called to Daniel about eating clean snow. I was in the basement and didn't even come upstairs. A few minutes later I heard the ice machine in the refrigerator dispensing ice. Then I heard the LOUD grinding of the machine.