How do people up north do it?
This week it hasn't gotten above 48 degrees. Don't get me wrong...I love it. I'm from New Jersey, grew up with snow and naked trees and gray skies and I was a happy little eskimo four months out of the year. But that was back before I had kids. And, as with most things in life, kids puts an entirely different spin on frigid weather.
The other day, after feeling especially stir-crazy because not only was it forty degrees outside, but both children had noses runnier than hot Jell-o and I couldn't drag them to any playdates, I dragged them to Target instead. Which meant that Rollie was going to inevitably take a dump in the toy aisle, since he won't go on the toilet, and every time we're at Target I have to put a diaper on him or play Russian Roulette with his Buzz Lightyear underpants. Aren't you glad you know that?
SO ANYWAY, we're leaving Target so I can change Rollie in the back of my car, both children dressed to the teeth in winter wear (even though Elsa could probably crawl around in a onesie and be well-insulated with all that chub), and Rollie starts complaining that he's cold. We were only outside for a few minutes, but I could tell his complaints were genuine--his cheeks were red and crusty with snot, his eyes watery, his teeth chattering. But his diaper was nice a warm, and hence needed to be changed.
Despite his protests, I hauled him into the back of the car and proceeded to change him. And as his legs broke out in goosebumps and he rolled around whining about being cold, I wondered, what do people up north do in situations like this? How do they make it all those months without going Shining on their family? I guess I take for granted the fact that here in Florida we can go outside pretty much all year round. I mean, we suffer through July and August and have to take special precautions to make sure our children don't burst into flames, but we can still go swimming, or at least drag a wading pool into the shade and drink cold beer while our kids splash around in the water. Plus, every place down here has AC, so one can always seek refuge during the hottest days, always knowing that the nights bring some relief.
There is no relief for you poor Yankees. And when your kids are sick, cold weather makes everything a million times worse. Right now Elsa is recovering from a double ear infection, and both kids have coughs; in the mornings my house sounds like a TB ward. I've wiped their noses so many times I could teach a seminar on the right technique to make it quick, painless, yet effective at the same time. I don't think I could do this for much longer, and still not go outside. This morning I finally decided to be brave and take them on a walk with the poor, neglected dog, and the preparation alone took half an hour. Jackets, hats, scarves, mittens, blankets, provisions, flares, whiskey...I felt like Sisyphus pushing that stroller down the street. Five minutes into the walk it started raining.
Tonight it might snow. And Rollie just blew a bubble out of his nose.