Some days are just too hot. It’s Sunday and it’s still warm from yesterday. In fact, it was a warm night of fitful sleeping and the kicking off of blankets. This morning it’s already muggy before I’ve even gotten out of bed and I know it’s a day for hiding inside until well after lunchtime when maybe the kids and I will venture out into our backyard to play in our sprinkler.
Kids and heat do not mix. It requires military-like preparation to leave the house. Nothing can be forgotten. You need the usual nappy bag, snacks and changes of clothing but in addition – on a really hot day – you need lots of drinks, money to buy new drinks when the ones you pack are too hot to provide any relief, sun-block, hats, sunglasses and someway to keep the grownups calm so they can deal with stinky, sweaty, cranky kids once the novelty of being out of the house and the reality of being in the stifling heat kicks in.
My son wants to go to the beach. We used to live in Bondi and both crave a visit to the ocean. My plan was to leave my babies with my husband (it takes him a while to get moving on a Sunday due to a hectic work schedule) and we would head off as the sun rose and enjoy the beach until about 11am when the crowds descended. It’s hard to explain to him that it’s too hot for the beach. It’s a day when ice-cream melts before you can eat it, when you get sunburn no matter how much sun-block you put on and when your energy levels take a dramatic nose dive after a couple of hours of doing anything but just laying there. And you know, kids don’t let you just lay there. There would be the running away from the water, the collecting of shells, the building of sandcastles…I’m tired just thinking about it.
It’s morning. I’ve eaten toast for breakfast with my favourite butter and strawberry jam. I’m sipping coffee (position well away from the computer) and sharing my thoughts with you. My plan is to hide inside for most of today but the kids beg to differ. “Mum, can we play in the sprinkler?” I start to say no but instead I say yes. So my resolve lasted for about half a second. They threw off most of their clothes followed by the smearing of sun-block on little tummies and on pink ears, hats and the back door is thrown open.
It’s hot out. The concrete is already warm. It’s glary I need my sunglasses more as I get older, even to put the washing on the line. They are already squealing in delight. We have made lots of jelly and it will be ready just in time for me to use it as a bribe to get them inside when the worst of the heat hits. I will try and enjoy a few minutes of sunshine, I will not get angry when they accidentally spray me with water, I will mediate all disputes with the patients of an angel and I will remember to put the sprinkler and the hose away so our lawnmower man doesn’t accidentally run over it. I will hang out all the washing and remember to take it down before it fries to a crisp and I will indulge in some air conditioning – all the while trying not to worry about our next electricity bill.
This is, after all, Australia. Bring on the heat.
La Dolce Vita – Jo Abi