Monday, January 16, 2012

bundle up

I live in is sunny and beautiful most of the time, and disgustingly hot in the summer.

But I did my time in the midwest, too. I loved it. Being an original southerner, the novelty of snow never really wore off for me. And you can always put more clothes on when it's cold. When it's 98 and feels like 115 there is only so much you can undress without being arrested.

I lived in Green Bay, WI. It is idyllic and lovely. And cold as bejeezus. But such an ideal place to raise a family. My hubby grew up in Canton, OH. Also a great midwestern town that is family oriented. And pretty cold.  I have always thought in the back of mind that I'd like to move back to the midwest with our soccer team if the opportunity arose. Until recently, that is.

North Florida winters are weird. It can very easily be 75 and sunny.  But if a cold front moves can drop into the low 30s, overnight.

Being away from the Midwest for 9 years now, my blood has turned back to it's original southern thinness. (I wish the rest of me had as well).  You forget what true cold feels like. You hear yourself and your husband saying, "damn it's cold out there" when it is 50 degrees. And we mean it. Meanwhile my WI friends hit 50 and start unpacking their shorts and tanktops in anticipation.

So recently we had one of those aforementioned cold fronts move in. The kids had Mom's Morning Out the next day,and I realized they did not own  winter hats or mittens.  Off to Target we go to pick out the tackiest cartoon character themed cold weather gear the chuckleheads can find. Because, you know, they might wear them twice this year.

The next morning I dressed them in their warmest sweaters and jeans and socks.  Then I had them all line up in the kitchen, and wriggled them all into mittens and coats. Topped them off with hats. This added ten minutes to our morning routine, seriously. And I just knew one was going to pull the Christmas Story routine and have to pee right away. We headed into the garage, where I hoisted each one into the truck and boosted them up into their seats since their mobility was limited due to the layers of cumbersome clothing they were not familiar with. Then I adjusted SIX different straps so they could fit over the extra bundles cocooning my kids. After all this lifting and tugging I was sweating inside my yoga pants.  I am sooo out of practice with cold weather. 
As the heater warmed the truck, I got a resounding "I'm hot" from all three kids so I cracked a window in the truck, allowing the cold air to come in and cool them off in their winter gear.  This seems like some pointless bullshit, I thought to myself.

A few hours later, when picking them up from "school"...I was faced with bundling three kids again, while listening to the report of the various reasons why A and B had time-outs, as well as stuffing their back packs with their art projects for the day to bring home.

Screw this, I thought. They can run to the damn truck, it's not that cold. And if they run fast they'll generate body heat, therefore using natural resources to stay warm instead of artificial ones, cuz I'm all about teaching them to be green and shit.

So, in short, mamas of the Midwest (and the Northeast) I do not know how you do it every day for 6 months of the year.  What seems like something simple that y'all do on autopilot is, in truth, a really big damn deal!  The ordeal which completely complicated my day is something you endure all the time. Yay for you! Hope you can send some cheers my way when I am chasing kids around in the searing heat with the aerosol cans of sunscreen all summer. Did I say aerosol? No, I meant all natural, organic and water soluble sunscreen..because I am all about teaching my kids to be green and shit.


  1. It is so true, I get irritated when my kids have to wear socks! I mean doesn't everyone wear flip-flops year round?

  2. if they don't, they should. With black socks

  3. This is great! And don't worry, you are not alone in your struggle. No matter how many upper Midwest winters we practice through, my shorties manage to still find everything to complain about. Too hot! Too cold! Wrong gloves, scarf, hat, whatever. Strangely enough, one of the most recent issues from the complaint department was that there is not enough snow!! And it's

  4. Sooo true! It would be so much easier to orchestrated such mornings if my husband wasn't in a perpetual state of temperature denial. "But Mommy...Daddy's wearing shorts in the snow!"

  5. Love your conclusion statement. Great writing Jenn!