Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Who the hell raises a kid in this weather?
I've lived in Chicago for almost a decade. I adore this city but I HATE it's winters. I'm not exaggerating. We had our first snow storm on December first and right now we are under another winter storm. Last Friday, it was seven degrees when we woke up. That's without the wind chill factor. That might be the reason people shiver when I tell them I live in Chicago. I don't mean my tropical "compatriotas", I mean everyone who doesn't live in this neck of the woods where winter lasts 8 months and summer lasts 8 weeks.
But just like with many other things, Amelia has made me push through this aversion to winter weather. If it wasn't for her, I would only leave our apartment to go to work. I wear as many layers as I can plus a North Face jacket to survive an Arctic freeze, gloves to climb an iceberg and I'm still cold. The fact that I work in the early morning hours when it's even colder just adds insult to injury. AND being in the news business means that when it snows, I'll be the idiot standing outside telling the viewers that temperatures are dangerously low and you should stay in.
So I've had to adjust now that I have a very active and friendly 14 month old. No, there is no park to go to. But we go to Gymboree for a class, open gym and anything else they will invite us to. We pay 10 dollars at Bubbles Academy so she can run amuck indoors and literally bounce of it's padded walls. I go visit friends so that the girl can see other people her age.
I hate every minute of the travel process, though. I have to bundle her up and sit her in her car seat in a skiing jacket with a hood. We have a covered garage but if I sit her in the car without the coat, when I get to our destination, I could freeze her ass off just by opening the door to suit her up. She needs boots that she constantly wants to take off, plus mittens.
When I look at her in the back seat, the girl can barely move. I give her a toy and just switching it from one hand to the other is a task. It's like strapping the Michelin man in a car seat. But true to form, she is not as miserable as I am. She either takes her pacifier and plays with or makes noises---her lips being the only muscles she can move.
According to my husband, children, himself included, have lived and thrived in this Siberian hell of the USA for centuries. In other words, "island girl, get over it". I won't get over it, but I'll live through it for my beloved girl. Next year, we are going to music class and even swimming classes. The pool is indoors but you know I'll be blowing drying the crap out of my hair and hers before we get in the car. I think maybe we will both wear swimming caps. That won't embarrass her in the future. Ay Mama!