Thursday, February 1, 2007

No business like snow business

I had a problem on Tuesday that I had never encountered before, nor ever conceived of. It was a very chilly day -13°C (8°F), but the sun was out and it looked so beautiful that I decided to take the boys out (before we suffered extreme cabin fever). The boys bundled up in the stroller, with their winter clothes, jackets and hats in their Bundle Me’s and with the stroller’s storm cover, are very well protected against both the cold and wind (in fact, sometimes they are too hot!). Therefore, it is usually a matter of whether or not I think I can handle the cold as to whether we go out or not. 

We went to the Zoo and were some of the only people there apart from the zoo-keepers and a number of homeless who sit in the inside zoo exhibits to escape the cold. Several zoo-keepers noted that they were impressed that we were ‘brave’ enough to be out. While in the African Journey exhibit, we sat down to have a snack. I was just about to wipe the boys hands with some baby wipes that I keep in the bottom of the stroller. This is when I became aware of this ‘new’ problem. The wipes were frozen solid! Of course, as time went by, I needed to change Nic’s pooey nappy. I had to ‘defrost’ the wipes under a hand dryer and warm them before subjecting Nic to an experience that might have been somewhat unpleasant. 

It is a little hard to get my head around the fact that when the sun is shining brightly it can be bitterly cold outside. It looks so bright and fresh and still (with no leaves to hint as to whether there might be a breeze or not). Double glazing, central heating and well-insulated housing provides not a clue. I encountered somewhat of a similar problem when I moved to sub-tropical Brisbane. I would see an overcast sky and dress a little more warmly, only to swelter in the heat and humidity. Melbourne’s overcast skies meant that an extra layer, perhaps an umbrella were required – not good training!

Paul is Italy at the moment, which only exacerbates the feeling of cabin fever. Deb and Ann came to the rescue yesterday, dropping by with Emily and Rachel and Joshua to provide some adult company for me, and some playmates for the boys. I also met Polly in a local Starbucks this afternoon, half way between our houses. Only Luc and Polly’s son Callan ordered anything. I was very proud of Luc taking himself to the toilet. Callan went in to ‘help Luc’. By the time I got in to check on them, Luc was washing his hands and Callan was helping with the soap dispenser, and fetching a toilet seat cover for Luc to dry his hands. We left the coffee shop when the boys became a little too crazy and went for a walk to the Lincoln Park Conservatory (nice and warm inside), and then the Zoo. 

This morning Nicolas threw his breakfast bowl on the floor. I gave him the ‘mummy glare’ to show my disapproval. He looked back at me with big sorrowful eyes and a trembling lip. I almost felt sorry for him until he responded by blowing a raspberry at me! I don’t know where he picked this up from (if Paul taught him this then he is in big trouble).

Photo: Looking south towards the Hancock Tower from the Lincoln Park Conservatory - note snow!

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