The reason I call it ‘the great heatwave’ and not just any old hot weather is because when you have a baby, the struggle feels biblical. Yes I am grateful she’s not a newborn (feeling for those of you who have a little bean), but it just feels so much worse than normal. And yes, I am British and we love to talk about the weather!When it’s nearing 30 degrees celsius outside (in England!) and you’re desperately trying to keep your 8 month old’s bedroom cool, and she’s being grumpy through the day because (unsurprisingly) she is all hot and bothered, and all that whineing… then, my sunbathing, cider-drinking friends, this is not the one.Believe me, 2 years ago I would be loving this, granted not whilst I was working. And yes most of the population will be thinking this heat is way too much. But try having a baby (insert pet/elderly relative/etc) and be constantly battling with the idea that we should be ‘grateful’ for the ‘nice’ weather we’re having and wanting to hide in a dark cold cave. The problem is we have no air conditioning in our houses in this country. Try as I may, I put a fan in each room that the baby is in but the warm air just circulates! Last night for example, I had kept her blind closed, window open, put 2 fans in her room, basically done everything you read on the internet that is possible to damage control the heat and yet on her egg-shaped thermometer (you know the one), glaring red at me, had only budged approx 0.3 from when I had put her to bed about 18:45 and when I went to check on her at about 20:00. I mean you know it’s bad when it’s a relief when the digital number flashes between 25 and 26 degrees and your putting the (generic) sleep sack on over the baby’s nappy, rather than letting your baby flow and wriggle freely under a thin muslin.
The me of 2 years ago wouldn’t have given a toss what the exact temperature was in each room of the house. I probably would be out sunbathing in the communal garden of our flat and taking ‘shade breaks’ inside occasionally. That was the bonus of shift work in the box office: being off work on the hot days when everyone else was sludging through the sweat of commuting on the train or tube or bus into London. But then the days I was working, I had the privilege of taking lunch breaks in St.James’s Park or strolling round the back streets of Soho to find an ice-cream shop.Poor baby cant eat ice-cream yet (…can she?!) so today she was lucky enough to get an inch of frozen banana in mesh holder (one of these many baby-food inventions which we have bought into) and played with a cold wet muslin. We contemplated the paddling pool, but to be honest its even too hot out there for that! Days like today I think we’ll just lye on the cold laminate floor and throw balls around the ball pool (yes we got one for home thanks to my mum!).At least we have something to talk to the neighbours about eh?!Attempting to look on the bright side, here’s my list of positives of summer with a baby:
- No excuse needed for frozen treats (ice cream for mummy)
- Not having to wrestle baby into a coat/clothes
- Fun in the paddling pool
- Feeling the sweet air conditioning in Tesco, turning a ‘chore’ into a relief/day-trip (other supermarkets are available)
- Slathering suncream onto soft baby skin (also a negative when she wont stop wriggling)
- Wimbledon on TV
- There are no more positives.
- Ok, this year maybe the World Cup (… it was good while it lasted)
- Hurry up autumn.