Too Hot for Us 2 by Dina Ramon
We’re having a heat wave and it’s straining my patience, and my daughter’s. I should be sluggish and sleepy, wiped out from the heat. But instead I am revved up, stressed, and jumping from one thing to another. I’m cranky and sweaty and I confess, losing my temper more than I want to with my daughter. For sure, other factors are setting me off – rude drivers, political pundits, and having to turn on the air conditioning (don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to have it). But it seems like the hotter the day is, the more I have to repeat myself before my daughter “hears” me and does what I ask her to. We’re not talking about having to say something once or twice, but more like a couple of calm requests, then a few firm demands, followed by a few more fired up threats of ‘no watching America’s Got Talent’ if you do not brush your teeth right now!’ And that prompts her to raise her voice right back at me and say she’s doing it. It’s the heat, I tell you. We are both just a little “off.” She’s a wonderful kid, and I think I’m a pretty good mom but the hot weather just tweaks our temperaments. I notice that we’re saying ‘sorry’ to each other more than we ever did. She gives me a lot more pushback, and I get overly annoyed when she takes dirty clothes out of the hamper to wear, or whines. But of course she’s whining… it’s 95 degrees outside and she spends her day running around at camp! She needs activity and loves her camp but six hours a day may be too much of a good thing. I see a little more rebellious and talk back behavior. And now she has adopted “kitty talk.” She thinks it’s funny to communicate by meowing. Could she be dehydrated and that is why she acts this way? I don’t think so; I send plenty of water to camp and fill her up before and after. My excuse for being overly crabby and testy when it’s so hot is that it’s probably hormonal. There’s not a whole lot I can do about that. I also get flashbacks to eight years ago when I was nearly 9 months pregnant, happy but swollen, and unable to stay cool in any kind of lightweight maternity wear. My brain feels cooked and tomorrow is supposed to be another hot one. Sometimes a hot day means stepping back, letting your daughter spray you with the hose, and taking it slow instead of speeding through the day to accomplish things that could probably wait.