Saturday, April 12, 2008

variable conditions

Back in the UK and you can’t believe the weather… OK, I know it’s a cliché that the English talk about the weather all the time but there’s a reason for it. An anthropologist has described it as ‘grooming talk’ which basically means that if I as a total stranger speak about the weather and you agree with me, what has effectively happened is that I have said ‘I would be happy to interact with you as a human, what do you think?’ and you have said ‘I too would be happy to interact with you’. I think there’s another reason though, which is that when you live in a place where the weather changes all the time you’re always looking for clues about what it’s going to do next. Hence, in Alberta, Canada, people also talk about the weather a lot. If it’s dry, everyone’s hoping to hear that there’s going to be another two feet of snow, if it’s cold everyone’s hoping for a Chinook. In London at the moment everyone is just hoping for someone else to say ‘yes but I’ve heard it’s going to settle down soon and we’re in for a really hot summer’.

When we got back from France we took an unexpected route home via Greenwich and Blackheath. You have to understand here that our drive to the airport normally emcompasses London at rush hour and we are always looking for our own NorthWest Passage to Stansted to take us around the chaos Anyway, Blackheath was littered with the melting bottom parts of snowmen – twenty or thirty of them, little rounds of snow clotting the heath like wintery memorials to the plague dead beneath them. While we were away, in other words, London had proper snow – and in April, too. And we missed it.

Never mind, I’m sure there will be more snow in our lives. The worst weather we have at the moment is that of my little pudgeball who is suffering from proper hysterics these days, big, bad crying fits that come out of nowhere where he can’t control his arms and legs and doesn’t want to be held or to be left alone. We sit on the sofa, him arching and straining and me holding tight and muttering gently at him until he calms down and is pretty immediately back to his sunny self, busily dismantling our lives one cable at a time. I gather this is a normal phase and several parents I know are suffering from the same weather but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch him go through it.

The rest of the time he is hotwired for fun and games and general destruction. He can now take down a CD, open it up, take it out, turn on the CD player, put in the CD and press play. What he cannot do however is wait for it to finish before he puts it away and so we are being treated to the same four bars of the same first track of the same CD pretty much ad nauseum at the moment which is making my own internal weather patterns a little on the rough side.

Today we are babysitting a friend of his the same age and we are in for an afternoon of running around and battling for possession of various toys. Hopefully this will not encompass another tantrum however it is entirely possible.

The great news of course is that there is a clear forecast for this which is that he will grow out of it and in to other things and all we can do is to grab a drink, sit back on our deck-chairs and watch.


Anonymous said...

Gee I'm first!. You caught me a few in the snoot kiddo, and th odd right to the ear but yes, he will grow out of it
In Alberta we talk about the weather because we are living beteen three thousand miles of prairie and forest and a thousand miles of mountains, We "always" have a final dump of snow in April and it happend this week, but Calgary got it all, every bit. in the surrounding countryside there was nothing or just a skiff of snow. So we are still dry. But it's 20C on the deck right now. Good usual.xox

Jonny's Mommy said...

Ah. Snow isn't so great. YOu didn't miss much. We get a lot where I am but I've had enough for awhile.

As for the screaming fits, etc. Yes, my little one is going through similar motions right now and oh isn't it so fun?
No. Not really. It is 11:30 at night and he is still roaming the house....this is what we also call teething. Yeah. Very fun.....or not.

Glad you are home and safe, anyhow

Cactus Petunia said...

And here I am, in Portland, Oregon- not quite as far above the 45th parallel as London, but having also experienced pretty crazy weather this spring, and about which, I can say I truly sympathize...Also, my youngest is now the ripe old age of 24, and the oldest...27. I think the spud is a prodigy. I'll just pass along my motto, which has served me well all these years (and I'm still here to tell the tale, mind you): "This, too, shall pass." Enjoy it, (and him) while you can!

Sparx said...

Anonymous parental unit - oops, sorry about that - although I'm sure that at the Spud's age I wasn't planning on giving you my right hook. He nearly busted my nose last week happily headbutting me in fun.

Jonny's Mommy... oh poor you! Teething is the devil. We're just waiting for the last ones to come through, isn't it a nightmare?

Cactus Petunia - welcome! And, thanks for the useful words. As far as my frog is concerned this can't pass fast enough! He's not enjoying this bit at all I'm afraid but never mind. Well done for surviving two of them!

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