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Apparently Frostbite Is Cool

She did it again. It is -4°C outside right now. Snow flurries are in the forecast. And my 15 year old girl just walked out of the house wearing Teva sandals and no socks. I couldn’t stop myself this time, "Sarah! That’s stupid. At least put on socks." But her ride was here and obviously this is the counter culture look she is going for. Oh wait, she thought she broke her toe last night (didn’t) but it was nice and black and blue. I bet she wants to show it off today!

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Knoxville Polar Bear Club

I have now been outside, in a bathing suit, playing in cold water for the second time in January 2009. I returned home from Knoxville’s first Geek Breakfast to find the dogs outside frolicking in the mud. Dharma looked like she was doing an impersonation of a happy pig on a hot sunny day. So I stripped down and changed into only a swimsuit and my Teva Mush flipflops. Now, Molly, a 110 pound German Shepherd, is rather obedient but still doesn’t like being soaked in cold water so I get a little bit of a back exercise from her. On top of the existing pain from my trench war, I’m left unsure that I can do anything with Dharma but when I call her she approaches obediently. I’m impressed and hopeful. I hit her with the water and it turns bad quickly. Dharma howls like a werewolf in pain. She fights and twists. Holding her by the collar just won’t work. I grab her firmly by the scruff of the neck. She howls louder and tries to wrestle free. I fear that if I let go she’ll run from the yard and disappear. The blister on my thumb from the trench wars peels off leaving painful raw skin. Dharma jumps up on the lawn chairs and I worry that she’ll break a nail or hurt a leg. I wrestle her away form the chair and she knocks it over giving her access to the glass top table on the porch. She gets two paws on it and I expect to go crashing through but manage to pull her back and regain control. She sits but howls as the postman drives up to the mailbox. He waves but I know he secretly wanted to film the hilarity. "See anything interesting on your route today Bob?" "You wouldn’t believe me if I told you." Thank goodness that snow never came!

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Too cool for warmth

The morning jacket report:

The kindergartener had tears this morning because she is attired in these cute blue jean pants with a matching shirt and matching hoodie jacket. But it is frigid outside so she was required to layer her winter coat. Dad, having not put coffee in his body yet, did not have the sense to suggest she put the hoodie in her backpack and wear the winter coat to school then switch. So, she cried because she was wearing a shirt, a lightweight jacket, and a winter coat and just knew her classmates were going to laugh at her because she was wearing two coats! Innocence lost at 5 years old?! At 5 we worry about how others perceive us?! I thought at 5 we just lived to play?

Middle schooler. Umm.. He and I were caught up in trying to solve the Rubik’s cube (which was first marketed when I was in the 6th grade! How circular! My best time ever was 25 seconds in math class.) so I’m not sure if he was even wearing clothing.

High school freshman. 1) Next time she tells me she "didn’t have time to brush her teeth" she can just miss the school bus! 2) She wore her jacket! But pranced off to school in short pants… I would have forced the tooth brushing issue but was too embarrassed at the thought of dropping her off in carpool.

The high school senior made guttural noises at me when I demanded he pick his coat up off the ground. I told him to wear it and he grunted and walked out the door carrying it in his hand.

And yes, I remember been too cool for warmth. Doesn’t change the fact that I’d like to seem them dress appropriately.

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The Boy With No Brain Meets Mr Freeze

It’s cold outside. I mean I can see my breath! Since the Boy Scouts are preparing for a winter camp we are talking about frost bite, hypothermia, layering and so forth. This past Monday, one of the adults experienced in winter camping came out in full cold weather attire and explained the importance of clothing, and layering clothing,to the scouts.

I need to start waking Amy earlier. Her morning tantrums over the wrong clothing being out made us miss the bus for a week. I think she is enjoying the carpool lobby but she also enjoyed the bus. After taking her to school this morning, I return in time to see the high schoolers making their way to the bus stop each wearing a thin shirt and for show they have their inadequate windbreakers on but not zipped declaring they are tool cool for warmth. It bugs me but they are old enough to both know better and to suffer the consequences. Then I catch the middle schooler shortcutting between two houses with no jacket at all! He just had the course Monday night on the importance of proper winter attire! On shout later and he is bee lining it back to the house. I catch him at the house for half a Reflection (that’s Boy Scoutese for socratic questioning) and half a lecture (I’m not real good at socratic questions). Then send him, wearing coat, running to the bus stop. I bet the coat does not come home.