Thursday, January 17, 2008


I am really cold. Right now. There's a warm computer on my lap, but my legs are still cold. There's a sweater on my arms, and I'm still cold.

At least I'm not as cold as my mom was that day. On the way home tonight, my mom told me the story of the first time she encountered real cold. It was 17 degrees + wind chill, and they were in Brooklyn. She had gone to the store with 2 year-old Amy and 3 year-old Elizabeth (about 3 or 4 city blocks away). Amy and Liz were in their snow suits and mittens (can't you just imagine how cute they were) but traumatized by the cold (can't you imagine how pink their little noses must have been?). She was walking downhill towards the warmth of the house, with Amy on her left hip and Liz on her right. Here let me point out that Amy and Liz have very different ways of coping with stress. Poor Liz. Poor Amy. And, oh, my mother must be the strongest woman alive. So, it's so cold outside (and this intense cold is a new thing for all three of them) while Amy is on one hip silently sobbing (her reaction to stress at the time) and Liz is on the other hip throwing a fit (and...her reaction). Amy was just silently, well, sobbing, and Liz's fit didn't mean she wanted to be put down, it just meant that she was really really cold. So pitiful!! Plus, this was new for my mom (and she was carrying a grocery bag + two children) who just had to push through to get home. She described it as one of those things that you can't do, but you have to.

Today, I didn't wear my coat. Amy made me put it on to go into Starbucks, but I pumped gas without it. Well, I pumped gas once without it. When I pumped gas again later, just holding the nozzle with my exposed hand for thirty seconds made there be actual pain. It's really cold here.

But, P-shaw! I'm a Chicago girl. That's my conclusion.

Lesson we all learned from the story of the two kids in icy weather: Try, if at all possible, to not have one, two, or even three toddlers in outer Mongolia during the winter.

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