Winter is here, and it hates me. My cheeks are red, my nose is running, I can’t put on enough jumpers or socks to keep the chill at bay, and I’ve resorted to using my six-year-old as a space heater because cuddling him is the only way I can get warm.
He’s wise to it now, and demands compensation for each five-minute snuggle. So far I’m down several episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, about $3.80 in coins (he has no concept of their worth yet, so any one coin will buy me a single cuddle), two new Lego Minifigures, and a fancy gingerbread man from the bakery near his primary school. “If you get me a gingerbread man, I’ll give you a cuddle when we get home,” was how he greeted me at school pickup on Friday. Clearly he’d observed me shivering and stamping my feet from across the carpark and hatched his cunning plan.
To add insult to injury, I discovered that one of our heaters is broken, and the local shop had sold out of replacements. “This happens every year!” I wailed dramatically to my husband. “In summer they run out of fans and in winter they run out of heaters. Why don’t they ever get it right?” He was sitting on the sofa in shorts and a T-shirt, eating an ice cream. “Dunno. Mind if I open a window?” he replied while I rummaged in the closet for gloves and another scarf. The dog wandered into the room, noticed me sizing him up for enforced petting of his warm, warm ears with my cold, cold hands, and ran back out so fast he tripped over his front legs and rolled the rest of the way through the door.
Winter is here, and as much as it hates me, I also hate it. I know, I should love the idea of snowflakes and crackling fires and hot cocoa. And I do love all of those things, from a distance and preferably in a Christmas movie (watched in the middle of our Kiwi summer). But I hate being cold. I hate cold, damp houses. I hate mouldy curtains. I hate getting out of a hot shower and stepping onto the chilly bathroom floor. Don’t get me started on the icy toilet seat in the middle of the night. I may or may not have looked on Trade Me for toilet seat warmers and then quickly shut my browser when the husband got suspicious.
The other day said husband came home from work a bit later than usual. “I bought you a present,” he announced proudly as he tromped into the house, exhaling frosty air from outside as he shut the door.
“Ooh, is it a new heater?” I squealed, rubbing my hands together with glee (instead of for warmth, as usual).
“It’s a puffer jacket!” he replied proudly, whipping it out from behind his back. Indeed it was. Purple, and fluffy, and filled with down, and apparently on sale too.
You bet I wore it to bed that night, with my flannelette pyamas, fleece bed socks, and a shawl wrapped around my head. And the next day, the husband called around and located a store that had heaters in stock, went out on his lunch break, and bought one.
Winter is here, but at least I’ve got a heater to hug when I run out of bribes to give my kids.