Today I walked into our local village hall for the wonderful Monday morning playgroup with chapped lips. Chapped lips! It's March the 25th and it's 2℃! It's bitterly cold.
This time last year it was sunny, temperatures often exceeded 20℃ and we were all wearing shorts and sun screen. Today we're wearing thermal underwear! In the past I didn't really moan about the weather. I moaned just about everything else: about how little sleep I got, how little I see my friends, how all I seem to do is look after children, how I don't earn any of my own money etc. Before I had children I used to enjoy pouring rain or snow. That's a little strange I know. It's all change now. Now that I have children I realise how the Great British Weather can make life brutally hard for people, especially those looking after young children.
One of the best things about spending time at a play group is that I'm not (usually) the only one moaning about something. I believe it's a new parent's prerogative to moan as much as they like. Partners returning from a day's (paid) work must just listen to our moaning, with no right of reply. Just suck it up.
I now moan about the weather. A lot. British Summer Time begins this Sunday, the clocks will go forward and the daffodils, crocus and snowdrops are coming out in London. But it's 2℃. I spend forever forcing our children into thermal clothing. They hate me manhandling them into snowsuits and I'm losing the will to live dragging them into the snow gear four times a day.
But I have recently come up with the answer to convincing our children to wear snowsuits, wooly hats and gloves. The answer to it all is boots. Peppa Pig wears boots and jumps into muddy puddles with them on! And what Peppa wears, our children are happy to wear. Whenever we are out and about these days, our children are keen to point out everyone's boots. So we finally, belatedly, got our children some boots and now the relentless task of cold-weather dressing has been eased with one simple question to them. "Do you want to wear your boots?" Dressing has never been easier.