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  • Niamh

Toddlers And Heatwaves Don't Mix

Looks like the great heatwave of 2018 is upon us… but this time it’s not just an Irish wow-it’s-19-degrees-lets-lash-out-the-shorts, sort of heatwave our friends in Oz might laugh at, but an actual weather warning style heatwave where we’re going to have record breaking highs of up to 30 degrees! Okay those in Oz might still sniff at that, but 30 degrees in Ireland is a real novelty.

Pre-kids, I would have been out in the back garden lobster-ing myself with the best of them, trying desperately to get my milk bottle legs a shade of Instagram-able golden, only to end up getting burned to a bloody crisp. It would have been air con on in the car, radio up, BBQ’s for dinner and a sneaky midweek beer or two in the back garden, or coolest rooftop terrace in town after work. My only worry would have been breaking out my summer dresses from the attic and finding the right sandals to go with them.

Now though, a heatwave is akin to the seventh level of hell. Why you may ask? One word – toddler.

Pre-kid me would have thought, yes summer time! Sprinkling each other with the hose, fun and easy trips to the beach, ice cream and picnics.

Oh how wrong I was. Maybe it gets easier as your kids get that bit older, but for me with an 18 month old, a heatwave is a pain in the arse.

Now I’ll probably spend most of this week trying desperately to cool down my toddler’s room, opening windows, closing blinds, fussing over what to put him in at night. Managing heat rashes, trying to get him to drink more water, running around after him as I try and slap 50+ suncream on every orifice, while I try and keep his hat on and die a little bit inside as he flings it off for the 100th time in a row, as I pant in a corner sweating like some kind of farm animal.

Then I’ll presumably have the bright idea of packing us off to the beach, yes that will keep us cool, right?! But no, the reality will not match up to my expectation. He’ll end up burning his feet on the sand, while he runs for the massive dunes only to be told he can’t run up them because it’s too dangerous… cue massive meltdown as he makes a break for the waves, only to get a huge fright and then start to dip his soother in the seawater to have repeated tastes of this salted wonder. Then he’ll pull his hat off AGAIN and refuse to stay on the towel… cue another meltdown. Then he’ll start putting sand on his food as I try and get more sunscreen on him and fail miserably.

Eventually it’s carrying him all the way back to the car with three bags and an umbrella on my shoulder, as I do the mammy-pack-mule stagger. Eventually, I get the car in my sights, but you’ve guessed it, we have to walk past the ice cream van, which we just cannot do without getting a cone, lest my toddler roars as if he is actually being murdered. So I contort my body to get the money out and get him a cone and collapse into the car only to remember that I’ll have to enjoy cleaning up the dairy aftermath in the back of the car later on.

So after the hell of the beach, is behind me, the next day I’ll probably think, right lets blow up the pool! I get to it and spend 20 minutes sitting on the ground pumping it up until I think I’ve given myself the bends. I grab the hose and enjoy the only fun part of the process as we fill up the pool with water. I watch as he delights in seeing the water go in, just enough to make it fun but not too much to overwhelm him. Then I’ve got to try and wrangle the swimming onesie on and get him in the pool with the water resistant sun cream. Nope, it’s too cold mammy. So off I hope to boil a few kettle loads of water to make it a bit more luke-warm. Meanwhile he’s hanging over the side drinking the pool water from a toy. I get the temperature just right, but he point blank refuses to go in….

That's when I'll decide to get in, preferably with a large glass of wine in my hand! Here’s to heatwave fun, parenting style!

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