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Have I Mentioned That It’s Hot?

One of the best things about living in this part of the country is that we get to fully experience all four seasons.

One of the worst things about living in this part of the country is that we get to fully experience all four seasons. One of those seasons is called “summer”, though I’m suggesting that, in the name of accuracy, we should rename this season to The Fiery Bowels Of The Hottest Furnace You’ve Ever Seen. While I’m normally pretty tolerant of hot weather, this summer is especially toasty. We’ve even made the national news in recent weeks as part of a “Heat Advisory”. That’s fancy meteorologist talk for “GET YOURSELF BACK INSIDE THE HOUSE.”

I know I shouldn’t complain. Even with the excessive heat, there’s much that I love about this time of year. Garden-fresh tomatoes, the smell of sunscreen, a break from all the homework -- I love these things. But if we’re up against a hotter-than-normal summer (is it really still only June?), we’re going to have get creative in my coping. The tempers in my house seem to rise in direct proportion to the thermometer. Here’s how we’ve been beating the heat so far:

The pool. Joining a neighborhood pool is just about the best money we spend every year. I keep a bag packed at all times by the back door, so we can dash out for a quick dip on short notice. And this summer my kids are responsible for using their own money to pay for the snacks, so it’s become a good little workshop in money management.

Watermelon. I cringe at the price of a giant watermelon, until I bring it home and remember just how far a big watermelon can go. And the kids can spit the seeds at the fence, or (let’s just be honest) each other.

The hose. The hose is our friend these days. My boys still insist on playing soccer in the backyard, even on the hottest days, so I head outside and squirt down all those sweaty heads pretty often.

Soda ban. My kids don’t love drinking water, a trait I’m afraid they inherited from me. But for the sake of simplicity, and to be sure everyone is staying well-hydrated, I’ve declared a ban on all sodas, Kool-Aid, etc. between the hours of 10 and 4. It’s water only around here during the hottest part of the day.

Indoor activities. A local bowling alley offers super-cheap pricing on games during the day, and we’re wearing out our welcome at the various inexpensive summer movie programs in town.

Room time. Okay, a confession: I think the idea of a quiet “room time” each afternoon is brilliant, yet I’ve never been consistent about requiring it. If I had it all to do over again, I’d have done this from the start, because I think it’s easier to implement something like this from the beginning than having to re-learn it at an older age. This summer, though, I’m trying to instill more discipline in the kids (and myself) by having everyone enjoy a quiet hour of rest and reading in their own room every afternoon. (Best of all? Mom gets to go to her room too!)

Popsicles. We are stocked up on popsicles. I keep them in a basket in the freezer in our garage for easy access for the kids, and I even keep a grocery sack taped to the freezer’s exterior, so there’s no excuse for stray popsicle sticks to migrate to the yard.

With two toasty months of summer left, I’m all ears for suggestions for other creative ways to beat the heat, so fire away.

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