Many people LOVE this time of year. “I love that the weather’s getting colder!” they tell me eagerly, without a trace of sarcasm or self-doubt. And while I’d like to share in their eternal optimism, I actually do not like this time of year. Here are 10 reasons why:
1) My kids assume that it’s 80 degrees outside because it was 80 degrees three weeks ago. Every morning they come downstairs dressed in a tank and shorts, and I have to argue with them about the fact that it’s 40 degrees outside, and not only do they need long pants and shirts, they will also be wearing close-toed shoes.
2) Daylight Savings – My children will wake up an hour early in spring (and then spend the next week being grumpy and tired), but they never sleep an extra hour in fall. Everyone who is out there celebrating the extra hour of shut-eye must not have small children. And, closely related:
3) Darker evenings. This has an added benefit of confusing my kids into thinking their bedtime is at 5:45pm. But it also means the end of fun, carefree, lazy outdoor evenings.
4) Winter fruit. We all love the summer fruits – Strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, watermelon and peaches to name a few. When it gets colder, I have to say to my kids, “Sorry, those aren’t in season right now. But help yourself to some rhubarb or perhaps a lemon.” When the inevitable tantrum happens, I have to weigh whether I want to spend $100 at Whole Foods for half a pound of off-season fruit or just let them cry it out.
5) Germs and infestation. You know winter’s coming when your child comes home from school and gives an alphabetized list of all the sick kids in his class. It’s only a matter of time before that illness makes its way into your household and fells each of the kids, and then you.
6) Wild temperature swings. That pants and long-sleeves outfit that I forced my kids to wear in #1 might work for the walk to school…but then they’re burning up on the walk home. And to all of the experts who suggest dressing the kids in layers, that’s just a fancy way of suggesting they leave half of their clothes at school, never to be seen again.
7) The change of seasons requires more labor, specifically the hours I have to spend going through the kids’ closets and downstairs storage, figuring out what they can wear again from last year. This also involves a battle when I tell my second grader that the shirt he’s worn since the winter he was in Pre-K is no longer adequately stitched together.
8) Extra candy. We always buy too much and have a hard time giving it away after Halloween. Then I end up eating it “for the good of the household” and wondering why my clothes don’t fit before the holiday season has even begun.
9) Colder weather requires creativity, specifically the need to unearth all possible indoor places I can take my three boys to for the next four months. My boys are active and have a ton of energy to burn, which is not a problem in warmer weather. In colder weather, they’re bored of all the options by December and I find myself wondering if it makes sense to drive two hours away just to go to an indoor trampoline place we haven’t been to before.
10) The beginning of hibernation. When the weather is nice, we have neighborhood barbecues, s’mores bonfires and playground get-togethers. When the weather turns cold, the extent of my human interaction is often limited to a three-second wave from the warmth of my car towards someone in his or her own car who looks vaguely familiar.
I know there are plenty of wonderful things to enjoy about this time of year. The upcoming holidays, the World Series, the likelihood of snow. Many of my friends enjoy this time of year, and I think that’s great. I, on the other hand, will be eating my candy and rhubarb, praying we all stay healthy through the latest illness to invade the classroom and patiently waiting for March.