In typically British fashion, I spent most of last week whinging about the rain between cries of ‘when is summer coming?!’. Then, in typically British fashion, the sun has arrived and my complaint is now that it is too hot. Not too hot for me I should point out, but the hot weather has added another thing to my long list of things that I worry might happen to the baby… ‘Will a bird try and peck the baby while I hang the washing out?’, ‘Can he drown himself if he drinks too much water?’, ‘What if he hides porridge in his cheeks like a hamster and then goes to sleep?’. My brain is already at worry capacity.
So with Sunday came sun, we went to his swimming lesson and barbecued in our very shaded garden. On Monday I woke up with enthusiasm for embracing the weather and set off for a lovely summers picnic at Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens. I packed us up, bundled us into the car, turned the air-con up and off we went.
Half way into the journey with a whinging six month old and the weather anxiety sets in; ‘I shouldn’t have come, it’s too hot for him. What if he overheats? What if he gets sun stroke? What if the factor 50 I’ve slathered all over him is faulty and he burns?’ I decide to stop off at the supermarket to check on him and to calm my nerves with a bottle of sparkling water. We set off again and he’s remarkably quiet. ‘Oh no, he’s too hot. Is he breathing?’ I stop at the traffic lights and poke him on the forehead. He moves and I breathe a sigh of relief.
Finally, nerves just about in tact we arrive at the destination. Lay out a blanket in the shade and wait for our friends to join us, all the while feeling tremendously guilty for bringing him out rather than sitting him in the kitchen next to the open freezer door.
After I pretty nice afternoon we come home, the narrative of my paranoid brain following a similar pattern to the journey there. Bedtime comes and his room, that he’s only been in for two weeks is pretty warm. So I decide the only thing for it is to sleep on the floor next to the cot so I can experience the same temperature as him, therefore know if he’s too hot…
Am I insane? Tell me I’m not the only one who’s mind is consumed by irrational worries? There’s no wonder I keep forgetting appointments, mixing up dates and double booking my poor friends. My baby brain cannot process any more information.
Now we’re on the third day of this glorious heatwave I’m a touch more rational. So I’m off to cover us in suncream, don the sun hats and sit in the garden. After all, there are mums in Australia who seem to cope just fine.