Look how nippy it was this morning:
And last night it was –11*C in Brasov, where we are soon headed, so everyone is hoping the forecast snow will be a biggie!
Anyway, I digress, before I even begin.
Boys need their daddies.
Where did that come from?
We have a boy (not the youngest and not the eldest, which is saying little enough to ensure anonymity for the offending party, and he also happened to be the taker of the above photograph, which adds nothing further to his identity), who was sent down to the street yesterday to check the temperature on the display outside one of the shops (yes, the same one as in the picture above). It was warmer yesterday. 4 degrees C. You really can’t tell just how cold it is by simply looking out the window, and as our window does not have an outdoor thermometer like most other windows around town, we rely on the one up the road. We know to believe the thermometer. We learnt that lesson twenty years ago. One day in the middle of winter, a clear blue day greeted us, and we did not, for a moment, believe it could possibly be the minus twenty-something that our thermometer claimed it was. After weeks of murky grey, when we had needed the lights on all day long, the sun was now shining brightly. It *had* to be warmer than that. In fact, we decided it must be over zero and so just donned jackets and headed out. It took less than a millisecond for us to be racing back up the stairs to find thermal underwear, an extra pair of socks, thick hats, long scarves, woollen coats and our sheepskin mittens to put on top of our standard gloves. Believe the thermometer.
Today I told everyone they would need hats and gloves. Said boy suggested *he* would be fine. I informed him no-one would be going out without a hat.
”Are YOU going to wear a hat?” he enquired of his Dadda.
I don’t recall if the Dadda merely grunted an affirmative or declared enthusiastically, “I’m definitely wearing one” – but that is irrelevant. The matter for the boy was now settled. His Daddy would be wearing a hat, and so he would too.
Boys also need daddies to teach them to be strong. To arm wrestle and promise that the day a child beats the adult in such an activity, there will be a celebratory dinner. That was the day before yesterday. The promise, not the beating.
Boys need daddies to teach them to be gentle. Gentlemen even. They need to watch someone, who will open the door for the girls, who will stand back and let the girls go first, who will carry the heavy load. It’s just not the same if it’s the mother always harping on at the boys to give preference to the girls – mainly, because then the little girls start demanding, “I’m a lady, you need to give way to me”, but also because the boys seem to learn so much more quickly if it’s their revered Daddy teaching the lesson. I’m not sure if this is normal behaviour, and I *do* know that it’s not desirable, but it’s the way it is in our family, and so the task of teaching the boys in particular to respect and honour their mother, to listen to her and accept she knows a thing or two that they don’t (like when it’s four degrees you need a hat, for example) falls mainly to the Daddy.
Boys need Daddies.
Time for one more story.
Once upon a time about twenty years ago there was a young man, who lived on the seventh floor of an apartment block. One day in the middle of winter he pulled on his socks, fastened his hat under his chin, buttoned his long woollen coat, wrapped his scarf around his neck, ready to pull up over his nose before opening the front door….and out he went. This particular day the lift was a) working and b) on his floor, so he took it to ground level. As he emerged, he noticed it was cold, and he pulled his scarf up almost to his eyeballs. He opened the door that led from the stairwell to the little heat saving foyer, and closed it behind him, before opening the very front door. Even by now he was aware of something happening to him, but it would not be until he stepped out into the snow that he realised he was still wearing his slippers and his toes were snap-freezing.
Boys need daddies, who have funny stories to tell, daddies, who are not perfect, but can admit their failings and laugh at their mistakes.
I’m glad our boys are blessed with such a dadda.
As for the story behind this picture, you’ll have to wait til tomorrow to read that!
Tags: 2008/09, children, dress, health, history, housing, learning, parenting, postcard: Poland, weather