It’s been only a few degrees short of the surface Mercury here over the weekend, and my wife, our daughter, our six cats and I have all been patently miserable.
We’ve sequestered ourselves downstairs and closed the door leading up to the bedroom in a futile attempt to preserve the precious, sweet coolness our air conditioner is attempting to spew forth, but with our high ceilings and poorly weather-stripped cottage it’s a losing battle; there’s not enough silicone caulk in the world to plug all the holes in a drafty, 200-year-old stone house with single-glazed windows. Needless to say everyone has been incredibly cranky.
Saturday night I simply couldn’t take it any more and decided to pull an ice pack from the freezer. It’s one of those weird goo packs that freezes into a solid chunk of blue ice – we use them for the baby’s insulated bag where we keep her food when we’re out and about – and I pasted it down on my blisteringly hot corpus to gain some relief.
It was magical. A few minutes of holding the freezing-cold ice pack against my wrists or against the back of my neck and I started feeling human again. I might have spent the better part of an hour rotating the ice pack across as many body parts as possible until I finally, blissfully, fell asleep on the couch. I probably would have ended up with frostbite if my wife hadn’t taken the ice pack – which by then had become frosty goop in a sealed plastic bag – and placed it back in the freezer. I slept like the dead, waking up only when the baby needed to be changed and fed about five hours later, and then crashed for what seemed like another five hours; I woke up refreshed and actually in a good mood for once.
Unfortunately I now have an ice pack that has been plastered all over my skin, in all sorts of unsanitary places. I know I can just wash it, but how do I get the image of this bag of blue goo lodged under my armpit for 20 minutes out of my head when I’m sticking it in my daughter’s insulated bag so it can keep her formula cold? Is this going to be one of those stories I tell to her friends to embarrass the hell out of her once she’s older? I feel like I don’t want to do that to her, even though it’s a tradition when it comes to child-raising – like my mother showing my baby pictures to any girls I somehow convinced to come home with me – but there are some things better left unsaid, aren’t there?
I suppose I could always just buy a new one and keep using this one to cool my pits until the heat breaks. Though if I’m left unattended I’m likely going to just shove it down the front of my jockeys and call it a day.
You know that’s not such a bad idea….