Reasons why I don’t have kids #68

Today was my last day in work and the glorious summer has well and truly arrived (thirty-one degrees and 60% humidity). My current position is this: starfish, butt naked, litre of iced-water to hand with a couple of strategically placed fans on full blast. I start removing clothing as I’m climbing the stairs to my flat, because I just can’t wait to be rid of the trappings of ‘decency’ demanded by the office. And don’t even get me started on bras, in these temperatures…….. On Saturday I didn’t set my alarm, woke at eleven, dragged my hot, heavy body to the kitchen to make a delicious smoothie – *more of that later – then to the lounge; where I lay down again. I drifted in and out of sleep and at one point wasn’t entirely sure I wasn’t slipping into a coma.

It’s at times like these that I like to remind myself (and others) that we are basically animals, and any decent animal worth their beastly salt would be doing exactly the same in this heat. Case in point my brother’s cat who, on the same day, ‘napped’ for the best part of eighteen hours. Then went out for the evening and probably killed something twice her size as an offering to the God of Food – my bro – because she’s definitely part lion.

Lynx family resting in shade

Watch any nature documentary and you won’t see anything wild, doing anything wild during the blistering heat of the day. Ever. So why do modern day human animals have to beast – pardon the pun – themselves to death, when their ancestors were probably napping under trees or in caves. Because if our ancestors didn’t do that, they’d probably have died. And sometimes it actually feels like that might happen on the metro at this time of year. Don’t forget also, back then they didn’t have the heaven-sent life hacks from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow/Kim Kardashian to hand; like vagina ice-baths and all over botox to stem sweating, to help them through the summer season.

I find it difficult to even get dressed if there are no fixed plans in place and; I don’t feel bad about it. There’s nothing more liberating than being naked, and on top of that, walking through the airstream of a fan on full blast en route to the west/east wing. Humour me: my flat is 35 metres square.….. I even plan to paint as nature intended me, this holiday. I’m five floors up, no one can see me, it’s wonderfully freeing.

The summer holidays in Blighty are six weeks and I know the difficulty friends, family and old colleagues routinely have, trying to organise child care. Here, the kids are off for three months. Three WHOLE months. Because the old ‘it’s too hot to do anything’ rules are still in place for them, but not the adults. Can you imagine the nightmare parents here have? It’s bad enough at home. Coordinating themselves, together or not, and then another two months to fill. And all in this exhausting heat. And no poor child needs to witness naked mum kneeling on the floor over canvasses, throwing paint around or collapsed in a sweltering heap, glugging back water like a camel preparing to embark on an epic desert journey.

*And I don’t think I’ve eaten anything solid since I purchased my mini blender. I get up, throw things in it, whizz it for a few seconds et voila! I get home, throw things in it, whizz it for a few seconds et voila! It’s perfect for this weather, as I don’t want to eat anything remotely warm, and it’s impossible to find the energy to chew solids some days. I now consider myself to be a master blender of all things sweet or savoury and of experimental flavour combos. But, I couldn’t legitimately keep my kids in the same manner for the entirety of the summer break. So, where would I muster the energy to get up, shower, get dressed, cook, bathe and dress others, do all the summer stuff, and not die as a result? I’m not sure forced napping is acceptable. And I’m almost certain milkshakes and smoothies are not a healthy, staple diet – although they would be hugely popular and make me the best mum in the world, to my kids; but I’m pretty sure not to doctors and or social services.

Hazy summer days are wonderfully romantic, enjoyable and lazy; but not easy with children. And that is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #66

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