Children Welcome

Dear readers,

I know, it has been a while. I apologise. I also know that I have promised a rant about the downsides of living here in Cape Verde but the weather was too wonderful today to find anything bad to say. Instead I am going to make you all a bit more jealous of my life here. How nice am I?

Well, granted, if you hate kids you will most likely not be very impressed. Because one of the big advantages of living here is how much children are appreciated, loved and taken care of.

Children Welcome (image credit: http://pictogram-free.com)

Children Welcome (image credit: http://pictogram-free.com)

We had noticed before, while traveling with the then-1 1/2 and 2 1/2 year-old Little Monster, how friendly and openly child-loving the locals here are. A lot of folks would smile at us, chat with us (or our offspring), they would tickle the little man, try to entertain him and generally be super welcoming. Even teenage boys who, in our latitudes, wouldn’t look at a toddler if their life depended on it, would pinch his cheeks or ask for his name and nod general approval.

Moving here with the new baby 18 months ago, I was sometimes wondering if we were doing the right thing. You know, developing country, hygiene, medical standards etc. All my worries have been disspelled since though as the health care system here is taking very good care of the little ones. Yes, we are in the fortunate position of being able to afford private medical care but even for those who can’t, health care is cheap, immunisations are free and doctors of all specialist areas (including dentists) will go around the local kindergartens and schools offering free consultations at least once a year.

And as to hygiene, well, truth be told I think that a little more dirt ingestion can go a long way toward preventing nasty allergies. Even the tap water here is drinkable, provided you have a filter system installed which will also relieve you from having to haul water from the shops and producing ever more plastic rubbish.

Having two little ones now, we are often engaged in conversations by the local people who want to know their names and ages, whether they go to kindergarten here, speak the local language Crioul and all kinds of other information. With the Little Monster being 5 years old, it is rather interesting that most people will ask him directly about himself and his brother, showing respect toward this little person and his opinions. A lot of people living in our area recognise our children and actually identify us (you know, random white people of which there are a lot around) by the fact that we are their parents.

When the Little Monkey (a.k.a. #2) was pre-walking and we’d all go to a restaurant, someone of the staff would for sure pick him up from his pram and bounce and entertain him so that we got to enjoy our meals and could pay some attention to the older one. And other patrons would generally enjoy the sight instead of getting annoyed because the waitress had some fun at work. Just one more sign of the wonderfully laid-back general attitude of the people here.

If I have to go to the bank, I am awarded priority service with a little child (also true for disabled and pregnant customers). At first I didn’t know that, so people who had been waiting in line for sometimes substantial amounts of time would motion me to go ahead, and no-one ever gave me the evil eye for cutting the line. I feel so bad about this that I will now go to the bank on my own if at all possible.

In this country, where unemployment is rather high and many people can’t afford child care, people tend to take their children everywhere. It is just normal to bring your kid to work on a Saturday (when the kindergarten is closed) or have the baby on your lap when sitting with your lawyer or accountant. Children are simply everywhere which makes it heaven for expat parents.

Do you remember how it was when we grew up? We would spend considerable chunks of time outside in any weather, playing with our friends, without our parents knowing where exactly we were and what exactly we were doing. Living in Cape Verde is like this. A blast from the past. I simply tell the Little Monster when he has to be at home and off he scoots, getting up to all kinds of nonsense which I don’t want to – and don’t have to – be privy to. No stranger danger, no sue-happy folks when kids are accidentally overstepping – parents’ paradise.

Then there is of course the aspect of the location. The weather here is 99.9% outdoorsy, and when it rains it is actually so novel and exciting that the monsters want to be outside still. The beach and pool give them endless opportunities to frolick around and I am very much hoping that one day they will take up one or several of the numerous water sport activities available here. Plus, there are hardly any children’s programmes on TV anyway that could entice them to spend their time indoors. What more could a parent ask for?

The Little Man and the Sea

The Little Man and the Sea

Here is one last bit of information to convince you that I live in a parenting Utopia: 1st June is International Children’s Day. In Cape Verde, it is a public holiday, believe it or not. Anyone wanting to move here now?

When you hear “crisp”, do you think of lettuce?

Dear readers! I have to apologise. When I started this blog in November last year I did so with the unexpressed but underlying intention of updating it on a more or less regular basis with hilarious or outrageous stories from my life among Brits. These efforts have of late been severely thwarted by a lady thing. I am pregnant.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a joyous time in my life. I get to study every nook and cranny of the four toilet bowls in our house (and some outside our house, too) intensively, wear bras double the size of my usual cups, get loads of exercise running to the loo every 15 minutes and my little monster lifts up my shirt in public, proudly announcing to complete strangers “There is a baby!”. At the same time I have to battle with a few adversities though such as being forced to take an afternoon nap every day, comb through more and more hair every morning or eat healthily. Seriously, judging by what the little parasite in me has me crave, he/she seems to be wanting to become a vegetarian.

Which finally brings me back to the topic of this post – food choices.

Before anyone is tempted to pigeonhole me, I am NOT a health food fanatic, vegetarian or otherwise exceedingly conscious of what is ending up in my stomach. My BMI which has traditionally hovered somewhere around the upper limits of “normal” will vouch for that. Although I have to admit that raising a child and cooking for him and myself on a regular basis has certainly made me more aware of what’s out there – and how simple things can markedly improve his and my good food vs. bad food balance. Granted, wading the shallows of preservatives, additives, organic, bio, processed or – god forbid – genetically engineered food can be intimidating and time-consuming. However, it is not rocket science to know that an apple trumps a chocolate muffin.

Sure, I like them too. In moderate amounts.

A pack of Walkers Salt & Vinegar potato crisps. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For some reason, this subcategory of common sense doesn’t seem to be overly developed here on the island. It simply boggles my mind how often I see toddlers and children in the park around lunch time, snacking away on a bag of crisps*. I mean, how much harder is it to wash a few grapes or cut up two peaches and put them into a resealable plastic container before you leave for the playground with your little ones instead of pocketing a bag of crisps?!

Unfortunately, crisps seem to be a main staple of the British diet. They almost always come in these handy 80g packages (sold individually or, much cheaper, in wholesale amounts, i.e. huge bags that compete in size with my 3-year old – I kid you not!). And you will struggle to find a set meal outside a sit-down restaurant that doesn’t include a packet of crisps.

crisps

How about a carrot instead?

Note that even this artery-clogging meal contains crisps on top of everything else!

A traditional English meal of fish and chips, with beer, tartar sauce, and salt and vinegar crisps. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Note that even this artery-clogging meal contains crisps on top of everything else!

 

Make them organic, hand-made, from 100% British potatoes, whatever; it doesn’t change the fact that crisps are junk food, period. Including them in your (or worse, your kids’) meals on a daily basis will play havoc with your and their health. The fact that the UK is leading the obesity statistics in Europe in nearly every demographic should suffice as proof. Although British dietary mainstays like pies (I’m talking the pasty, greasy, meat-derivative filled variety), sausage rolls (Don’t ask! – If you have to know, google it) or the traditional fish and chips might have a good chunk of complicity in this sad record.

The funny thing is that, where I come from, you can’t even buy chips in snack-sized bags. Which obviously is a positive thing not just from a waste avoidance point of view. If I really want to treat my child to some potato chips (maybe because I am craving them and don’t want him to have to leave the room) I can always give him some from a big bag. Or cut up a watermelon instead. Of course this approach would require a modicum of self-control and a basic knowledge of what’s desirable in food choices.

But then, what do I expect from a country that has to mark fruit and vegetables with a specifically designed logo for people to know that these are the healthy options and how much of them to consume? Whenever I see the “5 a day” sign on a punnet of strawberries I always imagine some nitwit scrutinising a packet of crisps, wondering why on earth it doesn’t count as one of his “5 a day”, seeing that they are made from potatoes.

Thanks for telling me that tomatoes are ok to consume. I’d hate to die in ignorance.

 

 

* For my confused non-British readers: crisps are what the rest of the world calls chips, whereas chips over here are fries elsewhere. Easy, or not?

Someone save me from Health and Safety!

Brits are a very safety-conscious people. Security is their lifeblood. I think they invented the phrase ‘play it safe’. Incidentally, it’s an English phrase, so chances are I’m right.

I’ll never get over all the little things here that are designed to minimise the risk in peoples’ lives. Like the neon-coloured high visibility safety vests that every cyclist and professional driver is wearing, along with gardeners, rubbish pick-uppers, supermarket cashiers and loads of ordinary people just walking down the street. Sure, if I was a lollipop lady I might want to don one of these, too, but leaving the house early in the morning when it’s still dark doesn’t mean you are automatically hit by a car without your high-viz vest. Unless, of course, you can’t wait for green before crossing the street.

And what’s with all the warning signs? You know, I was under the impression we Germans were the world champions of ridiculous, superfluent danger notices à la ‘Don’t go too close to the drop-off, you might fall down’. Look at this one here:

IMG_1122

I mean, isn't this just the peak of covering your arse?!

 

Sorry, the little monster wasn’t even half that age when he confidently strode towards said tower. At first, I had to help out a little by holding my hand under his bottom when he climbed up the ladder with rungs at intervals more than half the length of himself. But soon he’d just monkey all the way up and come down the really long slide on his own.

It was quite an accomplishment for him, and he was accordingly proud. Who am I to thwart such enthusiasm by pointing out that he had to wait another 2 1/2 years plus? Only so that the zoo could not get sued if anything ever happened to a less-than-5-year old!

This kind of disclaimer is unfortunately all-too common around here. When friends of mine from Germany visited last year, we had to make it almost a sport to find a place that would microwave the baby food jar for their youngest. It normally took several attempts, and the usual response (especially at but not restricted to chains like Subway or Burger King) was “Sorry, management doesn’t allow me to do it because they could get sued if I heat it up too much and your baby burns his tongue”. Really?! Which parent would 1. not check the temperature before feeding something someone else has warmed up to their little one and 2. sue the helpful soul that had mercy on their hungry toddler?

I also think the island monkeys might have invented helicopter parenting. If you so much as sit down on a bench at the playground and let your toddler run around and explore on his own you get shot dirty looks. The other day the little monster threw a tantrum (it’s known to happen with 2-year olds, you know) on the way home from the shops, and because I couldn’t be asked to drag a screaming, wriggling rugrat along I just kept walking slowly, confident he would follow me eventually as he does. Two minutes later I was shouted at by a complete stranger who deemed the distance of about 30 metres between him and me too large to be safe. For whatever reason, because this is a section of the pavement that is actually separated from the road by a fence. I suppose I should have put a leash on my little monster, that would have taught him!

Just like that day when we went to a pantomime with him. OK, one could argue why I have to take a not-yet-3-year old to a theatre, but then, despite my general awesomeness, I have by bad-mom moments like everyone else I guess. Plus, my mother-in-law had been raving about how much fun the kids have at these Christmas shows with singing along and dancing in the aisles. Except that no-one was allowed in the aisles. For health-and-safety reasons. Of course. God forbid someone trip over him or he fall down the stairs!

Newsflash, people: Kids need to run around on their own, bump their heads or fall down a climbing frame every now and then. It’s called adventure and an integral part of growing up. More often than not they will not even hurt themselves (much) because their bones and ligaments are still super flexible. And it will teach them valuable life skills. Like risk assessment, or finding out where their limits are. Pushing those limits in order to succeed. Trust in their own abilities and ask for help when they feel they can’t succeed on their own. I am convinced they come out better people when you don’t constantly mollycoddle them.

And please, don’t continually try to decide for me, too, what’s too dangerous and what’s not. It will only bring out my rebellious side and I will end up taking risks that I wouldn’t have taken if it weren’t forbidden.

 

Note: I am probably not as bad a mother as I make myself sound. My little monster is actually allowed to play risk-free games, I do comfort him when he hurts himself and I (dare I say it?) cringe when he runs, climbs or does other risky stuff at insane speeds and with his seemingly uncoordinated movements. I just don’t stop him all the time.

Let your children off the leash!

IMG_1722

If you have to put her on a leash, at least use it to keep her off the cycling lane!

This is what I saw the other day on my way home from the supermarket. Yeah, look closer. And don’t let her atrocious boots distract you from the even more heinous lapse of having her child on a leash!

The appalling bit is, here in the UK, I see this all the time! When I last visited Germany, I specifically paid attention to how often I would see parents with their kids on a lead. Well, yes, there is the odd occurrence, but it doesn’t even remotely compare to how frequently the average island monkey does it.

I was curious whether I would be able to unearth more facts to back up my observations. So I typed into Amazon.co.uk ‘harness and reins’ and was ‘rewarded’ with a horrifying number of 95 different products. Type the German equivalent search term into Amazon.de, you get 30 results! What does that tell you? That’s right, we Germans don’t care about our kids. We want to see them in pain and unsafe.

Sure, I could, with a lot of imagination, conceive of situations where a rein might possibly be useful. Like when you are at the airport, trying to check in your bag and therefore waiting in the slowest ever queue, and your little monster is convinced that running around and challenging the definition of ‘authorised personnel’ is way more fun than standing in line with Mommy. Or when you are at a busy supermarket and the beckoning of the muffin aisle is so much more enticing for your offspring than your pleading to stay with you.

But in the pictured situation? Just walking down the road, hardly any other people around, and not even any hands occupied by lugging grocery bags/pushing pushchairs/holding siblings in check? To what purpose does this little girl have to walk on a leash? Is she prone to run away? Fall over? Bump into other pedestrians? Pass on the germs from her grubby hands to her moms’ clinically clean ones? I’ll never know.

My other ‘favourite’ observation of this kind happened at the park and I didn’t dare take a photograph lest the lens burst with indignation. Or maybe I just didn’t have my camera on me that day. In any case you will just have to take my word for it: it was disgraceful!

Another lady, another little girl on a leash. But this time not next to a road with all its terrible dangers but – you might want to sit down or hold onto something – on a PLAYGROUND! The little one, probably about 2, tried to use the slide but that would have meant that said lady would have had to get up onto that thing as well, which of course she didn’t.

OK, in this case it was clearly not the little girl’s mother, but her grandmother, on the reigning end of the rein. And she was probably just uncertain how best to rein in a dinky, shy 2-year-old other than with a, well, rein. Mind you, here in the UK, the average mother is probably about 19 years old, so this granny was not that much older than myself and would have been able to keep up with her granddaughter. But what if, god forbid, the girl would have fallen over and possibly ended up with a bruise (cue shocked outcry, preferably with your hands on your cheeks)? Mommy might have gotten so angry that gran would have been forbidden to ever again take her granddaughter to the playground. Ever!

I mean, children running around freely on a playground? Without the safety of a Safety 1st Safety Harness that “Comes complete with walking rein to give your child the freedom to walk around safely”?! Whatever next?!

Eventually the girl had to climb down the stairs again because granny just wouldn’t let go of the bloody reins! I would have laughed at the ridiculousness of the scene if it wouldn’t have been so sad!

Again, I confess that I have been in situations where I wished I had one of these things to keep my little monster in check. However, both times I made the conscious decision not to buy one. I feel that putting a child on a leash lacks the dignity and respect I wish to concede to any person, regardless of their age.

monkey harness

Hey, you've got a monkey on your back. Erm... Never mind, my bad, it's just a DOG LEASH!

Oh, and making them pink for girls, camouflage them as little backpacks or use stuffed animals for the extra cuteness factor doesn’t change the fact that your child would be happier without it!

By the way, if you were wondering whether there is anything that could take the concept of leashes for children over the top, yes, there is! The newest must-have is apparently a retractable rein. Yeah, you’re reading correctly, just like the ones for doggies!

Newsflash, people: Your little one is not a dog that needs reining in! So, you claim it’s all about your child’s safety? Sorry, but I don’t buy it. Because in this case you would be saying that all the parents that don’t use them don’t give a rat’s arse about their kids’ wellbeing. Not the case! To be honest, to me it just looks like you are trying to dodge one of your responsibilities as a parent.

Granted, I am by no definition an expert in this field, but common sense sounds pretty convincing to me when it argues that holding your child’s hand, talking to him, giving him reasons why he can’t do certain things, explaining situations and dangers to him and – please don’t stab me for this one – letting him actually run around as long as you can keep an eye on him seems to be a much more sensible way of raising him to become an independent, responsible, self-reliant person who can confidently assess risks and judge situations.

Also, you don’t do your little one a favour by shielding her from each and every possible danger, imagined or real. I read the other day that empowerment is the freedom to fail. So, please, let your child make their own experiences. Yes, falling down does hurt, but it also teaches them valuable lessons that will reduce the likelihood of them falling again the next time.

And if you absolutely have to use a rein in certain, particularly dangerous situations, please make sure you restrict its use to these instances. And please, don’t forget that you have your child on a leash, it could look funny…

Boys in tights

OMG, it's a boy!

OMG, it's a boy! (© me!)

At the beginning of my little monster’s first winter, he was about 6 months old and had just begun to crawl. So I went out to a store for children’s clothes, wanting to buy this indispensable item of winter clothing that is tights. Alas, no luck. I only found the pink, purple and white-with-flowers varieties for girls. Now, while I personally wouldn’t have minded seeing him in those I wanted to avoid him being called a little girl any more than necessary. It might also have had something to do with the fact that I like being in my husbands will.

So I tried another store. And another one. To no avail. Relating the story to my English Mom-in-law finally shed light on the matter: Island monkeys don’t do tights for little boys. Why? Because tights are for girls. Ah yes…

So I would like to make a case here for tights for boys. Maybe I can change one or two of your island monkey’s minds.

1. Tights are comfy.

I mean, have you seen how your little one struggles to get up onto that chair there in his (undoubtedly handsome) little pair of jeans? No such problems in tights. He can run around as if naked. Actually, I think, tights are the next best thing to letting them run around without clothes. Especially in winter! They are just perfect for horsing around at the nursery or playgroup.

Oh, I hear you argue that track suit bottoms (or whatever you might call them) are also quite comfortable. Well, they are, but have you looked at these usually grey, shapeless things lately? There is a time and a place for everything, and track suit bottoms should be worn in a gym or when going for a jog in cold weather. Otherwise the wearer just looks like a chav.

2. Tights are practical.

My little hero is potty training and unless his jeans have an elastic waist, he struggles with pulling them down and – after the deed – back up. Never happened with tights.

You advocates of track suit bottoms: See above.

3. Tights are cosy.

Why do you think your daughter likes wearing them?

4. Tights are essential for layering.

You know, the onion principle. When it becomes colder, you put on layers. You also put layers onto your little boy’s upper body. Vest first (if you’re sensible), then a longsleeve. When you take them outside (as well you should!) you add, depending on temperatures, a cardi, jumper, jacket or coat – or all of the above in case it gets really mean cold.

But what about their bottoms?! Nappy/undies, then trousers/jeans. And when you go outside? The same, even though it might be 20°C colder than inside? Ever thought about the fact that they only develop hairy legs a bit later in life?

I found that the easiest way to dress my little monster for a cold winter day outing is to simply put a pair of jeans over the tights, just like a coat over the top. Double layer, double warmth – result! Try that with track suit bottoms. Hah!

(By the way, more tips on how to dress appropriately in cold weather here. Brought to you by an expert in cold German winters – me.)

5. Tights put an end to losing/pulling off socks.

The little blighters just loooove taking their socks off. And in some socks the cuffs are just too loose, so they frequently lose them. Now, if you don’t mind your little one having cold feet, by all means, go ahead and let it be. Alternatively you could purchase some of these nifty sock ons for your baby boy. Or you can simply try tights like you would for your baby girl too.

6. Tights are cute!

This one comes with an exclamation point because it’s such an important factor. Granted, little boys look cute in pretty much anything you throw on them but tights are – in my not so humble opinion – a notch above everything else on the cuteness scale. I mean, these adorable nappy bottoms… Which isn’t to say that a toddler’s bum isn’t the most adorable body part without a nappy too! Especially in tights. So will you please shut up already, you insufferable track suit bottom lovers!

Also, to put those of you I couldn’t quite convince yet a little more at ease with the thought of boys in tights, here are a few points of clarification:

  • I never let the little monster go outside in just his tights. Neither would any other German mother. They are indoor clothes, think of them as slippers for legs. Or maybe not, as slippers stay indoors all the time. Tights can go outside but then they hide under ‘real’ trousers or jeans. Except maybe when you take the rubbish out and the little monster – as always – ignores your command to stay inside.
  • As I mentioned, I try to steer clear of colours that are too girly and so should you if you consider getting some for your little boy. But I do love bright colours, especially for kids. So the tights I buy (at the moment unfortunately only in Germany) often have red, orange or yellow in them (see pic above). So cute…
  • Tights really are only for boys of a younger age. I don’t expect you to wrestle down your teenage son in order to put tights on him. Plus, at that stage he might have developed some hairy legs anyway.
  • Wearing tights does not make your son look gay. He’s a little boy for crying out loud!
  • And no, WEARING TIGHTS DOES NOT MAKE YOUR SON BECOME GAY either! He will be gay or not, no matter what clothes you put on him as a youngster (and frankly, what difference does it make anyway?). I thought I better state the obvious again. To my knowledge, the percentage of gay men in the German population isn’t any higher than in the UK. If anything, we are less homophobic. Or maybe not. Scientific research yet to be conducted.

I see red!!! reloaded

Red pedestrian light

It says 'Wait for signal', morons!

OK, first I want to put one thing straight: I am no law-and-order nazi. Yes, I might be German but I do break rules. Sometimes.

I am also in a hurry quite often. 24 hours in a day is just not enough for all the things to do. And frankly, red traffic lights suck. So I cross the road. On red. Uh-oh!

My husband gives me grief, in the nicest possible way of course, for not doing it all the time. Because that’s what the island monkeys do. For you guys, pedestrian lights are not just a nuisance or a recommendation, they are in fact non-existent. No matter what, as long as there is the slightest gap in traffic, you cross. It’s not even rare, especially on our High Street, that cars have to jam on their brakes because some old fuddy-duddy with a walking stick decides he can’t wait his turn. Or a cyclist has to swerve dangerously because some numbnut couldn’t hear any cars coming and didn’t bother to use his eyes to double-check before walking across.

But the main reason for me to complain about people brainlessly crossing on red is my little monster. He is 2 1/2 now, which puts him into a very impressionable age bracket. And, to teach him from a young age how to cross a road safely, I make a point of going only on green when he is with me. Unfortunately, no-one else in this country gives a monkey’s (pun intended!) about a stranger’s kid’s safety.

I taught my son this little German rhyme: “Bei Rot bleibe steh’n, bei Grün darfst du geh’n.” (At red stay put, at green you can go.) He loves pushing the demand button and is acutely excited when the light eventually turns green and he can shout “Grüüüüüüün!!!”, closely followed by “Schnelllllll!!!” (=quick), and break into a run. Until recently, he didn’t even seem to notice that other pedestrians weren’t quite as thrilled to wait for the right signal. Those times are over.

The other day a lady with a 6-year old girl walked up to the traffic light we were waiting at, checked traffic quickly and, pulling her daughter with her, ran across just before a car. My little one’s reaction was to shout “Rot!!!” (=red), and for the rest of the way he kept indignantly saying something along the lines of “Must not go on red (vigorous shaking of the head), must wait for green (vigorous nodding)!” I can only hope that he will not one fine day be distracted, as kids tend to be at times, and just thoughtlessly follow one of these dimwits that call themselves parents.

Dear island monkeys, I know, it is not against the law in the UK for pedestrians to cross on red. However, small children CANNOT judge traffic speed and distances as well as you. Actually, they can’t judge them at all. And because I for one prefer my offspring to reach legal age without me having to hold his hand until this date I’d rather he follow the suggestion of the traffic light and only walk on green for the time being. And I would be much obliged if you wouldn’t be such crappy role models for him. So please, try not to cross on red when kids are around. It’s inconsiderate, dangerous and stupid.

Apart from that I keep wondering why there are pedestrian lights installed in certain places at all. Common sense dictates they’re there for a reason. I wonder what that could be.

Oh, and don’t you just love it too when you are in a car and have to stop for no reason because the demand button had been pressed by a pedestrian who then couldn’t be asked to stay and wait until his light went green. Arrrrghhhh!!!

Clothes make the man…

… so if the clothing shows a disturbed sense of reality, what does that say about the wearer?

OK, I get it, England has got the gulf stream, so it’s never cold. Right? Except when November arrives and with it some nasty autumn weather. Or would you call maximum day temperatures of 4°C, in conjunction with some chilling winds, warm? Me neither.

So what does the sensible soul do to stay cosy? That’s right, where I come from, we dress warmly.

Not so the island monkeys. Well, quite a few of them anyway.

I have seen this countless times now, but I still doubt the information my optic nerves conduct to my brain every time I see someone wearing shorts and/or a short-sleeved shirt in weather like this! After the chill running down my spine has reached my coccyx and then calmed down a bit that is. This can’t be healthy!

I could probably work up some understanding if it would be some cyclist working up a sweat pedalling around our little town and its quite steep hills. But no, just a “normal” guy walking down the street with a severe scantiness of fabric on his body and not even particularly hairy arms and legs. Or that chick on her way home from last night’s party in nothing more than a skimpy top and a rather wide belt. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

Do you know some Jedi mind trick to prevent yourself from feeling the frightfully freezing frostiness?

I can understand that you don’t want to expose your fair, freckled English skin to the fiery rays of summer sun. But please, don’t try to make up for it by getting into the nude as soon as summer is over.

But it would be only half bad if you wouldn’t try to train your children in your inappropriate dressing habits too! What did I see the other day? Kid in a buggy, and not only no blanket but also NO SOCKS despite temperatures well south of 15°C?! Is that really necessary?
Warmly dressed = happy (Image via Wikipedia)

Warmly dressed = happy (Image via Wikipedia)

Or this one here: Baby under 1 with no hair worth mentioning to keep the ears or even the scalp warm and of course no hat to protect him from an overcast, drizzly and wind-chilled 5°C impertinence of a day. I was going to call child protection services but my frozen fingers wouldn’t hit the right keys on my mobile! Seriously, that extra layer of blubber on your obese child is not an excuse for not putting adequate-for-the-weather clothes on him!

PS: I have little fights with my 2-year old all the time about literally everything. Except wearing a hat. Absolutely no objections there. He likes having warm ears!