Bollywood · Brampton · breast cancer · Canada · children · hot · Michele · Music · stress · Summer · Toronto

The Frozen North?

I thought Canada was supposed to be cold. That’s why I packed more cardigans than t-shirts for my visit to Toronto.  I’ve been here a week, and the temperature has been in the high 70’s or 80’s every day! Jeez Louise, I felt like I was on the bayou one day, it was so muggy & hot. I kept listening for a jazz band to start playing, or frogs to croak; instead, I heard Indian & Scottish accents, Bollywood music, and saw seagulls overhead.
I’m here in Brampton, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, for the summer, staying with my BFF Michele and her family. As my readers know, Michele is going through chemo for breast cancer. I’m came up to help her out, give my support, and entertain her if at all possible. She and her husband have three boys, ages 14, 4 & 2, so I’m trying to help with them, as well.
This is not an easy time for any of us. Stress levels are high, and there have been moments in the last week when I wanted to scream. I know I cried at least once, but I did it alone, in my room. Since they were tears of frustration & exhaustion, they were especially annoying to me.
There have been many tears here this week, as often happens in a house with little kids. These children  cry and scream a lot more than usual, and I’m not sure if that’s due to the tension of their parents, or their father’s parenting style.
I never understand parents who holler at their little kids “Stop crying!” as if that will work. Especially when the child has had a tantrum, and is at that point where they cannot physically make themself stop; what they need is to be held, and soothed. Shouting never works. I find myself very frustrated here, because I want so much to help, and yet I can’t really interfere. I have been given the go-ahead on some things, but not others. Some of teacher skills are being used, others, ignored or contradicted. 
I have to remind myself “they aren’t your kids, not really your problem, nobody really asked for your advice,” and keep my mouth shut. If I can do that, and keep the eye-rolling to a minimum, all will be well.
I may need to send home for more warm weather clothes, though. It’s hot here in the frozen North!

2 thoughts on “The Frozen North?

  1. What with the polar ice caps melting and all, I guess it's not too big of a surprise! Glad you could make it up there to help out your best friend in her time of need. I just hope you don't lose your mind and adjust to the different "parenting" style!

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  2. I can't imagine how stressful it must be, for everyone in the home, and muggy heat certainly doesn't help one's psyche.Although I am not a parent, I might suggest that you to try to set a good example for the kids, modeling for them how a person can take care of himself/herself when in emotional pain.Instead of crying alone in your room, next time you could take advantage of it as a teaching moment. You could maybe say, "I feel really sad right now." Cry for a few minutes, then do something else to take yourself out of the pain, like drinking a glass of water or going for a little walk.I don't know if the kids will pick up on it, but I think it's good for children, especially boys, to see that adults get upset too, and to learn ways to self-soothe. Eventually then it won't have to escalate into a tantrum and they won't need to be picked up and held because they can comfort themselves.Regarding the heat, here's a trick I learned, and used frequently, during hot and very humid summers in St. Louis and Des Moines. Take an ice cube and hold it against the inside part of your wrist, about where your pulse is taken, until the ice cube melts. Do that to both wrists. I know it sounds weird, but try it – it really works! I guess maybe it cools the blood in your veins and then circulates the nice cool blood throughout your body. That's my theory, anyway. :)Well, stay cool and cool-headed. You are a great friend for being there with Michele. I hope the tension eases up and you are able to have lots of fun times and make happy memories.Love,Karen

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