21 October 2010

Heat wars

Here on the east coast we are enjoying a gorgeous, temperate fall. Last year by this time I was deep in the heat game, donning my makeshift burka and doing wind sprints up and down the stairs. But with the exception of a few rainy days earlier in the month, I haven't yet been tempted to turn the heat on.

Sarah disagrees, appearing every morning for breakfast with her shoulders hunched, shivering in her coat. "It's freezing!" she declares, and asks for a cup of tea. I am happy to make tea, but as someone whose hands and nose are perpetually cold, I am categorically certain that it's quite comfortable in the house.

Until this week, the thermostat has read sixty-eight degrees during the day, which is one degree warmer than we keep the house in the winter. When I mentioned this to Sarah, she shivered in disdain, whimpered and wrapped her hands tightly around her hot mug.

And so I was surprised when David mentioned he was contemplating setting the heat to go on from 5-7:30 so it's warm when we come downstairs in the morning. He less susceptible to cold than I, so I knew what he meant by we was Sarah.

Sarah has a flair for high drama, and is very comfortable ordering people around — sometimes I find myself listening to her before remembering that I am the one in charge, and just this week, when I didn't give her a check for a school function as quickly as she wanted, she offered to write it for me to sign. But as her parents, I like to think we are not so readily fooled.

I was momentarily surprised to see how easily snookered David was, until I remembered that when it comes to daughters, a father is reduced to a pat of butter in a hot pan. Mothers, of course, are made of stronger stuff, especially when it comes to their sons.

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