Thursday, June 21, 2012

Desert animals

When you're contemplating parenthood, you wonder about your future children. What you'll name them. Who's eyes they'll have. Whether they'll like soccer, like your husband, or theater, like you do. What the odds are of said children being born with a raging case of ADHD just like you. And so on.

All of my children have blue eyes. The oldest looks the most like her father, the middle one an odd mix of me and my father in law's side of the family, and the baby is still a mixed bag. They did not, however, inherit my heat tolerance.

I love it when it's hot. We took a pre-kid family trip to Las Vegas back in 2006 and it didn't dip below 104 the entire trip. Not even at two in the morning. The only time I really didn't like it was at the Hoover Dam, where it was a tropical 117 degrees Fahrenheit on the dam wall (you see what I did there?). This is in direct contradiction to Tim, who spent most of the trip ducking into air conditioned casino entryways seeking relief from the oven they call The Strip in July.

So every year, around mid June, Tim and I start the great Air Conditioner Debate. He'd have them installed in March if he had his way. And I love breezes through the curtains and hate when we install the window units, in part due to the increased electrical bill, but mostly because you cannot run the large window unit, the fridge and the dishwasher simultaneously and I always forget that until the lights in the kitchen go off and I have to rummage around the fuse box. We've been here five years and I do it at least once every summer.

In 2009 we had a mild summer and I think I had my way until late July, when we finally installed the blasted appliances. Last year I was the size of a small walrus and was trying to heft the damned things over my million-years-pregnant stomach and install them myself. (You're welcome for that charming mental image.)

Yesterday it hit 100 degrees inside the house. That's when I discovered my four and two year old are kind of like feral dogs in the summertime. They were snapping at each other over even more minor stuff than usual, and the Sassy Backtalk index was at an all time high. The baby was crying and developing a case of prickly heat. I thought it would cool off at night. It did not. My husband got home and I remembered where my children got that Feral Reaction to Heat from. Finally, at 11 p.m., he'd had enough.

"It's a million [expletive deleted] degrees in this [expletive deleted] bedroom," he said, after picking a fight with me over nothing. "Where is the air conditioner?!"

"The shed?" I offered feebly, as the baby started up in the other room again.

"[Expletive deleted]," as he headed for the back yard. Ten minutes later, the bedroom was cooler, my husband was happier, and the baby was sleeping after I moved the little fan approximately six centimeters from the side of her crib so she could sleep in its oscillating benevolence until at least the crack of dawn.

Today was another scorcher. I pulled the shades, turned on all the fans for circulation and turned on the vents in the kitchen and bathroom to suck as much hot air out of the house as possible. (Spoiler: this only works if the air that is then circulating in your home is NOT STILL HOT AS HADES.) Around 1 p.m. I was debating inventing some family emergency to get Tim home and installing the large window unit in the dining room, when I got a text from my neighbor.

"Do you guys want to come swimming?"


Will you marry me?

We spent the next four hours swimming, playing with the neighbors and generally not being in our house. When we walked back in around 5:30 to start dinner, I acknowledged that I probably could have just simmered something on the tile floor rather than bother with the stove.

Tim got home at 6:15.

The large air conditioner was humming away by 6:30. Man didn't even eat before hauling that thing into the dining room.

It's 7:35 and still hot as an oven. That's how warm it had gotten. The air conditioner is set to 60.

So Tim won this summer's round without even trying.

Now it's onto the next.

Because once it gets a little cooler than "blistering," I'll have that thing set at 75 or 80 every. single. day.

"We don't need it set to 65! It's summer! It's supposed to be warm!"

"Warm! It's hot as [expletive deleted] in here!"

We love each other.

In sickness and in Hell.

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