Posted by: Hannah | 07/08/2013

in which we survived a heat wave

After a very long cold winter, followed by a long cold rainy spring, followed by a peevish June, summer landed with a squishy, humid thud on Thursday.

We then had four days of humidex values in the 38C – 41C range (that’s 98F – 105F for my American friends)… and we don’t have air conditioning in our house.

I was determined not to complain, and for the most part I managed to avoid it. Still, by Sunday it was less about ‘enjoying the time with our children and each other’ and more about ‘surviving this miserable swamp without committing murdidly-urdler”.


Not so terrible, really. Hey, it’s one hot day. Look, there’s the sun! HOLY GOD IT IS SO BRIGHT AND WARM. Took the kids for a walk first thing in the morning so we could get home before it got too hot. Played in the front yard. Mixed up sidewalk paint for the big boys and it was a huge hit. After naps, filled up a wee kiddie pool and some water guns, and let everyone cool themselves off that way.

Made the kids eat stew that I’d prepped ahead of time, before I knew about the heat sink. They were pissed at me and didn’t eat much. They also demanded that stew be permanently removed from the meal rotation.

Sleeping was yurk, especially for the kids, because it was just so hot, and there isn’t much of a cross-breeze in the bedrooms. Sponge-bathed sweaty Harry at around 10PM. Around midnight, made a mental note to buy more electric fans.


Wow, it didn’t cool off in the house last night at all. Huh. It’s foggy but you can tell it’s going to burn off and then get H-O-T. The dog is already gasping and it’s only 5:30AM. That’s… probably not good.

Told the big kids that if they wanted to go for another walk that we’d need to leave by 9:30AM at the latest. At 10:15AM they all came bouncing into the playroom asking for a walk… and the preschoolers overheard… and the dog started wagging his tail… and shit. Guess we’re going for a walk along a road with no shade during the hot part of the morning.

Slowest. Walk. Ever.

Lunch took forever, because no one had much of an appetite, but nor would they admit they were full and just stop eating, instead opting for chewing one mouthful approximately four million times before slowly taking the next bite.

When naptime started the big kids asked for sidewalk paint again, which I found a little weird, but whatever. Mixed up another batch, sent them outside and urged them to sit in the shade.

After nap we again filled up the kiddie pool and the water guns. This time though the water guns weren’t interesting enough on their own, and the big started just whipping the contents of the gun reservoirs at each other instead. That kept up until a full one slipped out of Harry’s hand and plunked Arthur, whammo! right on top of his head, raising a Looney Tunes-like bump. In order to remind them that water guns are fun, I filled one up myself and started plugging all the kids at random.

By the time Michael got home I was a wild-eyed nervous wreck in wet clothes. We ended up throwing hot dogs on the barbeque and calling it dinner. Then we took the kids shopping just to bask in the air conditioning. George screamed blue murder unless I was carrying him. Three older ladies tsk-tsk’d me and said I should have that poor baby home in bed on such a hot night (for the record, this was at 7PM.)

Bonus! I found the fans that we bought during last summer’s heat wave and set them up in the bedrooms. Now the children were sleeping in cubes filled with sluggishly-moving stale overheated air. Slight improvement.


Harry and Ron were both invited to Arthur’s 6th birthday party. It was a costume party. I put my foot down and refused to let them dress in a layer of polyester when the forecast was for 39C. There were tears. I didn’t care.

We ran a couple of errands and then dropped off the mutinous children. No other kids, including Arthur, were wearing costumes either. Headed for the grocery store with George in tow. It’s cool at the grocery store. May have stood inside the dairy cooler for longer than was strictly necessary.

Picked up sweaty, exhausted children. Arthur’s mother expressed amazement that I can listen to half a dozen children at top volume all day long and not go berserk.

We all spent the afternoon either napping or lurking in the basement in front of the TV, trying to get through the hottest part of the day alive. Headed to the beach around suppertime; the water was like ice, too cold even for us hardy Nova Scotians, but the dog at least got cooled off. Then we picked up some donairs and ate them at the park. The kids played on the playground and then went for another splash, this time in the Northwest Arm. That was fun.

Spongebaths for all before bed.


Checked the paper and it said that Sunday would be the hottest day yet. Completely gave up any of my usual rules and agreed that Eggos and bacon would be a delicious and low-impact way to start the day. Decided to have my brother and his family over for dinner.

Realized that the forecast for the rest of the week was for yet more rain… meaning that the lawn would have to be mowed. Started nice and early. Discovered that the lawn, which was rank and overgrown after two solid weeks of rain, was still sodden underneath and that the mower was going to happily stall out every five minutes or so.

Swore. A lot.

Drank endless mugs of water, iced coffee, juice, pop – and yet never went to the bathroom all day.

Took a break mid-afternoon to go buy a used toddler slide I found on Kijiji.

Washed bedding and hung it on the clothesline, determined to at least have crisp, clean, fresh-smelling sheets to lie down on at night.

Finally finished mowing the front yard by 3:30PM, by which time the slight breeze had disappeared, I was covered in bug bites, and I felt slightly sick. Had an ice-cold shower that felt barely tepid.

Pulled myself together. Michael made spareribs and I made Greek-style pasta salad. My brother and his family arrived. The sun set just enough that our deck had some shade. We ate and drank beer and talked while the kids played in the yard and it was damn near to perfect.

Woke up this morning to cooler temperatures and a cloudy sky that soon started to spit rain. Everyone, even George, slept in. The heat wave obliged just long enough for us to have a true summer weekend. Not bad, really. Not bad at all.




  1. The birthday party was this weekend! I was wondering how it went. Where is the happy medium for you guys, seriously! The rain finally stopped and tomorrow’s supposed to be 25 degrees – which I think we all can agree is a lovely temperature!

  2. Heat waves suck the will to live out of you like nothing else. Having gone through a few here, I feel for you.

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