When toddlers attack

Monday, August 23, 2010

Diēs Caniculārēs

Dog days:Latin: diēs caniculārēs) are the hottest, most sultry days of summer. In the northern hemisphere, they usually fall between early July and early September. In the southern hemisphere they are usually between January and early March. The actual dates vary greatly from region to region, depending on latitude and climate. Dog Days can also define a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress.  The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather. 
Thus spake Wikipedia.
Traditionally, the dog days of summer are supposed to be a time when it's too hot to summon the will to do much of anything other than lying on a cool floor with your tongue hanging out.  Until this week, though, this summer has been playing coy in Southern California, with fog and only a day or two above 90 in all of June and July.  And work has been extraordinarily busy, at least for me, since unlike certain people to whom I'm married I don't work an academic calendar.

But our child-rearing plans are definitely in the doldrums.  Before any baby crosses the threshold, we have to add a bedroom onto the house.  I contemplate the renovation process like a man about to eat a brontosaurus all by himself, unsure where to begin and overwhelmed.  While we've settled on a clinic (Dr. Shivani),  one self-imposed deadline after another expires as the balance of our savings account stays motionless, trapped in a sargassum (look it up) of emergency expenses that inevitably come up.

One thing I haven't blogged about are the occasional moments of panic (less frequent now) when either one or the other of us is convinced we're utterly insane for considering children 1) at our age, or 2) at our income level, or 3) (take your pick).  Over the past few months, we've decided that we're still younger and better off financially than a good number of people who raise perfectly wonderful kids.  We've decided we'll still be able to travel -- we may have to forego the Inca Trail for a few years, but taking the train to Macchu Pichu won't be so bad either.  And it's fun to imagine the complaints of "oh, Daaaaaad.... do I have to spend the summer in Europe AGAIN?"

But first we have to get to step one, and with the thermometer outside topping 100 degrees and the dog panting in front of the fireplace, hoping to wring a bit of coolness from the brick hearth,  that seems a lot farther away.