We’re having a little bit of a chilly week here. Not bitter cold. If you hear in the news that the temperature has “plummeted,” that the city is shut down, or that there is no end in sight, just repeat after me: the job of the media is not to inform but to sell. It’s only a few degrees below zero Celsius. Warm clothing is required.
But not eighty dollar Sorel boots good to minus sixty folks. Or even fifty dollar ones good to minus forty. Overkill, folks. If you have the money to spend, or can spend a day driving from second hand store to second hand store to find them at fifteen bucks, good on ya.
I have Joe boots for Cameron. They’re better than what I wear myself (I’m wearing shoes today by the way). He was out in -15C last year in them, and his little tootsies stayed warm. They were oversized back then – now they’re snug. Snug boots don’t work as well as loose ones, I do understand that. But we’re not talking painful type cold, not in ten minutes at least. He has brand new winter boots waiting for him just two days away.
So this morning we missed the last bus of our trip. I know that when this happens it’s faster to walk than to wait, even walking at Cameron’s pace, but Cameron doesn’t like this option. It’s not the walking, it’s the missing of the bus. He’ll sob like his heart is broken if a bus pulls away before we can get on it, or if we’re waiting and the bus that arrives is full. He’ll scream that he wanted on that bus, even if another is pulling up right infront of us. So this meant six blocks of screaming.
We got to daycare, and his daycare provider asked him what was wrong as she helped get him out of his winter clothes. “I wanted to take the bus,” Cameron sobbed. I explained, and she clearly understood. All good, right? Well, last night she had commented on Cameron’s boots, and I had told her that these were fine, I wasn’t going to buy a new pair for a few days here when there’s a pair waiting for him in Ottawa. Today she took his boots off, felt his toes, and announced that THIS was why he was screaming. His toes were cold. Now yes, they weren’t warm. But painful screaming or even uncomfortable cold? NO. Of course the instant his toes were brought to his attention, Cameron started crying that they were cold.
Now, I know that other families must find money tight too. So I reminded Lori that he does have a new pair waiting for him in Ottawa, and that therefore he won’t need these ones when we’re back. If one of the littler kids needs boots, this would save money for another family. I was curtly informed that these boots weren’t good enough, they were maybe good for fall weather, and nobody would want them. Apparently other parents have commented about Cameron’s cheap boots. Greeeaaaaaat. Nevermind that I bought them in OTTAWA where they know cold weather as WINTER BOOTS and he was FINE IN FUCKING COLD WEATHER. Basically she’s accusing me of neglect and indicating that the other parents agree.
If it was truly cold here of course I would keep Cameron’s feet warm. I wouldn’t think twice about doing whatever it took, even if it was only for a few days.
I also recognize that this woman is from a much warmer climate, where she likely didn’t see snow ever. I understand that people who move here from warm locations find winters difficult, and over react to them. My wonderful next door neighbours have a down snowsuit for their son. Down. In Vancouver. I get it though. I also understand that this is an ESL situation; she isn’t comfortable in English and may say things she doesn’t quite mean. But she made it plain that she thinks my care of Cameron is substandard.
I know I shouldn’t let other people’s opinions piss me off so much. It’s hard though when it’s the person who looks after Cameron, when she’s making others believe there’s a problem (and they won’t talk to me to find out the truth), and when it’s concerning my care of my son.