It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Though they crawl through the valley of the shadow of death

The children run the loop in my house. Living room, front hall, dining room… round and round and round and round they go. They’ve been at it for, oh, about 12 minutes so far. Non-stop.

It is currently 28 degrees, with a humidex of 39. (That’s 82 and 102 respectively for those still in the 19th century.) Yesterday it peaked out at 44.

Ye gods.

Twenty-eight, which feels like thirty-nine, and the children have been running and running and running and running.

My house has no AC.

We will be going to the park shortly, but I had a few small tasks to complete first. And while I do this and that, they run and run and run. But you know, the longer this goes on, the more my attention shifts from “Ye GODS! How can they STAND it?” to something else entirely. After another four or five minutes, I have to say something.

I pause as I wipe down the dining table and catch their attention.

“Hey, you guys! You have been running and running and the babies have been crawling around and getting in your way, and you haven’t knocked them over even once! In fact, you haven’t even bumped them! Way to go! You’re really being careful!”

Because really, it’s entirely remarkable. The babies, oblivious to their near-mortal peril, are crawling directly in the path of the thundering hoards. They are meandering, they are tottering, they are making odd changes of direction. They are not, in any way, shape, or form, taking any account of the speeding pre-schoolers who are whipping past.

And yet they are unscathed. Uninjured. Untrammeled.

If that doesn’t call for some commendation, I don’t know what might.

“You guys are GREAT! Okay, off you go again, and keep up the good work!”

The thundering recommences. The babies remain unsquooshed.

July 6, 2010 - Posted by | health and safety | , , , , ,


  1. We call those “Happy Laps”. The record is 100 laps.

    I didn’t count. They were making me tired just watching. Counting would have been too much work.

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | July 6, 2010 | Reply

  2. 28 degrees is hot?

    Probably not in Canberra! Is 39 hot? Or how about 44, which is where we got to yesterday. On the flip side, I once read an Australian mommy blog in which the mother was saying that their plans for an outdoor birthday party had been cancelled because, at 17 degrees, it was “too cold” for the kids. That was very funny.

    Comment by Morgyn | July 6, 2010 | Reply

  3. Yes! I’ve marvelled myself at the uncanny ability children seem to have to not collide, especially with younger oblivious kids around.

    It’s quite the thing to see. Yes, there is the occasional oblivious 4-year-old, but they’re the exception.

    Comment by Lisa | July 6, 2010 | Reply

  4. That ability for thundering preschoolers to completely avoid crawling babies was something we always marveled at at play group. Picture a church hall full of four year olds and babies, and yet never once was a baby run over. The big kids always seemed to veer away at just the right moment. It was almost fascinating to watch!

    It is. Quite fascinating. Yes, you have to be aware of the limits of their abilities… but they’re not always quite so restricted as we (quite reasonably) assume!

    Comment by tuesy | July 6, 2010 | Reply

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