Monday, January 23, 2012
just thinking about the weather
Some ambient music to begin this post: 10,000 Maniacs.
My son is obsessed with the weather. This morning, he asked me to turn on NPR so he could "hear the weather report." (I know. I'm going to have to buy him a sitting chair, some spectacles, and a pipe for his next birthday.) Most mornings, when the weather comes on, Israel suddenly perks up and, once it's over, he repeats back to me everything it just said. On good days, I get a replay of some other station's weather from a friend who really and truly just likes to call and talk about...the weather. We know the 5-day forecast around here.
Never missing an opportunity for some sort of lesson, I've been teaching Iz about the weather. Beginning when the leaves started to turn, we watched videos and talked about the tilt of the earth and how it makes seasons. We've learned that different places in the world have different seasons. We've learned that we have four seasons. (I just realized I'm including myself. "We." I already knew this, of course. He's the one learning. And maybe Eden, but she hasn't become involved in our discussions yet.) He's played computer games, putting leafless trees in the winter scene and green trees in the summer scene. He's dressed cartoon characters in seasonally-appropriate gear. He knows his stuff.
But this is a really bad year to try and teach your preschooler about seasonally-appropriate weather. We've had rain, thunderstorms, and 50-degree temps just like the rest of the midwest this year. (Of course this started to happen right after I explained to a friend who just moved here how much worse our winters are than winters a couple of states south.) So when we've been able to go work in the "garden" outside or put on just a T-shirt and hoodie before heading outdoors in the middle of winter, Israel has been thoroughly confused. There's been a bit of a progression in his understanding of what's going on.
It started on a sunny, warm, winter day:
"Is it summer?"
And continued on a mild, wet day, after a few wet days:
"Mom? What season is it going to be after the rainy season?"
And, on the day it thunderstormed and melted all the snow:
"This weather is CRAZY! It's winter! It shouldn't rain in the winter; it's apposed to SNOW."
I agree. (Maybe because he was largely repeating things he's heard me say.) I usually make fun of people who think Indiana weather (or Kentucky weather...or everywhere else's weather) is some sort of crazy anomaly. But THIS? This is the strangest weather I've seen yet. I haven't put much stock in predictions about the end of the world. But I think the Mayans might've been onto something. This just may be the end of our calendar as we know it.
And now, a closing song by R.E.M.
Back to helping my 4-year-old make sense of it all...or not.