Mothers feeling chilly

Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.

Ambrose Bierce (1842 โ€“ 1914)

This last week has been the rainiest week this winter in Jerusalem, as I more or less expected. The pattern of recent years seems to be that winter spends all of December and January battling autumn for dominance and only emerges fully victorious in February. It gets cold, sure; and it rains now and again in early winter; but the heavy rains tend to come towards winter’s end.

Somewhat by coincidence, as a new employee I was given a new umbrella by The Jewish Agency. It was a coincidence because I had been planning to purchase a new umbrella; but, really, it was a fantastically practical wintertime gift. It’s a really good umbrella too, of the inverted variety, which always reminds of me Papa because he always got such a kick out of human innovation; and he was the one to bring inverted umbrellas to my attention.

As a carless person, the rains of Israel’s wintertime are not fun for me; but they are tolerable – we use taxis when the weather’s truly insufferable, and otherwise we walk through the drizzles and pitter-patters. Our daughter and I have come up with our own terminology. “Lions and tigers” is torrential downpour; “cats and dogs” is heavy rain; “kittens and puppies” is average; “guinea pigs and hamsters” is light rain; and “goldfish and tetra fish” is a drizzle.

The quote by Ambrose Bierce above, which I came across by chance for Marsha’s WQ prompt, amuses me greatly as the father of an eight-year-old. It’s so true to life, as this rainy Jerusalem winter has once again demonstrated. Every year, my wife and daughter go through the same arguments about dressing warmly, with our child insisting that it’s not really “that cold” yet. What annoys her the most is putting on double layers of clothing… because this extends the time it takes to get dressed and cuts into her screen time.

52 thoughts on “Mothers feeling chilly”

  1. Love reading about Jerusalem, its gifts of umbrella, Papa, ur lil one & fabulous rain chatter. I always take away imagery that asks to write๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒง

  2. I love the rain descriptions! With my class of preschool kids, we clap the rain. If full downpour, clap the hands together loudly. If less rain, fold the thumbs in and clap 4
    fingers on each hand. If even lighter rain, fold the pinky in too, and clap 3 fingers. Lighter still, use only pointer & index fingers to clap 2 fingers. Light drizzle, use pointer fingers to softly clap one finger per hand. I know, too much detail. But, since I couldn’t show you, I thought I’d describe thoroughly!

  3. Hi David, Iโ€™m writing here with profuse apologies for not responding to a number of comments you wrote on my own blog. I just found 7 of them had gone directly into the trash folder, not something I check very regularly! I pressed for โ€œrestoreโ€ on each of them and now I canโ€™t find them at all!! One of them I remember where you asked about signing each of our poems The Two Doctors rather than just as myself, and the easy response is that we do everything together โ€ฆโ€ฆ. In general I write the poem then read it to my wife for comment and occasionally make small changes. After 52 years of marriage since our student days thereโ€™s not much we do separately. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ•‰๐Ÿ™

  4. I love your rain terminology! Itโ€™s like a secret language you and your daughter share. And Iโ€™d never heard of an inverted umbrella. Itโ€™s worth keeping in mind when weโ€™re in the market for a new umbrella.

  5. I like your description of the different kinds of rain. I hope you don’t get much of that lions and tigers weather. We’ve been having a lot of that over here in Australia recently. It’s not good.

  6. Oh! I remember my mother putting so many layers on me that I could barely move!!She once insisted I wear knit tights under my pants knowing full well I would have to take the pants off when I got to school (girls HAD to wear skirts or dresses). The problem was that I had to do it in the back of the classroom and the combination of knit and wool made it nearly impossible to do! I ended up having to have my friend pull them off while I held onto the waist of my tights or they would have come off too!! Second grade was traumatic for many reasons!

  7. What a fun quote! It says it all, doesn’t it? Children never get too old for mothers to say it to them, either – even if they have grandchildren of their own. Your daughter must be as creative as you are to come up with animal names for different types of rain. Very cute! Thanks for playing along this week. I’m back in town now and have internet again! YAY!

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