Of cold spells and 12-year-olds

February 10, 2007 at 12:59 am 41 comments

I can still make Ryland wear a scarfWe’re under a cold spell once again.  We’ve had windchills of minus 30s and minus 40s for about a week now.  And it looks like it will continue until middle of next week.  I won’t bore you with any more numbers as some of you might not understand what I’m talking about anyway.   

This is how cold it is: 

Tuesday morning, I went to my patrol post, all bundled up – complete winter gear including a scarf covering half of my face.  I didn’t see any other patrols at their post.  (For those of you who are fairly new at this blog, I volunteer as a school patrol, crossing children before and after school.)  Of course, only then did I remember that we are not required to patrol if windchill is minus 40.  So after I crossed my eight-year-old son, Ryland, and his cousins, I decided to walk with them to school so they would walk faster.  There are five of them walking together to school, from age 11 to age six.  The youngest one seems to always lag behind and the others wait for him to catch up.  Their supposed-to-be-ten-minute walk becomes a 15 minute walk.  Since I walked fast, we all got to school in about eight minutes. 

We had a minus 42 windchill that morning.  As we walked, my nose started to run and I felt the wetness on my scarf.  My eyelashes seemed to have gotten wet and then sticky.  They felt heavy, like when I wake up at times with eye boogers.  (You know what that feels like, don’t you?).  I could see frost forming at the ends of my shoulder length hair.  So do on my thick black gloves.  I wore my leg warmers under my jeans and although my winter jacket goes down to my knees, my thighs started to get numb. 

After I walked the kids to school, I went go to the nearby drugstore to buy the multi-vitamins that I wasn’t able to buy the previous weekend because they were out of stock at Superstore.  It was 8:50 a.m. and Pharmasave doesn’t open until 9:00 a.m.  I thought I’d wait for ten minutes instead of going back there later.  I stood infront of the door for a couple of minutes and I started to shiver.  I knew I had to move.  So I paced back and forth infront of the other stores beside it.  If you are outside in the cold waiting for a store to open, ten minutes seem like forever.  Finally a lady who I think works there came and tapped the glass door loudly.  An older lady inside went to open the door.  I went inside and quickly grabbed and paid for my vitamins. 

February is the coldest month here in Winnipeg.  Minus 30 windchill is normal at this time of the year.  But we don’t always get the minus 40s.  You might think that it’s always like this.  It’s not.  And as I’ve mentioned before, the key to staying warm is by wearing layers of clothing.  

Speaking of dressing properly, a Manitoban blogger mentioned me in his post and referred to me as a local Philippine woman who gets it.  He means that I know how to beat the cold, by dressing properly.  He said that people who have lived here for many generations have forgotten how to dress properly.  He continued: 

The problem is that when we are little, our parents or caregivers always make sure we are bundled up. When we hit our teens, one of the ways we show our independence is by not dressing properly. That’s why you see all those frozen teenagers in front of the schools having a butt with no gloves or head protection. When we become adults (if?) most of us never relearn how to dress properly. Pity.” 

Which brings me to my 12-year old son.  When he started junior high this Fall, I told him that I think he should start taking daily showers in the morning.  When my children were younger, I’d make them take a bath at night.  (And then punas na lang sa umaga.)  I explained to him that his body is starting to change now, he’s sweating more, and morning showers would make him feel fresh.  When the weather started to get colder, I told him that maybe he should take a shower right after he gets up so that his hair will get dry before he leaves the house.  Just like Daddy and Kuya do.  “But that is not my way. I want to have breakfast first before I take a shower,” he’d say.  Such irreverence, eh?   “Ryan, why don’t you just listen to your mother?” I‘d say.  He wouldn’t.  And so now I blow-dry his hair before he gets out of the house. 

Last week, I saw him through the living room window walking home without his jacket hood on, in frigid weather.   

“Ryan, why didn’t you have your hood on?”  

“But it’s sunny.” 

“But it’s cold.”  

“It’s not.  It’s sunny.” 

“Sunny doesn’t have anything to do with cold, Ryan.”  

The other night, we were walking to his school.  He had his first winter band concert.  He plays the trombone, by the way. 

“Why are you wearing your thin gloves?  Where are your thick ones?” 

“Oh, I forgot them in my locker.” 

“And will you please put your hood on.” 

“It’s not even cold.” 

What did he mean by it wasn’t cold?  It was minus 40 windchill.  I was all bundled up and my nose was starting to run.  And his ears were turning red. 

What am I gonna do with this boy?


Entry filed under: Raising the 3Rs, Ryan in the middle, Winnipeg, Winter, Winterpeg.

He’s at that age The Difference Between Men and Women

41 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Karen  |  February 10, 2007 at 1:19 am

    ako i wash my hair in the evening (i have very thick hair that would take a couple of hours or so to dry itself), then ligo na lang ulit sa umaga. i don’t like blow drying my hair and then going out in the cold shortly after.
    there as so many people who don’t know how to dress for the weather talaga kahit gaano na sila katagal dito. i used to be like that but i had headache that lasted for a month in my freshman year. i learned my lesson so i’m all bundled up whenever i have to take the bus…matigas pa rin ulo ko kung may dala akong sasakyan 😆
    antagal pa ng winter…i keep on imagining that it’s summer already.

  • 2. kathy  |  February 10, 2007 at 6:45 am

    Boy, it’s still winter there?! Here in Japan the ume (plum) trees have already sprouted their first blossoms. It has been a relatively mild winter this part of the world, you know. Very different from your place, huh?
    Keep warm, niceheart! 🙂

  • 3. Kyels  |  February 10, 2007 at 8:16 am

    I don’t think I would be able to withstand that temperature. Even with slight cold air I will be screaming for my hoodie. Haha.


    He’s cute, in the photo!

  • 4. ms fair face  |  February 10, 2007 at 9:07 am

    I love the cool feel of winter but hates how chilling the wind can get, and how my sensitive breaks into rashes at times! your boy must be really strong to withstand that kind of cold! 🙂

  • 5. cruise  |  February 10, 2007 at 9:41 am

    i remeber when i first experience winter in europe, lahat sila baot na balot, dahi galing ako sa pinas at sabik sa lamig, lumabas ako at pumunta ng grocery na naka shorts, tapos nung naglalakad na ako pauwi, inasar ako ng mga bata sa kanto at sabi nila “did you find the weather you are looking for?”

  • 6. Connie  |  February 10, 2007 at 9:43 am

    @ Karen, strange how people in places with long cold winters long for the summer. I dread the coming of summer. In the Philippines, summer is a real killer. 😛

  • 7. iskoo  |  February 10, 2007 at 9:44 am

    ganyan talaga mga kids, kapag nalalamagina na siya kusa din niyang po-protektahan ang sarili. dito nga pala sa pinas nagbago na ihip/direction ng hangin kaya mainit na ulit. inngit ako sa lamig dyan 🙂

  • 8. Belle  |  February 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm


    our weather here has been starting to warm and get up in the 60’s. but it could snow again the following day. that is how weird our weather is. the other day, i took off my jacket and resorted to just wearing regular t-shirt and pants.

    anyway, kids are never alike. i have one who listens to every word i say, and the other who totally ignores everything i say. how about trying a reverse psychology? will that work?

  • 9. bw  |  February 10, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    I would never ever underestimate the extreme cold weather. I dress up for it like there’s no tomorrow. If you aren’t careful and your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere you might not get out alive 😦 . Where I am -15 dec C the city declares a weather alert and makes sure homeless i fthere are any are picked up and brough to the halfway houses.We rarely go over -15 C so cars sold in Ontario don’t have block heaters so a -30 deg C weather here is considered extreme !

  • 10. niceheart  |  February 10, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    Karen, I also used to do that, wash my hair at night. That was when I first came here, during my 20s. But when you get to a certain age (insert chuckle here), you’d want to get in the shower in the morning, hair and all. 🙂

    Summer seems so far away, ano?

  • 11. niceheart  |  February 10, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Kathy, you’re already seeing blossoms? (envy) We really do have a long winter here. The earliest snow melts up here is around the last week of March.

    Thanks Kyels. I also don’t go outside without my winter hat. 🙂

    Ms fair face, it’s also the bitter wind that I hate about winter, and of course the slippery ice. I think my son only thinks that he’s strong, but he has to take care of his body, too, y’know?

  • 12. niceheart  |  February 10, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Cruise, shorts ba outside? They must have thought that you are one brave dude. 🙂 Sometimes, I also see youngters here who go out only in a t-shirt in the winter. Napapailing na lang ako.

    Connie, ganun yata talaga. When we are in the plus 30s here in the summer, we then long for the colder weather. 🙂

    Iskoo, huwag ka nang ma-inggit. 🙂 And yeah, one morning I did see him put his hood on. That was a really cold morning.

  • 13. niceheart  |  February 10, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Belle, same here. My oldest one also listens to me. But my middle guy get be really defiant and challenging at times. And he doesn’t like me repeating to him the same things over and over again. He’d say, “I already know that.” I’d say, “then why are you not doing it?” Sometimes I’d just keep quiet. And one cold morning nga, I saw him put his hood on. He probably got cold. So reverse psychology ba yung not saying anything? 🙂

  • 14. niceheart  |  February 10, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    That’s true, BW. We should never underestimate the extreme cold weather, or nature in general. I guess in a milder climate like yours, you guys should be more alert nga. This frigid temperatures are normal for us and we are equipped for it. All cars here are installed with block heaters and no one would dare drive in the winter with bald tires.

  • 15. pining  |  February 10, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    Hi niceheart 🙂 , we also had a bout of snow for a day, and half of the country went to a stand still. Imagine, there’s no school for two days, more than a million people didn’t go to work , chaos! Britain is not ready (or wouldn’t be ready) for winter (ever), I tell you. And I am not, too. So kudos to all Manitobans who brave the extreme of all weathers 🙂

  • 16. Cai  |  February 10, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    It’s been cold where I live too. Recently I started to wear 2 pairs of sweatpants, my bulky down coat, and a scarf. Pretty unglamorous, but at least I’m not suffering while outside.

  • 17. Ferdz  |  February 10, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    Umaabot pala ng -40 dyan. I have yet to experience that kind of weather. Pero on your son, I think, he’ll learn his lesson n lng. Pag nilamig sya mag tatakip n lng yan. Sometimes I think it’s better you just let them be and learn on their own.

  • 18. Belle  |  February 10, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    hehehe, niceheart..didn’t you say your eldest son has asthma, is allergic to fish, and he listens to you? And the middly one can be defiant at times? guess what? it is same story with my two daughters.

    yes, i think it would be better to just let him be.

  • 19. vic  |  February 10, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Manitoba and alberta and most of northern ontario have extremes cold winter and we southern part little milder, but we can go down to minus 20 at times and windchill in the 30s but not as frequent as in the northern parts. So fat this year, we don’t have a major snow storm yet, actually no significant snowfalls at all, but it’s not april yet.
    I usually prefer to wear several layers of light winter sweaters and a light top and just take them off as it warms up. Gloves and toques are always handy..

  • 20. JO  |  February 10, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    my son is like that too… i guess kids can tolerate the cold more than we do. “,)

  • 21. rhodora  |  February 10, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Irene, ganyan talaga mga bata. especially at your son’s age when he wants to declare to the whole world na malaki na siya. 12-year olds are like that. They want to assert their independence.

    And he plays the trombone? Wow, musicallly inclined talaga mga kids mo. I wonder about the youngest, ano kaya hilig niya.

  • 22. ann  |  February 11, 2007 at 4:17 am

    I have a friend in toronto and we chat almost everyday. Yung time na on line sya lagi naman time ng paliligo ko, so exit muna ako and pagbalik ko andun pa rin sya. Sabi nya bakit daw ako everyday maligo, natawa ako sabi ko baket ikaw ba hindi everyday…hehehe. hindi ko raw kasi alam kung gaano kalamig doon, kung ilang patong ang damit na suot pag winter.

    Pero tingin ko parang mas malamig dyan sa place nyo kesa roon.

  • 23. Toe  |  February 11, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Oh Ryan is funny Niceheart. Minus forty windchill and he’s not cold… go figure. 🙂 If you’re problem with your teen-ager is that he doesn’t want to take a shower before breakfast, then I guess you’re one lucky mom who taught her children well. 🙂

  • 24. Christianne  |  February 11, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Silly question, is that -40 Celsius or Fahrenheit? 😀 Either way, I wouldn’t want to be walking around without my hood or a very warm hat on! The coldest I’ve experienced is -18 degrees Celsius and I felt like my ears were going to fall off 😀

    When we moved to Sweden in Oct 2005, the first appliance we bought was a hair dryer. It’s a must have for people like us who can’t give up our morning showers.

  • 25. niceheart  |  February 11, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    Pining, I didn’t realize that Britain is not used to snow. Here, snowplow operators are on call 24/7 in the winter in case of a snowfall. They clear the streets right away. We rarely have school or business closure due to a snowfall.

    That’s true Cai. I always tell my children, better be warm than cold. You’re right about the unglamorous part. That’s probably why some youngsters don’t like to bundle up in the winter.

  • 26. niceheart  |  February 11, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Ferdz, you might want to think twice before wishing to experience minus 40. 🙂 Yeah, I think I’ll just let him be. I just don’t want him to get sick kasi.

    Belle, is that so? I think it’s usually the oldest one who listens and the second one is more of the rebellious type ba? My oldest one also used to be allergic to all seafood, even eggs. But he’s outgrown those allergies now. It’s only the fish that he’s still allergic to.

  • 27. niceheart  |  February 11, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    Vic, that is mild nga compared to ours. Minus 20 is considered warm here. 🙂

    JO, I think they only think that they can tolerate it. But we don’t want them to get sick, di ba?

  • 28. niceheart  |  February 11, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    Rhodora, I’m trying to remember nga how I was at 12 years old. It was such a long time ago. 🙂

    Yeah, he plays the trombone. But he only got in Band because the other two choices were Arts and Drama, both of which he wasn’t really interested. He must also have been influenced by his brother because I always drag them to watch his school concerts. 🙂

    As for the youngest one, he doesn’t have any inclination yet. Sometimes he would tell me that he would want to be an artist because he draws pretty nicely. Who knows?

  • 29. verns  |  February 11, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    hayyy umiinit na na naman sa Pilipinas.

    Wow..negative 40? I experienced -15 in Korea last year. It was really freezing (though I loved it) and was thinking that I’ll get frostbitten. I can’t imagine the feeling of being in a -40 weather. whoa!

    Re Ryan, I guess his body can still tolerate it. Don’t worry…pag masyado na yang giniginaw, sha na mismo magsusuot ng kelangan nyang suotin 🙂

  • 30. niceheart  |  February 11, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Ann, di hamak talagang mas malamig dito kesa sa Toronto. Mild lang ang weather nila compared dito sa amin. Ako naman everyday talagang naliligo. Pero yung mga bata kapag tinatamad sila pinababayaan ko na lang magpunas. Kapag ganitong winter, pwede na sa kanila yung every other day na ligo. Pero yung panganay, palibhasa binata na every day na rin.

  • 31. niceheart  |  February 11, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    Christianne, it’s Celsius here in Canada. Actually the windchill factor is the cooling effect on exposed skin when you combine the temperature and the wind speed. It just means that the windchill is higher than the actual temperature if there is wind of more than 10 kmh.

    I don’t think I can also go anywhere without my hair dryer. 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  • 32. niceheart  |  February 11, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Toe, I guess that’s just the way I should look at it. 🙂 I don’t want him to go outside with wet hair kasi. He would get sick if he does that.

    Verns, mainit na ba diyan? Tapunan nyo naman kami nga kahit konting init.:) Minus 15 is considered warm here. This morning nga was a little warmer than the previous days, although minus 26 pa rin. Sabi ko nga kay sis, at least nakalabas din kami ng bahay na walang takip ang ulo. 🙂

  • 33. KD  |  February 12, 2007 at 2:13 am

    wow -40, naglagay muna ko ng maraming jacket bago ako mag-comment kasi baka hindi ko matagalan nag lamig hehehe.
    Paano naman yung nga tao na sa labas ang work nila like police man etc how do they manage the cold weather?
    Siguro kaya ayaw naglagay ng hood ni ryan kasi ayaw nya magulo yung hair nya, ganyan talaga ang nagbibinata =D

  • 34. haze  |  February 12, 2007 at 8:28 am

    Grabe -40 brrrrrr ! I don’t even understand my children! Even if we have 8°C in the morning di daw sila nilalamig at 15°C or 18°C in the afternoon, I can imagine Ryland with red nose and ears 🙂 ! Keep warm everyone !

  • 35. verns  |  February 12, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    hayy kung puwede lang eh..pagkatapos tapunan nyo na rin kami dito ng snow hehe 🙂

    wow..-15 is still warm…now talaga palang sobrang lamig..ngeee 🙂

  • 36. niceheart  |  February 12, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    KD, believe nga ako sa mga construction workers, letter carriers at iba pang service guys na sa labas ang trabaho. Pero syempre, naka-bundle up din sila para hindi lamigin. Tutoo ka nga. Kaya ayaw mag-hood ay ayaw magulo ang buhok. Lalo na yung panganay dahil may mousse pa ang buhok nuon.

    Haze, ang mga bata nga, ganyan. O siguro dahil nakagisnan na nila ang ganyang lamig.

    Verns, kung pwede nga lamang. 🙂

  • 37. Sidney  |  February 14, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Sure I don’t want to experience -40°
    I already complain when it is +18°

    Your son probably has warm blood! 😉

  • 38. rachel  |  February 15, 2007 at 9:10 am

    hi, niceheart, i can relate to you a 100% not only because i am a mother of a defiant teenager but also because i am a winnipegger (cold nose warm heart). your account of our weather condition is so vivid and so true, enough to discourage any warm blooded human being to venture in our territory.

    anyway, regarding my son, i followed everyone’s advise to let him be (maporma talaga ayaw magbalot) but the turning point came when his girlfriend gave him a winter parka, mitts and toque for christmas. yon lsng pala ang solusyon, he he he

  • 39. niceheart  |  February 17, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    Sidney, that’s probably it, warm blood. 🙂

    Hi Rachel, thanks for dropping by. That was so thoughtful of his girlfriend to give him a winter outfit. So it has to be a gift from the girlfriend pala huh? Well, Ryan is only 12, so in a few years time pa. 🙂

  • 40. Playing in the snow 2 « Journey to Honeyville  |  March 4, 2007 at 1:13 am

    […] took these last three pictures last month just before we had that  three-week cold spell.  They’re always digging holes and tunnels.  They said that they were making Pokemon centres. […]

  • 41. Walking home from school « Journey to Honeyville  |  March 6, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    […] week, after a long break from patrolling (three weeks of a cold spell and another week at the office), I was kind of excited to be back at my post.  I brought my camera […]


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