Why won’t rug-rats rug up?


Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Mi­randa Mur­phy is a mother of three and a jour­nal­ist at The Aus­tralian

EV­ERY win­ter it seems Syd­ney is taken by ut­ter sur­prise that the sea­son may bring ac­tual chilly weather.

Last week there was wide­spread dread as the east coast was hit by a cold snap, or “Antarc­tic Vor­tex” or SNOW­POCA­LYPSE! — depend­ing on which news out­let you fol­low.

Yet many of us still can­not con­vince our stub­born chil­dren to put on a jumper.

Now, my house is very cold and be­cause I’m a bit stingy when it comes to heat­ing, my fam­ily pretty much spends our wak­ing hours in the one big room that we keep toasty enough.

We eat in that room, watch TV, play and work in there, get dressed in there, dry our wash­ing in there. Heck, if I could keep a cou­ple of oxen on some hay in the cor­ner for ex­tra warmth I would.

Which is kind of ap­pro­pri­ate be­cause, as the old say­ing goes, my im­per­vi­ous-to-

Hy­pother­mia aside, I asked a GP friend whether one could re­ally catch a cold by merely be­ing out in the cold. She thought not, shoot­ing down that threat for get­ting kids to rug up.

I sus­pect this has been a source of in­ter­gen­er­a­tional con­flict since the dawn of time. There must be cave paint­ings that de­pict ex­as­per­ated pre­his­toric par­ents try­ing to get their kid to wear a vest. “For pity’s sake Og, put on your woolly mam­moth — it’s lit­er­ally the Ice Age out there.”

In­deed, my mum still but­ton­holes me on the way to the front door to ask if I’ll be tak­ing a jacket.

Of course as a ma­ture adult now I give her an ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse, which is to roll my eyes dra­mat­i­cally and huff, “I am 41 years old you know. I’m pretty sure I KNOW IF I’M GO­ING TO NEED A JACKET.”

And then I go and get my jacket.

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