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The Ex-Pat Mommy: Roasting in Baltimore

ropastinhWe were boiling in Baltimore last week as temperatures zoomed up to 100 °F (37 °C) shutting schools and causing general mayhem. Looking back on it I wish I’d tried to fry an egg on the pavement. I fear it was so hot the egg might even have burnt!

For two days schools closed early because the classrooms were overheating, kids were fainting and teachers were losing the will to live. The school my daughters go to does have part of the school air conditioned but since some classrooms are without it the schools closed for two days at 1pm. The children were all ecstatic and ran out of school screaming with joy, beyond excited to be getting out early.

I thought closing the schools might be an over the top reaction until I went in last Friday to hear my daughter’s poetry reading when temperatures had gone down to only(!) 95 degrees. In my daughter’s classroom there were fans, whirring away barely stirring air as hot and thick as pea soup. Sweat started pooling down my back and I could barely take the heat for ten minutes let alone the half an hour it took for the kids to read out their limericks. So yes, the schools were justified in closing. I have absolutely no idea how schools here functioned in the days when none of them had air conditioning. Why all the schools don’t have air conditioning is of course a question of funding, and usually temperatures don’t get quite so high this early in the summer.

I find that extreme heat can be quite pleasant as long as I am lolling in the shade drinking a icy drink. It makes me feel like a lioness in the African savannah. Unfortunately my children do not wish to play the part of sleeping lion cubs. Heat drives them wild with excitement. We have a stream at the the end of the garden and they are forever diving into its four inches of water desperate to cool down. When I can’t bear it any longer I drag them round to the local pool. I try to get there in the afternoon though because one of my daughters has this pale irish skin and even smothered in sun screen has a tendency to burn if I go at lunchtime.

Luckily the heat has eased off now and we are back to the mid-eighties. But sooner or later we will be back to these record temperatures when I will start to feel like one of those melting clocks in a Salvador Dali painting. It’s times like these that I really start to miss the drizzle and pale dappled sunlight of an English summer, complete with a Pimm’s Cup of course. How’s the summer treating you so far? And what do you do to stay cool in the heat?

More from The Ex-Pat Mommy
The Ex-Pat Mommy: Moving House – Dream vs. Reality
The Ex-Pat Mommy: Stuffed to the Gills!
The Ex-Pat Mommy: Culturally, I’m a Labradoodle
The Ex-Pat Mommy: Not a Happy Camper


About the author
A Londoner born and bred, Emma Kaufmann met her Prince Charming and hopped the Pond (to Baltimore, USA) ten years ago, spawned two frogs and has lived there ever since!  While bringing up two demanding babies – like many mums she soon felt like she was losing her mind, her marbles and her identity. Her hilarious blog, www.mommyhasaheadache.blogspot.com started as a creative outlet, an attempt to rediscover her old sassy self. The blog spawned a book and (together with Gillian Martin) she penned and published Cocktails At Naptime – A Woefully Inadequate Guide to Early Motherhood which has saved the sanity of many a mum!


Image: BENGT AF GEIJERSTAM/Scanpix/Press Association Images

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