Generally speaking, I’m the chilly one in the house.
I mean, I get cold more easily than my husband, and the children take after him. I’ll have four layers on and be pulling another cardigan round me and making another cup of tea while Mabel throws her clothes off with abandon and tries to run out the door barefoot. So we have a hot-water bottle, and I like to take it to bed with me on especially cold nights.
(Hot-water bottles seem not to be the ubiquitous bed-warmers here in the US that they are at home. In Ireland, I’m pretty sure I could walk into any chemist/pharmacy/drugstore and find a nice red or blue or even orange rubber receptacle for hot water, with which to take the chill off the sheets of a winter night, but over here they’re a bit harder to track down, and sometimes, extremely offputtingly, come with attachments for giving yourself a nice little colonic irrigation while you’re at it. I don’t really understand this part. I don’t want to understand. Here’s a more normal one. Phew.)
Anyway, since I never remember that it would be nice to have another hot-water bottle while I’m browsing Amazon for more interesting items, we only have the one in the house. I know there are such things as electric blankets, but that’s so high-tech, you know. And I only want my bed to be warm at the start of the night. Later on, when my toes are finally toasty, I like my sheets to be soothingly cool. I’m an enigma, you see, a woman of intrigue and mystery.
So, and gosh but it takes a long time to get to my point tonight, I have found it a little annoying lately that Dash has decided he needs the hot-water bottle. Even though he’s regularly found in bed with little beads of sweat on his nose (probably from insisting on falling asleep under the direct glare of his bedside lamp), he professed to be cold and to need it. And since every parent’s prime directive is to get the children to go to sleep ASAP so they can finally enjoy a glass of wine and watch an R-rated movie in peace, we gave it to him.
Then, one night, he was so hot that he couldn’t sleep. The duvet was taken entirely out of his duvet cover, but he was still too hot. B filled the hot-water bottle with cold water, and that seemed to help. He finally conked out. The next night he was still hot and wanted the cold bottle again.
The following night, B asked what sort of water bottle his majesty might desire, and I found him in the kitchen filling a lukewarm water bottle. Yes, Dash wanted his bottle neither heating nor cooling, but just body temperature. The better to keep his bed, um, the same.
So off I went to bed again that night in my socks and my cosy pyjamas, burying myself under mounds of down comforter and extra blanket, because my son was using the one and only hot-water bottle for nothing at all except to be a pleasantly squishy neutral-temperature thing in the bed beside him.
The things we do for our children.