I now remember what I hate most about winter.
Oh, I hate the cold and the snow and ice to be sure. I despise dressing in layers and wrapping up so much I look the kid in “A Christmas Story.” And I don’t like stuffing a hat or ear wraps onto my head. (Though I’m more likely to go out without a coat than with my ears bare. They’d get me sick faster than anything.)
I hate all of that. Give me a beach and a palm tree to decorate any year. But what I hate the most revolves around that little digital box in the hallway. And she who rules it, rules the house.
Yes, I’m talking about the thermostat – and the wars with the mother than ensue because of it. This seems to happen at the start of every season, but at no time like during cold weather.
We got into the 20s last night, but even before the temperature dipped, I came home to find the thermostat kicked up a degree. I quietly turned it back down. When I went to take a shower (it’s right outside the bathroom door), I discovered that it had been kicked up again. I turned it back down.
This happened at least one more time before I went to bed. The mother slept on the sofa which meant Toby said not one word last night. Ah, almost six consecutive hours of uninterrupted sleep. (Turns out Toby had eaten part of a ribbon he was playing with Sunday night. He had deposited it both on the livingroom floor and in his litter box shortly before I got home last night.)
I still woke up before the alarm though. Why? Ozzie was pacing because he was hot, I imagine. I was even a little too toasty myself. And that doesn’t happen much, especially when it’s cold outside. She’s been at it again, I muttered and got out of bed.
Sure enough, the thermostat had been jacked up not one, but two degrees. Never mind how much that’s adding to the power bill. (Clearly this is the Young Tom gene -- the energy miser gene -- that I got that she didn’t.)
I couldn’t stand it. Are you crazy? I asked the mother. It’s not even that cold yet. What are you going to do when it really gets cold?
"It is really cold," came the answer from she who refuses to use a blanket.
I shudder to think about what she will do. I shudder to think about what the thermostat is on now, right now, now that I’ve left the house. I shudder even more to think about what the next power bill will look like.
Winter’s not even officially here yet, but it’s going to be a long one.