There is a habit my men-children have, that is probably quite unique to Melbourne children. It only happens in the depths of winter, and it’s still something they do even at 16 years old. When it’s cold their favourite thing to do is to “lie on the heater”. By that I mean lying over the central heating duct, normally with a large blanket over themselves, to capture all the warm air, and appearing to be in a state of bliss.
It’s a childhood habit – aren’t they lucky to have grown up with central heating in the first place, and one they haven’t grown out of. They both had a duct in their rooms when they were small, and I would often find them lying on the carpet with their “blankies” to warm up. When they moved upstairs (where there are no heating vents of course) the habit remained. So I will often find one of them parked at the base of the stairs, sitting right on top of the heater, and yes, completely blocking the stairway for someone else. They have even been known to fight over this spot!
On occasions Sister of a Man-Child will find a large 16-year-old boy sprawled on the floor in her bedroom (it used to be his bedroom so I think that’s why he likes it), or I will walk into our bedroom to find another large 16-year-old on the floor, complete with blanket, laptop, mobile phone, and empty bowls under the bed “doing homework”. Somehow lying down, and being on a warm heater doesn’t feel conducive to the brain really working well does it? But trying telling that to a 16-year-old who knows everything.
Of course those who are my age know too well how spoilt today’s children are with the luxuries of ducted heating (and many others). We certainly didn’t have it when I was a kid, but I do remember very clearly what we had. It was an upright wall heater, just near the lounge room, which worked on a thermostat, so naturally came on and off. My father (in his wisdom) told us as small children that the quickest way to get it working was to blow on it!!!! So every night, wrapped in our towels straight after the bath, you would find four small girls standing in front of the heater blowing madly to make it come on faster. I don’t know how long we did that for, but eventually we grew out of the habit. I don’t ever remember Dad telling us it was a joke, but we obviously worked that out at some stage. I didn’t try that on my boys when they were small – maybe I thought the vision of a child blowing at the floor was just too ridiculous. 🙂
Do you have any childhood memories triggered by things your own children do? What small events cast you back to your own time as a kid? Are they fond memories or not? I’d love to hear from you.
I’ve written before about memories of my own childhood and of the “famous” Hurdy Gurdy in our backyard.