I’m thankful I don’t live in New York or Boston’s sudden winter wonderland?- hell? Though I’m not currently buried under snow, though I will be in a month or two, I wouldn’t call Montreal’s climate temperate. It’s volatile. One day I breeze down the cracked but dry pavement in my ivory suede boots (they’re really nice), the next I dredge along in winter boots. They’re deep purple, a colour I regret. One day Joanie is dressed in her cute furry bear outfit, the next she’s wriggling frantically in an ugly down snowsuit that’s too big for her. It was a last minute purchase when the temperature plummeted over night. Eric and I bussed up to the Joe Fresh by Parc metro to find that the only snowsuit in Joanie’s size was pink with polka dots, ruffles and a skirt. I refuse to dress her in a snowsuit with ruffles, so we bought one from the boy’s section, a size too big, but at least it has no superfluous skirts.
I’ve lived in Montreal for almost twenty years and I should expect dramatic climate shifts, but I wasn’t prepared for the extra forty-five minutes it takes to get anywhere. Aside from the twenty minutes it takes to zip and strap a seven-month-old into a snowsuit that she hates, I have to account for twenty-five minutes of pushing a stroller like a broken sleigh over ice frozen in clumps around the foot-prints of all the people moving faster than I. When she’s not in the stroller I have her strapped under my maternity coat screaming all the way to day care and back. She’s hidden under a special insert, so to passersby it looks I have some kind of shouting tumour on my chest.
Then, because it is Montreal and the weather is so unpredictable, the next day I’ll wake up to a dry sidewalk. I’ll be carrying a screaming child, the jacket she has shed, her back pack with the giraffe on it, while sweating through my parka.