Heat Transfer

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Before getting married Chris once told Melissa in a loving, non-judgmental way that she didn’t understand the basic principles of heat transfer. It’s one of those statements that stays around for a long time, possibly forever. Since then heat transfer is a subject that comes up surprisingly often in our house. Despite the exposure, it seems unlikely that Everett understands this subject yet, and even though he tells us when things are hot and cold, we don’t know if he can describe when he himself is too hot or too cold. On a related subject, it is well known among our friends and family that Melissa and I run a bit warm and prefer cooler temperatures. So far Wisconsin has suited us well in this regard. It is also well known that parents will often project their preferences onto their children, at least until that doesn’t work any more. But in this case we don’t think we are projecting: Everett seems to radiate heat and so far doesn’t seem to mind the cold. However, other people seem to mind that we don’t mind. For example, Melissa was at a garage sale last week when a grandmotherly woman wearing sequins decided that Everett was “freezing” and was “going to get a pneumonia”. So she bought him a jacket, put it on him and zipped him up while Melissa was momentarily looking at the toddler clothes. We are not making this up.

Until last month Everett refused to wear anything on his feet without screaming. Fortunately he relented on this point in time to trudge through a muddy pumpkin patch during a cold, gray fall day in Wisconsin. That’s what we were doing this morning during our visit to Jim’s Pumpkin Farm in Germantown where Everett took his first hayride and helped us pick out a pumpkin.

A year ago at this time we were just returning from Switzerland, during which we observed that the locals around Geneva, and perhaps in the surrounding Franco-Swiss region, seemed to overdress their babies. The day we arrived was at the beginning of September and it was a beautiful, warm sunny day, about 75 F. We were in shorts and short sleeves and E was in a summer onesie in his bassinet:

By comparison, every other infant we saw was in polar fleece, blankets and hats. Many had the winter boot attached to their bassinets. We were a little incredulous and asked ourselves “what do these babies wear in the winter?” We have yet to find a good explanation for this behavior – perhaps it is a cultural difference? Please let us know if you have any insights.

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