Goal: To be out the door at 9:15, drop Karel off for his ”temafest” (theme party) at barnehage at 9:30, run some errands with Emil, pick Karel up at 12:30, have a friend over for coffee at 1 p.m.
Reality: everyone dressed and ready (miraculously) by 9:30. Karel insists he doesn’t want to go to barnehage today. He wants to stay here at ”mama’s and pappa’s house.” Fine. He can come to the store.
But where are the car keys? Send Karel out to play in snow while still searching at 9:40. Realize he doesn’t have snow pants on, so call him back in and redress. Go through every possible pocket in the house. Find keys at 10, but Karel is so engrossed in tractor driving that stopping now will cause a fit. Besides, Emil is awake and hungry.
Might as well put that guilt for missing his morning cereal to rest. Settle in with baby cereal by the window so as to keep an eye on Karel while feeding Emil. Discuss with Karel what could be used as a snow plough in the backyard through the window. Wipe Karel’s nose through the window. Emil finally finishes his cereal, not seeming to mind the now chilled temperature. Change Emil’s diaper, get him back into car seat.
It’s now 10:45, and Karel is at the door requesting macaroni and cheese, which we do not have because he ate it all for dinner last night. (I get a little warm fuzzy remembering last night’s ”thank you for this very good cheese macaroni that you made for me, Mama.” No joke. I think I beamed a little bit). Clearly some sort of snack is in order. Take Emil OUT of the carseat and head up to the kitchen. We also don’t have the crackers that would be Karel’s second choice, despite his insistence that we do (”you DO have them here. mama”). Cue tears. Tears abate at suggestion of banana baby cereal. (”Is it ready? hooray!”). Mama wisely realizes she should eat something, too, to prevent herself from melting down, and even more wisely resists the impulse to have that something be solely chocolate and coffee. Karel, the slowest eater in the world, works on his grøt.
I text Bjørn, telling him that I found the keys, and that we’re heading out shortly if he wants to meet us for lunch. Time is 11:10. Karel spies my bread with peanut butter and banana and, of course, wants that too. No problem. I text my friend, saying that 2 p.m. seems more reasonable than 1 at the rate we’re going. Make peanut butter-banana bread with one hand while holding a fussy Emil. Someone seems to need to nurse. Huh. That time already? Fine. Wash the peanut butter off of Karel’s hands pretending to not hear him ask for more. He heads off to his legos, to construct the world’s first airplane fitted with a snowplow.
Emil nurses, Karel invents, I start typing this blog post. I mean, I still have one free hand.
11:35: Emil asleep, put him back in his carseat.
At this point I notice my older son taking his very subtle pooping stance. ”Hey! Let’s go down and poop on the potty!” says a hopeful mama, the hope being sparing herself the time needed for changing another diaper. ”Nooo.” One day I will decide to fight this battle, I promise, but today is not it.
Alrighty then, just let me know when you’re done. Sigh.
11:40, Change karel’s diaper, trying to discuss the whole potty thing. ”What do you want if you poop in the potty?” ”Macaroni and cheese.” Well, that’s possible. ”How about a new book?” ”I want to read the new book and not poop in the potty.” I try not to laugh.
11:45 Back downstairs to get dressed. — Maybe I should explain here that our house has this kind of funny, heat conserving set up with bedrooms on the first floor, and kitchen and living space upstairs. — Emil is still asleep in his car seat. Karel rejects putting his boots on his feet in favor of trying to put one on his head as a hat, a la The Rat-a-Tat Hat book. He then plays the favorite game of this age group: ”I’ll put on my coat, but you have to catch me first.”
11:50: I realize I might need just a little bit more coffee to make it through.
11:52: I am clearly sipping too slowly for the game’s pace as I hear a little voice floating upstairs: ”I’m down here, in my bed… in my own cozy bed!”
11:53: Quickly do risk analysis of the situation. Tired but happy and lunch-ed preschooler already in his own cozy bed vs. saving errands and groceries for later.
I pushed my luck, folks. I went for it. You just never know with Karel. If I’d proposed laying down and reading a book right then and there, he might have fallen asleep….or he might not have. Then I’m 0 for 2. Not a good way to end the week.
11:59: Into the car, Karel awake, Emil asleep.
VICTORY!!!! Anything less than 3 hours later than the intended time of a departure is a success in my book.
Off to the shopping center. I tell a drowsy Karel that he doesn’t need to shut his eyes. He’s never heard that before, so of course he shut them. But then opened them. Phew. Then he said I could hold him while we were shopping and he would sleep. It’s like a 5 minute drive — ”Wow, look at the big garage” ”Yeah!” says Karel. A big, full garage. Three trips around….parked….look in the rear view mirror: Karel asleep. Emil awake.
I’ll spare you all the minute by minute replay of my multiple back-and-forths between the car and the entrace to get the shopping cart, the rearranging of children in said cart to be able to actually fit groceries, the near panic as I couldn’t find the one place that does passport photos…. In the end it was great. They were great. Not a tear between them. I’m kind of stupefied with gratitude….the Lord knows how much we can take, and this week he must have seen I was at my limit. (Did i mention I didn’t manage to get undressed before bed last night?)
So here’s to days where the to-do list actually matches the things-accomplished list, with a little bit of everyday-life thrown in just for kicks.