Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reclaiming the hoods of our summer paradise

After a very long winter we are back at the summer paradise, the Åland island. Well, there is still some snow around and no sight of tourists, not even those school excursions from the mainland that is such a typical spring sign around these places. Daughter was amazed to see our well visited camping site, closed, no tourists. Where are they?, she asked. She was also annoyed that I was making her wear the winter overall. Looked at me as if I was crazy. She had also asked me at least ten times on the plane if the green dress had been included in the backpack. Yes, I said, its there. Thinking of the green winter dress that she has, while she was thinking of her summer dress. Later I understood why she was making all these strange questions. As we spent almost half of the summer last year over here, she thought that Åland means summer. Simple. She also made me pack our swimsuites, at that point I did not get her intentions. She wanted to swim in the sea! I thought she wanted to go to the indoor swimmingpool... Well, quickly we sorted out the concepts. Åland is not like taking the plane to Chile. If its winter at home its winter on Åland.

Today we've been busy reclaiming the house and the streets. Literally. We started off the day with G reclaiming the house. In less than 30 minutes he had emptied the mould from a pot in the "green room" down stairs, tried eating and putting the car keys into the radiators (those with the sign "do not cover"- better known in Sweden as "ei saa peittää") and when that did not work he just got the radiator off its hooks on the wall. He also tried several kamikaze-jumps down the three different stairs in this house. That's when I understood; we need to get out of this place....

So I got the kids dressed. A not very happy about the abrupt ending to her "Barnkanalen" tv watching, but I bribed her with grapes to make her cooperate. We did the normal tour of the city: first to Emmaus to get some cool second hand toys and then to the library to get a couple of excellent children books in Swedish and then to the other side of town for lunch with my mom. You would think the kids would have been happy with these exciting arrangements. And they were. But where ever we went, we left our mark... First in Emmaus, G managed to get all toys on the shelves down on the floor and end our discovery tour of 70:s-80:s toys with a free fall into the shelf and a lip filled with blood. My man is not exactly the most quiet chap when crying, so our shopping ended there quickly and we walked two blocks down to the library, chidren section, filled with toys and books for both kids. Kids excited, yes. But G was maybe just a liiiiittle bit over excited. He turn every cup with caryons upsidedown, he tried all toys, all small chairs and he picked every book he could get his hands on and placed them in another shelf, another section. Nightmare for librarians... I got my excercise of the day, running after, picking up, trying to keep track of his book placings.

Once out of the place and heading towards the lunch with my mom, the sugar level of A had turned critical (that is how far you get on 3 grapes...). I need to add that also my own sugar levels were critical at this point. The stirred eggs from the morning had just not fulfilled their duty today. Major tantrum. We talk world catastrophy tantrum. Our small dispute must have been overheard by all locals having their lunch in the city center today. It was the kind of situation were you as a parent become nervous... at what point do others start interferring in our small unpleasant discussion...Supernanny, to our rescue, please! But no supernanny around. Still, somehow we managed to make it to lunch, get some food in all of us and then pass by the city playground, bus home and have an excellent spring afternoon with the neighbour's kids out on the front yard.

Just a few reflections of the morning happenings: First, its clear - the terrible three are back, and back with a vengence, on this small island. Second, how come the same gang was just a month back passing through a city of 6 million inhabitants without the slightest sign of such challenges confronted today? Come on, this town has 10 thousand inhabitants, there are almost no cars in the city center, and no people either for that matter. I was really not prepared. Maybe because I did not carry around those small bags of emergency cookies...maybe that is why. Let's put it on the account of the cookies, or better yet, the missing cookies. Next time, I am wiser.

PD: I borrowed a book called "Råsmart familj" (Wise Choice Family) from the library today. I studied it with great attention in the afternoon. The author has the solution to these mood jumps that we just experienced today. I will not start preeching abouth the message here but just briefly say that emergency cookies are not the way to go....and actually, I am a believer.

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