Why would you take only two kids to the theater when you have the opportunity to be accompanied by four pre-schoolers? Two kids, twice the challenge, four kids, quatriple the fun. This is the unedited story of how I survived the day as a daycare auntie.
Planning, planning, planning....If real estate decisions are to be based on location, location, location then a day out with four pre-schoolers must be based on planning, planning, planning. And so I did. This morning I got up at dawn, used hubby as my alarm instead of the normal kids cry. I prepared breakfast, cooked eggs, spinach soop, treats, in other words the package.
I realized early that the challenge in my plan were my own two honeybuns. As long as they were fed, dressed and ready when the two others arrived, we would have no problem in making it in time to the theater at 10 a.m. Especially our normal quarrels over daughter's firm opinions on what to wear had to be minimized, preferrably abolished this morning. I put myself in the position of her; ok, so the light pink jeans were not cool, neither were the blue jeans, but yes the dark pink jeans (her favorite) and then the pink shirt , fine with me, as long as fine with the daugther. We almost made it; it was only son that was missing a pair of trousers and socks when I opened the door to the two additional cuties accompanying us today. All four were so excited that they practically jumped their way down the stairs.
Then the walk; from home to the bus stop. Potential crisis here; one stroller, one buggy board, four kids... solved it perfectly well, youngest in the stroller, second youngest on the buggy board and then the two big sisses walking hand in hand. Yes, no outbursts, and child security secured.
In the bus. In order to avoid unecessary bus changes, I chose to take the snail bus, also called the Joker. The name supposedly for being a quick route, but that is a laugh, the bus snails around all suburbs of Helsinki. In its defense, and nothing to do with its name; it is realiable, goes with 5-10 minutes intervals and gets you from point a to b. My overexcited Swedish speaking companions made it clear to the rest of the rush hour travelers that Swedish is a languange that is alive and well in this country! To confirm that the bus ride took its time, one of the group members commented some 5-10 minutes before our final destination that it was almost like flying to Dubai... Right on mister, I think I'll send the feedback to the public transport authorities of this city... Joker, what a laugh!
We get off, in one of the five centers of the neighbouring municipality. Here I am faced with a challenge of another sort. As you may, or may not know, the Rumanian minority of Romanis have populated our streets as beggers in the past 2-3 years. Politicians are going beserk because they do not know how to handle this problem - Finland has not had beggars in decades, so this is a hot topic in contemporary politics. Well, there in the center of the neighbouring municipality I am confronted with the question of why this lady is sitting on the street. First observation was that why did she not have a table? And then just why was she sitting on the ground. I truly did not know how to explain the issue to my companions. Still thinking about it. But that all of them were pondering these questions just shows that none of these four kids are not exposed to city life all that often...Sound childhood.
We got to the theater. Children sat still for the whole one hour show, listened and laughed. I take that as a success. Ok, correction; three kids sat as small candles; we had one hooligan in the group, but I bribed him with raisins (all part of my grand slam plan) and he kept rocking quietly through out the show. After the theater; the holy mess of lunch time. Will not go into details; main thing is that the kids did get lunch and lets leave the mess out of the story. But just to be precise; the mess did originate from the same raisin drugged rocker, no one else to be blamed, and I put that on the account of his young age...kind of like the behaviour of the young Finnish ice hockey players, did not know that his was acting against the code of conduct...
The return trip was a true joy; rocker passed out soon after entering the bus, rest of the gang were allowed to sit in seats where they could look out the window. This was a smart move as that did guarantee that no one else would fall asleep during the snail ride. I was a bit worried about having to push a stroller and carry at least two sleeping three year olds on my shoulders... no thank you. Here I have to add that at this point we had developed some disagreement on who had the right to stand on the buggy board. Was it the oldest? Was it the second youngest? Or was it the rightous owner of the board? We solved it by testing the weight resistance of the board; two girls standing on it and one gentleman walking by my side.
And to finish our adventures I promised some ice cream once back home. This way I got them to cooperate all the way up to the fourth floor. The rest of the afternoon we spent playing fruit market (selling fruits and lorries for 5, 10, 25 moneys each) and royal castle (with creative princess costumes, decorations and royal toys - hubby's football medal). And yes, I also let them watch both an Astrid Lindgren movie and Ice Age 3. All on the request of the visitors.
This is how you can have an excellent day in the company of four preschoolers. I am happy I put myself up for this challenge. Cheers to my own and the borrowed patiperros chicos!
And for all of those with preschoolers in Helsinki region: go tomorrow and see Krakel Spektakel in Louhisalen/Tapiola. It was loads of fun and I think both Swedish and Finnish speaking kids can enjoy the show!