6 more days to go! Last week with the cast, and I think we are all ready to see that little leg back in action. As we go in for the home stretch, I can honestly say that it’s gone so much more smoothly than we predicted – and luckily we managed to find our silver lining, and sustain the positive outlook for the duration of the month (give or take a few moments here and there, of course!) I can now report that we have done the rounds to most of the museums and cultural institutions in the city: Moderna, Vasamuseet, Östasiatiska, Tekniska, Livrustkammaren, Fotografiska, Kulturhuset – plus the library, the cinema, and lots of cafes and restaurants. The littlest Pollard certainly can’t complain about not having enough stimuli! We have also made about one million beaded necklaces, gone through at least half a dozen activity and colouring books, many pages of stickers, a few kilos of drawing paper, and we’ve also created a small zoo of origami animals.
Aside from the nice excursions and ability to enjoy the city on “off-peak” hours, it was also interesting to get a glimpse into life as a stay-at-home parent. While I often felt like I was on maternity leave again – actually this was different. On maternity/paternity leave, we spent a good deal of time just coping, and learning to function. But this time, it was much more about curating the days – finding ways to fill the hours in a constructive way that was enjoyable for everyone. And having to think about variety, but also consistency. Like – how many times in a week is too much, to have pancakes for lunch? How late can bedtime be pushed, when we don’t have to get up for any particular reason the next day? This “extra” time we ended up spending together turned out to be a gift, in many ways – almost a luxury to really be present, and observe the complexity of development going on – the kind of real presence that you can only get with solid chunks of time together. It was also a testament to how adaptable kids really are – so fascinating in their ability to accept and cope with major incidents with such stoic strength and good humour. (Also fascinating in how breaking a leg can be no big deal at all, but putting on mittens can be like Armageddon)
But that being said – I wouldn’t want to do this full time. This past month was a good balance – especially as we alternated days at home and work. It was great to have more time with Ania, but I also learned to appreciate working life more as well. And much as I think Stefan and I can pat ourselves on the back for our resourcefulness in filling 4 weeks at home – could we do it on a permanent basis? That would be really, really hard. Today I really felt it, as I tried to muster the energy to get really excited about playing pirates, again….Or build a fort, again…. Or play supermarket, again. And much as I do love to do those things with Ania, at a certain point these are things that are actually just more fun for her to do with other kids her age. And that’s what dagis is for. And just as we are ready for a return to normal routine, it’s evident that Ania is too – talking about her friends now daily, and how she misses them, and the conversations they’re going to have when she returns. I think the cast is getting really itchy now too, so even the novelty of her snazzy lilac accessory is wearing thin, and she’s starting to long for the moment it comes off. Soon!!!
Here are some random snapshots from our daily life of late:
Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s good to have holiday-appropriate clothing.
I found an long-lost abandoned piece of knitting that turned out to be a perfect little Valentine’s mini-scarf!
String is always a good way to liven up the day.
Inspired by an episode of the Swedish cartoon, Alfons Åberg.
Sometimes we just like hanging out in our swimsuit…
Out on the town
Vietnamese lunch. Somebody has eaten quite well this past month.
We attempted to feed the ducks. Still a bit too icy so there weren’t many takers, but it was a spectacularly sunny day.
Colour-coordinated princess with a little bit of attitude, yes.