It’s in the middle of September and still extremely hot outside. The highlight of this month was our traditional (second year hosting now) crayfish party. I love both the crayfish, the food friends bring, all the kids playing together, how very “Swedish” this “holiday” is. It’s the best excuse to have people over and have some social fun for a change! We eat too much and laugh and sing songs (it’s tradition, don’t judge!) and try to teach the few Americans how to twist the tails off the poor crayfish, suck their bodies and be careful of the “butt stuff”.
We have been doing pretty well, my kiddos and I, and even enjoyed a few play dates and shopping trips here and there. I feel like my little girl is just getting bigger and healthier (I mean the thighs alone!) and doesn’t seem as fragile anymore. This one combined shopping trip/play date (up north where it’s a little cooler and easier to handle the outside) starts off great. My son plays with his little Swedish friend, practicing Swedish, sharing and overall manners in interacting with peers and adults. My friend and I are bonding over “mommy issues” and struggles but also over the sheer pleasure of being mothers and where we are at in our lives.
The shopping is also great, we go to this Swedish store (you are never as proud of Sweden as you are when you live abroad) and I’m finding lots of stuff for both the kids and myself. Of course it gets late so I ask my dear husband to meet us at the store. Since baby gets extra cranky and needy in the evenings (will not tolerate the car seat after 5pm for example) and our son gets extra wild, I’m in need of some back up.
My little boy is trying to be extra helpful but unfortunately his version of helpful doesn’t necessarily match mine. He runs around grabbing clothes that I “would look beautiful in” (very sweet but stop, just stop!). Why can’t he just sit still in his stroller like his friend? He is also helping me by “checking” if every single dressing room is empty (or occupied to people’s absolute delight!) so I can try his “beautiful” choices on. I have such a hard time keeping up with him and I’m on my fourth message to my husband, “hurry!!”. Our boy is running so fast tripping over his own feet several times, I’m worried that he is going to get lost or worse, taken (don’t get me started on one of my biggest fears; growing up in Sweden that possibility was simply not considered and my twin siblings sure did their fair share of running away in stores). Luckily my husband comes just in time for a round of hide and go seek, great fun! (Translation; get that boy out of this store, now!).
Since our daughter now seems to have reached her boiling point, screaming to let everyone know it, I ask hubby to take stroller and baby/kid stuff back to the car and then come get baby and I. I’m wearing her in the Tula carrier (pink and fancy) but she is truly over it- mad now. I pay while multiple people feel the need to let me know that my baby is crying (no?, I can’t hear her…even though she is literally less than 2 inches from my face). Once in the car, we decide that I will take both kids since the boy is already strapped in and daddy parked elsewhere. He says he will pick up some food (I never say no to take out!) and then we will meet at home.
I take my time nursing my crying baby trying to soothe her to sleep (better that than the guaranteed crying if she is awake for the car ride home). Our boy is actually being good, playing with the clothes and shoes he got (they are having a very serious dinosaur discussion). I successfully nurse (managing not to flash too many people), strap sleeping baby in her car seat and calm my three year old down (who is all done playing with clothes) by telling him we are leaving right now. We will go home to our house, daddy and dog! (Try not to sleep and ruin bed time). It is then I realize I don’t have my keys…
I look everywhere, even under the baby (does she wake up? Of course she does!) and in all the bags and the folded stroller. A car honks and another one asks (not the car but you know the driver of it) if I’m leaving (yeah…not likely buddy). The owner of the car next to us knocks on my window just to let me know that I parked too close to her and now she has trouble loading all her bags in (ehm, I’m within the lines here…and if you can’t fit… maybe, I don’t know, try the other SIDE). Little busy here, searching high and low for my keys while not one but two kids are frantically wailing! “Ahhhh”, top of her lungs (working great). And the other one, “but you said we were going home right nooow!!!! “Daddy, daaady I want daaaady”, “You saaaaid, you saaaaid”
Yes, I did say! Calling my husband just to confirm. “No, of course not” turns into; my car keys right there in his pocket (what do you know). Had he picked up the food and left for home yet? Of course he had (did I mention we live an hour away…)
Needless to say…this day turned in to a long one!