|At the playground|
|I love tugboats. There's just something so endearing about them.|
We met Allen down at the Grand Canal (sort of, I'm not really known for my sense of direction) to check out the Tall Ships arriving. A bunch of people were riding in swan boats, like these. Megan and Charlie were entranced but Megan insisted that they were Goose Boats rather than Swans.
On days that Allen will get home late, I try to plan some extra activities for us. Now, mind, "late" at the moment constitutes after 2:30. While 6 hours doesn't seem like it should be all that long and leaves me feeling rather like What Kind of Mother that I find it rather difficult. In fact, it's not all the length of time, it also has a lot to do with the time of day. In the US, where we have friends, activities, babysitters, an acre of yard, and enough space in the house to actually be apart, the time at which the children begin to veer a bit towards Lord of the Flies and I begin to contemplate the wisdom of ever having children at all, is around 4:30. Since Allen would rather go in to work quite early than stay late, arriving home around 4:30 is workable. I'm hoping some such time magic will occur once the children start school and Noah starts Mother's Morning Out. We will still be in a just big enough house and be rather short on outside activities, friends, and a yard but perhaps the stimulation of school will provide just enough space in our togetherness that we can really appreciate one another again.
At any rate, a lot of times we make chocolate chip cookies. I tried making a pear sponge which I thought was quite yummy but the children feel that fruit and cake should be two distinct entities. To answer a question I get frequently, yes, you can find chocolate chips here. But, I've found the quality to be less than fabulous. A better solution seems to be to buy a chocolate bar and then chop it up. So you don't spend too much time chopping, I also buy a bag of m and ms and mix those in. As an aside, when you are renting a house that came with all manner of completely useless implements (not 1, but 2 George Foreman grills) but not a mixer (manual or electric), a potato masher works quite nicely for creaming sugar and butter.
By the time we've hit the park, had lunch, walked to get the chocolate for the cookies, made cookies, watched a couple of shows (Curious George and Little Bear are favorites), bickered, time outed and wandered down to wherever Allen is meeting us, we've made it through the day!
Upon our arrival home from watching the Tall Ships, I started making dinner, setting the big kids up with Dinosaur Train and sending Allen off to the shop with Noah to get me some cider. I'm a cider girl rather than beer so it's been nice to be somewhere that cider is almost as readily available as beer if not in quite such variety- it's often even on tap! Each can is huge (500 mls which is slightly more than a US pint and slightly less than an imperial pint). I split it with Allen over dinner as my tolerance for alcohol is a college boy's dream.
Allen asked why I felt the need for a cider today as I am generally driven to escapist literature rather than to drink. I explained, as Megan stuck her finger down her throat (yes, really) because she had happened to get a stray tomato with her bite of cous cous (no, she didn't, intervention was swift), that it wasn't so much the frequency (although that was quite high, it being one of those days that you can't even manage to pee without someone hollering) of the difficulties today as much as the intensity.
The half pint of cider allowed me to handle Noah peeing all over the bathmat with grace. His diaper having been removed prematurely when it was abruptly discovered that Charlie had been drawing in the condensation of the (accursed) shower doors rather than actually washing.
Happily, every day comes to an end and the next one is often better. If not, I still have 3 cans of cider! :-)