Iza, where are your dirty clothes?
in the Hancock.
Where? Oh, you mean the hamper.
The kids dress themselves. Leo eats two bowls of oatmeal drizzled with honey and adorned with a smiley face made of raisins. Iza eats one bowl.
Then down three flights of stairs. Leo descends the entire way bumping on his bottom.
Through the park. Down into the metro.
Three stops, including going under the Danube.
A stop at the new "Food Fusion" shop where the kids have discovered they can get a little cup of milk. Leo, who is happy to delay going to nursery school, suddenly develops an insistent need for a bit of milk from this shop. I also buy sweet potatoes, an unusual food here. I buy the sweet potatoes because the young man who runs the shop does not have a way to charge me for the little milks. I have tried to pay him, to offer it as a tip at the coffee bar. Nope. So now we have sweet potatoes.
Up to the ovoda (nursery school.)
Leo proudly shows his new winter shoes to one of the ovi teachers. She looks at me and tells me that it is unhealthy for his feet to wear his shoes inversely and that they must be changed. I say nothing and I do not change them. Because here is the deal: The kid is having tantrums. He obviously is not happy with all the changes that have been foisted on him--change of country, new home here in Budapest, going to nursery school, speaking in Hungarian. If the little guy wants to wear his shoes inversely, then that is cool by me. Of course I explained to him that morning how the velcro should be fastened such that the flower design in on the outside of the foot for all to see. But he disagreed. Yes, he chose the same dark purple boots with a floral motif as his sister. The boy knows what he wants. And he wants to fasten them inversely right now. Fine by me. Let's just say, this particular teacher is doing her job by laying down the rules. But my job as a parent is to respond to my child first. My kid needs to feel like he has some control over his life. Let him wear his shoes as he wills.
It is stressful to lack the language skills to explain my point-of-view and parenting philosophies. I did not appreciate being told her opinion about what is best for my child's feet. Really? Did she think I didn't know or didn't care that his shoes were on backward? And really, universe and podiatrists, is it really unhealthy that my child goes through a phase of wearing his shoes inversely? Will he walk on hobbled little stubs because of this laissez-faire parenting style of mine?
Dear ovoda teacher, please read: UNCONDITIONAL PARENTING by Alfie Kohn.
Kisses (and no tantrum!) and then I retrace my metro route home, stopping at a local cafe to meet the husband.
Green Tea. Warm tuna sandwich.
We discuss our upcoming party, our children's future and education, Hungarian bureaucracy, and Boston real estate. He asks me our wedding anniversary because he needs it for some paperwork. I don't know. We finally manage to find it because I remind him that he has scanned all our documents into the Intertubes. April 21, 2006.
Then I step into a local design store and buy a new espresso maker--the stovetop kind. I have one. It doesn't work despite all the voodoo I've tried. Fingers crossed for the new one.
Back up the three flights to our apartment.
Minutes later two other actors arrive so we can rehearse our play. Of course we take a cake break. Not your typical Hungarian cake break as Stefan stopped by our local vegan shop and picked up some "reform" cake. Very healthy stuff. Not exactly within the parameters of what you are used to when it comes to cake. Very granola.
The actors leave. I eat all the remaining cake.
Then I nag the husband about being late to pick up the kids. Today is his first occasion to pick them up from nursery school.
My mother-in-law is still on Skype. So I step out and buy a few items from a local Hungarian designer's boutique. I return. Grandma is till on Skype.
I make tea.
Now I blog while I wait for the family to come home.
Number of trips up/down three flights: 4
Cups of tea: 4
cups of coffee: 2
Days left until our performance: 16