Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Over and over and over and over

Summer has begun. At least that's what the school calendar is telling me. I wouldn't really know for sure because I'm still wearing jeans and sweaters and carrying an umbrella in my purse, but my Facebook news stream is filled with Americans complaining about something called "heat" and posting pictures of themselves in these funny short pants with no lower leg portion. And weirdly, all their tops don't seem to have sleeves.

We are finishing up a long weekend in Normandy before heading back to the UK. It may only be 65 degrees F but Husband, M and O spent Sunday splashing around the beach with a friend, getting soaked by waves and proving that hypothermia can be fun, dammit. I was camped on the rocks, properly dressed (see jeans and sweater, above) and holding firmly to my No Swimming Until The Air Temp Is Over 90F policy. Apparently, this makes me a party pooper, but I just laugh and wave my fingers at them, enjoying the fact that I still have feeling in my extremities. At some point, we are going to sit down and have a family discussion about how "sunny" and "warm" are not one and the same.

In another five days we head to the US for vacation. I'm really looking forward to it with the exception of the long flight on my own with two kids and the jet lag. Jet lag sometimes messes with routine, and if there's one thing O likes, it's his routine:

Wake up.
Shout from bed that he wants to "Geeeeet dooooowwwwn!"
Repeat until an adult wakes up and comes in to open curtain.
Get out of bed, throwing all pacifiers back in because they are not allowed downstairs except in cases of emergency. (Don't get me started. I know he needs to quit but he's a total pacifier junky, and there is no chance in hell I'm going to deal with withdrawal symptoms during this vacation. I hate to admit this, but he can scream longer than I can hold out.) (Obviously this is not a sore subject.)
Get adult to take him downstairs for "Miiiiiiilk!"
Ask to watch Nemo.
Get regular TV instead.
Receive milk in the yellow cup. Not the blue one. THE YELLOW ONE.
Watch 15 minutes of dumb regular TV before getting bored and demanding "Beeeebix!"
If there is no Weetabix in France or the US or wherever you are, you must negotiate until you come to terms. Terms being Cheerios ideally.
Eat Cheerios out of the Mickey Mouse bowl. Not the farm animal one. THE MICKEY MOUSE ONE.
Yell "Finished!"
Start day.

I like my morning routine as well, but that pretty much consists of having coffee, The End. Whether I get that coffee in a blue cup or a yellow cup is irrelevant. Sometimes I make it, sometimes Husband makes it, sometimes I sit at the table, sometimes in the armchair (though NEVER ON THE COUCH NEXT TO O) but kids are all about doing the exact same things over and over and over. And then again. Sometimes we like to mess with them, because when people are that punctilious, it's too easy. And fun:

So, M, you want eggs for breakfast?

Noooo! A bagel! You know I like bagels! 

Oh right, a bagel. Toasted, right? 

Noooo! Don't toast it! 

Oh yeah, that's right. Not toasted. With peanut butter. 

JAM. AND CREAM CHEESE. Cut up into 8 pieces.

Cut up into 6 pieces, right. 

8 PIECES!!!!

As far as O is concerned, Tiddler could be the only book in our house. M would wear the twirly flowery party dress every day. Dinner would always be pasta and peas.

Obviously they find it comforting, and when we travel we try to keep things as consistent as possible and the messing around to a minimum. We bring the milk cups (though not the cereal bowls), sit them in the same spots on the couch (even if it's a different couch), and have the same conversation about Weetabix. When it's time to go to sleep at night, we sing the same songs (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for O, Tender Shepherd for M) and go through the same hand-holding, no-door-shutting routine.

Jet lag can make things more difficult, with the kids (and sometimes us) waking up at crazy hours and a lack of sleep making them more sensitive than usual. On those days joking about eggs can end in tears. Luckily, we'll have enough time in the States to get into our regular routine and enjoy the vacation. I hear it's summer over there.

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