Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter is finally here

Zoe woke up about half an hour after me on Saturday and immediately ran to the window. She had seen snow on the roofs. "Mommy, mommy, look, snow!", she proclaimed, "let's go outside" (I cannot explain how cutely she says 'udenfor' the Danish for outside, but instead of using a u, she uses a y, which makes everyone around her laugh, not the least me, because it sounds slightly snobbish). She resolutely put on her boots and her jacket, all on top of her too small cupcake pajamas. Zoe, I said still half asleep, your mom needs a shower and a cup of coffee. She waited patiently although at one point between me dressing and finishing my coffee she opened the front door and tried to call the elevator. We finally went outside with the tool she had missed the most this past year: her sleigh. Because our street is the tiniest street in Stockholm it is never cleared and I could drag her down to the playground at the end of it on the sleigh. At first we tried building a snowman, but I realized that not only am I clueless when it comes to doing anything with snow, it was also to powdery and we only managed to do a 40 cm hill with a tennis ball sized head. Then Zoe saw a boy riding down the hill on the sleigh. See, this was a new thing to her. So far the sleigh has been used to actually transport her around when the stroller couldn't get through the snow, but she was not really big enough for downhill sliding last year. Or at least, I hadn't thought about it.

We started with the small hill, got ourselves dragged up there and I pushed Zoe down. It was perfectly Zoe-sized and she had no problem dragging the sleigh up again like the boy, as long as I helped her the last meter by grabbing her hand. But after about ten times we went on to the other side of the playground where it turned out that a lot of other kids had taken use of another hill for downhill sliding. It was less steep and ended up in a larger area, but on the other hand there were a lot more kids. And as it turned out a lot of younger kids who couldn't drag up their sleigh themselves or whose parents were a bit more protective (not something I have ever been accused of when it comes to Zoe, if she wants to stay on the slide in Ikea at 2 years old, I let her), which gave Zoe the brilliant idea: "Mommy, you run with me like the other parents!" she dictated and after a bit discussing back and forth she won. "Okay, once", I said but did it twice. After yet another argument I said (and meant) "Last Time". Which was exactly when and how I slipped right on the hill, falling backwards straight on my tailbone. I sat there for a couple of seconds wondering if any of the other parents would come and ask if I was okay but this is Sweden so of course nobody did. Then I went down to Zoe and said we had to leave. It hurt like **** and I really had to leave. She actually understood the severity of the situation and went with me without much complaint. We went to the pancake house where she played and we had pancakes, me sitting on the side of my behind on the bench, wondering how much it should ache before I had to go to the hospital. I decided that it shouldn't ruin our wonderfully planned day and we went to the puppet theater we had bought tickets for the previous day where I could luckily lie half way down while watching. It probably looked like I was just making sure that the kids behind me could see, but the truth was that this position was the only one I could sit in without being in excruciating pain. But the puppet theater was fun and with a bit of translation (Zoe still don't understand Swedish),  she enjoyed it.

Zoe and I had a wonderful first snow day but I was glad to hand her over to her dad late in the afternoon and after a Sunday on pain killers I'm now trying to get back to actual work. My colleague helped me carry a bar table from the common area into my office today so I can stand up working for the next week or so. I would probably be a lot more annoyed about the fairly serious bruising if it wasn't because Zoe and I had such an amazingly fun day, if I hadn't thought at the end of it: If I could do it all over again, I would do exactly the same, with the falling and everything. Because that was a pretty wonderful day with a pretty wonderful girl.

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