Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sleepless in Stockholm

Zoe and I flew back to Stockholm last night on the plane and route that we know too well. We spent an hour and a half in the lounge because it was 45 minutes delayed but we built lego towers, read three books and I read one page of a newspaper while downing a cup of coffee and Zoe played on her own in the play area. By now I have learned to ignore the suited men around us who once in a while give me the look indicating that they do not find this to be an appropriate place for kids to chase their mothers with a toy snake. I couldn't care less. In fact I find this place entirely appropriate for kids to spend the waiting time that is most often needed before a flight. And I once again forgot how far the gate is from the lounge and had to rush Zoe down there without time to look at the duty-free chocolate. Too bad for my sweet tooth, good for my waistline.

When in Denmark, I showed Zoe my old daycare
and she pressed her nose flat to see what it was
 like inside. We played a bit on the playground
outside, which to me had shrunk incredibly since
 I was there 30-something years ago.
As we walked down to the gate, Zoe noted: "We are still in Denmark, Mom". Yes, Zoe, this is Copenhagen airport, we are going back to Sweden. And likewise, when we landed and she walked very groggily from the plane insisting that she didn't sleep at all (she slept from the moment we took off, till the moment we landed) she said "This is Stockholm, I know it". Yes, Zoe, this is indeed Stockholm, the city where we live.

At home we had to wait for a friend to come over with my keys, which I had clumsily forgotten in the door as we left 10 days earlier because the taxi called while I was juggling a suitcase, two carryons, an elevator door and a 4 year old. I realized in the taxi and called panicking, asking my friend to go pick them up and as the stars would align, he didn't only have the extra 15 minutes to do that then, he was also home when we got home last night, flying to Bologna only this morning. He let us in and upon Zoe's asking for milk and my look of defeat because who has the foresight to pick up milk on the way home from the airport, he took her down to the convenience store to buy milk, while I unpacked the most necessary stuff. This is a really good friend.

Zoe decided she wanted to ride the giraffe on
her own when we went to Tivoli in Copenhagen
I woke up at 4am in the morning to the Stockholm summer brightness that I always forget until I'm actually here and it is actually June. Even in Copenhagen the white blinds had let so much light in that it felt like daytime at 4am but I had managed so I thought I was good. But Stockholm is even brighter and my body was not about to be convinced it was still night. I tossed and turned until 6am when my alarm disturbed me even more than the light. I decided to make a temporary bedroom in Zoe's room when she gets back to me on Thursday since she has blackout curtains there. I have a mattress that just fits on the floor and hopefully will give me more sleep than the partly covered windows do in my room.

So we are back in Stockholm after 10 days of fun in Copenhagen, partly holiday, partly me trying to finish two papers while my brother looked after Zoe for 3 hours a day. We seemed to succeed on both parts.

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