Thursday, June 17, 2010

Beginnings

On Tuesday, June 15, we ran around in a frenzy from 6am-noon, then finally got out the door. The minivan was jam-packed for the trip to Montreal. I ended up bringing way more stuff than I intended. Mostly because, in the last-minute rush, I didn’t want to throw things out, and it made more sense to pack bags full of extra paper towels, ziploc bags, drawing paper, and foodstuffs, all of which we had in plenty. So my four original suitcases were complemented by about a dozen smaller bags, coolers, and when we ran out of containers, garbage bags full of stuff.

The trip was going fine until midway through, when Isa had a total blowout diaper situation (she’s been back in pullups since having some tummy trouble this past week). I’m talking about wreckage of clothing, car seat, and everything else within reach. It took a very long time to clean up. I thought we were done with this stuff, now that I have no more babies! But cleaning up toileting accidents seems to be my fate in life.

We arrived late, around 10pm, at our hotel. Sorted out half-asleep children in new beds, got car unloaded, and crashed around midnight.

Before I went to sleep, I lay awake for awhile feeling something new and unmistakeable: fear. Like a child moving to a new school, or an adult starting a new job (I imagine), I had this terrible worry – it’s real now. I’ve put aside my familiar life, closed up everything in order to begin a fresh chapter here – what’s going to happen now?

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Wednesday, June 16, our first day here, was a much-needed low-key day. I got out for a short run - hopefully this will become a more frequent occurrence! - and grocery shopping. The prices of food here are still horrifying to me, I'm going to have to be a lot more discriminating at the store.

Greg had to leave at 2pm, and I had the rest of the day here with the kids. We tried to go for a walk, but it started to rain. We tried to go explore the hotel, but Isa had an accident, and I had to rush her, dripping, back to our room. So eventually we just hung out. We unpacked, read books, played cards, and generally got to know our new space.

The kids are so inventive. Without any guidance from me, they continually come up with new games, which I love to see. The big one on Wednesday was Restaurant, where one person is the waiter, one is the cook, and the third is a customer. They can use the whole apartment for this, with the cook way back in a distant kitchen... Baz put signs on our outside doors to notify anyone coming in about the new restaurant. And Ayla, as waitress, will very solemnly tell her customer, "I'm sorry. Your food is going to take a long time. The cook is on the potty."

And then we started a new document. (which will be continually added to.) Printed it out and posted it.

Rules at the Hotel Trylon

1. No screaming, or yelling “help!” unless you’re really in trouble.
2. No playing with lamps.
3. No going out onto the balcony without a grownup.
4. On balcony, chairs are only for sitting on – not climbing on.
5. Mealtimes – sit down. Don’t get up until you’re finished.
6. Clean up all toys at the end of the day.

You'll be happy to know that the Kennedy children infamous Dance Parties live on in Montreal...

video

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