24 April 2013

Suiting up

After all my kvetching yesterday, the sun has come out in glorious force--it should get up to 70 today! Gabriel has a half day on Wednesdays, so it's perfect timing for us to have a picnic and some ice cream and wander around outside with just him and not the baby, who is happy as a clam at daycare (although I have an ongoing struggle to get them to offer bottle before food and not vice versa...I'm afraid Eloi's weaning and I don't want it to be because they aren't doing what I ask them to...).

Somehow, on Monday morning, Gabriel got fixated on the idea of going to the beach. The Mister kind of played along as they had breakfast, which must have turned a pretend scenario into what to him was a fact and concrete plan for the day. So when I started making his school lunch, he cried and said "We not going to school," and when I said very clearly that indeed we were, he burst into genuinely devastated sobs. "We goinna beeeeeach!" (The plan also somehow involved a truck, but I wasn't around for the development of that so not sure how it fits in.)

Poor kid. I wish we were going to the beach too. He has remained stuck on the idea, to the point where he is reluctant to enter his classroom in the morning (it's not the beach) and asks to go to the beach as soon as I pick him up from school. We've explained that when we fly to Boston and visit grandpa and grandma in a few weeks THEN we can go to the beach, but though he gets that idea and talks about going on the airplane to go to the beach, the amount of time he has to wait until then is hard to understand for a three year old.

The latest development in the ongoing saga occurred this morning, when I was dressing him for school. He balked at taking off his pajamas because he saw the clothes I had picked out, and said, "I want to wear a...a... suitcase." Confused, I thought maybe he was thinking about packing and told him we'd put his clothes in a suitcase when we fly to America, but he said no, WEAR the suitcase. To go to the beach.

AH, I said. A swimsuit?

Yeah! With turtles on it. (He is remembering his swim trunks from last summer, which he hasn't seen since last August.)

SUITcase, swimSUIT. Language is funny, kid.

(In unrelated language funnies, he has taken to asking for "cozy bread." Which means, NOT toast or dry bread, but soft. Which makes perfect sense--all the other things we describe as cozy, like his bathrobe, a blanket, his fleece pants, and snuggling on the couch, are soft and squishy too. So cozy bread it is.)




23 April 2013

Always fragrant, benign

Today is my favorite Catalan holiday, Sant Jordi. I love it because it has all the nice things: gifts for your loved ones, flowers and books, history and legend (Saint George and the dragon). 

The Mister left at 5 am for a quick overnight business trip, but when I made my way downstairs with the kids a red rose and a wrapped book were waiting for me on the table.

April has been sluggish and cold: the sun shines, but without warmth. A gusty wind blows that requires me to don my hat and scarf and gloves. However, I've stubbornly broken out my spring clothes, deceived by a few warm days during which we (and everyone else here) practically fell over ourselves to have picnics in the park and eat ice cream. So I'm usually too cold as I schlep the kids around, gritting my teeth into the wind.

Gabriel went easter egg hunting in the snow (oh, our little trip to the Ardennes was a big success! but then we all got sick again the following week). I keep thinking it HAS to get better. It will.


In the meantime, a poem for Sant Jordi's day by Salvador Espriu, the great Catalan poet. Soon the suffering dragon, the boredom, the cold rain will be locked away...


Les Roses Recordades

Salvador Espriu

Recordes com ens duien

aquelles mans les roses
de Sant Jordi, la vella
claror d'abril? Plovia
a poc a poc. Nosaltres,
amb gran tedi, darrera
la finestra, miràvem,
potser malalts, la vida
del carrer. Aleshores
ella venia, sempre
olorosa, benigna,
amb les flors, i tancava
fora, lluny, la sofren├ža
del pobre drac, i deia
molt suament els nostre
spetits noms, i ens somreia.

Remembered Roses
Salvador Espriu

Do you remember how those hands

brought us the roses of Sant Jordi,
the old April light? It rained
slowly. Us, bored and maybe ill
behind the window, watching
the street life go by. Then
she came, always fragrant, 
benign, with flowers, 
and she locked the suffering
of the poor dragon away, far away,
and she ever so softly said
our dear names, and smiled at us.