Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday afternoon, last post from London

Well, in less than 20 hours, I'll be heading back to Texas.  It's been a glorious trip, full of fun and some rest and a great time with family.  And, of course, re-living what it is like with two small children in the house, coupled with the many inconveniences of doing this in a foreign country.

Today was Joshua's first day back in nursery school after a long three week spring break.  He's in the afternoon session (12:45 to 3:15), but had gotten back into the habit of afternoon naps while on vacation, so we were a little concerned about how he'd do today.

All school children here wear uniforms, no matter how young.  He goes to an all-male preparatory school for boys 2 1/2 to 13.  Their uniforms are a monogrammed deep maroon sweatpants and sweatshirt (for winter), white collared shirt, gray short pants (all year around), gray socks, black shoes, and a blue topcoat.  Once he gets to first grade, he will "graduate" to a sports coat and tie on school days.  He looks adorable, of course.

To make things just a little easier for Adriana, I told her I'd stay here so she could put Sammie down for his nap first and then take Joshua to school by himself.  Just as they were getting ready to head out the door, she realized that in his last minute potty visit he'd managed to do a major dribble on his clothes, so there was a frantic un-dressing, and re-dressing to get him out the door in time.  About 2:45, Sammie and I went back to the school with Adriana to pick him up.  The school is less than 2 miles from here, but with all the torturous tiny streets to get there, takes at least 10-15 minutes.  Parking is a nightmare--typical London situation.  We finally found a semi-legal space about a block from the school and waited there about 10 minutes until time to get out and go get him along with all the other mothers.  Everyone gathers outside (and it was cold and sprinkly), until let in one by one to pick up the youngsters.

Joshua was delighted to see us and seemed to have had a good day.  As a treat, Adriana promised him we'd go by the bakery and get something on the way home.  As we are working our way back through the street maze, Sammie cries out "Poo-poo!  poo-poo!  Poo-poo!  Either he had just had a poo in his pants, needs to have one and is actually telling his mother in advance, or is just trying to get her full attention while he sits on the potty for a while.  None of them good options at the time.  Adriana decided Joshua was the priority and continued to head toward the bakery.  After the scariest drive yet (up a very, very steep hill with a standard transmission with cars parked so close on each side that there is literally inches of clearance--and two way traffic to deal with) we get to bakery and to the amazing surprise of a parking space nearby.  Just as she gets the car parked, the rain started to fall heavily. 

Undeterred, we head to the bakery, where Joshua's tiredness begins to really show.  He's impatient and demanding, and wants to eat there what we purchased there.  Mindful of Sammie's potential poo situation, Adriana and I agree to head home, so back out in the now pouring rain we go, Adriana with a child in either hand and me trying to protect the treats and bread we just bought.  

Things went downhill from there, culminating in the mother of all temper tantrums for Joshua, which Adriana dealt with quite well and quite firmly.  We both agreed he was too tired, but even that could not excuse the extreme of his behavior.  First and only spanking since I've been here--and a well-deserved one, I had to admit.

For a few moments now, all is calm and the boys are playing happily together.  Soon it will be bath time, then a light meal for the boys and I shall get my bags packed.  Jonathan left this morning for a quick trip to Greece, and so I've said my goodbye's to him.  Unfortunately, there is just about no way to take public transportation to the airport from here so Adriana and the boys will drive me in the morning.  I hate that she had to do this, but here's my option:  getting on a completely packed train with two suitcases, wrestling them to the  train station onto a packed train (and I never exactly explained that the trains stop only for 30 seconds at each stop and there is a BIG GAP from the platform to the train steps--simply no such thing as a physically impaired person riding the train) to the unbelievably busy Underground at that time of day (and that means getting them down steep stairs and trying to stuff them on the trains already stuffed like sausages with people) with two underground changes before finally getting the express to Heathrow.  That or a $150 taxi ride.  Oh well, the boys love being in car and think the airport is great fun.

Will be back in Krum somewhere around 2 a.m. Thursday morning--which will be 8 a.m. my body time, and should be a sleepless night.  Such is life, such is travel.  Been a marvelous time.  And time for me to come back.  

Well, Rocio and Katie and Grace have come over for a bit to play and to say goodbye.  So I shall say, "goobye" as well.

Thanks for reading.

No comments: