Some of our days go by relatively untainted by the existence of Corona. Days we could pull out of this bizarre year and look back on without a clue that we were surviving a pandemic.
But The Corona Virus has sent the celebration of momentous occasions and milestones like birthdays into very obvious flux.
For now in Bavaria, the rules state that only two families can meet together at any one time. As you know we’ve broken that rule once but generally we try to honor it.
Because of this, we celebrated Big Sister’s birthday three different times this week.
Aside from the perpetual rain, spreading the celebration over the entire week was actually quite nice. The birthday girl got to spend individual quality time with her two best friends on two different occasions. There was no pressure to host a big party and try to navigate between different friendship circles. All the gifts were spread out over the week. We got to eat ice cream sundaes repeatedly and best, we got to light the candles and sing three times. Three times the wishes for this newly minted 5-year-old.
In between our birthday celebrations I’ve started noting which activities we spend the most time on. The things I observed start off mundane but disintegrate quickly into looney tune behavior that I bet is still typical of most small children.
Cleaning up and reorganizing are daily activities hardly worth mentioning. Of course there’s Play-doh. (Has the person who invented this been raised to genius status yet? If not, they should.) Coloring and begging for crafts is an activity that has not waned over the last three months. I personally seem to spend a ton of time in the kitchen trying to eat my breakfast and drink a coffee but it is often 10:30 am before I accomplish either of those things. You wouldn’t believe how infrequently morning toothbrushing and getting dressed appear on the list of daily things we do. Turns out kids can do a lot of activities in their jammies.
What we do a lot of is go up and down the stairs–usually for diaper changing. Little Bean has made an art of the stairs since she was old enough to walk. For example: She becomes a shape shifter as soon as we start. She begins as a person who doesn’t want to walk up at all, only wants to jump. Often she becomes a person with fake hiccups. Then she turns into a frog or a bunny and generally she takes the last few steps as a cat, meowing and lying down talking about her paws. She walks side ways a lot of the time but going up backwards is probably her favorite way to go. You’ve probably tested your own skills at skipping steps, recently she taken to trying to scale three steps at once by grabbing/hanging on to the banister. Usually she has to settle for two steps but I’m amazed she can manage that without falling on her head. On the way down she likes to go without holding on and shows me repeatedly. See? she says holding both hands in the air, I don’t fall on my head when I do it like this. Typically she slips immediately after she says that and then she holds on for a step or two. Sometimes she slides down on her butt, sometimes she turns around onto her belly and says, Wee! I have had to force myself to start enjoying this performance art or I would be the most annoyed person on the planet.
A higher frequency activity even than the steps extravaganza is the discussion of what they want to dress up as next year for Fasching. Fasching is basically Halloween in February. There are costume parties and parades. It is the holiday leading up to Lent, so we just had it and it’s not coming again for another year. Undeterred by this fact, they discuss each day which costume they want to start searching for… Big Sister was into Minnie Mouse but now she’s switched to Elsa. (Gag, how many Elsa’s do we really need?) Little Bean was pretty bent on dressing up as Mickey Mouse and kept asking when we could get her Mickey Mouse outfit. But then she changed to wanting to go as a doctor and asked for numerous days about where to get a doctor costume. She started this morning around 7am with the idea to dress up as a turtle, wondering how to make a turtle costume (she’s 2 and a half so I don’t think she’s going to be making anything.) And then this afternoon switched her wish to dressing up like a bug. This development coming immediately after she stepped on some bugs outside because she’s afraid of them.
Once you add meal times and a melt down or two to this list the day is basically over. Speaking of which, everyone else is asleep so I better sign-off.