Friday, October 9, 2015


this morning, from the other room: "is it time to get up yet, mom?"  

"not yet.  try to get a little more sleep."  

later: "now is it time?"  

i check the time-- 5:39 a.m. "no. twenty more minutes."  

later: "will you wake me up when it's time?"  "yep, just try to rest a little longer."  

one of william's teachers is returning from maternity leave after the fall break, which starts on monday (or, we can say, has already started).  so his substitute teacher is leaving, and last night, he had a perler bead design in his mind that he wanted to make for her.  i promised to wake him when i got up.  

he worked on it all morning before school, finishing it just in time to brush his teeth and head out the door...

and then, of course, we left the gift on the table.  i promised him i would go home and get it.  he insisted it had to be within the next two hours.  "is she leaving in the morning?"  i didn't get a clear answer, but after dropping henry off (it's friday, but today he went to school) i went home, picked up the gift and brought it to w's school.  i know there's a debate about doing things like this for our children-- if we're always there to pick up the pieces for them, they'll never learn to do these things for themselves.  i don't disagree with that idea to an extent.  but the reality is, we're also a family and families help each other out.  i'll let him forget his library books (they're sitting on the kitchen table right now and they were due back last week), but this was a gift for a teacher whose last day was today and he couldn't sleep for the excitement of it.  it was an easy choice.  

and why did henry go to school?  because today is "motionsdag" (exercise day.)  it's not the first time i've mentioned this day on the blog.  i first learned about it the first fall i was taking danish classes.  it's something of a national day here.  i don't know if it extends to businesses or to individual households, but schools (down to preschools) embrace it and create activities for students and staff to exercise.  it always (as long as we've been here) happens the friday before the fall break.  henry was enticed by the idea of an obstacle course, running, biking (it's also been bike week for his school), and, of course, 'baa-LAHN-suh' as he calls it.  (balancing.)

william's school was doing a 2.5 kilometer run, with the idea that students could run the course as many times as they liked in a two-hour period.  (the older grades ran an even longer course, though i'm not sure how long.)  there were incentives for classes to get in as many loops as they could.  they were competing against one another for small trophies and treats.  i had also read that parents were invited and so i decided i'd surprise william by showing up (since he's seven and not embarrassed by his mom surprising him by showing up).  

the problem is-- i really don't have any good cold weather workout clothes-- i.e. sweatpants.  i could have toughed it out and worn my one pair of workout pants, which go just below the knee, but a) i'm not that tough-- it's low fifties/high forties lately-- and b) i was also a little worried that i may have misunderstood-- misunderstood the time (that's happened plenty), misunderstood that parents were invited (what are you doing here?), or plain misunderstood the entire concept (story of my danish life).  so, weather aside, i sort of wanted a pair of dark sweatpants that might possibly pass as 'regan being even more casual than normal' just in case i was to show up at his school at 12 p.m. and there was no run for me to take part in.  surely i could think up some excuse for why i was there... just passing through!  but, where to get these sweatpants? given that stores in town don't open until 10 and given that i would have to ride into town and pay who-knows-what for the first pair of sweatpants i could find and then ride back and maybe i needed to conserve that energy for the run and i had leftover breakfast still sitting partly in bowls, partly on the table and a thousand perler beads scattered everywhere and oatmeal and perler beads are a questionable combination and just my general desire to stay on top of things while greg is out of town, and long story short, i was not going to go into town to buy a new pair of sweatpants for the run.  so, i hit up the two giveaway sheds i know of on the very off-chance i could find what i was looking for.  in the first i found a cute pair of skeleton pajama pants for henry, a pair of shoes he can wear when he's a couple sizes bigger, another exercise shirt for me, and, lo and behold, a pair of black sweatpants that were, well, a little on the short side.  but i took them anyway in case it was all i'd be able to find.  at the next giveaway shed-- in our own little community, i found an even better pair of black sweatpants.  crazy luck.  i had just about two hours to wash my finds and get them dried.  we don't own a dryer, but our community has a washer and dryer we can use so after washing things on the speed setting i brought them over to dry.  with 15 minutes until i wanted to leave, i went back to get them and found the dryer off and the clothes still quite damp.  this was surely an example of me not understanding one of the words and therefore not putting it on the correct setting.  i started it again on a different setting, gave it five more minutes, and then put on slightly damp black sweatpants, that could, in a pinch, possibly pass as 'regan dressing even more casual than normal while just passing through.' 

but when i got there i found there to be no misunderstanding.  william was happy to see me and we ran/walked (walked/jogged would be more accurate) 2 loops-- 5 kilometers... 

warm up before the race.

0 grade kids in their safety vests

passing cows (not yesterday's cows)

to the finish line
after, william convinced me to stay.  and so i sat in his classroom as they totaled their numbers up.  his class did a total of 51 loops.  with 20 kids present (1 child was absent), his classroom beat out the other first grade classes.  the two boys in his class who did 4 loops got to accept the trophy on the class's behalf (this little award ceremony took place in the classroom).  i was happy to hear the teacher talking about not gloating in front of the children from the other classrooms.

at the end of the day, the children stood by their desks and the teacher went around and shook each of their hands and said 'thank you for today' (a commonly used phrase in denmark.)

"do they always do that to dismiss you, william?"

william had a music class after school.  "don't worry, there's a bench near the class."  we walk over to the building where his music class is located.  "here's the bench."  "oh, it's outside, huh?"  "yep."  "okay, i'll do my best not to freeze."  "you can just run in place if you get cold."  "okay, sure, i'll just run in place."

we picked up the h. man who had to ride home with a mostly flat tire.  i had pumped it up this morning as it was totally flat then and meant to bring a bike pump back to his school with me but completely forgot.  he was okay getting home with just a couple extra boosts from his mom.

at home, the boys played.  i got dinner ready.  we had a picnic (henry's choice) on the floor inside (not henry's choice, but i had very little inclination to go back outside, especially to sit on the cold ground and eat)...
somehow the boys picked up all of those toys after dinner
and because it's friday, we had movie night.  and eventually they both fell asleep.  and now it's 11 p.m.  another long day.  but a good one.

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