Whenever I get mad and/or sad my mother, wise sage that she is, tells me the real reason I'm upset is because it didn't turn out how I had planned. And though I hate to admit it, she's pretty much always correct and sympathetic, which makes me feel even worse (which, I assure you, is not her desired effect). Whenever something doesn't go as well as I had hoped/expected I am partly mad at the situation and partly mad at myself for assuming something would go exactly as I had hoped. (It should be noted however, that I am extremely fortunate, and am oftentimes pleasantly surprised by how well things turn out, usually even better, than I imagined.) Of course I then feel worse because my loving mother is still sympathetic when she could gloat and say, "I told you so."
Today was one of those days when nothing turned out how I had planned. I had to move babysitting TB up because I had to pick up Boy at the Kinderspitäl (Children's Hospital) and take him back to school. TMoTB said TB was semi-sick so tomorrow might be short, which means I won't be able to take her into Zürich for an afternoon with my friends which was a bummer. After babysitting I was driving into Zürich (something that still puts me on edge) and the Mother called to tell me where they were, and that I couldn't take Boy back to school and she'd explain when I arrived. It was almost instantaneous; my plans to run, shower and maybe even nap that afternoon were out the window and my windows down, car singing-mood was instantly changed. When I got to the hospital (Boy is fine by the way, he just got a sting this summer--explain more later--and he needs this special shirt for the scarring and probably a surgery next year, no big deal or anything) the Mother, who by the way, had to run because she had to catch a flight to Paris for a meeting whilst the Father was in Stockholm and/or Bucharest, told me Boy and I would have to come back in two hours for a follow up appointment.
When I looked at Boy I could see it all over his face: disappointment (he was disappointed that he couldn't go back to school to show his friends the weird shirt--crazy, most kids would be disappointed if they had to go back to school). I realized that this is what I must look like when I'm disappointed, trying not to be upset even though you visibly are and every time he talked to his mom the tears would well up in his eyes (what sort of power do mothers have over us?!). She said we could go to lunch in town if we wanted and for a moment I had a flashback to my preconceived au pair notions. Maybe it was silly of me, but I pictured myself with these two beautiful children, sitting at a café, eating pain au chocolat, sipping espresso (for me of course), them wearing berrets (okay that bit was far fetched, I admit) and us speaking French together. Of course that was, is and never will be the case, but I thought maybe Boy and I could go to one of my favorite lunchtime restaurants and I could fulfill part of the dream. Then the Mother said I could take him to McDonald's and so it was my turn to be disappointed. So there we were, eating McDonald's in the car (because Boy didn't want to sit outside in the sunshine--arg!), just about the total opposite of how I had pictured the lunchtime scene.
After the appointment we had time to run him back to school and as we were walking up we see three kindergarteners and their teacher making a "Go Green" sign in front of the school. Of course one of these tots was Girl who came running up to me to give me a giant hug. As I walked Boy in I heard her say to her teacher, "That's my au pair!!" And when I came out the teacher said, "Ah, Jill. I've heard so much about you this past year!" Mood lifted instantly. (Hey, what can I say, I like being important to people. Even six year old people.)
This afternoon I decided to take my camera out because I realized I do not have a lot of pictures of my kids. So instead of us conversing in French over our favorite Babar book I have videos of them singing along to Ke$ha--the song drives me bonkers but I'll admit there's something a lot more amusing in a six year old singing, "Brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack." (Note: I did NOT let them download this song, they heard it on the bus and The Parents let Boy buy it. I take no responsibility for their poor musical choices, aside from High School Musicals 1-3 and "Lola.")
During dinner however, something unexpected happened. Girl turned to me and said (in French), "If you want, we can speak in French." Holy mother of pearl! She never, and I mean never, wants to speak with me in French. It was amazing. Girl and I sat at the dinner table eating our dessert, cracking jokes, planning out tomorrow (Boy's birthday party) and other things, all in French. She even said, "Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and all the days we can speak in French." Hallelujah!
The dad came back earlier than expected and said, "You look like you're dressed for a night out in Zürich!" (Nope, just wearing a dress today...) He told me that the Mother won't be back from Paris until 4:30 tomorrow (the Father leaves at noon for India) leaving me to start Boy's birthday party festivities, which then changes what I expected to do tomorrow. Once I was dismissed I planned to go for a run whilst it was still light out (which turned into a walk as the yogurt I just ate didn't bode well with running). I explored my town and found a new trail along this ridge parallel to the lake (I love finding new, beautiful places) and I couldn't help but think how everything today hadn't turned out how I had expected or wanted it to and yet, it was still a really great day.
Funny how I wasn't expecting that.