Can You Hear Me Now?January 31, 2011 at 12:01 am | Posted in Lollipop, Transylvania | 21 Comments
Tags: Challenges, Expats, Family, Growing Up, Kids, Life, Multitasking, Parenting, Romania, Travel
Romania. It’s been a hot topic of conversation in our house for months now.
We talk about it over dinner. Over spilled milk. Over glasses of wine and whine. We talk about it while we referee tricycle drag races. We talk about it with each other, our parents, our friends. But never with the kids.
It’s still a couple of months away. It’s big news. And we’re waiting for the right time, the right way, to tell them. Plus, I’m not ready to wake up each morning and have a tiny person ask me, “Are we going to Romania today?” For 90 days in a row.
Caught on Tape
So we’re trying to keep their routine normal. To keep our frenzy of planning and packing low-key. Last week, we were scoping out the Land’s End clearance sale for pint-sized snow gear. As we speculated about the difference between a squall parka and a down jacket, my husband pulled out the tape measure to get hat sizes for Lollipop and Giggles.
Just like the broccoli on their plates, they ignored us.
Flash forward a few days. With my husband working late, I was pulling a dinner shift solo. As I scurried around refilling cups, peeling oranges, and telling the kids how fun “couscous” is to say, not to mention eat, Lollipop asked, “Why was Dad measuring my head?”
I said something vague like, “Oh, we thought you might need a warm hat for the winter.”
Movin’ to the Country
She blinked. Stared at me. And said, “Winter is cold in Romania. I am going to need it!”
I picked my jaw and a few moldy Cheerios up off the floor. Nonchalantly and noncommittally, I said, “Yes, Romania.”
“That’s where our house in the country is going to be,” she said, all-knowing.
“What? The country? Oh, you mean, another country? Yes, our new house is going to be in another country. Romania! Won’t that be fun?” I hemmed and hawed.
She went on, asking about the three planes we’ll have to take to get there (three! help me!), wondering if Romanians take ballet, and lamenting that there might not be macaroni and cheese.
A Little Less Talk, A Lot More Action
It was all so very matter-of-fact, like we were talking about visiting a new playground. Then again, for the kiddos, Romania probably sounds a lot like the playground. Jackets, patience, and sharing will be required. We’ll smile and nod when other kids say things to us that we can’t understand. And Mommy and Daddy will talk about it a lot before actually loading everyone up and going.
This was not, however, the big reveal my husband and I had imagined. Because we forgot that kids listen. They’re always listening. Especially when there’s adventure involved.
And now it’s my turn. To listen. 89 more times. “Are we going to Romania today, Mom?” …
How do you share big news with your children? What question do you get asked every day? And do you know the difference between a squall parka and a down jacket??