Monday, May 31, 2010

My weekend as a single parent

This past weekend Kyle joined some friends in Berlin and I stayed home with the girls. I knew it was going to be tough (3 days of full-time entertainment, meals, bath and bedtime), but I also knew/thought I'd have back up from our nanny who lives downstairs. Friday was Brodie's school carnival so I made cupcakes to contribute to the bake sale and then we headed over and spent 5 hours and 50 euros. It really was cute and it was nice to spend time with some of the other parents. Touria was very helpful that day and helped me bathe and put down the girls. The next day started early because Sabine has now decided that anytime between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. is her wake up time. Of course Saturday it was 5:30! Around noon we headed over to the Madrid zoo with my friend Ann Louise and her two girls. Oh boy. I've felt conflicted about zoos for a long time. There's nothing worse than visiting a sad zoo and I have to say the Madrid zoo is sad, sad, sad. The sadness sets in when you shell out the 35 euros for you and your under 8 child. I guess that's about $42. Anyway, it became clear right away that this was not going to be a habitat-sensitive zoo. First of all, there's concrete everywhere and the animals all seem to live within and on top of that concrete. Most of the "exhibits" only had one lone species representative, which of course makes them look even sadder. Also, zoo patrons were feeding the animals chips, nuts, etc. to get a closer look and nobody seemed to care! At the little goat petting zoo, you could buy food to feed them, but they were so obese looking I ended up throwing away the pellets we had just bought because it felt wrong. Finally, at one point we walked by a deserted "habitat" that was filled with green foam. Oh wait, that wasn't green foam, it was stagnant water that had a layer of algae so thick that a plastic bottle was floating on top and the lone duck that swam on/through it left a visible trail. So needless to say the zoo was a huge disappointment to me (really, it seemed almost third world!), but I kept my mouth shut and let Brodie enjoy it. I'll add that the dolphin show was quite nice as was the company so there's that. We arrived home around 8:00 p.m. and had dinner (skipped bath) and Sabine went right down. I was supposed to meet up with a girlfriend but Touria had a stomach flu and was unable to help Sat. or Sun. Ack! So I ended up staying home and reading "The Help" which I'm enjoying very much. Sunday morning we met up with Ann Louise and her family again, had coffee and took the girls to do crafts in our plaza. During the summer, the city sets up a little kids fair every Sat. evening and Sun. morning right in our plaza! I'm sad to report that Ann Louise and her family are moving back to Denmark at the end of the month. She is one of my closest friends here and our girls are close in age and get along great. I'm going to be so sad when she leaves and am trying not to think about it at the moment. Anyway, the rest of Sunday was spent walking around, watching movies and at the park in the late afternoon. Kyle walked in the door around 8:00 p.m. and we were all very happy to have him home.

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