an expat Thanksgiving in Sweden with magically sleepy children

You hear rumors, urban legends.  But you don’t believe them.  Nah, that is not realistic, you say.  And if it does happen, well, there must be some cruel stuff going on.

I am talking about babies and toddlers that go to sleep early and then stay asleep all night.  You know, good sleepers.

Tonight is the third night in a row that both children went to bed before 7.  We have no idea what to do.  How do you have an adult life again?  We wander around, exhausted, talking, watching a little TV, waiting for the kids to get up.  They have to get up.  But they don’t.  They sleep. (Not until morning.  No, we don’t have kids like that.  But, for them, they sleep soundly.)

We made it happen to some degree.  We got real hard about no naps after daycare for NK – even 20 minute ones.  We are finally ready to pounce on the 6pm drowsiness, not waiting until the 7pm drowsiness.  As for the baby, he no longer has an ear infection, is not teething at the moment and is not learning any new skills.  So he can rest a bit.

Tonight, they went to sleep early after a big Thanksgiving dinner.  Here is an expat Thanksgiving for you.

Wake up.  Wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Take toddler to daycare.  Go to work.

Remember Thanksgiving occasionally.  Forget it completely most of the day.

Work.  Go to meetings.  Edit stuff.

Talk to the daycare teacher about Thanksgiving.

Come home to turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie made from scratch, among other things.

Almost cry of joy at the smell of the pie.  Thank your Swedish wife profusely.

Try to explain to the toddler that the turkey decorations and pilgrim candles are not for her birthday, but for everyone.

Eat.  Do a video call with grandma and grandpa.  With the cousins.

Watch the toddler obsess over the pumpkin pie, which she knows from the end of the second verse of “Over the hills and through the woods.”

“Hurrah for the fun.  Is the pudding done?  Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!”

Children sleep – magically and mysteriously.

Watch football.  Eat more pie.

Be happy.


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