During our time in Argentina we have been fortunate to have very few days in which Erica and I are both at the end of our rope. Some days it seems that nothing goes right or according to plan. Being flexible and patient are critical, and I like to think we’re pretty good at it, but some days it all falls to pieces regardless. Rarely however, do we seem to have two days that are so starkly different from one another. Yesterday was a rough day for both of us. The sun comes up the next day and the magic is back. A tale of two days living in Argentina:
Wednesday, March 19
Yesterday was unusually cool and cloudy. Molly and Ben are killing us the moment they wake up. In short order Ben and Molly both lose access to all electronics for the day. Molly freaks out about everything from hair to shoes, is late for school and screams during drop-off. Ben and Elliott bicker and mess around rather than buckle down with morning homeschooling.
I proceed to get my ass kicked in my Spanish class and realize I may have hit my learning limit.
Erica tries yet another new bus route to work downtown but has to abort and get a cab. Paying cabs to get to teaching gigs is not very profitable, thus frustrating.
The boys goofing around on the walk to school grows so annoying I nearly push them into the street. My plan to check in with Elliott’s teachers about homework fails when I first try to ask Ben’s teacher if we have bought the correct math book. Ben has disappeared with said book to the kiosco to spend the pesos I gave him for a water bottle on candy. By the time I return the candy and collar Ben, Elliott’s class has started.
Molly and I head to the grocery store for the weekly restock. At checkout I try yet again to ask for home delivery. After 3 attempts the checker understands me. When I ask if I said it correctly, she says yes.
Erica tries to pay a hotel deposit for my sister’s upcoming visit at a bank and realizes that ALL banks close for the day at 1:30pm.
Hoping for a nice day tomorrow, I vacuum the pool and proceed to break the vacuum.
While Erica’s heading to her 2nd teaching gig of the day, she gets hung up in downtown traffic since all the garbage workers are striking and firing off cannons in the street.
Molly and I head to a nearby doctor’s office to schedule health checkups for the kids before we pick up the boys at school. After feeling pretty good about making the appointment despite my rough language, I realize I booked a time when the boys are in school. By the time I realize my error we’re on the bus headed to school. The bus Molly and I take from the doctor’s office completes its route before I expect it to, making us late to get the boys. On the walk home from school, every dog seems like Cujo, ready to rip our limbs off and I start to realize I’m really bothered by the ridiculous amount of security on the beautiful houses in our barrio.
On Erica’s way home from teaching downtown, she flags her bus which slows down at the curb, and then, for no apparent reason, speeds up and drives past the bus stop without stopping. She ends up having to wait another 15 minutes for another bus to come by.
Thursday, March 20
Today it’s a gorgeous, sunny day. The boys start their math homeschooling today without being reminded! Bickering is minor. Molly awakes in a good mood and gets dressed with no fussing. She’s dressed and delivered to school on time and with no crying.
Erica recovers the boys’ notarized birth certificates (previously missing) at their school and successfully completes the bank deposit she tried the previous day at a bank near our barrio.
The boys and I hit the pool store for some supplies and I miraculously get what I need with zero translation help from the boys.
With trepidation, I call the doctor’s office to reschedule the appointment, and am amazed that I’m able to do so with near total comprehension. The makes my day since speaking on the phone in Spanish is one of my greatest fears here.
I’m able corner Elliott’s teacher and ask how he’s been doing on homework. Seems he’s doing what he’s supposed to so far. I covertly watch Ben buy his water bottle today as instructed versus candy before heading out for a quick run home in the sunshine.
Erica’s finally able to get Molly to wear her tights to ballet and dropped off with no fuss allowing her to get to work on time.
Erica’s evening English class goes well….her favorite 82-year-old-student charms Erica with her question about idioms, “Ehreeka, I don’t understand. What means this, ‘hunky guy?'”
My medicinal Fernet & Coke seems to be easing a persistent cold this evening. The day was good. I didn’t even explode when Ben dropped an entire bag of milk on the kitchen floor (yes, I said “bag”)!
So again we have a lesson in perspective. It’s all still parenting, with just a few extra wrinkles to make things more interesting. One day we feel worn down and helpless. The next, all is well in the world and we’re living a dream once again.