Saturday, June 29, 2013

American vs Swedish lunch

We are still in the US and we decided way back that it would be a good experience for Little Swede to go to summer camp. This has led to a plethora of questions from Swedes, mostly because I keep calling it the wrong word in Swedish – namely Sommarläger and not sommarkollo. Little Swede’s pediatric nurse was perplexed by the amount of forms we had to fill in for just a few hours of camp, but also fascinated and we had a long discussion on vaccinations and school relations. But that is a whole other story.

Summer camp has been good for Little Swede. But it has also led to the dilemma of the American packed lunch. Unlike his Swedish daycare, where lunch is included and all Little Swede’s special dietery needs met while keeping things about 90% organic, day camp (which costs about the equivalent of 4 months of Swedish full time daycare) requires packed lunch.

Little Swede has never eaten his own packed lunch. In Little Swede’s world sandwiches are openfaced and preferably covered with peanut butter. We are having morning cultural clashes with how to fit an open-faced sandwich in a plastic bag – something the Swede seems to believe is possible but of which I am highly skeptical.

Also Little Swede has never really had many prepackaged snacks, or much of any snack food at all.  I tried a few roasted chickpeas on day one (don’t make that face, chick peas are one of Little Swede’s favorite foods!) but we have settled on goldfish crackers.

And so, our little boy, who easily scarfs down three portions of school lunch (something I abhorred for most of my school life – we only had a cafeteria in high school anyway), is onlypicking at his packed lunch.

We have tried a variety of sandwiches. We have tried showing him how to open the baggies. He gets help from his counselors. But, he does not seem to enjoy a packed lunch. We tried purple colored Kefir, but really he only seems to eat the package of fruit I send him with every day (see how well Swedish schools have taught him!) 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Swedish Dads vs. American Dads

I've been a bad blogger. I've missed blogging about the high holiday of Sweden, Midsummer. All I can say is, it was good. Now we are in the US doing summer US style - hot and humid, cicadas singing, summer camp and really loud TV advertisements.

Maybe its a new trend, maybe its an old trend. Maybe it's that I now have Netflix on my computer that I watch while nursing Our newest Swede, I don't know. But I have been seeing a lot more ads lately. And a lot more ads where American Dads get a really bad rap. (That is probably American dads, but that grammar rule always drives me nuts).


The fact is that in reality I see American Dads being active Dads everywhere here. They are at the playground, they are changing diapers, they are wiping tears. But just like women are left being really excited about cleaning the kitchen on American TV, the latest thing seems to be Dads left being completely helpless when faced with an infant.

Here is a sad example.

Here American Dad has no role to play at all while baby is born. His first job has something to do with a car seat. The Swede says meeting his child for the first time was a life changing moment for him. Not so for this poor guy.....

Thankfully, on further research the other ad I saw that I thought made Dad look totally worthless was actually an Uncle --- which is a little better. But still, why is it always men bumbling around babies? I had no idea what to do with an infant until I had one of my own.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

It’s been summer

Sorry. I have definitely been Swedified enough so that when the sun is out, I am out, too. Little Swede has been running around swimming in fountains. Littlest Swede has been sleeping all over town. We’ve been eating Princess tårta for Swedish National day (I’ll save that for another post), and sitting in the courtyard drinking near-beer since we never have time to get to Systembolaget to buy the real thing.

If you have ever lived in Sweden for any length you know, when the weather gets good, you get out of your house. You never know how long it will last. The rain could come in 5 minutes.