Usually the rain is so heavy that it’s practically impossible to go out. Today we managed to get a dry window and went to the playground with the Lake Zurich Moms and Tots group. It was good fun as there was a better turn-out than other events, but the playground was very muddy. Madeleine and I had to wash our feet in a bucket of water when we came home.
The girls have changed quite a bit in the last couple of days. Tilda is cruising and almost standing on her own. She’s becoming defiant in her own way and doesn’t like to be told “no” when pulling at cables and leads by the computer. Madeleine’s accent is half way across the Atlantic. Her pronunciation of the letter “r” is more American than English and she uses American words. She even asked me to put something in the “garbage” the other day. I’m trying to make her speak English at home, but she does have to fit in here. At the playground the other day, a mother asked me if I was British as she thought Madeleine had an American accent and she wasn’t sure.
We getting to know quite a few people, but it’s all rather superficial at the moment. People don’t seem to just “do coffee” here. It’s about doing something to entertain the children. One thing I have noticed is that life at home in the UK is about building for the future. You invest time in your family and friends and create a long-term support network around you. You spend time improving your house or garden. Life here can feel a little temporary. I’m not used to just having fun without feeling guilty (how boring do I sound?). I’m used to ticking off lists, working towards a challenge and moving towards a useful goal. I’m happy to change my attitude and perception of the meaning of life, but life in the suburbs can be a little dull without friends. It’s only a matter of time, and we’ve met some nice people. It’s just an effort to make the invitations and be the organiser all the time.
One thing we did enjoy this weekend was getting both girls on the back of our bikes. Tilda seems to enjoy the experience although she is less convinced about wearing a helmet. She hates her sun hat so I’m not surprised. We cycled from the house into Long Grove. It was lovely to get out and about, although I hadn’t appreciated how heavy the bike becomes with a little parcel on the back. You only need to do a couple of miles for a good workout!