I woke up at 6:45 this morning. I barely made it to work by 9:45. No, I wasn’t mugged or drugged on the way. No, I didn’t meet anyone for breakfast. And no, despite the fact that many of the bars near my office open at 9:00 a.m., I didn’t stop at any of them. It took me three hours to get from my bed to my desk because I have two children under the age of 4.
I have a friend who has four kids. “My kids have definitely ruined winter,” he likes to say. I feel him. It’s cold in Finland. And everyone knows that the best way to keep warm is to layer. But bundling your 3-year-old into all those layers and that puffy snowsuit takes not only time but physical strength. As such, it’s best to dress your kids in your underwear. If you get dressed before they do, you’re going to sweat your butt off and your deodorant will ware off before you even make it to work.
There is one good things about all those layers though. When your child craps his pants just as you’re finally zipping up his snowsuit, the layers will hide the smell until he gets to nursery school. ‘Cause you know you’re not going to take them all off again just because he’s got a load in his pants. Better to just hand him over to the teacher and yell “Smell you later!” as you make your escape.
“And they’ve also ruined summer,” my friend says. It’s usually pretty hot here in the summer nowadays (hey, thanks global warming!) and the sun shines from early in the morning well into the night. That means sunblock. Lots of it. And the blonder and fairer the kid, the more lotion you need. Mix all that lotion with all the ice cream kids eat here in the summer and you’ll see why you need to take two showers a day from June till July.
“Fall would be OK except for those f***ing rain pants,” my friend goes on to say. If you like rain, you’ll love Finland in the fall. Personally I try to stay inside when it’s raining, but here kids play outside come rain or shine. Try pulling those rubber rain pants onto your toddler as he’s trying to run away and you’ll know how riot police feel when they’re trying to handcuff a protester. And the dirt… oh God, the dirt….
“Spring isn’t bad,” he says. “But that’s pretty much just May.” Yeah, he’s right, May is nice.
So. There are a few morals to this story:
1. Having kids will make you late. 2. Having kids will ruin winter, summer and fall, so enjoy May while it lasts. 3. In Finland, there’s ALWAYS something to complain about.
P.S. Wait, I forgot! There’s one more moral:
4. It doesn’t matter where you live, having kids is the best thing that will ever happen to you.