Yes, the weather is this gorgeous at the moment……….
I have to keep reminding myself that it will be November next week! We only had our first really cold morning yesterday and as you may have heard, it has been raining so much in parts of Italy that many places have suffered from dreadful flooding in the recent weeks.
In Florence, the humidity has been so high and last Sunday it actually reached 26°C!!! As much as I hate the cold, I am enjoying the fresher air that arrived yesterday.
You can still definitely pick the Italians from the foreigners! The Italians are the ones wearing jackets and scarves because it’s October you know and this is what we should be wearing at this time of year, regardless of how hot it was and how much you are sweating! Matteo refused to wear long pants until yesterday when we insisted (it was not easy or pretty!) and so I would get quite a few disapproving looks from the Italian Nonnas when they would see him in the morning wearing just a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt. When I asked him if he wanted to wear his jeans, he quite rightly told me that “It’s not cold Mamma!” and I couldn’t really disagree with him. I was praying that he didn’t pick up a cold otherwise those same Italian nonnas would have been looking at me with ‘I told you so!’ glances.
I never thought a 3 year old boy could be so difficult, fussy and downright stubborn about what clothes he wore. This is obviously the Italian side of him coming through! (God help me!) He even tells me if he doesn’t like the clothes I am wearing! “Why are you wearing those shoes Mummy?” He screamed at me once, “No not that top! Take it off, TAKE IT OFF as if I had committed the ultimate fashion sin.
Thomas is now 4 months old and we have had an interesting time adjusting to being a family of four. I will be honest and say that I had a few very trying weeks with Matteo who really showed his dark side when faced with the combination of a new school, new baby brother and having his afternoon nap removed. Tantrum is the word and did we see some big, frustrated, angry dummy-spits! I was torn between wanting to discipline him and just give him a big hug as I realised what a confusing time he was going through. He threw a huge wobbly at the park one day and when I glanced around to see who was watching, it was like one of those frozen moments in a movie where everyone had stopped what they were doing to just stare with their jaws hanging open while watching the incredible performance of Matteo. Looking at me with shock on their faces like their kids never had a tanty!
Overall though Matteo did settle in very well to his new ‘Scuola Materna’ and we had an easy ‘inserimento‘ by Italian standards! What does Inserimento mean, you may wonder? Basically when your child starts a new day care or pre-school in Italy, they are eased into doing the full day. The first day they go for just an hour or two but the parent stays in the class room with them. This gradual acclimatisation is slowly lengthened each day with the mother or father also slowly spending less time with their child. The inserimento usually lasts for two weeks before you can leave your child at the school for the full day on their own. The difficulty with this system is when you have a full-time job and basically have to take time off from work to ensure that your child is phased gently into the school system without being scarred for life! As Matteo had already done two years of full-time day-care, I figured he would adapt quite well and pushed for his inserimento to last only the week. We had three mornings of tears before he would happily wave me good-bye every morning.
Last week our street was closed for the annual lunch. San Niccolò is like a little village with everyone knowing everyone (and their business!) It was a great atmosphere and it was a really good turn-out which of course was also thanks to the amazing weather. I think this is such a lovely tradition and it is also a great opportunity to meet and greet the ‘vicini’ (neighbours) that we pass by so quickly in the mornings and evenings.
Autumn is such a beautiful month and one of the things that I love the most is the arrival of the seasonal fruits and vegetables. Porcini, broccoli, pumpkin and let’s not forget chestnuts and the delicious Tuscan Castagnaccio ‘tart’.
And speaking of pumpkins, I have a little boy who is expecting big things this weekend when we carve the pumpkin for halloween so stay tuned but don’t expect anything too impressive!