”We have a three-year-old in the family. Which means that three family members align themselves in the ranks and the fourth member rules with an iron fist.”
In this mini-series we present a minimized version of our In Bed With interviews – now we focus on the little ones, their favorite fairy tales, and mini routines.
When virtual hanging out with our art directing friend Linnea Paulsson Neppelberg, her husband Erik and their kids – Bo, 5, and Helle, 3 – we figured that their all or nothing, dance/ stop – mentality probably is the key to approaching what one might call a balanced family life.
A year ago Linnea packed her family in a huge suitcase, left Stockholm behind and moved down south to the part of Sweden where she once grew up. Well, she actually grew up in Lund, but Malmö is by any means not new ground to her, as she lived there when she worked in Copenhagen before the babys. Now they live in a large apartment in a brick house from the 1920s, with views over the treetops, a giant courtyard and a hundred families with children as neighbors. Yes. It’s almost like an extra preschool.
We asked Linnea to capture everyday life around the kids and their special family routines. This is the story she told.
Life with us
We have a three-year-old in the family. Which means that three family members align themselves in the ranks and the fourth member rules with an iron fist.
Pick your battles
The day starts early. Before 7 o’clock, one of us has already done important things such as getting wrapped up in the curtain, setting the table and / or dancing. The other three of us are a little more focused on more classic morning tasks. Helle is quite energetic in everything she does, but luckily she has also inherited my aim for coziness. The duvet should be with her everywhere, in case of sudden need of being tucked in. It is important to cuddle even at breakfast (which today consisted of: salty sticks.) “Pick your battles” is a phrase that is trending over here at the moment.
Pippi and snuggles
In our previous apartment, an extra duvet lived under the sofa, always ready to be pulled out in case of need. Our children are sleepers (I know, you hardly dare to talk about it) and they love to snuggle up on something soft when it’s approaching bedtime. We usually rate the best parts of the day together before everyone falls asleep in a big pile on our bed while listening to Pippi Longstocking. The bunk bed in the children’s room is used for a few hours a night after we’ve carried them there from our bed, before they will return to us in the wee hours. Then it’s all up and repeat.
Can one grow sandwiches?
Bo will start school this autumn, he is constantly practicing numbers and letters. Helle mostly moves stuff around, puts them down wherever, making train tracks… You know, building and fixing, everything and nothing. When she falls asleep once in a while, there is this sweet moment in between with Bo, often a quiet one in the kitchen with evening snacks. Talking about life with a five-year-old is the best there is. Questions like: Mom, are we in hibernation? Can one grow sandwiches?
Nothing and everything
The best time of day is when evening light hits the kitchen. We bought our apartment mainly for the large kitchen. Perfect if you want dinner company often. Erik cooks something that takes a long time on the stove, I replant a plant. We like to hang out at home doing nothing and everything.
Piano is played, dishes are washed.
Everyone in this family is much all or nothing, during the day a lot happens, and then we fall out early. A comfy bed with lots of pillows is a must. On the weekends we are outside all day, usually in some forest. Our children are energetic and they like to run free. They are very social types so in our apartment the children’s rooms are all rooms so to speak, they are where we are. The children’s room is a bedroom with toys, but we mostly do things together in the rest of the apartment. Piano is played, dishes are washed, plants are watered, cars are driven. Favorite occupation: drawing – All the art results up on the art wall in the kitchen! Then we have a grand opening in the house.
Words and images by Linnea Paulsson Neppelberg