It turns out that you can’t type with a bottle in each hand. Although over the course of a lifetime this will have many ramifications, the most pertinent to my current situation is that the 45 minutes per day I used to spend lounging around on the internet are now spent at the pump. Milk pump, that is. This leaves little time to record my thoughts on infant wear that requires hand washing; luckily even the casual reader can likely guess my position. A clue: we have at present five different sets of instructions for the children’s various woolen, linen, and wool-mix clothing, and I am someone who has accidentally washed/dried Tobias’ lovely fine wool sweaters into oblivion three separate times. His fine wool sweaters turn into heavy wool children’s sweaters, perfect for the nephews, but what do you do with shrunken infant trousers?
Time was further sucked out of last week by the need to apply (in person) for an American passport for Max. This involved many emails, one irate phone call, and four relatively harmonious hours with two kids in tow in the waiting room at the consulate. Frida did a stellar job of entertaining herself, Max spent most of the time nursing, and I kept myself busy eavesdropping on the women who were running the hospitality table sponsored by the American Women’s Club. Their conversation ran the gamut from why it’s important to always keep your purse with you no matter what, to how to keep germs off of anything ever. When I initially approached the desk to ask for directions, the ringleader encouraged me to join the Club, saying, ‘Every other Thursday we get together to be social. We talk about TV and how to watch TV here and we talk about movies.’ Then, without asking, she fed my 16-month-old a cookie at 9:30 am. Luckily, I spent a decade being polite in mixed company in Texas so only a little of the CODE RED: STEREOTYPICAL AMERICAN ALERT! CODE RED: STEREOTYPICAL AMERICAN ALERT! reaction showed on my face. In turn, the ringleader not only managed to ignore my current absurd haircut (shaved on one side, faded down to a mullet on the other,) she held Max while I went to the bathroom. She wins Round I of the Middle America Nice-Off at the Hamburg Consulate.
*Now that I think about it, though, maybe I just missed out on a glorious opportunity: what if their every-other-Thursday TV-and-movie chat is really the tiniest Browncoat’s Ball?
Sorry about the absence, team. I have been alternately lolling in the sun on a Turkish beach and worrying about Max, who isn’t gaining weight. Poor little guy, between birth and now he dropped from the 85th to the 15th percentile in weight (update: now nearing the 3rd percentile), but he’s sticking to the 70th in height and 90th in head circumference so he’s built like a lollipop. A skinny-armed, big-eared, cute as hell little old man lollipop. We’re worried about him. Funny how quickly you go from ‘breastfeeding is the best and only’ to ‘we’ll supplement with formula at six months if this is still an issue’ to ‘ok we’ll supplement now’ to ‘oh, baby, please drink something. Please. Please.’ to ‘OMG I think he might have just taken a swallow of formula. Praise Jesus.’ to ‘wait, I don’t have to be all religious now just because I was praying for my baby to not die, right?’
I’ll tell thee straight*, we might have been a little distracted during our travels to and from Turkey this weekend. We left the following items at the following places:
- Carseat at the baggage claim in Turkey. We realized this as we were loading into the van for the trip to the hotel. Luckily the van driver was a terrific sport and played with Frida, Max, and me as we waited for Tobias to go back through security to retrieve the carseat.
- My toiletries at the second security checkpoint in Turkey. Luckily we were on our way home, so no need to double back to the checkpoint to retrieve then!
- The baby food, also at the second security checkpoint but not discovered until we were boarding the plane. Boy, that is a feeling I cannot recommend.
- Carseat at the baggage claim in Hamburg. We realized this 10 seconds after walking through the doors between the restricted passenger zone and the wide-wide world zone. It was midnight, we were tired, the kids were hungry, and I was carrying Max in the sling like a human shield, so I just quietly scampered in through the out door and grabbed the carseat from the baggage carousel before the guards had time to yell, ‘Stop that woman!’
*Dick Francis reference, anyone?
A list of a different kind: Life Events Thus Far
- Swimming in the Amazon
- Skydiving in New Zealand
- Salsa dancing in Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, etc.
- Camping with warthogs and whales in South Africa
- Surfing in Australia
- Climbing glaciers in Peru
- Having the rental of a double breast pump paid for by my insurance in Germany.
Each, in its own way, a fond memory. Or at least the renting of the breast pump will be a fond memory when I take that motherfucker back to the place from whence it came. In the meantime, I’ve installed a laptop in my stanchion so I’ll be updating here in thrice-daily 15-minute snippets!