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?