Jacobs Muscheln

Max is developmentally delayed, and not just compared to Frida, who was shoeing horses at his age. (Why am I being coy about Frida’s exceptionally fast development when there is now, in Max, proof positive that her exceptionallism had little to do with my parenting skillz? I don’t know, but there’s plenty more where that came from. Similarly, I would tell you about how much Frida loved this morning’s banana/milk/tofu smoothie, but then I would have to tell you that the secret ingredient was Nutella, which doesn’t count as my daughter liking tofu, it counts as my daughter liking chocolate first thing in the morning.)

Max is developmentally delayed compared to last week’s Max: he used to hold his head level when pulled to sitting, and now he doesn’t. He used to smile a fair amount and giggle occasionally; now he only very rarely smiles, doesn’t make any eye contact, and is no longer making any noise voluntarily. I bring this up to get the awful news out of the way: Max is Max, and he’s having a hard time and will likely continue to have a hard time. We’re committed to making his life as happy as possible blah blah blah etc. and he’s made some progress in the last two days, but there’s no denying that this situation sucks. Now that we’re clear on that, let’s move to the fun stuff:

  • Frida’s name for Max is, predictably, Mack. Because Max has an abnormally wide ribcage, a depressed sternum, and just about no body fat, he is practically two-dimensional: except the head and feet, he is about an inch and a half wide from the side view. We say that he is built like a Mack bicycle.
  • Last week’s macaroni and cheese for the tiny darlings at Frida’s school went over like a thousand angels riding a thousand rainbow-flavored unicorns blowing a million bubbles. The apricot-zucchini muffins we had for dessert went over like a full-fat, freshly baked apricot-zucchini muffin, which is to say pretty darned well. Because this is Germany, I got the usual question about the difference between a muffin and a cupcake, and I gave the usual response: there is no such thing as a zucchini cupcake.
  • Do marinate some lamb chunks in well-salted yoghurt before grilling them on a hot fire. Do.
  • At the ripe old age of 36.9, I’ve finally come around to the notion that if you’re hosting brunch on Saturday and on Sunday for two different groups of guests, you can serve them the same thing. Holy shitballs, does that make life easier. It also makes for quite a fun moment when you realize that, between 9 am Saturday and noon on Sunday, you’ve consumed an entire side of smoked salmon, a restaurant-bound-get-it-from-the-back-of-the-fish-shop-sized container of tiny North Sea shrimp, 2 dozen eggs, a quart of homemade pickled beets, 2 pineapples, flats of berries, and an entire kilo of really decadent chocolate mousse. A KILO. And you know what I just realized? Saturday’s brunch guests skipped dessert in favor of a walk around the neighborhood, which means that Tobias and I each ate about a pint and a half of mousse in 18 hours. Hope Max enjoys his chocolate milk tomorrow.

Thanks for all your thoughts and wishes. They help. Sorry if you’ve submitted a comment that I haven’t addressed; I just went through 10,000 spam comments (literally 10,000,) like a NEWSFLASH NEWSFLASH***for the first time, I can think of a word in German but not in English. That’s good, right?***END OF NEWSFLASH like a scallop trawler goes through a sea floor. Indelicate, is what I’m saying. Indiscriminate.


If you think I know the word for ‘trawler’ in German, you’re dreaming. The word I was looking for was scallop. Because God forbid I have to change my analogy to something involving a tuna net going through a pod of dolphins. It’s too much, with those darling dolphins. Let them live, I say, and I’ll just use Google translate if I need to before remembering the very odd word that is ‘scallop’.

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