Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yesterday's casualties of hands-off parenting:

1. couch upholstery after milk was shaken from bottles,

2. bright green comforter cover and pillowcases, orange fitted sheet after early childhood artistic expression involving old peach-hued lipstick inherited from my mother,

3. old peach-hued lipstick (see above),

4. container of chocolate powder,

5. "Leo & Popi" DVD (very annoying kid's show, so this is more of a blessing),

6. bathroom rug after toilet brush was used to clean the toilet, the floor and the walls (I assume, I wasn't there),

7. my sanity.

On the other hand, during the periods between moments of destruction, they:

1. had tea together,

2. did puzzles,

3. looked at books and

4. played cars in the toy garage.

So although the destruction sum is higher than that of peaceful activities, and my sanity is a precious price to pay, I think we've got a good balance here. They've learned how to entertain themselves and that's going to last. Eventually they will also learn NOT to play with the toilet brush, lipstick, chocolate powder and milk. Or at least they'll hopefully learn to clean up their messes before I find them.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Out of order

I love public transportation. I love that somebody moves me greater distances so that I can walk the shorter ones. I don't have to drive, sit in traffic, or find a parking space. I get to be outside, get some fresh air. Nobody is strapped in a car seat and Aidyn gets to ogle the other trains, tracks and cars passing by. It's a gaggle of fun for everyone.

Sometimes, though, a piece of the transportation system breaks down. This could be a strike. Very annoying but at least you can know beforehand not to venture out to the train or bus station because...there are no trains or busses running!

Or, your home train station could be renovating ALL the elevators between the end of August and the end of October. With a sign saying that for our convenience, we can use the handicapped-friendly and (presumably) elevator-functioning train station in Ludwigsburg. Which we get to with the...train. Huh? Or, more precisely, What The Fuck?

What made it worse the other day was that a completely different station had elevators on the fritz. The first one, going from the street level to mid-level, had the white-bar-on-a-red-background "out of order" sign but the elevator came and the doors opened and closed so we took it. Mid-level to train, on the other hand, also had the sign, but there was neither door opening nor movement. Good, I thought. Children are awake, we walk down. But then Aidyn wanted to take the up escalator, sending ChloƩ into near hysterics. Then I had to calm ChloƩ, lure Aidyn to the stairs, catch up with Mia speeding down the stairs and navigate said stairs with an empty (of children, at least) double stroller.

Finally, in Deutsche Bahn's Best Move Yet (fortunately not on the same day), as we (aforementioned three children and I ) were entering the train, the conductor decided to close the doors while I was half in the train and my son was COMPLETELY NOT IN the train but standing on the platform between two doors. Heaving of doors, yanking of small boy, two crying little girls and one incoherent scream in English later, everyone was in the train and by the time we'd reached our destination three stops later, I had forgotten to go yell at the driver. Of course I was also maneuvering the entourage toward and then down the stairs since the elevator was not working...

So perhaps the lesson here is not to trust public transportation. Or no one cares about kids? Or elevators are for wimps? Or just shit happens.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


About three weeks ago we started to feel the chill and smell the crispness of autumn. The season stalled, though, and today, finally, we're experiencing the true end of the end of summer. It's been beautiful and I am grateful for this Indian Summer following the cold and rainy roller coaster of a summer. We've done our best to live outside these warm sunny weeks, and today we will say goodbye to the sun outdoors: we will dance and play in her rays and we will dream in the night of vitality and try to remember when we wake tomorrow that there are seasons of both life and death, and rain is as important as sun.

The flowers are dead 
But the leaves are blooming 
Fall rainbows.