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Mad.

10 Oct

Have I mentioned before that life here in Switzerland is different? I can’t remember if I’ve ever told anyone with whom I communicate that life is different and has been a little hard on and off. Just joshin’ — I’ve said it a billion times. Sure, we’re not living in a place like Ethernopia or North Korea, but things are just different. Big things like health care, public transportation, and paid time off are different. And little things like the way people do or don’t stand in lines, and the way that parents put little kerchiefs on babies to soak up drool instead of baby bibs are also different. Aaaaaand so is the whole laundry situation.

Ugh! Laundry! Just when I started to feel like I’ve got things under control and have figured out how to live a normal life AND have clean laundry, something sets me back. What was it this time, you ask? It was a saggy-eyed, gangly old woman wearing a red fleece with covered in dirty little fuzz balls.

Rewind to Saturday. We were having a nice, quiet morning at home. We have been busy the last several weeks and were all  happy to spend the day wearing PJs and playing trucks in our living room. I was unloading the dishwasher, and Phil had taken Asher into the other room to get him ready for a nap when the doorbell rang. It wasn’t a friendly “rrrringa-ding?!” that meshes well with a quiet Saturday morning, but instead it was a heavy, intrusive, confrontational “RRRRRRRRRRING-DING-DING-DING-YOUIDIOT!!!” You know the type. Because I had been putting clanky plates away, I knew that the person at the door would definitely know that we were home and that person would also know that we could see her through the peephole and choose to answer or not, so not-answering didn’t really feel like an option. I quickly tip-toed over to the peep hole and saw that it was Frau G., our upstairs neighbor. I knew who she was and where she lives because:
1. I have seen her up close once or twice walking into the building
2. I have occasionally see her smoking on her balcony
3. By process of elimination after meeting all of the other neighbors, I figured which name on the mailboxes was hers.

I certainly didn’t know anything about her personally, since she has never responded to my friendly “gruetzi!” I had a feeling she was mad about something because she just looks like the type of person who would only ring a neighbor’s doorbell if she had a complaint. *GrumbleChristmas time? I’ve got better things to do than bring around cookies or good tidings. The birth of a baby? Who the heck cares? Babies suck! Someone’s dying? I’m glad that there’s one less person around breathing her air. *Grumble grumble, life is hell!* 

I threw a sweatshirt on over my PJs and opened the door with the most welcoming smile I could manage. “Hallo!” I said. She went right into it. She was all business.

Frau G: You use the laundry machine on Thursdays, right? 
Me: Yes.
Frau G: I use it on Saturday and every time my husband has to clean the entire laundry room before we can do laundry. He has to sweep the floors, wash out the machine, clean the sink. You have to clean the room! 
Me: Um… (Though I understood most of what she said, I don’t know how to say in German: “POUND SAND OLD WOMAN! Don’t be knockin’ all up MY door and hollerin’ at me wit’ yo’ false accusations!”) My husband speaks German better than I do, is it okay if I go get him?
Frau G: Yah, yah.

I went back to get Phil. I told him who was there and that she was mad at me but that I didn’t know how to respond. I asked him to tell me EVERYTHING she says before responding, not because I don’t think that Phil can handle himself in a confrontation, but because I knew that this was my battle and I didn’t want him to think we owed her an apology for something that I hadn’t done.

I brought Phil to the door and introduced him, she literally waved her hand in the air and said her name as if it didn’t matter who she, or we, or anyone was, but the only thing that mattered was how dirty she thinks the laundry room is.

My points were the following, and my dear husband did wonderfully expressing them to her:

-Someone else uses the room on Fridays, regardless of what Frau G believes, someone else uses it on Fridays. That’s the truth. I know that because my other neighbors have told me that if so-and-so doesn’t use it, then so-and-so uses it.
-When I make a mess, I clean it up
-Sometimes the sink is a mess when I go in there, but since I have never used the sink, I really haven’t paid much attention to it.

She listened and bobbed her head her head up and down. Phil said to me, “she wants to show us something.” So we followed her downstairs where she showed us a broom and went on and on in German about sweeping the floor. *Um… offensive. I know how to use a broom old lady.* Then she walked us into the laundry room and motioned her hand around the machine as if she were wiping it and saying what I understood to be “blah blah blah blah CLEAN blah CLEAN blah blah CLEAN blah blah…” (sure my German is still a bit limited, but still, it sounded obnoxious). I told Phil to please tell her that I would be more mindful of how I leave the room, but to know that I clean up any mess I make. He did. She asked who uses the room on Wednesday, I told her. It would have been pointless not to answer the question. There are only 6 of us who use the room, so it’s not difficult to figure out who uses it and when, but I still felt terrible for saying the other neighbor’s name out loud in that conversation. I don’t think she is to blame.

Finally she stopped blabbering and said “have a nice Saturday” as she walked upstairs.

Phil handled it well. He didn’t seem flustered at all and was very friendly and all. I was mad after she left. Phil said he didn’t perceive her visit as confrontational like I thought she was being. But I’ll tell you, nothing makes you feel scared inside like an old woman leaning over you and shouting in German. I am especially sensitive, I think, because I so badly want to blend in. I try really hard not to be an obvious outsider. Someone once told me that if you act “as if” you can do something, you will be able to do it. That’s been my mantra since coming here. I try to act “as if” I know how life works and, for the most part, it’s at least kept me out of the “wow-whatta-moron-spotlight.” It’s awkward not to know what is going on around you. I am certainly where I don’t feel like that in my every day life anymore, but little things like monster ladies coming to my home pointing their boney fingers in my face while I’m in my PJs send me right back to feeling very out of place. Plus, in a country that prides itself on being outrageously clean, as a foreigner it is important to me that no one thinks I’m dirty. Having her in my face like that literally made me feel like I had defend all of America — “American’s are NOT dirty!” I wanted to shout. “Americans are NICE! Americans are GOOD!”

Of course I believe that Phil understood her better than I did, and he says he didn’t feel like she was being rude or anything, so I’m trying to go with that and chalk up my feelings of confrontation to the fact that I don’t fully understand the language she was yelling at me. But I’ll be honest, I’m having a hard time not thinking she is a jerk. And here I am, five days later on my laundry day, feeling anxiety about what the heck I’m supposed to do tonight when I’m done that will keep her from ever coming to my door to yell at me again. I guess I’ll pound the broom around with googly eyes and wave a cloth at the washing machine like an idiot… the way she showed me.

Don’t tell her I wrote this. Goodness knows she’d have something to say.

Deutschbag/douchbag — I don’t know what I am.

25 Feb

November 7, 2011: I paced back and forth in London’s Heathrow airport pushing an over-sized stroller loaded down with a carseat, a diaper bag, a large flowered tote bag, and two red rolly suitcases (one balanced roughly in the stroller’s seat, the other attached to the stroller’s handle by a big carabiner). I bounced dramatically with each step, trying to calm my screaming 3 month old who was strapped to my chest. I had already been awake and traveling 20+ hours. Storms in the southeast caused major delays for our first two flights causing us to miss our flight from London to Zürich. I had no phone and could not figure out how to connect to the Internet, so I had no way of telling my poor panicked husband that we would be more than 8 hours late to arrive. I was worried that he wouldn’t be there when we arrived, and later I found out that he was worried we had been killed or sold into slavery and thought he’d never see us again. I had been made to leave the secure part of the Dallas airport to figure out how to get to London, since the flight I took from Montgomery had been rerouted for 2 hours to avoid bad weather. Leaving security means going back through security…with all of the aforementioned stuff (stroller, bags, carseat, baby, shoes, etc.) I had to leave the secure part of the London airport as well… with all the aforementioned stuff (stroller, bags, carseat, baby, shoes, eyes full of tears, etc.). I was exhausted. I paced around the gate in London waiting to board our finally-final flight to Zürich for hours. Back and forth…back and forth… waiting for the boarding call, trying to calm my poor baby who, though he had done well on the first two flights, had finally reached his breaking point. Hours, minutes, and seconds passed: I counted each one. After spending nearly 500 minutes of my life in that airport, the time to board the plane drew near and my fellow passengers finally started gathering around me. If only I had been so drunk that I was cursing loudly I would have been the epitome of the person you DON’T want sitting next to you on a 5-hour flight: My hair was tangled and dirty. My clothes were wrinkled and smelly. I assume my eyes looked like two little dried-up raisins underneath a couch cushion. I patted my screaming baby. I coughed loudly and let a few tears fall down my cheek. Everyone stared at me and I didn’t care. I stood, zombiesque, staring at the digital sign behind the desk, rejoicing that it was finally displaying MY flight information. It had already been several hours since I last heard or saw anything that didn’t blur before reaching my brain when suddenly  I noticed a group of middle-aged men standing right next to me. They were all wearing matching blue shirts and carrying sport coats, which sounds kind of cheesy but they were all nicely-groomed, expensive looking men. I noticed them not because of their identical outfits, but rather because they were all conversing quickly in deep, throaty voices, saying things I didn’t understand. I watched their heads move back and forth and their hands wave around in the air. They took turns making sounds. I saw there eyes stare intently at the other eyes in their group as their eyebrows went up and down together. Their facial expressions demonstrated understanding and shared emotion. I blinked. They all laughed at the same time. I knew they knew each other. They were all dressed alike, after all. But I had no idea what they were saying. My heart, my brain, my body all started to panic.

That was it. That was the moment it hit me that I was moving to a country that I would not understand. I have lived here in Switzerland for nearly 16 months now (Ich bin in der Schweiz seit sechszehn Monaten), and I still think about that moment regularly. That was the moment that I realized I had no choice but to learn a second language if I would survive the next few years, and that was the moment that I honestly started trying to learn German. Once I realized that they were speaking another language, I began desperately searching their conversation for meaning… and I haven’t stopped since. I am surrounded by a language that very often means nothing to me and it is, to say the least, frustrating. It’s uncomfortable to look someone in the eye as they speak to you and have no idea what they’re trying to say — especially when you know they are scolding you (yes, these jerks do that). It’s isolating to overhear children talking to each other on the sidewalk and not have any idea what they’ve just said. It’s frightening to see warning messages flash across the train schedule as the trains slows to a stop at an unfamiliar station and everyone stands up to get off. It’s embarrassing to have an annoyed stranger reach over you to push an elevator button after you have obviously misunderstood them and pushed the wrong one (and then riding to the wrong floors together as you try not to cry).

It’s hard. Not bad, but hard. Freaking hard. Though I cry a lot out of frustration, there is some sort of emotionally-masochistic part of me that loves every moment of this oddly invigorating transition. Life is nothing if not moving forward, and I feel like my life has been on one of those moving sidewalks (on super fast!) for over a year now.

I AM learning the language. I understand more every day. Some days the new things I learn make me feel strong and powerful like I can do anything. Other days the realizations I have make me feel like a outrageously ignorant moron because I’ll suddenly understand that I’ve done things very, very wrong and made a fool of myself. I am exhausted at the end of most days, but often have a hard time sleeping because my brain wants to replay everything from the previous day and how to deal with the following one.

I’m a foreigner.

Disgusting and uncomfortable (Fair warning)

11 Oct

I did it! I took a very difficult shower. But I did it. And now I’m fresh and clean.

I am sick this week. I will share the details of my sinus/throat/stomach/leg infections another day (or maybe I won’t), but just know that I am sick and have been all-but useless around here. Well, for the sake of my weird shower story I guess I will go ahead and share that I had an infection on my leg (perhaps staph? They didn’t tell me, but I assume it’s staph). A little shaving issue got infected and hurt like heck and swelled up pretty badly. I had to go to the hospital to to fix it. They cut a hole into my leg! Like, and actual hole and then left it open so that I would feel the wrath of God it would heal properly without becoming infected again. According to the doctors, the infection was not “too deep” and the hole was not “too big,” but it wasn’t “their legs” that were being jack-o-lantern-carved by strangers. Jerks. I didn’t look the day that they did it, but I saw it the next day and it looks like there’s an invisible bullet in my leg. A BIG bullet. It’s disgusting! Also, with leaving it open, all of my nerves are exposed, so every time I move, the bandage must re-situate, thus alarming every pain sensor in my nervous system that I am a sinner and deserve death my leg has a gaping hole in it (UNCLE!). Completely disgusting, right? I had the “minor surgery” done to my leg Tuesday. I was instructed to leave the bandage on until Wednesday when I followed-up with my doctor. Leaving the bandage on + afternoon appointment = No showering for me on Wednesday. Couple that with the fact that I have been fighting a fever for a few days (and thus constantly alternating between freezing and sweating) and yours truly has taken on the odor of a dying farmer. I realize now that sickness can taint my natural light and lovely personal scent of vanilla. My very loving, patient, and understanding husband can more than vouch for this.

My doctor is out today, so she told me not to take the bandage off until my next visit tomorrow (Friday). But, being that I am all slippery and stinky, I was determined to shower today. I did it. I showered. But ohmygosh. It. was. DIFFICULT.

I know I’m not the first person to have to do this, but I must say that I feel like I was the most unprepared.

I had heard that people with casts put their casted body part into a plastic bag to shower. I looked and we have sandwich bags and we have 65 liter trash bags. The sandwich bag would be great if my big daddy toe were in a cast, and the 65 liter trash bag would be perfect if I were in a full-body cast, but neither one seemed suitable for my calf-sized bandage. So I got online, found some alternatives, and decided to go with saran wrap. After wrapping my leg up tightly like a giant sausage, I realized that the scotch tape I had was not going to cut it as a substitute for the duct tape around the edges that my online resources suggested. This was frustrating to me, since it forced me to accept the fact that I was not going to get a warm, relaxing, proper shower. Whatever. (If you must picture me as you read the next little bit, picture me in a conservative one-piece swimsuit or something. Or at least have your mind blur out my lady-parts. [Don’t worry about mentally-blurring my butt. Butts are, in my opinion, non-offensive since they are all basically the same and extremely uninteresting without a nicely-cut pair of jeans over them]). First I tried standing with my favorite leg INSIDE the tub and the leg that I hate OUTSIDE the tub. I used the shower hose to wet my hair so I could wash it… and had water basically all over the bathroom in about 3 seconds. My hair wasn’t fully saturated, but some how water had gotten all over the rug, floor, sink, mirror, walls, and, of course, on my plastic-covered calf. This was not going to work. I awkwardly sat down, leaving my gross leg out of the tub, and finally rested riiiiight on the tip of my tailbone. Ahh… There ain’t nothin’ like the feelin’ of cold, hard ceramic underneath ya while ya wobble on the pointiest point of your tailbone in the mornin’ — can I get an ‘amen?’

…*chirp* *chirp*….

 

Birthday week: Thinking of how it all began

7 Aug

This Friday (three days from now) my precious, precious boy will turn 1. Because of this, the past year and 9 (well, 10) months are heavy on my mind right now. The past few weeks, as I anticipate the monumentous “1st birthday,” I have found myself reliving every second of Asher’s life. I feel compelled to share some of my thoughts.

Let me preface by saying that Phillip is at work, Asher is sleeping, I have windows open and am thus listening to a mixture of falling rain, gusty winds, and one of my favorite Iron and Wine albums, so I cannot be held responsible if I at any point become emotional.

*ahem*

I found out I was pregnant Sunday, November 28th, 2010. I know for sure it was that day because at the time I was taking a pregnancy test every Sunday. We lost our first little One September 23rd, 2010, and I took a preg test every week after that. I got positive tests for several weeks, which is why I kept taking them. I felt like I needed a negative response as a way to have a bit of closure after losing the first Baby. I kept taking them every Sunday even after finally getting negative responses partly out of habit, I guess. I didn’t really expect to conceive again so quickly, and I didn’t really ‘feel’ like anything was different the morning I took that one test. When it came back positive I remember my heart rate staying exactly the same. Phillip was asleep. Our apartment was quiet. I set the test down and got in the shower. I don’t even think I really smiled at first. I just kind of stared at the wall as I scrubbed up all my parts. When I was done, I hid the test, woke up Phil, and as soon as I heard him get into the shower my heartbeat quickened and I lost my breath. It was as if I suddenly felt the full effect of shock! I tore apart my “wrapping stuff” drawer until I found a long skinny red box that was once given to me with a bracelet inside. I put the test inside, wrote a name tag that said “Phillip,” stuck it under our Christmas tree, and then waited with shakey hands for Phillip to find it. It didn’t take him long to notice it — we had JUST put our tree up the night before and, being November, there weren’t any other presents to block the tiny red one. I told him to open it, he opened it, and looked at me and half-smiled. The bfp (“big fat positive”) was extremely anti-climactic, but we were very comfortably happy and excited. Whenever I think about this time I can hear our dear friend Mrs. Fortner nostalgically saying: good things always come on a Sunday mornin’…

So that was that. (And yes, it was a pee pregnancy test that I put into the box as a sentimental gift for my husband. So what? Like you’ve never peed on a $6 piece of plastic before? You think you’re better than me?)

Pregnancy was, thankfully, uneventful. We saw “Kid A’s” heartbeat for the first time December 21(?). I kept thinking I felt Kid A moving starting around 15-16 weeks gestation. Then, right at the beginning of 18 weeks, as I was sitting in the driver’s seat of Carey O’Brien’s car, waiting to go into the preschool to pick up DJ and I felt something kick my seatbelt. It was so surreal. I put my hand down on my lower belly and felt it again and again, plain as day! It felt like someone was poking the inside of my stomach with a straw. I called Phil to tell him, then jumped out and told my friend Cathy, who was super excited for me. Later that night I was telling Phillip about it, I put his hand where I had felt the pokes earlier and, like the good little boy that he is, Asher straw-poked his Daddy’s hand! It was awesome to both feel the teeny kicks for the first time on the same day.

Then I got super fat, ate like a cow, had to pee all the time, sweated uncontrollably, and felt Asher moving all day and all night.

Okay, fast forward. I was due August 7, but was just positive I’d have that baby in July. That didn’t happen. I was not planning to induce, but I agreed to do it August 10 if the baby had not come by then. I was curious about delivery, but I was not really nervous. The miscarriage hurt like crap, but as soon as it was over, it was… well, over. It was a total calm after a storm. Between that and my friend telling me that she had delivered her first son without drugs while being maxed out on pitocin, I knew I’d be fine.  I had made my decision to go natural (other than the induction, at least) and that’s what I was going to do. They started giving me pitocin at 6-something in the morning. I progressed fairly quickly and by 7 or 8 that evening it was go-time. So we (I say “we” because it sounds less awkward than “I” — misery loves company) started pushing at that point. It hurt so badly. I never thought about asking for drugs, but the two things I very distinctly remember: 1. being sad because I was sure that this one would be an only child, and 2. an overwhelming worry for my baby sister who I knew would be in this same situation in a matter of hours. Weird thoughts to have at that time, but whatever. As most of you know, most babies don’t come out with boy parts on the top of their head, so when Asher crowned they realized something was wrong. He was coming out butt-first… juuuust as I suspected. The dimly-lit, calm room suddenly became tense and everyone started moving really quickly. A bunch of people came in, jammed their arms up my hoo-ha and said very scary things to me. For whatever reason there were no doctors around, so we had to wait for a super long time. It was agonizing. At that point you can’t really stop labor, though I was fighting it the best I could, my body was trying to get the baby out — I was so afraid that Asher would come halfway and get stuck. Ugh. I can’t even think about it. The doctor finally came. He told me that he thought a normal c-section would be fine (originally they had told me that they thought I would have to get the kind where they knock you out and open your entire stomach super fast – scary!). He said he needed consent, and asked very bluntly “do you want us to perform a c-section?” I wanted to pull off his stupid plastic glove and slap him across the face with it like they do on movies, but I just said “yes.” Or maybe it was “YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSYESYESYESINTHENAMEOFALLTHATISHOLYYES!” As soon as I said it, they all went ballistic throwing things and doing things to my bed and suddenly I saw the bright lights of the hall and felt wind as they ran me down to the operating room. My memories are all like flashes at this point. I remember looking up at my nurse, Amber, whose long hair was whipping against her face as she ran. She was running, but calmly saying to me “everything is going to be okay Sweetie. We are going to take care of you. You will be just fine.” Which, as most comforting words often do, only made me more nervous, though I very much appreciated the effort. My contractions were so unbelievably strong I could not hold still, but the anesthesiologist told me it was very important that I was still for him to do the spinal tap thing correctly. I cried and said I couldn’t. He told me I had to. And so I did. I took a breath and made myself be calm. I used some of my old Yoga breathing techniques to ‘let the worries of the day leave through my fingertips…” It worked… Namaste. He jammed a hose-sized needle into my back and then yelled at me to lay down (so much for being calm). The next thing I knew I was strapped to a table like I was being crucified and I had a big sheet in my face. The doctor had a very nice voice. He sounded like that actor who plays Tina Fey’s ex-boyfriend Scott on Baby Mama (I later realized that even looked like that actor!). Something about the familiarity of his voice made me feel like he knew what he was doing. I felt nothing, then I felt some pressure and what felt like a basketball being moved around in my body and then the doctor said “here he is! Hey big guy!” That’s honestly all I remember for a bit. I vaguely remember asking Phil, who was sitting next to my face, to go check on Asher. I just laid there, with my arms and shoulders shaking vigorously (from the medicine they gave me) and stared at the ceiling. What a strange thing, to see my husband walk around that giant curtain holding a baby. I just kind of looked at Asher. He was a very pale pink and wore his hospital hat like a yarmulke. He sucked his bottom lip up under his top lip and slow-blinked his tiny eyes like a sleepy lizard. What a completely surreal experience to see my child for the first time. I just wanted to stare at him — this tiny thing that was so foreign and seemed like just a concept to me only 5 minutes before. Suddenly, he was visible in my world, trying to make sense of things with his own eyes and breathing with his own mouth and lungs. He was, and is, completely perfect. And just like that, we were a family of three.

Well, I hadn’t necessarily planned on sharing the birth story (I feel like a tool calling it a “birth story,” since so many people are whack-jobs about telling their birth stories), but I guess that is where the rain and the music took me. I’m sure I will share more as the birthday madness sets in…

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Cher Hair

27 Jul

If I have spoken with you recently, I may have mentioned that I am frustrated with my hair. It’s so long that it’s getting straggly at the ends and giving me a head/neck/shoulders ache. I like having long hair, but for goodness sake, all things must be done with moderation. It has been nearly a year since my last trim and I am looking more and more Pentecostal by the second. All I need is a calf-length denim skirt, athletic socks and white off-brand sneakers and I could start a whole new life weaving baskets, speaking in tongues, rearing 13 children and whatever the heck else Pentecostals do in their odd lives. In addition to the out-of-control length, I have some weird little layers growing in the topfront — something I had read about happening after you have a baby. I don’t know why it happens, but believe you me, it does.

In short, I need my hair to be cut.

I have have terrible anxiety when I think about visiting salons. Stylists don’t ever seem to understand what I want and don’t want. For example, they often seem to interpret my “I would like my hair to look similar to this [holds up printed photo example that took 7 hours of Web browsing to find] with a few small layers here [pointing], here [pointing], and here [pointing]. Please cut up into, instead of straight across, the bottom of my hair so that it doesn’t look so awkward and blunt at the ends” to mean “Please make me look like a rooster-Zombie with bedhead.” Granted, I have kind of weird hair, but, in my opinion, the gals with the scissors should know how to do things right. My hair is difficult because it is super fine, and grows really thick and strong in the back, but thin in the front and on the sides. I guess I just have the girl-version of my Wood-family’s “M-forehair hairline.” Stylists don’t seem to know what to do with my thininfront/thickinback hair, so they do their best to screw up my entire head so that the horror is at least even. The worst cut I ever got happened when I was a teenager in Alabama. I wanted to keep it long but have the same cool layers that I saw on lots of other heads. I received three different hairstyles that day– I had a bowl-cut on top (this was the thickest part), a very average kindergarten-style shoulder-length thing happening in the middle, and something similar to Lord of the Rings character Gollum’s hairstyle plaguing my mid-back (wispy and creepy — you know the type). I went in the bathroom and cried big sobby mylifeisover teenager tears. My Mom and sister came in to comfort me and assure me that it looked “*gulp* great,” but mirrors don’t lie. I knew I looked horrendous. That was one of the first times I remember going to a “professional” for a haircut, as well as the last time I could breathe the smell of hair chemicals without having an anxiety attack.

My favorite  profesh haircut happened right before my wedding. Thank goodness for Tiffany, the best stylist in the world. She “got” how my hair grows and worked magic on it. It was super long and healthy, but it also had dimension and intrigue. It was great. Good timing too! For however much I hated my sinful threesome notstyle nightmare, I wouldn’t have traded the timing of my best and worst haircuts for anything.

Most of my life my Mom just trimmed my hair. She always did a good job. The only problem with having her cut it was that she fought me every snip of the way (don’t deny it, Mom!). My hair could be dragging in the street and she would respond with “ohhhh, really? It looks so pretty long!” if I asked her to trim it. These trims would often take a really long time since she would cut a 16th of an inch at a time. “More? WELL! Why don’t you just shave your head?”  But again, she did a good job and I was always grateful for the trim. The last few times I’ve been home, my sister and I have taken turns trimming each other’s hair. This has worked out pretty well, since Kacy does a nice job too.

I could really go for a nice Mom or sister cut now. Too bad I’m a bjillion miles away. There are salons everywhere, but I have enough anxiety about going into a salon where I know the stylists speak English. I picture myself dying from anxiety while trying to explain to a Swiss stylist how my hair grows unevenly. To make matters worse, I would then have to attend my OWN funeral looking like I walked too close to a helicopter.

All of that to say… I’m working up the courage to cut my hair myself. I have watched some youtube tutorials and spent a lot of time in front of the mirror practicing with my fingers in a open-shut-peace-sign. I am writing this partly because my hair is weighing so heavily on my mind (literally), and partly to help myself commit to the decision to cut my own hair.

Any final words of advice? Don’t tell me not to do it, because I have made my decision. The worst that could happen is that I mess it up so badly I am forced to shave my head… which is actually really bad. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen!

Mother knows breast

29 Jun

Jeesh. My Friday morning was far more nipply than I’m used to.

Asher is growing and changing and not nearly as interested in breastfeeding as he used to be. I never had any intention of breastfeeding until he’s 30, or even 3, as is a trend. But I assumed we would continue until he is at least 1, since that seems to be best for babies. The way things are going, though, this may not happen. As any parents knows – If baby don’t wanna et, baby ain’t gonna et. I contacted La Leche League International with a few questions and was put into contact with a very helpful lady who lives right in our neighboring village. She addressed my questions and invited me to her monthly LLL meeting. I accepted her invitation and went this morning.  I guess it’s been a while since I’ve been around many people, so I forgot how awkward some moms can be.

As soon as I got there I realized that Asher and I were over-dressed, since we were dressed. I was greeted at the door by a half-undressed woman who was cradling a naked suckling toddler.

…Okay. Not my thing, but okay. Let me just throw out there that I’m not “weird” about breastfeeding. I’m really not. I could care less when I see a woman bf-ing in public or when I do it. It ain’t no thang, right? Well… to be quite honest, it is a bit more awkward for me when the toddler (not infant) who is bf-ing is completely nude and stretching that little a-cup into a bendy, pencil-wide straw so she can look around while feeding. (Seriously. Have you ever seen a boob with a right angle? As of this morning, I have.) The little girl climbed down after a while for some naked rocking horse time (no Asher, no turn for you… don’t touch it… that seat was in a buttcrack taco 15  seconds ago), followed up by some naked scone-eating and tea-drinking. Then she followed that up with a nice naked walk outside to  play, naked, with her the guinea pigs. The child’s mother (the LLL representative) had shorts and a semi-sleeveless shirt on aaaaaaaand apparently doesn’t believe in shaving. I know this is true because of the crazy things I saw happening on her legs and in her pits (thank goodness the shorts were long, I was thankful not to see the furry condition of her upper thi…oh jeez. I just imagined it on accident).

So we talked about breastfeeding for a while. We talked about La Leche League and how it came to Switzerland. And “we” were sure to mention every attachment-parenting cliche, just so we were all on the same self-righteous page. I was surprised to learn that Asher sleeping in his own bed is a disadvantage. I guess if I were a good mother I would kick Phil out of the bed until I am ready to make another baby… ? Silly me!

So much for that. I wonder what they thought about Asher’s little collared shirt and wallaby shoes. Is it weird that I put clothes on him? Is it weird that I wore clothes? If I stop shaving now and drink lots of hair-growing espresso, I may be ready to bare all to next month’s meeting.

Okay, okay – I feel the need to mention that I am not complaining. I’m just laughing to myself as I write this stuff – my attempt to share some of the odd details of my morning. Though it was not my typical idea of “fun,” it was nice to get out and converse with people a bit (even if I did have to hold back a laugh now and then, hahahaha). The lady was very nice and I may go again next month in an attempt to meet more people (most of the ladies who usually go were home with sick babies).

…or maybe I’ll be busy.