Around Germany

I promise you things are not normal in Germany.  I assume you’ve all given up on me, thinking Sawyer changed me in such a manner that I don’t have anything absurd to report on, and by absurd, I mean the normal, outlandish things that use to happen to me, not absurd in my new daily, why is my son shitting like a grown man, type way.

But seriously, he is and it is awful.  How can a tiny body taking in only milk shit a pound of black clay like fireworks out every open centimeter not closed with a button, zipper or baby straight jacket contraption?  I think he’s a fucking magician, which is why I sometimes call him Baby Blaine.

Anyway, on to the non-gross.  In order to assure you it’s business as usual over here, let’s discuss an encounter I had this morning.

Mornings are pretty standard these days.  Leave house, drop the Mr. off at work, drop The Destroyer off at daycare, park the car, carry 90 bags containing numerous pumps, tube top looking bras, snacks, piles of paper, stuffed animals, dirty tissues and baby ass cream into the office.  Half that stuff is unneccessary for the office but somehow finds its way into my purse.  I tried buying wine at the store this weekend and pulled out a half eaten cucumber using for teething and a block that had been torn to shreds by Bull.  What the fuck.  Life changes.

So this morning, I’m using five extra minutes of my day to stop and get gas before dropping off Sawyer and as required by law, I haul his chubby ass out of the back of the car and into the store, even though it will take me five seconds to pay for gas and he’s happily asleep in the car.  Seriously, while I recognize in THEORY you don’t want anyone kidnapping your child/hitting your car and your child/other random awful things happening to your child left in a car, some rules of parenting are bullshit.  At the very least, every establishment in life should just have a door person that stands there and keeps an eye on all the windows in case of baby or dog in car emergencies.  Would save me and the world 90 million minutes dragging in carriers and diaper bags and strollers bigger than fucking smart cars.

So we’re safe and sound in the store and I’m trying to decide between a pack of tic tacs and a chocolate croissant when I hear a faint noise, a familiar hissing I get often, yet the sound grows in volume and gets closer and before I can even turn around, I know there is some miserable and judgy bitch waiting behind me to let it be known that she is not happy with something I’ve done.  Well, I’m already fucking caffinated and I didn’t have my daily car fight with the Mr. and so I surely have some aggression to take out on a stranger and so I turn around with my eyebrows already raised to be clear that if there was going to be another hiss out of that stupid mouth, I’d be hissing in English right back at her.

“Yes?” I was just entertaining her.  Eyebrows were fucking cap locked up like you wouldn’t believe.

Judgy German bitch, over 50, magenta bowl cut hair: More hissing, and waving her hand aggressively over Sawyer.

Now I was going to assume she had some judgement on his outfit or his demeanor and not that she was doing voodoo shit with her hands, but honestly, I don’t know.

“What?” Stated flatly, and then I gave her a fucking shoo yourself away motion.  She was two seconds away from getting a swift slap to her wrist.

“Schuhe, schuhe.”  She was pointing at his feet frantically.  Sawyer wasn’t wearing shoes.  He wasn’t wearing shoes not because it was a Monday.  Not because he doesn’t have any.  Not because I was lazy or running late.  He wasn’t wearing shoes because I fucking hate shoes.  The Mr. hates shoes.  We all hate shoes.  He kicks them off whenever he wears them and to be honest, there’s so fucking snow on the ground, which is the only qualifier in my family for wearing shoes.

“He doesn’t need shoes,” I started in.

“Yes! Kinder need shoes.”  Oh, well fancy that, she knows herself some broken English and she’s full of worthless opinions.

“No.  He doesn’t, so shut up.”

“Bitte?” She sounded breathless and horrified that I just told her to shut up.  Also, I fucking hate that when Germans say What? They say, Please?  Please nothing.  Please explain yourself maybe.  Please itself just sounds stupid.

SHUUUUUUUUT UP.  Jesus.  You know Jesus?  Jesus didn’t fucking wear any shoes and people loved him.  Jesus NEVER wore shoes.  So. SHUT UP. SHUT YOUR MOUTH.”  I made sure to say SHUT UP really slowly, dragging out the words and staring her in the eye in a way that hopefully scared her into a heart attack.  I also clarified and added “shut your mouth” in case this was one of those annoying cases where she would look up and expect to see something closed.  Translating can be so tedious sometimes.

And then she just stared at me with her stupid mouth open, probably not understanding how I found a way to compare my shoeless child to Jesus.  Or probably because she didn’t know what the hell I had said.

Either way, I won.

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Fighting Germans, the parking space edition.

“What’s the phrase, Mind your own FUCKING business, in German?” I asked my coworker.

“We don’t have that phrase.”  Of course you don’t.  I have never met a country full of such nosey people and tattle tales, and you don’t have a phrase for something so important.

“Just tell me how to say MIND.YOUR.OWN.BUSINESS.”  Seems simple enough.

“That would mean, take care of your store.”  Oh for fucks sake.  MUST WE BE SO LITERAL???  Then again, that makes sense and I don’t want to be caught shrieking to anyone about watching over their store if I’m trying to tell them to keep their eyes and judgement off me.

“No.  Not that.  I need something insulting and mean that says STOP LOOKING AT ME, GERMAN.  I gave this motion the other day,” I stopped to run my pointer finger across my throat, “and it seemed a bit too much.”  He looked at me and leaned back in his chair to think.  My coworker is a German, I forgot to mention.  He’s now a Floridian as well, though, so it makes him a weird German, one who at least entertains my yelling in the office about his kind, and it’s a bonus that he doesn’t offend easily.

“We do have the letters F and U in our alphabet, you know.  Try those.  Or try using one of your fingers, your choice which one.”  Mmmm, not effective enough, I thought.

“No.  I want something they’ll understand.  Something that makes me sound like I’m an angry German yelling at them.  You would not believe the bullshit the other day I had to deal with.  There I was, parked in the fucking Mutter und Kind spot at the store, MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS, seriously, I was, and I told the Mr. to go on in and I’ll sit with Sawyer, which means I AM NOT VIOLATING THE LAW.  I am a mother.  There is a damned child in my car.  And everything is fine with this situation until some fat and nosey German man pulls into the 1 hour spot next to me and decides to look at me since I had my window down.”

My coworker knows very well what I’m getting at but he loves to see me get near breakdown about Germans.

“So then he COMES OVER TO MY WINDOW, wagging his goddamned finger like an idiot, and HE PRESSES HIS FUCKING FACE ON THE BACK WINDOW LOOKING FOR A CHILD.”

Nooooo, he’s doesn’t.” I feel like he’s just encouraging me at this point but now I’m yelling.

“Yes! Yes he does!  And my window is tinted so his face is jammed up on my window and I’m in the window in front of him with the window down yelling, WHAT IS HE DOING? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? OHMYGODOHMYGOD I’m going to kill someone.  ANd he’s just there, with his big face, making a tsk tsk noise at me as I scramble to find a hand gesture suitable and I can’t slit my own throat because that might be a real death threat around here for you pathetic insult rule lovers and I don’t know if the Italian flick of the chin is effective enough here and I know you people can report giving the finger and so I’m just waving my hands around near my chin and now my fingers are like scissors because I can’t decide whether or not to commit to using the middle one and all I yell is YOOOOOOOOU! which makes no sense to yell YOU at someone as they walk away.”

“So you want a phrase.”

“Yes. I want one insult phrase a day until someone fires me from this job.  I will promise to use them all.”

“Das geht inhnen nichts an.  Repeat it.”  I did.

“What’s it mean?” I asked, knowing the actual translation would mean nothing to me.

“Nothing going on is of yours.”  The Google says it means, This goes to you nothing.

“And it’ll work? If I yell it and use an accent full of spit?”

“Yes.  But we understand F you, too.”

Mmmmm.  We’ll see, silly Floridian German.  We’ll see.

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A little off the top…

A friend reminded me yesterday that my life has become nothing but babies.  My fb page, my non-existent blog, my conversations, my pictures.  And while I’m mostly fine with that, it was a great reminder that I can still write a story now and then that’s inappropriate and comical, even if it is about babies.  Better, I suppose, than writing stuff about babies that isn’t funny, and plenty of people are already boring the world with that.

So.  Here’s an update I’m sure you’ve been waiting for.

I STILL CANNOT FIND ANYONE TO SNIP MY SON.  He is still sporting a hood, something I’ve been telling him every morning is VERY European of him, mostly because I don’t know when he’d start to get a complex about it, and I’m sure he will, I know I would if my bits came with their very own hide and seek game piece.  I also tell him he’ll be a great footballer one day.  I figure all Euro footballers have hoods and they’re still sexy and all of this is sure to boost his tiny, 4 month ego.

I’ve consulted friends and they’ve provided a few contacts here and there, mostly doctors in Berlin or some nearby, all of which ask you wait until the child is after 6 months for a little off the top.  I’m not a goddamned pain management specialist but I do know Sawyer lost his fucking shit the other day when I, pretending to gobble up his toes, displayed poor self-control and in a moment of excited playtime, accidentally chomped a bit on his footsie.  That little accident, which I’ll note that I think he was being dramatic about, cost me four minutes of anxiety stricken, bloody murder screaming, with a glimmer of Real Tears, all for basically NOTHING because while if he could talk he’d probably say I chomped, I feel like it was more of a teeth drag over his toes.  And there were no marks, I’ll add.  No marks.

And this country wants me to cut off the tip of my son’s baby maker with NO sedation, anesthetic, penis numbing solution, or whatever it is they’re doing these jobs with these days.  I asked if we could just get some Novocaine and use that, because I’d feel ok with that, considering every time I get a swipe of that to the gums my entire face is paralyzed for 16 hours.  I was told no.

I asked my sister, who is supposed to be the ring leader of baby factory workers, to get one of her Pedes friends to do me a solid and agree to a snip session while I was home and was denied, which is outrageous, really.  She defended the decision (which I know she didn’t even ask for an appointment in the first place) by claiming snipping after the first day is inhumane and basically saying with her eyes that I am a terrible person for wanting to cut off the hood at 3 months.  WELL WELL WELL WELL AMERICAN PEDIATRICS SOCIETY OF SMALL PENISES, I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS.  I must.  I must for the sake of all future potentially awkward sexual encounters, showering incidents and for the basic fact that I find having to practice saying to my son, “I think you just peel it back, like a banana, and get in there good with a wash cloth” fucking revolting and probably the worst talk ever you could have to have with someone.

Then I was told by my German vagina doctor that I have to remember that circumcision has been outlawed here for something like 50 or a million years and people just started doing it again, so I should keep in mind that most doctors choose not to do this because 1. they are not trained to and 2. they don’t want to screw anything up even if they have been trained and most refuse.

First of all, who knows why it was outlawed but I assume I can find my answer somewhere in the book of rules, maybe under “der Geächtete zu entfernen Hauben in Deutschland für keinen guten Grund viel wie jedes andere Gesetz im Land” which is my translation for The outlaw of hood removal in The Fatherland for no good reason, much like every other law in the land.  It probably says, The law of taking off sweatshirts, which is somewhat similar in translation I imagine.  Or not.

Either way, I shake my head, not even knowing where to begin with why these people think it is their business to make such a decision.  Zeeeeee HOODS REMAIN! someone must have shouted one day, and because all Germans must be the same, they all shook their heads, signed their names at the rathaus and just like that, helmets were outlawed.

She did note that there is still a slight chance, as there are two types of doctors in the area that will do it, and she said all this with a straight face.

1. A muslim doctor.  I’m pretty sure a google search isn’t going to help me with that.

2. A Jewish doctor over the age of 70 that would have experience before it was outlawed.

Seriously?  These people make it so easy sometimes.

A qualified German doctor, Jewish, over the age of 70.  Let’s just stop there.  I have a better chance of finding a fucking midget riding a unicorn in the woods than finding this.

So many exciting things in one picture.

And so I tell the Mr. all this and he declares,  “We’ll go to France!  We’ll pack up the car, Sawyer, the dogs, and we’ll make a road trip to France and we’ll find someone.  We’ll find someone there and we’ll make a weekend of it.”  And somehow I was tricked into thinking this would be a lovely trip over the border, filled with cheeses and wines and stationary and French accents and a quick sniparoo and we’re done! Just like that.  How quaint, how romantic, how very French of us for smuggling our family across the border for an afternoon circumcision.  I have no idea if the French even cut hoods.  I imagine not. I imagine they would support the hood, claiming it adds to the ambiance of their aggressive and passionate love making.  The French are such egotistical dicks like that.

Also I have no idea where he got this French idea but we haven’t tried it.  Yet.

His next idea was to make a man event of it.  “We’ll go, me, Sawyer and the guys!  We’ll go and make an event of it with cigars and whiskey and we’ll celebrate!”  The only thing missing from that plan was some hookers and someone getting arrested at the end of the night.  Because that would happen and off I’d go to get my husband and my tiny son from jail.

So yeah.  I think the hood will stay put.

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Oh, how things have changed.

People ask me all the time how life is different with Sawyer.

I find this question absurd.

I had a child slowly wiggle his way out of my vagina for thirty hours, his head serving as a plug for an hour straight.  HAVE YOU SEEN THE SIZE OF MY CHILD’S HEAD?  I haven’t slept in four months.  I was previously incapable of dressing myself most days and now I can get the whole household ready, fed, tend to a dairy farm and then spend 8 hours training animals at the circus. I am super human.

I smell like breast milk and urine most of the time. I am happy and content. I spend my daydreams envisioning a line of clothing made only of stretchy fabric with the strength of spanx and the softness of down feathers.  Screaming children don’t make me stabby.  I shop for hip onesies, not lounge wear. Selfies are more fun with a baby. I eat less pizza and more flax seed, brewers yeast and oatmeal.  I have more patience than I knew was possible but zero tolerance for things and people who I don’t have time for.  I don’t sleep in until 11. I am stronger than I realized, and just a look or a glimmer of a tear from my son can ruin me.   I am less selfish.  I understand the notion of empty tube sock tits.  I sing made up songs. I have a nose for poo like you wouldn’t believe.  I listen to things on a quieter volume.  I still eat cookies every day.

I am less vain. I’d pick ginger ale over white wine every day.  Yes, I just said that. I say stuff like, did he just shit out the ankle of his pants?   I am apparently a role model for all of those who thought they never wanted to be a parent, or at least a very good example of, Fuck, if she can do it, WE CAN DO IT.  I wash my hands a lot.  I admire my ankles.  I miss my father more.  I can do anything, and I mean anything, one handed. Happy hours are now bath times.  I read  I can operate an electric pump in a closet, in the dark.  I am easier on myself.

And I love my son more than I’ve ever loved anything on earth.  Ever.  Times eight trillion.

In summary, I’m a lot more this.

Than this.

And I’m pretty happy about that.




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Life as an accidental racist

Today my sister basically called me racist, and not even in a shocked manner, more like, there you go again being inappropriate, type way.  I’ll assume it’s because I told her to stop showing me her thick prego legs, though she’ll claim it’s not to get back at me but it’s merely her duty as a responsible citizen or something.

“Why do you call Sawyer Beaner?” she asked, which I thought was a bit overdue considering I’ve referred to him twice in two weeks as Beaner and not one person had asked why.

“Beaner.  Sawyer.  Soy bean.  Bean.  Beaner.”  It actually makes no sense but that’s the logic behind it.  For some reason, Soy bean is the nickname most people give Sawyer, one  I swore I’d never use. Soy bean?  That is so stupid, I thought. But then you actually become a parent and almost all the things you said you’d never do, you are doing them, including smudging dirt off his face with your thumb, licking his pacifier and thinking red hair is cute.

“You know Beaner is something people call Mexicans.”  Mmmm.  Beaners?  Because they are in love with the bean, pinto, refried or otherwise?  I love refried beans myself but even I wouldn’t consider that a good enough reason to call them Beaners.

“No, I was not aware of that and you think we’re calling him a Mexican?”  It amazes me how she came to that conclusion and never bothered to think twice to ask 1. if that is what we did in nicknaminghim or 2. what’s wrong with us.  If my own sister has no faith in my ability to be a normally functioning and not racist part of society, I doubt the rest of the world has a better impression.

I obviously need this poster now.

So after consulting The Facebook, my favorite source of gossip, news and answers to life’s tough questions, a friend points out this from Wiki, my second favorite source of Everything I Believe to Be True:

Beaner is a slang term, widely regarded as derogatory, that refers to Mexicans or also to Hispanic people in general, used too for Hispanic-ancestry’s people.[1][2][3] The term originates from the prevalence of pinto beans and other beans in Mexican cuisine.[3][4]

According to The Historical Dictionary of American Slang, the word was first seen in print in 1965, although the term has reportedly been in use at least since the 1940s (perhaps having evolved from previous slurs such as “bean-eater” and “bean-bandit” that were in use since as far back as the 1910s.) [1]

Although the word is generally considered pejorative, its usage is not always overtly offensive and can be fairly benign depending on the context (similar to the term “frog” for a French person.) Though perhaps once considered strictly offensive, it appears that the term may be going through a phase of melioration, where the negative connotation of an ethnic slur is “reclaimed” by those against whom it is directed and used in a neutral or even positive manner.[1]

Which only reminded me that I think calling someone French and Frog or a German a Kraut is so unoriginal.  There are so many valid reasons to mock people of every culture.  It seems so JV to stop merely at a popular food.

Which led me to remember that I really haven’t ever looked up Cracker, which I’ve never been called myself, and I always assumed originated with some sort of generalization that the white trash of Americans ate saltines or some other cracker.  Did you know, though, that Cracker, or Cracka Ass Cracker, as Chris Rock says it better and with more zest, actually has nothing to do with saltines and more so with whips whipped by slave drivers and that you probably won’t even be called a Cracker unless you’re from Florida or Georgia, which after reading this, I’d say I have to agree, Floridians and Georgians especially deserve to be called something.  Actually, toss in the rest of the southern states while you’re at it.

But back to what I was originally being called a racist for.  No, no, I’m not calling Sawyer a Mexican.


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Life update: I’ve survived ten weeks of parenting.

And that is one, giant and fantastic accomplishment, considering this is a picture of what happened after I tried to figure out my Moby wrap for twenty-two minutes one handed a few weeks ago.

New parent win.

Yes, I safety pinned that shit.  Seriously.  No one has time or the ability to figure out a Moby wrap when home alone, sleep deprived, hangry as all get out, having to pee, with a shrieking child that needs to have the cry walked out of him.

A better view of my superb parenting skills and common sense.

The second picture is primarily to point out how much damned fabric is involved in that contraption, not to point out that Sawyer is shrieking and flopping around like an angry fish on land.  In my defense, so you’re not fearful or getting on the horn with child services, my child is not only alive still, he has not been dropped, given milk poisoned by wine or rolled onto during nap time and he’s fantastic, probably the smartest child on earth and super “healthy”, as one store keeper put it.  Seriously, after taking one look at his round face she exclaimed, “Ohhhh, isn’t he adorable and JUST.SO.HEALTHY?”  Mmmmm. I never thought to use healthy in place of robust myself but yes, that little word swap works.

So Sawyer.  Sigh.  My little gum drop.  Yes, I just said my little gum drop.  I know.  I don’t know who the fuck I am anymore, either.  I used to hate people that posted pictures of their children on fb.  Take a look at mine.  I used to despise people that sent updates out about their kids.  My family receives a Sawyer newsletter regularly.  I used to look at pictures of other people’s kids and want to drown my boredom in wine.  I used to think to myself, I would rather fucking die a slow painful death at the hands of angry bees than watch videos of people’s children.  Last night I watched this little girl discover rain for the first time and almost cried out of pure happiness.  

Cried.  Yea, I’ve lost my damned mind.

And now this week, I’m going back to work for the first time in 11 weeks.   I am so dreading work.  I am so dreading leaving the tiny one all day.  I am so dreading dealing with shit that isn’t nearly as important to me as it used to be.

I’m sure I’ll get over it.  I’m sure life will return to normal.  I’m sure everything will be just fine.

Or, and maybe better yet, I’m going to get all Licia Ronzulli on my coworkers.  Don’t know who Ms. Ronzulli is?  She’s an Italian Member of the EU Parliament.  And she brings her adorable and well behaved daughter to work.

Licia Ronzulli is bad ass.

First of all, if that woman can do a bit of mothering while casting a vote or two, I could do it while typing a few reports.  I wouldn’t really consider bringing Sawyer to meetings, even though he’d be one of the more interesting participants attending by far most days.  And truthfully, I imagine no one would even notice, considering it did take my bosses two full weeks to notice I moved my desk last year.  Further, I do sit in the basement by myself.  I will have the excuse of milking my chest regularly as the excuse to have no one visit.  And honestly, most people would probably just expect it from me anyway.

Plus, if it’s good for Parliament, it’s probably good for our office.  In fact, it would probably make us the new standard of offices, which would make me some sort of Ambassador to Improved Work Spaces.  Sound the trumpets.  Add it to my resume.

Yep.  I bet they are going to be thrilled to have me back.


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