Sunday, November 15, 2009
Being a parent requires that you become familiar with other people's poop. VERY familiar. Once my husband actually had to help one along from an extremely constipated toddler. He will probably die of embarrassment when he reads that I am posting this on the internet. Sorry dear, I love you.
Why do I feel compelled to tell these tales of feces? Because frankly, they make life hilarious, sorta. Usually, they are not funny in the moment, but become hysterical with the passage of time! Everytime I fart, my 2 year old asks me if I pooped. "Mommy poop"? "No dear, Mommy just farted". A typical exchange in our household. I began thinking a lot about just how prevalent poo is a part of our everyday dialog last night when I was baking our 1 year old's first birthday cake. Why? I'll get to that. The Birthday cake was 18 days belated, I know, some Mom. I told you I don't have much time! This was my second attempt at baking this cake. Funny, I baked this same cake multiple times last year - and never had a problem. Suddenly, I have a second child, and BAM!, I suck as a baker. Such is life.
First attempt at Chocolate Birthday Cake (only 2 days belated):
We had a kid's Halloween party to go to the morning before Halloween. I was feeling fairly unstoppable - so I thought, "I will bake a Ruby Red Plum Upside Down Cake to take to the party, and since I have time I will bake the chocolate layers for Baby's birthday cake too"! The Plum cake was a disaster - which I didn't discover until I took a bite of it at the party. The horror! Toting a failed culinary experiment to a party, with real live humans there to taste! Before I left the party, best believe, I dumped it in the trash. Hazardous waste - as far as the Germans are concerned. My thoughts exactly.
Moving on. Baked the chocolate cake before going to the party. Each layer separately, because that is all my tiny German convection oven will accomodate. Everything seemed to be going well. However, I think I left them in the pans too long to cool. Because when I flipped them to remove from the pans, they wouldn't come out. I even tried coaxing them out with a sharp knife along the edge. The cake decided it was in love with the pan - and was never leaving it. Despite the greasing with butter, and dusting it, ever so lovingly with flour. UUUGH, why? Why I ask you, did I not line the bottom with Parchment paper? I have no idea, perhaps I was feeling a bit cocky. The cake was a failure. It tasted delicious, stuck to the bottom of the pan in all of it's glory. Would have made an excellent parfait, but I couldn't bear to look at it any longer.
Second attempt at baking birthday cake (18 days belated):
This time I was sure to use Parchment paper. First layer was a dream. Second layer sure to be the same. But then I got caught up on the phone w/Mom. I didn't set a timer. Dummy, tempting fate. DH opened the oven, and smoke billowed out. Yep, burnt to a crisp. How irratating. Made a new batch of cake batter. This time I was going to bake one big replacement layer, and 2 small heart shaped cakes. One for each of my offspring. Well, the heart pans were new, springform pans. They leaked all over the bottom of the oven. I smelled something burning, and thought, "No way, those cakes have not been in long enough to burn". I saw the chocolate mess on the oven floor, that would continue to be a menace if I did not swiftly remove. So, I scraped the burnt chocolate cake bits onto the floor, as they were piping hot. Toddler walks in to kitchen, and very nonchalantly asks me if I pooped on the floor. Oh, if it were only that simple!
As much as I do not want to bore you with elaborations on some of our other "crappy" stories. I can't possibly leave this one out. One extremely challenging day, Aidan's bowel movement made it's way out of his diaper. He is really in to taking off his diaper the minute it is soiled as of late. Potty training is imminent, we're working on it. I took notice of this as a log was flying through the air. Most of the time I can intercept this action, but 4 whatever reason, on this particular day, I could not. Sophie (the dog) ate it....YUCK, YUCK, TRIPLE YUCK! She is 6 years old, and has never done that before. While I was trying to do damage control with some butt wipes, 2 year old was brushing my hair with the used toilet wand that came with our German Haus...and we all know where that has been.
Getting your hands dirty, (or carpet, or hair), comes with the territory. I have embraced this. File away these stories until they become funny, and tell myself that I will not be wiping other people's asses 4ever.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
There probably isn't a word for a messy house in the German language. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I get the feeling that the Germans just don't make messes. They sweep their sidewalks...DAILY!!! When we moved in - my husband and I joked that all of our German neighbors were saying, "Americans just moved in - there goes the village".
This leaves me feeling like the lazy American neighbor that does not have the time to rake the insane amount of leaves that are taking up residence in the public alley/walkway next to our haus. The German Frau that lives on the other side of the alley actually sweeps only her side of the alley. Hilarious. She also tries to peddle her homemade candles and cards on me - that are quite pricey for the old lady set...but that is beside the point. There simply isn't enough time in the day for daily raking between the diaper changing, mountains of laundry, kid-friendly meals, Play Doh sessions, crafting, cleaning, etc.
Basically I am a hausfrau (housewife in German), stay-at-home-Mom (SAHM), Army wife, living in Germany, that has difficulty keeping it all together. I know, you think to yourself, (unless of course, you are also a SAHM)...how can a woman who stays home all day long not have any time? I often ask myself the same question. Some nights, I don't even get dinner on the table. I don't mean to complain. Really, I don't. I am a very happy woman, wife, mother. I guess, the big issue, the reason for this blog - is that I have never been unemployed until these gestational and child-rearing years, and that makes me a little uneasy. I like working. I miss working. Working gives women like myself a sense of purpose. The grass is always greener, I know. I just need to remind myself that I cannot ever get these early years back with my children. As hectic as it may feel at times, I love being home, watching them grow. They, along with my husband, are the best things that ever could have happened to my life.