It seems earth’s magnetic field will flip itself before I will be able to sit myself down and write an entry. When I toss through my mental rolodex of what I’ve done over the last two weeks, it baffles me that time goes so quickly and that my list of ‘to do’s isn’t depleted fast enough, AND that stores still sell rolodexes, (I checked). We are all settled in after being on our cruising holiday and aside from a substantial amount of cash missing from our possession to pay for the big boat, it’s as if we never left. The cruise was a blast and if you are traveling with little children and can stomach a swaying ship, then we highly recommend taking a cruise. Back in Milan now, Matlock (recall here why Dave will from now on be referred to as Matlock) is back at work, traveling and working hard so that our kids will not have to know the hardships that we were exposed to while growing up, such as the wobbly sound of your favorite mix tape as the batteries die in your walkman. The kids are back in school and Little Miss Stubborn is now going five days a week, mornings only, and I am flabbergasted with how fast her italian is improving. The Albino Hulk is going three mornings a week and letting him go was a bit tough for me because it signifies that ‘phase one’ of mothering both my monkeys is over. Post-partum ended over three years ago for me, but then I was still blissfully married to the fact that Little Miss Stubborn was only two and I had a new critter to take care of with eons of time ahead of me. Fast-forward over 1000 days later where they’re both in school, making friends, learning to read, draw, making messes, picking out their own clothing and boogers, and in the Albino Hulk’s case, allergic to the concept of sitting still. I’m still important and needed in their lives, but independence is starting to come through the cracks more strongly and I haven’t caught up emotionally yet. I looked at photos from our first few weeks here and it doesn’t even feel like that happened in this lifetime. The kids were tiny, and Milan’s streets, customs, and character were so foreign. I wish I could have kept all those emotions and experiences in glass jars like the BFG used to keep dreams. Alas, since I have hung up my fallopian tubes my plethora of pictures will have to suffice to keep me running without buckling.
Things are groovy here and chugging along in Milano-town. I shocked myself by uttering the words ‘allora’ the other day as I finished doing one task, sighed, and began thinking of what I had to do next. ‘Allora’ implies many things and italians use it like salt that they sprinkle into each of their conversations. It means ‘then’, ‘so’, ‘alrighty then…’, and pretty much anything else you want. If someone honked their horn every time an italian uttered the sacred six-lettered word, you’d think you were in a never-ending wedding celebration or a serious traffic jam. (In Italy however, it is impossible to differentiate these two events in an intersection without first looking for an assessment and hence, proper but tricky diagnosis). I celebrated this realization of beginning to think more often in the italian language by having Italy’s typical breakfast consisting of a brioche filled with chocolate.
That fateful breakfast event resulted in me signing up for a gym membership today and I snickered in my head as to how beaurucratic this nation really is. I can pay my monthly fee by credit card or by automatic withdrawals from my bank account. Allora, this sounds easy, but in order to allow the gym to have access to my bank account, I have to take an extensive form with me to my home bank branch and have a representative fill out the form themselves, which I’d then bring back. Naturally, I opted for the credit card. Also, my membership entitles me to access the gym only at certain hours of the day. If I attend the gym in the mornings, I pay a certain price but I must leave by noon. Should I attend in the evenings or afternoon, I pay a more expensive fee. If I want to come on weekends, it costs a little more. Lastly, before I am even allowed to set foot in the gym I must provide a medical clearance, stating I am fit enough to exercise. I can bring a friend to the gym to work out with me, but he or she must bring a doctor’s note with them indicating they are able to exercise and hence won’t pass out on a machine. Such an event would be dreadful because this disturbance would bleed into my exercise time and recall, I must leave the gym by noon. If these are the regulations at a gym, I cannot fathom the mass confusion at the government level in this nation, especially since confusion begins to accelerate the further south you go.
Anyways, I’m off to peruse kitchen chairs online because it’s time to spruce our place up. We’ve had our ikea chairs for over nine years which is an eternity for IKEA products. Then again, my parents have one or two items that are over 25 years old and are still standing like Elton John, so without a doubt, that is quite an achievement. I have figured out that if I ever have serious bouts of home sickness, all I have to do is go down to my local IKEA store because it truly is exactly like the one back home, minus all the italian being spoken around me. Anyways, before I go, I had troubles uploading photos in previous entries, so below is a mix of Milan and some pictures from the big boat. And GADZOOKS, my mental-rolodex has failed me-how could I forget to mention I have a new nephew! Sebastian was born two weeks ago and photos of him have been happily arriving in my email ever since. My rainbow turns a shade of gray every time I think about how long it will be before I see him. By the time I get to smother him in smooches, he will be long past the new-born clump of sweet mass that farts and spits up on your shoulder. No longer will he sleep with his fingers rolled into fists that only get stretched out when he yawns. When we meet, he will be into solid food already and diaper changes will be a different story and he will want to smother and chew all over the contents of my fake Prada purse. This onslaught of pictures of Sebastian has also made me flip through the heaps of photos of my guys right after birth and well, perhaps I can convince Matlock to unhang my corridors of fertility one more time. But, being realistic, something tells me I will have better luck teaching Luigi and all his people the magic of merging on the roads well before Matlock will say ‘as to wish’ to my emotional and roller-coaster requests to have a third kid. Below is an onslaught of photos. You’ve been warned.