Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Nudge

I'm sitting here researching new diets. And eating nachos. It's 2:55 in the morning and Amelia's having a dance party in the living room. I polish off the nachos and raid the pantry, but it's barren from my last new diet.  Damn.

Since I'm sitting out this Mickey tango, I'm binge-reading mommy blogs and trying to understand the mindset of these women:

These first few years go so fast...Blink your eyes and they're grown (I can't blink my eyes right now because they are too swollen from lack of sleep)....Put down your cell phone and read your child 327 books...Remove all television sets from your home and replace them with craft tables... 

Blah, blah, blah, blah. 

I get it ladies. The years fly by. But those twelve hours on a plane with a toddler? They don't.

You'll miss these days, their Dawn baby-soft hands gently type on the keyboard while their organically fed babies nap away the afternoon.

It's been less than 24 hours since we landed back in Switzerland, and already I'm forced to readjust to not only the time zone, but the culture.  Amelia went from eating a two-dollar hot dog at O'Hare Airport in Chicago to chanting, "salmon, salmon, salmon" at an overpriced Swiss restaurant all in the same day.  Forty-five dollars and a "hold the bearnaise sauce" later, my three-year-old was ready for two hours of sleep.

Correct.  You read that correctly.  She slept for two hours. Total.  And now here we are at three in the morning and I keep on reading that I should be savoring every minute of this.  Yeah, okay.  The only thing I'm savoring is this nacho.

I had every intention of sleeping through the night.  My feet swollen from the cramped airplane and a bruised forehead from where I walked into a wall, I hit my pillow and call it a night.  Until the dreaded nudge.

Now most of you moms know this nudge---it's the middle of the night, semi-gentle elbow to the ribs from your husband.  It's the "honey, I expect you to not only bear, incubate, deliver, and feed our child, but also to participate in her three a.m. circus. Oh, and could you please shut the door behind you?"

Ironically, it's also this same nudge that got me into this predicament in the first place.

So I'm stuffing my face and trying to figure out how this tiny human can manage on absolutely no sleep.  She's singing, she's dancing, she's talking a mile a minute about what she wants for next Christmas, and I'm watching the clock since you blogging mommies tell me that time flies.  I'm pretty sure it's in slow motion right now.

I finally get her back to sleep at five a.m., and just as I'm drifting off, I'm awakened to what sounds like a Clydesdale horse trotting around the house.  Turns out it's not a heavy footed stallion, but actually my well-rested husband, and he whistles his way out the door.

Amelia sleeps another three hours, and I get by on two pots of coffee and a whole lot of unconditional love for my husband's mini-me.  I love my life, my husband, my child, but I also feel no guilt in saying that I don't necessarily love these days.  In fact, I hope some of them do fly by.  My eyes can't handle the exhaustion, my brain can't handle the monotony, and my thighs sure as hell can't handle the nachos. 


Monday, March 2, 2015

Lions and Tigers and Balls, Oh My!

Nudity in Europe is like Taco Bell in America: it's cheap, it's everywhere, and it's somehow a combination of awesome and gross at the very same time. The spas, the pools, the art museums.  Switzerland even has "drive-in" prostitution sex boxes (pretty ironic for a country who can't seem to master the McDonald's drive thru).  I kid you not.  Google it. 

People and their nakedness are just accepted here. France gave Fifty Shades of Grey a PG12 rating, meaning thirteen-year-olds can see it! Nothing says bondage and whips like a giggling eighth-grader sitting next to you. 

Coming from a more clothed US, I cannot quite understand the acceptance of the birthday suit but the outright rejection of the frosted birthday cake. See, I'm the girl at the spa who wraps the XL beach towel over her one-piece bathing suit. I will never feel quite right about jiggling my lady bits in public places.

Once, when I was a young sixteen, very self-conscious yet in awe of myself and my new female curves, a very unfortunate occurrence happened to me that perhaps paved the way to my current state of mind. Alone in the locker room at the local YMCA one evening, I found myself solo in the showers.  I wrapped a towel tightly around my naked body and ventured into the changing area, slowing down a bit when I saw my reflection on the tinted glass door of the sauna room. I liked the way the shaded glass portrayed me---sort of like a filter in the pre-Instagram days. I glanced at my darkened reflection and decided to see if my hard work on the treadmill was paying off.  I opened the towel with a little shimmy and I posed for myself.  I then turned around to get a good view of my rear.  I may or may not have even done a little jiggle/sexy pout combo. When I turned back around to admire my front side once again, I stopped dead in my tracks as the sauna door opened.  As it would turn out, I was not alone in that locker room.  A shell-shocked, elderly woman stepped out of the sauna and glared at me. I had given her a private show through that glass door, and she not likey it.  She not likey it one bit.

I think that old bitty forever turned me off from nude beaches.  To this day, I can't walk around a locker room in anything other than a spacesuit. 

And yet I find myself here in Europe, where the boobs and the balls come buffet style.  Life has a funny sense of humor, does it not?

I walked past the undergarment section at the Manor the other day.  To you non-Swissies, the Manor is a respectable, upscale department store, comparable to a Neiman Marcus or Nordstroms.  There, hanging from the ceilings, were plastic chains connected to French copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, baskets of silk blindfolds, beaded whips, and fancy sex toys.  I blushed, then chuckled, then stared in horror as my three-year-old daughter grabbed onto a pearl G-string and said "this one's pretty, mama." 

I need to get back to the USA.  I need some Taco Bell.