Friday, August 29, 2008

You Know, One Day I May Just Figure This Out. Not Today, Though.

I think it's part of normal human psychology to think, "Hey! I think I'm getting the hang of this!" just to keep you from spiraling into a pit of despair, even though you really have no clue as to what you are doing. Not that a little positive thinking doesn't hurt, but it can sometimes cause to feel a bigger disappointment at your shortfalls, if and when they rear their faces. Thursday wasn't a total disappointment of a day, but I did make an unintelligent assumption about Meg's school and got a little bitter taste of how lost I really am because of the language barrier.

The paperwork that was given to us when we enrolled Megan at school was all in Dutch- no surprise there, it's a Dutch public school. They had given us a few basic pieces of information (school starts at 8:30, lunch is at 12 noon, Wednesday school is out at 12:15, Friday at 12 noon, etc) and we told them that if we had other questions along the way that we would ask. Tuesday I picked Megan up at noon, as she had no lunch packed, Wednesday at 12:15 and yesterday I showed up at 1:15- the only other time printed in the school documentation about school times.

Megan's teacher and class looked totally surprised to see me, and Megan ran to me and said, "Mama! You're late." I told her I was right on time, as I had waited around outside for her for about 5 minutes and finally went into the school building to get her at 1:15 right on the dot. I told her to go shake her teacher's hand, and then we would leave. Megan lept at Luz and hugged her (which I thought was so dear, and so did Luz it appears) and Luz said, "Going already?" I must have looked totally lost, and she continued, "Lunch was at 12 o'clock. Are you running late?" I replied that I was picking her up at 1:15 like the paperwork told me to, and then looked at all the other children - they were sitting in their circle, it looked like they were getting ready to do some more learning. Luz gently informed me that school is not out until 3:15 normally, but since Megan saw me already that she could go. Ugh, I felt like a total buffoon- I assumed that school was part-time for some reason. I had even spent part of the morning online, translating the text from some of the paperwork they gave us to better understand it. I know it's only been a week, but I wish speaking Dutch was as communicable as the common cold.

Not All Bad, Though...
Meg and I returned home, and while we were fixing a snack (she loves the young Edam cheese I got at the market! yahoo!) we got a video call from our friend Jesse- it was 2pm our time, which was 7am Houston; watching him yawn and wake up was more evidence why the 1-3pm time frame is so difficult for Megan and I, we're not morning people. After a good 10-15 minute talk with Jess, Megan and I had a snack, tinkered around on the computer, then went outside to practice riding the bicycle the neighbor loaned to us. No training wheels. She'll get it, I think, but training wheels will help- one more thing to look for at next Wednesday's market.

We spent a good portion of the afternoon working around the house, cleaning (she calls this "playing orphan" thanks to the movie Annie, and twice I had to stop her from wringing out a soaking wet rag on the wood floor), and then inspiration struck me on a project we could work on together that would help her bide the time until all her toys arrived in October. We are taking the giant box (200cm X 80cm) that's in the extra room and turning it into a doll house. I got a few rough plans drawn, with some input on what sorts of rooms and things she would want, and have an exoskeleton sitting upright now, waiting for tape or glue or something to hold it together so I can continue construction. With the camera being powerless, it was nice to have an outlet for some creativity!

Almost Like Home
We had hot dogs (well, the closest I could find to hot dogs) for dinner last night, and Meg did pretty well. They were butcher-produced, not machine produced, so the casing was a little thicker than she's used to (it crunched a little when bitten) but she ate the entire thing and reaped her reward- a big glass of Chocomel. I had one, too, along with a few mini-stropwaffel. Let me describe Chocomel: take a pint of Dutch Chocolate ice cream and let it melt. Yep, that about does it. It will be going in my coffee most mornings from now on.

Kip worked late last night, we're coming up on the end of the month hedge roll which is his busiest time (he expects to be at work until midnight or later on Friday). We had to busy our evening without him, which is not totally unfamiliar, what with being without him all of last week in the US. Meg took a hot bath and when she was putting on her pajamas, the computer rang again- this time it was Aunt Kristi and Jack! We had a few technical difficulties, but we got to see them and they could see and hear us- it was great to do a little catch up and have the kids shout greetings to one another.

Tomorrow is an early dismissal day, I made sure to double-check, and Fridays are 12 noon school endings- I think Meg and I will run into town to get some supplies for doll-house construction and maybe cook some burgers for dinner. Cooking makes such a difference- food has less of a foreign feel when you make it yourself, even if the ingredients are not what you're used to.

PS- Kip got an electrical converter at the airport tonight, now I can charge my camera battery and upload! This blog will start to take on some character soon!


Kathryn said...

BOO!! I want to video call you, too!! I love the blog updates, but I miss your smiling faces - I might have to set a visitation schedule with the Yoburns...

Anonymous said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.