The start of the new routine

This has been quite a week — actually… Wait. It hasn’t been a full a week yet. Has it really only been five days?!?  Why do I feel like there’s at least a month’s worth of small humiliations to record?

I think for the sake of posterity I feel the need to give a pretty detailed (read: long) post about the last two days of our first work week. If you’re only interested in the pictures and the funny stories, feel free to pop back later. I won’t be offended.

So: Thursday. Donnerstag.

We are a family that does hard things. We have been very strategic up to this point, very tactically one day at a time. One milestone at a time. We had a lot hinging on Thursday. I think, in hindsight we put too much pressure on ourselves. Things had been going so well; we had been hitting all our marks and things were all falling into place in ways that were even better than we could have hoped. Then came Thursday.

Thursday was the kids’ first day of school, it was my first day driving to and from the school, and it was Larry’s first day back in the office. I was nauseated on the way to the school. I was nervous and worried. But tried to muster my courage and despite how I was feeling did not have a panic attack or get sick.

We got to the school, escorted the kids in, filled out paperwork, and more paperwork. Then I brought Larry to his work. From there I opted to go to Ikea and Edeka. And by the time I was done with the household chores and driving up and down the autobahn, it was time to pick up the kids, drive home in traffic and rain and dark, navigate the city for my first time with all the pedestrians and bikes and cars and rain and try to find on street parking. Needless to say, I was a bit white-knuckled and a little dejected and tired by the time we walked up our 6 flights with our groceries.

Regarding the school, I think I was hoping for an enthusiastic response from the kids, and I definitely did not get that. Neither at drop off (where Merrie’s school didn’t even expect her until Monday) or at pick up. Merrie said she had an OK day for the most part but there were no smiles or joy. Elliot was completely underwhelmed and disappointed. He didn’t get lunch and his “ambassador” forgot about him mid-morning so he was very much on his own. I’m sure at that moment, if he could’ve gone back to Salem High he wouldn’t have hesitated.

I so wanted them both to be happy with their new school that it knocked me a bit sideways when they weren’t. Of course, I got the first full frontal response from them as I was there immediately after school. By the time we were sitting at dinner (salad, cauliflower, turkey tenderloin, bread) and Larry was asking the kids about their day their response were much more mild and energized. By then I was pretty drained. I was asleep by 9pm.

Friday:  Freitag.

Friday started out a little rocky. Elliot was not feeling well, and not really eager to go to school. He was running late in the morning, even having to run back upstairs for his computer and staying unorganized in the front seat for the whole ride. I drove them to school and then headed back home, super proud of myself for finding my way home without the aid of the GPS and for finding an excellent parking space. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day. I felt really good. It was as I put the car in park and reached for my house keys that something seemed very wrong. I did not have my house keys. I did not have my purse. I had my wallet/phone and little coin purse, but I did not have my purse.

I called Larry who was home waiting for technicians. Larry let me in and I confirmed what I knew in my heart: that my purse was not in the flat. I cried in frustration and wanted to scream. Ok, I might have screamed. But then got back in the damned car and drove back to the damned school (again without GPS — go me!!) I was hoping to find my purse at the front desk, or at the cafe, or at the school office. No, my pocketbook was lying on the paving stones of the parking lot, right where Elliot inadvertently knocked it as he hulked his way out of the car. So at least it was a happy ending in that regard.

Because school gets out at 2:15 on Fridays, and it was already 11, I decided to stay in the area and go back to Ikea to continue to get our home in order. Then it was time to pick up the kids. I was relieved to hear that they both had better days at school. Merrie was happily chattering about her classes and her new friends. Elliot, too, was telling me about his day and his new classmates and the games and TV series that they have in common.

On the ride home, Elliot did give me my first real laugh in a day. After telling the kids about the pocketbook fiasco, I tried to emphasize that I wasn’t mad, per se, but that Elliot really needs to be more aware of his surroundings. I barely got the last word of my sentence out when Elliot startled and exaggeratedly looked out the car windows and shouted:  “OH MY GOD. I’M IN GERMANY!!!”

Just as the school day was smoother on Friday, the ride home on the second day was easier than the first. Again I did not need GPS. Newly connected WiFi greeted the children in our home. Larry and I had a very productive meeting with our landlady about our still unfinished kitchen. We had a not so productive meeting with our SkyTV technician, and then we all had a delicious family dinner (salad, shrimp risotto). We ended our first week in Munich by looking forward to sleeping in. Which we did.

Ach so. The next blog post will wrap up the weekend and include some pictures. If you’re lucky Larry will give you a detailed description of what exactly Leberkäse is and why it tastes so good. Schmeckt so gut.

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2 thoughts on “The start of the new routine

    1. Me too. And when I take my mama bear glasses off and replace them with perspective I’m pretty confident that they both will settle in and find happiness before the month is out. I know how hard switching schools – especially mid year –must be, but I also know they are such resilient, happy kids. And this particular school seems perfect for enveloping kids regardless of when they start. I’m sure it’s all going to be ok. And I’m also guessing this week will be different. Last week was only two days. It was still very much a holiday week feel. Many kids out, teachers still out. I’m guessing that by the end of this week they will start to have the feel of the routine under their feet.

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