28 July 2009

Tuesdays without Dory and what's up.

I'm glad that TwD is optional this summer, because I am 1. exhausted and 2.not making icecream without an icecream maker.

The girls are at day camp this week and last and they have been having a good time. I think they have seen more of Berlin than I have! Although I will be off in the morning to check out one of the more interesting spots, a children's farm yard because thing1 left her rucksack there. When I got to camp to pick the girls up, she was sitting there crying. She did, however, look glorious. I think they had a hair session today, while waiting for the park to open before leaving, because her hair was done in the most wonderful updo, with two small braids, one on each side and the rest of her hair drawn up in the most adorable bun, puffed around rather than twisted. I think she had as many pins in her hair as I did at my marriage ceremony (no- she had only 16, I think I had 35:)). I took pictures in hopes that I can reproduce it for her.

So tomorrow off down the autobahn. This will be good for me because I don't like driving on the autobahn, so what does not kill me will make me stronger. Thank goodness I have the GPS.

When I was cleaning up last week for Thing1's party, I finally finished all the seasonal clothing shifting as well as packing up and away two boxes of clothing thet Thing2 has outgrown (I don't put away T1's clothes because T2 is so close behind her). I used a lot of party favors that I had brought over from the US and I can see that we are actually running through some of the supplies that we brought with us from the US 23 months ago. Without surface air, I don't think that we are going to be able to keep up with our appetite for Annie's Organic Mac'n'Cheese or Crystalight.

We have already resupplied with coffee twice and I just ground the last of my Costco Jamaica Blue beans. I have been out of Dunkin Donuts decaf for almost a month. Luckily, I am so tired that even when I drink caffeinated coffee at night (I love the taste, I like the warmth) it doesn't keep me up. Thing1 can't seem to get over waking me before 6 am and without the German to take occasional duty getting up with her I have an awfully early start to my day.

We are also running out of craft materials and small toys, so I checked Idee out last week and it's really a great craft store. Not as good (or as wide ranging) as Michaels, but the best that I have found here. They have such wonderful supplies and patterns for making a Schultuete that I feel a bit guilty not making one. Howver, Thing1 chose her schoolcone and her schule rucksack from her painfully thumbed and lovingly studied happytoys.de catalog.

The German school bag custom is amazing. The bag is so large that German pediatricians hand you a brochure warning you of the dangers of its size and weight to your tiny 6 year old child, But what can one do? Every single child has the same bag, and generally the same brand (Scout is preferred).
When I went to the school orientation for parents, I was given an unbelievably long and unbelievably detailed list of items that needed to be contained within the requisite rucksack (as well as ancillary items), all the way down to the size of the Pelikan pen and the # of the 3 separate paintbrushes. There are 10 notebooks, all to be specific colors. As I was looking over the list, another parent asked why so many and why so detailed and I burst out laughing. My response: This is how Germans are trained to be German. A few of the non-Germans laughed, but the Germans didn't understand the joke:).
Luckily, the regulation rucksack came with a number of the required items, like the two separately sized pencil cases, the sport bag, the colored pencil set (with space for the specified Pelikan left empty), the required water color set with three differently sized brushes, the bus pass holder. The bag is rigid and there is enough room for the 24 books and notebooks that she will be using next year. If I weren't dropping her off and picking her up, I wouldn't in conscience be able to let her use it. As is, I expect to carry her bag for her every day for at least the next few years.

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