Monday, February 15, 2010

Wu-Tang is for the Children

We all remember that time that Ol' Dirty Bastard (may he rest) crashed the grammys (or something), and proclaimed that Wu-Tang is for the children. Similarly, I am proclaiming that this current adventure, our 5-week long sabbatical in Oaxaca, Mexico, is for Anya. "She will see so many new things! Be so stimulated! Learn so much! Be exposed to Spanish!" Obviously this is all complete BS. Anya is just a baby. She would probably always prefer to stay in our little condo in Adams Morgan, cuddled up with her mommy and daddy on the couch, or sitting under my desk chewing on the power strip.

That said though, she has been a trooper so far. We arrived the night before last; she was fantastic on the flights, and has been napping in the backpack or quietly taking it all in while we roam around. She didn't seem to mind when it got hot yesterday afternoon, though she would always bury her face in G's back when the sun hit her in the eye (good reflexes? check.). She still has not adjusted to the new bed - this whole family slept very lightly and woke up about 500 times both Saturday and Sunday night. Anya was sleeping fitfully, the blanket was too small, and the bed might be a little smaller than our one at home, which is already too small for this family of 3 extremely sharp-edged Indians. I don't think this is a major issue; we'll acquire a new blanket, and will adjust in a day or two. Worst case, we train her to sleep in her little play pod, though I don't know if either G nor I have the perseverance to train Anya to do anything.

I think my first 24 hours were dominated with germ paranoia. I was trying to find a reasonable middle ground; I am not normally one to worry about such things, but I think it would be a disaster if Anya or I got sick, especially in the first few days before we know what the hell is going on. It was a tradeoff between tasty street food vs. trying to figure out another option when we were hungry. The street food won out, but we took care to only eat cooked stuff (ok, and maybe a dash of salsa). Luckily, so far so good.

The other thing that I tried to worry about was whether or not Anya should crawl around on the floor. It took maybe 20 minutes of holding the wriggling mass before I was like F it - she's going to crawl. So far so good there too. We'll try and wipe down the floors pretty often.

The hardest thing for me about using Spanish is that I start to panic every time I try to speak. This morning, I had a series of successful exchanges, and the panic problem seems to have subsided. Its SO much easier to think of words when you're not panicking! I was able to get some supplies from the landlady and ask about procedures (laundry, etc.), and buy lots of veggies from vendors.

Speaking of which, Natalie took us to the market today and we bought chicken, produce, and some spices. G and August had made a grocery run yesterday for milk, cereal, coffee, etc. We're getting set up! I'm getting a picture of what our days will be like, and I'm liking it!

Its lovely to be all set up here. We are living in a little complex with a bunch of retirees from Minnesota (why are all the American tourists in Mexico always from Minnesota?). Our apartment is adorable. I am adjusting to the india-style floors and bathroom (don't worry, western toilet, just india-style shower). Photos will be provided soon. Our apartment opens onto a wonderful garden/courtyard with tables and chairs. The kitchen is great. Its all great.

My main anxiety now is how to wrangle this adorable creature I call my daughter. She's sleeping less and moving more. She is not yet used to Natalie and August (our awesome friends here), so we can't even really hand her off yet for a break. I guess we'll be taking lots of walks with her in the carrier. Cest le vie (anyone know how to say that in Spanish)?

Ok - that's all I've got for now. Sorry for all the repetition, disorganization, and lack of photos in this post. The wiggle worm calls. Will try to be better about it in the future!

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