Whilst here, I have greatly come to appreciate the ‘smile and nod’ method. Whenever Clara tries to explain something to me, or tell a story, I just smile and nod. Maybe I’ll even give her a ‘mhm!’ or shrug my shoulders. It seems to satisfy her most of the time, however I’ve learned that when I hear ‘Bitte’, she is asking me to help her with something. When I hear this I usually have to get a translation unless I can figure it out on my own. Today at the shoe store she asked me to please help her put her shoe on. I understood because of ‘bitte’ and the fact that she had one shoe off. She said my name today as well! It’s the small victories. We were riding bikes and ‘traktor’s’ around the house and she would stop to smell the flowers and then say “Now you smell!” in German. I think we understand each other pretty well for the most part. As for Lukas, there are basics such as “broom!” which indicates some kind of automotive, and “ta-toe” (traktor) because that is his favorite thing now. He also uses words indicating that he wants to be held (arm), and that he wants his hands cleaned. I have learned a few words myself but I won’t insult anyone by trying to spell them.
So far, something I really miss about America is ice. It seems like I am perpetually thirsty. This morning I asked for water (they keep bottled in the fridge) and when I poured myself a glass it was sparkling! I felt like you would if you ordered root beer and got sweet tea instead…but didn’t realize it until you had a big gulp. Later I explained to K that the sparkling water was really different for me, and she told me that tap water was okay to drink. From that point on I have had a glass of water cooling in the fridge at all times.
Today for lunch I got McDonalds, what a treat! The menu is not as cheap as in the US, and there were curly fries on the menu!
Did I mention that K is the perfect housewife? I want to be just like her when I get married. She bakes fresh bread every day, makes her own jam, salad dressing, even her own pasta (We are doing that this weekend)! All of this on top of caring for her children in the most patient and loving way you have ever seen, and generally keeping the house looking nice (yes, they have a housekeeper but she is only there weekday mornings). Bedtime was an adventure tonight, as Clara kept yelling “NEINE!” whenever K or myself tried to dress her for bed. Then she put on two pull-ups and started whining and snatching from Lukas. After they were both settled and kisses were given, I left the hall and heard Lukas start screaming, which lasted a good 30 minutes, maybe more.