Some of you may know that my husband accepted a position at a hospital in Baltimore. This means that come late June/early July (the “new year” of the medical profession), we will be moving to Charm City. It’s bittersweet, since we’ve been very happy in Cleveland (well, except for the snow. That I can live without), and I’m sad to leave all my great friends. However, I’m happy that my husband found a position in a hospital that will allow him to not work on Shabbos or Jewish holidays, which is a major plus in my book.
We went on our pilot trip to B’more this past Sunday-Tuesday, and it was good. Here are a few glimpses of some of the more memorable moments:
We stayed with a family who owns a dog, a Boxer, named Hamlet. Hamlet was a great dog, very friendly (but not too friendly), and in general, I think Boxers are good with kids. Little Man hasn’t had much interaction with dogs outside of seeing them from the vantage point of his stroller, so I was curious to see how he reacted to a close encounter of the canine kind. It was something like this: When Little Man woke up in the morning the first words out of his mouth were,
“Dog! Upstairs! Dog! Big Dog!”
I was also able to use the dog as bribery for diaper changes and the like.
Me: “Do you want to go see the dog?”
LM: “Yes! Dog! Yes! Upstairs!” (Cooperative diaper changing ensues)
So, I thought he was pretty positive about the dog thing. Really, though, when confronted with Hamlet on an eye-to-eye level, hysteria!!! Poor Little Man would get so nervous, and after some preliminary nervous-type sounds, he would burst into an all-out wail. Hamlet just wore an “oh, this again” expression. When I could, I (or my husband) would carry Little Man, and that would provide him enough security that he would happily chatter about Hamlet in Hamlet’s presence.
Sometimes I needed to hold the baby, though, so Little Man would be on the level with Hamlet, who may have actually been larger than the poor kid. All my calming words and assurances meant nothing. Little Man just didn’t want to be that close to the dog. I don’t think Hamlet was too offended, and Little Man still speaks favorable of him, so the relationship is still intact, I think.
The head of the household was a glassblower. Like, professionally. And Italian. Like, from Venice. Their house was full of gorgeous works of art, many made of (you guessed it) glass.
We were eating dinner on Monday night, and Little Man squirmed backwards off his chair and somehow located a colorfully painted bamboo rod at least four feet tall. I turned around, spotted the tot with the rod, and exclaimed
My husband quickly popped up, twisted around to get the rod, which excited Little Man (“game!”). Our toddler squealed, jumped, turned and scampered off, waving the large stick gleefully. As it wobbled to and fro, my husband and I were aghast. The head of the household chuckled deep from his belly and proclaimed
My husband chased our kamikaze toddler through the kitchen, hallway and dining room before catching him. Miraculously, no pieces of glass were smashed in the process. I think it’s an open miracle.
Traveling does not bring out the best in me. On the trip home, I was tired, feeling a little under the weather, and not thinking so clearly. At one rest stop, as my husband handed me the baby to feed, I noticed a telltale stain on the upper back leg of the baby. Dirty diaper explosion!
What I should have done was placed the baby back in the carseat, covered him with his coat, taken him to the family restroom in the rest stop, changed his diaper, brought him back to the car and then fed him.
What I did was panic, then panic some more, and awkwardly change his diaper while precariously balancing him on my lap, paranoid the entire time that I was getting diaper mess on my coat/shirt/skirt/hand/what have you. Finally, when he was done, I fed him, but my husband took the diaper bag (with the spare outfit) into the rest stop. So I was stuck in the car. But that was okay.
Incidentally, my husband had his own special experience trying to change Little Man’s diaper in the family rest room. For whatever reason, Little Man was excessively freaked out in/by the bathroom, and was so upset he was shaking and screaming. My husband said he kept waiting for someone from Child Protective Services to bust down the door (thankfully, that didn’t happen).
Overall, the trip was good, and I think the positive pilot trip bodes well for this next phase of our lives.