Charles Schulz or not, I’ve never been a big fan of the “happiness is a warm puppy” quote, because to me, a warm puppy implies one that’s relaxed, so you’re probably warm because he just piddled on you. Rather, I would like to submit that happiness is a warm baby snuggled into your shoulder… and at least you know that if they have an accident, they have a diaper on. But is it happiness, anymore, when said baby will only snuggle on your shoulder if you’re standing up? I would like to reason with her, insisting that I should be able to sit down, but that reasoning isn’t sound enough for her.
My life, recently, is being spent in baby steps. I’m watching my darling charge learn to take a few steps from person to person, and move from couch to coffee table. She’s excessively fast, when crawling, too, so if my back is turned for long, I may find her on the dishwasher door, or standing on that stool that she only liked to push around, up till now. Within the last few days, pushing the stool and highchair aren’t enough, climbing onto the Dora Explorer piano, in order to reach the other side, is the way to go. Babies… go figure. : )
While she progresses bit by bit in the growing up world, I take my own baby steps, as I try and get out of my comfort zone and meet lots of new people. A wise woman once told me that “anybody who moves to Australia isn’t allowed to be chicken about anything”. Well, mother, getting on planes doesn’t necessarily involve talking to strangers. But since I want to make friends AND get away from the excessive screaming and femininity, occasionally, this requires getting out and talking to people. Yes, in case some of you have forgotten, I come from a family of guys, and am now working with a family full of girls. There are times when you want to go hang out with humans that don’t talk or scream, and think logically. Yes, it’s true… I know, you’re shocked.
I think I’m doing pretty well, actually, getting out to several Bible studies, visiting more than one church, and heading off to a weekend at the beach with some of my new friends. I don’t think I’ve ever had this much social life at home, unless I’m at Seabrook or Labor Day.
I’ve started to look in the correct direction when crossing an intersection, and only rarely turn the windshield wipers on, by accident. I’ve tasted the drink, MILO, which is kind of like Qwik, and yet not. I still haven’t figured out why you get a crunchy chocolate layer on top, instead of it mixing up thoroughly. Is that the thrill for the kids, spooning out the extra chocolate crunch?
Vegemite, CheesyBite, and avocado regularly come my way, and I’ve introduced some Australians to apples and peanut butter. Who knew that there were children out there that didn’t eat them that way? I’ve discovered that sultanas are like raisins, but not necessarily, though they come from grapes, and they call the cereal Sultana Bran, over here, instead of Raisin Bran. Hellmann’s mayonnaise is available, but it’s the Best Foods brand… I don’t care what brand it is, though, as long as it tastes right, hence, my tuna fish salad tastes right, too.
I drink a lot of tea, and have found that you have to be specific about what you want in it, not just saying “I’m not picky”. Actually, I love coffee, but instant coffee is more common here, and I have to put more sugar in coffee, anyway. So, I’ll probably stay a mostly tea drinker, for a while. It’s easier. Besides, I’m still working on telling the different flavors apart. I can recognize T2’s Russian Caravan (it tastes smoky), but then you get into a different brand, and the taste changes on me. It isn’t fair. I keep trying, though.
I borrowed a bunch of books from the grandparents, books of Australian songs, poetry, stories, and art. I probably won’t read them cover to cover, but I can still learn a lot from flipping through them.