5 things: 19.12.15

1. I am pretty much sick of kiddo sleep dramas. Look, I’m grateful not to have to deal with the intense sleep stress of C’s first year or so; I haven’t forgotten, believe me, and nothing else can ever be That Bad. But. Oy. M is now at an awkward in-between phase where if he doesn’t nap, by end of day he’s knackered (and liable to fall asleep on the couch around 5pm) and grumpy and his overnight sleep is for shit. But getting him to nap isn’t so easy, and if he does, he’s not really ready for bed come 8 o’clock. So as soon as we leave the bedroom, he goes up to C’s bunk, except after 5 minutes she yells for parental intervention because he’s kicking or being loud or “he’s taking up space with his legs and I can FEEL HIM so I can’t sleep”. This after inviting him in. Oh, and then he’s awake at 5am. Ich habe die Nase voll.

2. My use of charming little expressions like “having a full nose” can be directly ascribed to my latest efforts to improve my German, viz, reading a book of short stories. One of these supposed “short” stories is 50 pages long and is entirely comprised of a very pretentious German longwindedly recounting a day from his holiday to an old friend. Now believe you me: pretentious and longwinded in German is a whole nother level from pretentious and longwinded in English. Imagine paragraphs that carry on for 3-4 pages (I wish I were kidding), with sentences that cover half a page each, easy, allowing a grand pile-up of verbs at a point where you’ve almost entirely lost track of who exactly ever had anything to do with those actions. So his interlocutor is a stand-in for the reader, periodically wondering when on earth the storyteller is going to get to his point and why oh god WHY we are bothering with listening to (reading) this sorry affair at all. Which is a fairly ambitious trick to pull off, writing a story that is specifically designed to make the reader tear their hair out with boredom/impatience; and reading such a story for purposes of language improvement is… unfortunate. Dear Mr Gernhardt: there is such a thing as trying to be Too Clever. 

3. I received two random compliments this week. One, a Ravelry PM prompted by my forum posts, was extremely unexpected, pretty much undeserved but very welcome. The other – equally unexpected and very kindly intended – was a little more disconcerting: C’s class teacher said admiringly (and quite out of the blue), making a gesture that encompassed my entire look, such as it was, that I was a bit “speziell” and she really liked people who were “nicht so 08/15“. As I say, kindly intended and actually a very nice thing to hear, yet the effect on me was mostly to make me think: oh no, what’s wrong with my clothes?! (It’s quite possible I’ve just had a nose-ful of being called “speziell” because that’s what the doctor has said to me on every single useless visit during my recent mystery fever and aftermath.)

3a. Particularly amusing since Frau B herself is universally described as “speziell”. Sixty if she’s a day, she dresses like a flamboyant 20-year-old (and has the body for it!). In fact, C said to me on the same day (I was helping to shepherd the class to swimming, a weekly event which requires a mass bus ride and therefore some parental assistance) – very sweetly, and with great care for my feelings – that “she thinks I’m the prettiest; she doesn’t want me to feel hurt, so she thinks I’m the prettiest; but Frau B is really pretty too”. Hm.

4. Looking at my Ravelry projects for the year I note that I have done way WAY less in 2015 than in 2014. Which is plainly ridiculous, since children are getting older and easier, spielgruppe etc, so what the hell have I been doing? Emily warns that “KPIs must be relevant” and number of FOs isn’t the be-all and end-all, but oy: last year’s knitting was easily triple in quantity, and I’d say better quality too – as in, more interesting. And I can’t really point to anything I’ve achieved instead of knitting. A few underwhelming pattern releases, sure. I’m a bit fed up with myself, frankly. Perhaps it’s just end-of-year malaise combined with post-fever ennui. Or something.

5. The obligatory happy thing to round out the week! A small but magical moment, driving over the hill behind our village. In our town: sunshine, with only the vaguest hint of the morning’s mist. (Switzerland is big on mist in autumn. I really, really love it. I would think it would normally be over by this time of year but, well, it’s been unusually mild so I guess it’s more like autumn than winter, still.) Climbing the hill, though, we suddenly entered thick mist – but with the sunlight still piercing through from behind. This road winds through a forested area so it was just trees and numinous golden mist. Amazing.

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