29 March 2013

Goodnight Noises Everywhere


I've been reading Goodnight Moon to Peter, and as an English major and a reading specialist, I have some concerns. Now, I have nothing against Margaret Wise Brown, and I'm sure Peter hasn't picked up on it yet, but there's some inconsistencies. For instance, we're introduced to the telephone first thing...but we never say goodnight to it. Why? Also, how we can we say goodnight to nobody? to air? There's pages for these things, but not for the telephone? WHY?

But the page that cracks me up the most is the last one: "Goodnight noises everywhere." As I rocked my little guy, I couldn't help but think that the noises we hear at bedtime might be a little bit different. Haiti will be home to him, so he may not realize it...yet. I felt compelled to write the rest of the book and say goodnight to our unique noises:

Goodnight wind through the kenep trees,
Goodnight laundry flapping in the breeze.

Goodnight mosquitoes buzzing 'round my net, 
Goodnight thunder, at a distance yet. 

Goodnight trucks rumbling down the hill,
Goodnight dogs that bark at will.

Goodnight neighbor chatting on our stoop,  
Goodnight bouncing basketball, goodnight hoop.

Goodnight roosters who crow day and night,
Goodnight church who sings with all its might...
(no matter how out of tune they are.)

Goodnight geckos, though you don't make a sound,
Goodnight noises all around! 

Sweet dreams, friends--thanks for your prayers.

02 March 2013

A half-day in the life

Since things are a bit newer now that Pete's arrived, I thought I'd give you a peek into a day into the life of my little peanut and I. Well, a half-day, anyway. Let's not bite off more than we can chew.

We start things off early; Pete likes to get a jump on all those people who sleep until the sun comes up. He was kind enough to only wake up once last night to nurse, so I let it slide. David needed me to reprint a form that I messed up for our insurance costs for travel, and the first few hours are a whirlwind; David goes to work and I quickly wolf down some oatmeal before Peter wants to nurse again. (This will be a theme, by the way...)

We take our morning nap as the school across the street gets going full-tilt. One student is late and he and his parents continue to bang on the gate...for half an hour. They keep me up, but Pete's out cold. Would that I were he.

We get up and say good morning to B, who's hard at work washing our dishes. With the help of some pantomime, she teaches me the Kreyol word for hiccups, thanks to Pete's example--such a helpful guy. I put Peter into the sling and we hang laundry, which he mostly tolerates. We both like to be outside, and it's a beautiful morning...just like always. (Oregonians: yes, the sun still exists. I promise.)

While Pete nurses, I do some emails one-handed. Thank God for smartphones, right? To John: our fire extinguisher is fine and not expired, but we do need a new air horn because we used up the old one to break up dog fights (sigh); To Patricia: your Pyrex is on its way home via the Husband Express, and thanks for bringing us a meal. I spent some time working out the housing for some upcoming visitors for our retreat in March. I read an update on a shooting that happened outside one of our staff homes.

I had planned to go to the grocery store, but can't do so without a meal plan for the week, so I do my best from the couch without my recipes in front of me and plan to update it later. In the kitchen, I hear B coughing...and then it stops. Having just gone to a first aid training yesterday, I call out to her: "Ou anfòm?" (Are you okay?) No response. I get up and find her in the bathroom--she's okay, but my heart was pounding. 

Since the boy is happy, we attempt to take the "Pete picture of the day" for the family. I should note: he was happy, but not terribly cooperative. However, my patience was eventually rewarded with the picture in the lower right corner. Worth it.

Armed with diapers, a change of clothes and a list, we're off to the grocery store, which is about two miles away. Since it's between the start of school and the noon rush hour, I think we should be okay...I think. However, Pete did not think this was a good time to be in his car seat. NOT. AT. ALL. (Tantrum not pictured.) I do my best to reassure him as we headed up Delmas...I sing to him. I talk to him. I tell him jokes. (Yeah, apparently, I don't know what babies think is funny, either.) On the way, we see this awesome road construction. I am not being sarcastic--road construction is something I used to take for granted. No more, friends. No more.

We get to the store, and I remember that I wanted to check their "home" department first, which has a separate parking lot. I hadn't been there before, but from the outside, it looks pretty nice. I was looking for curtains for our family room, a baby bathtub, and a crib. After a careful search, I decide that one out of three's not bad--at least Pete will be clean. He sleeps through most of it, worn out from all that fun screaming in the car.

The story is different, however, when we get up to the main part of the store. He looks downright overwhelmed. Bright lights. Music. People. He tolerates it for a while while I try to hurry through and keep the cart moving...but to no avail. Again, I have to leave without everything on my list: they don't carry un-popped popcorn. But overall, the selection is good, and I'm stoked to find cumin--something I used to have to order from the U.S. We may share an island with the DR, but apparently, we don't share their taste in spices.

The checker lady was nice and tried to entertain Pete while we waited for her to finish.

Ah, the sling comes through again! He's happy to be out of the car seat...just long enough for me to put him back in. It doesn't take long over the bumpy roads before he's conked out again and we're home. As I pull up to our big red gate, I notice a large amount of smoke wafting through the neighborhood...right onto that clean laundry I just hung. But it was such a successful trip, I don't even mind. Laundry washes, babies do sleep eventually, and we have cumin. Victory.