Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Parking with Twins (and Missing Anita)

Ah, Australia, land of boundless plains to share.

But apparently not parking spots.

Now, let me remind you of my obsession with parking spots. (This is the part dedicated to Anita! I remember how you used to laugh at my parking rants when my twins were babies. I hope the memories still make you laugh now that you have your own!)

In Germany, I wrote a piece entitled „I Find God in Parking Spaces.“ I don't think I ever published it. It was so short. And a bit embarrassing. It was almost like a prayer. And then I stopped talking to God and that whole prayer thing got a bit awkward.

But really. I found God in parking spaces. If I found one – close enough to where I needed to be with two newborns, a four year old and a six year old, through city traffic that does not stop for children, in a climate of rain and snow, bitter cold, grey and windy, AND it was big enough for me to get my seven seater into in a world built for Vws and Minis – then I believed. If God couldn't provide me with even that much – after apparently trusting me enough to give me TWINS – then I wasn't sure He was worth it.

I wasn't that picky. I was willing to crawl out the passenger side. In the back. The one that had sliding doors. So that I could squeeze into spots and not requiring room to open a door.

I even got out on a wall once and pulled the kids out behind me.

Anita would have been laughing but you know what I'm talking about now, right?! (What kind of a car do you drive now anyway?)

The whole double stroller situation didn't make it any better. Having to maneuver it out wasn't so bad; I had that procedure down to military precision. Although it apparently looked so difficult that I had men offer to help me with it. German men.

The stroller problem was that Europe – or Germany anyway – isn't wheelchair accessible.

Which means that the only twin strollers available at the time (side by side) couldn't fit into most public buildings. Which means that when the twins are infants you also need to take two baby carriers with you on top of the stroller – literally balanced precariously ON TOP OF THE STROLLER – to carry up the stairs and into the buildings. No elevators either.

I wonder now why I didn't just lay the twins on the floor. But yeah- I had to CARRY them in first. Before neck support.

And you just didn't lay babies on the floor in Germany. It just isn't done.

Someone official would have spoken to me about it. Because of some mum complaining.

Not that anyone would have offered to help. Just judged and prosecuted.

I remember the last time I tried to get to a public library in the city with Babette. We had to park over four blocks away. She took our older four and I got the twins out into the stroller and made my way over curbs with the extra two carriers balanced on top of it. By the time I got to the library one of the twins was screaming and needed a diaper change. The other was asleep. (They always did this – tag team sleeping – just to keep me on my toes CONSTANTLY!) I had to change one outside on the lawn, then transfer both to their carriers and lug them up the stairs into the library, sweating and exhausted.

Only to find that library hour was over – the kids and Babette had really enjoyed it – and it was time to turn around and repeat the entire process in reverse.

Oh dear, you don't get out much now do you Anita? I'd like to say it gets better. And it does.

In Australia! (By the way, that's when I used to walk through the fields and visit you in Hildrizhausen instead! I'd love to say I wish I was there, but I REALLY wish YOU were HERE!)

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