Monday, June 8, 2009

The Tunnel

This is what I call the Tree Tunnel, which is a foot path that extends from our street out into the farmland around us. I love how the path is sunken between two berms, with trees making a leafy roof. I love how the morning light shines through, creating a pinhole of light at the end of the street. It is an apt symbol for this post, since I feel like we have been traveling through a tunnel for the last two months or so, and that we might actually be seeing that iconic pinhole of light soon.

Of course, it's all Eris's fault. After several arduous, unpredictable months of eye-teeth, our little girl started to talk, in German and English, started to really understand her surroundings, started to have an opinion about things, and, quite suddenly developed some pretty serious fear that Mama was going to forget her on a street corner or something. Oh, the joys of Separation Anxiety.

Now, it's no big secret that she has never been a "good" sleeper. But her newfound fear of separation from Mama translated into a rather inconvenient fear of sleeping. She would sing, talk, cry, kick, and generally get more and more worried about the moment that Mama would leave the room at night. She wouldn't let Mama go to the toilet by herself during the day. She would stand in the bathroom and cry because Mama was in the shower. She would cling to Mama and cry "Mama kommt gleich wieder!" (Mama will be right back) even though Mama was shushing her and holding her and right there. Naps became intermittent, bedtime fluctuated between 6:30pm (if she hadn't napped) and 10pm, and the nights interrupted by multiple awakenings. It has been hard just to get the shopping/cooking/cleaning done. Never mind anything fun!

Oh, and then there is Eris's room. A tiny room, with a bit of carpet on the floor. And under the carpet, some carpet tiles. And under the carpet tiles, wood floor. But, it turns out, the carpet tiles were attached to the wood floor with tile cement. And, once you've pulled the tiles out, there is no going back...the cement had to pounded, scratched, scraped, chiseled, and swept out, inch by painful inch.

And then we all caught cold. A really bad one. We all got earaches, we were all sick and sniffling and crabby and not sleeping well for a solid two weeks.

But then we got better. And Eris started to be less afraid of Mama leaving. (Now she's more afraid of strangers, but that's another story, and doesn't keep her up at night.) And Eris's room started to approach being finished. As of today, about two square feet of cement remains on the floor.

This may seem somewhat minor, but getting Eris's floor finished means we can get on with pulling the rest of the carpet, painting, and getting ourselves generally organized. This one room, which was supposed to be a quick, easy job, has taken nearly two months just to do the floor, putting off every other project (of which there are many) by months.

At my darkest moments this spring, it felt like we were being sucked into a vortex of chaos and entropy. It has been hard to be motivated to keep things even tidy, since we have no closets and little furniture still. I mean, why buy furniture when there is carpet to rip out and walls to paint?

But it feels like we have entered a new chapter. We are all healthy, first. There is nothing like the perspective of having been sick to make you appreciate not being sick. And Eris seems to be emerging from her early toddler transition to a more stable time. She is quite the ham, as you can see.

The concrete covered floor has been nearly conquered, as well. In a fit of excitement, we even instituted an entropy-prevention measure--we get up every morning and go for a 30 minute walk before breakfast. Eris is not allowed out of the stroller for this walk, and she knows it and generally just sits back and enjoys the ride.

Of course, it helps that we have plenty of beautiful places to walk.