Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winter's Wonders

The snow in our neighborhood has mostly melted, and the forecast is calling for temperatures above freezing for the rest of the week.  I lived in the winter-burdened north of the US for far too long to ever think that this is the end of the Winter, so I’m not getting my hopes up just yet.  I’m not just relying on the groundhog here, rather many many years of thwarted spring hope!  I was just getting used to the snow here and loving watching the little dusters clear it from the sidewalk.  Yes, I might actually have turned into one of those silly people who actually likes Winter.  Please don’t judge!

Today was also marred by removal of the David Beckham H & M advertisement from our bus stop.  The advertisement is changed weekly, so I knew it was leaving soon.  I’m not sure if these are all over the US right now too, but they are ubiquitous right now in Berlin.  I’m sure H & M thought that seeing a mostly naked David Beckham would warm the hearts (or somewhere else) of all the Berliners that are attracted to men.  Despite the fact that I do indeed find Mr. Beckham very attractive, it really had quite the opposite effect on me.  Every time I walked up to my bus stop to see 90% naked Becks surrounded by snow, it gave me a cold chill.  Explanation: NONE! 

For your viewing pleasure: Mr. Beckham’s advertisement as seen at my bus stop. 
What I will NOT miss about winter, is the 20 minutes it takes for our family of 4 to get dressed to walk out the door in the morning.  Our children leave the house each wearing the following things every day:
-A pair of thick tights
-Long-sleeved shirt
Inevitably, one of our monsters absolutely does not want to leave the house when it is time to go.  At home, this is not such a big concern as it is here.  At home, if we leave the house later than planned, we arrive at our destination later than planned.  This is not always great, but really not the end of the world in the grand scheme of things.  (Please note: yes, I am still a lover of punctuality, but I’ve gotten a little more chill about it as the children have beaten it out of me.)  Here, if we are late getting out the door, we will miss the bus and either have to wait the 20 minutes for the next one in the freezing cold OR walk the 18 minutes to the S-Bahn station from our house.  This is an actual conundrum when it is freezing cold out and you have to either push a double stroller with 50+ pounds of kids in it or walk slow enough that the 3 year old can balance on every single surface low enough to climb while you intermittently yell “keep up with us please” at her.  (Both of these types of walks are workouts in their own right too!)   Soo, getting out the door now takes an immense amount of planning and cajoling that we aren’t always in the mood or have the energy for as parents. 

After the 20 minutes of getting us all dressed, we then all have to descend from the 4th floor to the basement, where our stroller is kept locked up next to the bicycles.  Luckily we can see the bus stop from our apartment, so even if the bus is actually at the stop when we exit the building and round the corner to see the stop, we can usually wave our arms around and run like crazy people to make it before the bus drives away.  I’m sure this is not actually a German thing, rather a city dweller thing though, just like the public parenting thing that is bothering me less these days.  Winter will wane and spring will come with lots of lovely rain, mud, and new issues to contend with here I’m sure. 


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