18 Months

On the week Robert turned one year and a half I received the first folder of his artwork from school. I cannot see him becoming a Picasso anytime soon. So far I haven’t been able to develop his artistic talents, because he still needs to learn that crayons are something to draw with, not eat or throw around. It seems that his teachers at school are having a little more success in this respect.

Last Sunday, Robert’s father was looking after him, and he told me something that I did not know (seriously this time): Robert can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I was amazed and tried to make him repeat this feat, but whenever I started the rhyme he would wrinkle his forehead and say in a little sad voice: papa.  I hope he does not mean that he will only sing it for papa, that would be too cruel a punishment for his poor mom, even for having to leave him with “papa” for a full weekend.

Yesterday Robert gave ME one of these firsts when he recited: one, two, three and later before bedtime : eight, nine, ten. So it looks like he is learning new things at school, which is very nice.

School is going fine for Robert. He still fusses a little bit when I leave him there in the morning, but he is also not too enthused to leave when I come to get him in the afternoon. He still gets himself stuck in the little chairs and “helps” the teachers stack them and carry them around. It is actually a problem to separate him from his beloved chairs (tayss as he calls them).

I am glad to say that at 18 months my son is fully weaned. If it wasn’t for pressure of propriety I would have gladly continued breastfeeding him, and I think my body knows that because I still produce milk. Evenings are still our bonding time and we both enjoy our good night cuddle, so I haven’t completely lost out.

Meanwhile our life at home is terribly busy and disorganized. I am chipping away at a translation project, and the household chores are getting last priority. To add to the chaos, I have a plumbing problem in my flat, which makes my lounge area flood regularly with bath or laundry water mostly from the next door flat, but sometimes from our drain system as well. I have spoken to the landlord several times and he always promises to send a plumber to look at it, but I am still waiting. In the past his universal solution for this problem was to pour a bottle of drain cleaner down the drain in the flat next door. Last Saturday he brought me a bottle of the stuff which I poured in my kitchen and bathroom sinks, it was horrible.  The stuff is DEADLY and I never ever want to handle it again, not with Robert in the same space.  The poison fizzed and did its thing down the drain and there was a terrible ammonia stink for a whole day, but did not do a wit of good for my flooded apartment, so it seems the problem is far more serious this time. Meanwhile, I just mop the floor and wait for the plumber, but in my mind I am already planning to leave this place, I cannot imagine tolerating this in winter.  But for now, and until my translation project finishes, I am stuck here and have to put up with this.

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