December On The Go!

Have you ever seen those comics that show all of the different funny and amusing positions cat owners  eat in or watch TV in. The cat invariably ends up in the owners face to get attention just as she has seated herself to eat and the owner has to move the bowl all around in order to get the scrumptious food into her mouth. There’s never enough room on the couch for a cat owner to sprawl out and watch her favorite show because the cat has already sprawled out and fallen asleep and isn’t budging. If you haven’t seen these comics, they’re pretty funny and as a cat owner, I can attest to how true they are. I mention this though because I think there should be a similar comic for a mother with a newborn. I never realized I could eat in so many different positions while holding a baby and having only one hand available. Not only do I have to be watchful of how I’m holding the baby while I’m quickly shoveling food into my mouth before she wants to eat as well and then I have to stop, but I also have to eat food that can quickly and easily be shoveled into my mouth. Anything in a bowl that I can eat while she is lying on my thighs is great. Anything in sandwich form that I can hold with one hand while I have her bouncing in one arm. Considering she can’t control her limbs yet, anything I am holding is always in danger of being shoved away with one accidental swoop of the arm or leg. Anyway, I think it’d be a funny comic. I wish I could draw well enough to attempt it. Maybe I’ll just attempt it and see what happens.

We went to the embassy this month to apply for our babe’s American birth certificate and SSN card and passport. Anytime we head to the embassy or immigration office or any sort of government office there is this feeling of dread that something has been forgotten and we will have to reschedule and come again or they’ll just deny whatever it is I’m after. Does everyone feel that way in those situations? I have had to reschedule before when I walked in and didn’t have the sufficient forms because my dear husband thought he was helping and… well actually didn’t. We ended up seeing quite a few other couples with newborns there and the man that did our interview said it was quite the baby day which had put him in happy spirits. The interview was easy and off they mailed our applications. Dual citizenship here we come, er the baby does.

Other than that big outing downtown most of our time has been spent cuddling inside on the couch. Nothing much gets done as I cuddle her when she’s awake and then when she falls asleep I just cuddle her some more. I don’t think there is any spoiling a newborn. This week, she is 6 weeks old and just the cutest little thing. I’ve been so lucky to have such a supportive family, friends and of course husband. After I left the post-natal hotel, my mother came from the States to visit for ten days. Not only was that great so that someone could hold the baby so that I could shower, but the insight into babies in English, as the post-natal hotel information was all in Korean, was extremely useful. Not only was she around, but since my husband works from home, we have been going through everything and seeing everything that our new family member is doing together. It’s an amazing and wonderful experience. As a family of three, we’ve been holed up in our house except for short outings to the market and generally experiencing quite the feelings of bliss. When it’s not just us, we’ve had some great friends visit and bring some delicious food to boot. I can’t say thank you to everyone enough. Truly.

One thing I’ve noticed on our outings that I’m not so thrilled about though is, in general, the need for random Korean passerby to invade our space to see what our wee one looks like. For some visual background, when we head out usually my husband has one of those baby carriers strapped to his chest so the baby is facing him and very close to his chest. Since it’s winter and pretty chilly out, he then has a large coat on that he zips up to to the top of the back of the carrier so just the top of her head, which has a hat on if we’re out, is peaking out, but you can’t see her face or her head unless you’re very nearby and leaning very far over into his space. I know that Koreans don’t rub bellies when women are pregnant like we do and I have often heard that Koreans are more touchy when the children arrive, but really, it’s intense. I wondered if this happens with all babies or if we are especially vulnerable because we are clearly a mixed family when we walk together and maybe they want to see what our mixed little bundle of joy looks like. My husband said he’s sure it’s because she’s mixed. People just keep saying things like they’re sure she’s beautiful with this dot dot dot afterward as if they want me to let them see her or show them a picture. It’s a strange phenomenon and makes me even more protective than I’m inclined to be. Has anyone else experienced this? I read one guy’s blog a few years ago where he said one of the first sentences his son learned in Korean was, “don’t touch” because he had said it so often to people when he was out with his baby. Is it really that common?

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