When I was becoming very very pregnant with Theo, Matt and I realized we had an issue: We didn’t yet know anyone well enough to call them and ask them to watch Dexter when I went into labor. Especially if I went into labor in the middle of the night.
Matt’s mom is wonderful and caring and so was rightfully very concerned about this conundrum. She ended up booking their first visit to us in London strategically, to try to solve the problem: two-week visit, one week before and one week after my due date, hedging bets to try to be here for the birth.
Theo was born the day before they arrived. And of course, I went into labor at 1 a.m. Fortunately, by then we’d made a friend who said we could call, and I sure hope she meant it, because that’s what we did.
After Dexter conquered his carousel fear, we took him home for a nap and then bought him some pizza when he woke up. He was pretty happy about it.
Our itinerary was loose, but we knew we wanted to wander around and look at Christmas lights, eventually heading to Guilio Giannini, a shop where six generations of family have been master bookbinders since 1856.
Now that Matt is all British, he’s incorporated a new phrase into his vocabulary: giving stick. It’s means good-natured picking on someone, which, if you know Matt, you know is 90% of his interactions with other humans.
I tell you this because I will be giving Matt some stick this post. You’ll notice a running theme. Matt is terrible at taking vacation photos. Yeah, he can do a decent landscape, but when it comes to photos of his fellow beloved family members? Usually, he forgets to take them altogether and if he remembers (or I remind him), they look like this:
Dexter and I had been gazing thoughtfully and adorably at art, and as I asked Matt to take a photo, I imagined an image from behind, a lovely mother+son cultural moment. Instead, we got Dexter messing with the thing that controls the temperature for the priceless paintings and me hitching up my maternity pants as I chase after him to stop him from accidentally melting priceless paintings.
When we were leaving Florida, during our final garage sale, a few Orlando pals stopped by to buy to some stuff, and mentioned they’d be spending Thanksgiving 2017 in Florence, Italy. They had a big apartment, and would we like to meet up?
Yes. Yes, we would.
We left on a Tuesday afternoon and returned on a Sunday. On the flight there, Dexter blessed us with a rare airplane nap. Matt joined in.
Our family ended up renting our own flat for reasons of Toddler and Pregnant Belly and Sleep. It was teeny but charming. Dexter LOVED it, and would run back and forth with unbridled glee every time we returned “home.” I think the hobbit hole-like layout felt his size, to him.
The night we arrived, it was already past Dex’s bedtime, so we pretty much put him straight down (he had his own area with a door for once, no cowering in the hall for us, woo hoo!) and then Matt went scouting for some pizza. He was successful at Toscania Pizzeria, and brought home a pizza the size of a surfboard.
Our family visited Copenhagen to celebrate my birthday. It was kind of a last-minute trip, and we’re calling it a rough draft. We had a good time overall, but agreed we’d like to do it again, and do it better.
Most disappointing was Tivoli Gardens, where we’d planned to spend the day on Monday, my actual birthday, after a weekend of checking out other parts of the city. Turns out it closed that day, for two weeks, as a between-seasons break. Our hotel was steps from the park, and we passed it open countless times over the weekend, which made it especially upsetting.
It is one of the great tragedies of our marriage, that I enjoy art museums and Matt does not. I’d go as far as to say he married me under FALSE PRETENSES, as he attended a prestigious art school for a year, except I knew going in he was anti-museum. I actually think art school is partly responsible for this. Matt is violently allergic to pretentious.
But I, as a stereotypical Libra, love museums. Even the pretentious ones. As long as you’re showing me pretty things in a hushed, relaxing atmosphere, I am in.
It is a testament to just how darn cool the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is, that we both loved it. Even Dexter felt the love, as there were tons of great, artsy kid things to do, as well.
A couple of weekends ago, we decided to take a mini road trip while we still had the rental car. We miss Florida already and the weather has been unbelievably gorgeous here, so Brighton Beach, a mere hour and a half away, seemed to be a natural choice.