Not everything. But almost. LE is great. He's learning how to walk. I could probably learn something from his attitude towards this, which is that it's a new thing to do, and so it's a big fun game. I don't think it's clear to him that walking on his own is an eventual goal. He just seems to like letting go, taking a few steps, then falling down tremendously and finding it all hilarious. Perhaps if he thought walking was the goal, he'd find it frustrating. If it were me, I'd say 'Screw this, crawling works just fine and I'll stick with it until my kneecaps grow in and I'm forced to do something else.' And apparently this was my attitude at an early age, as my mother says I didn't really walk until I was around 18 months old.
LE also enjoys repetitive things, as babies do. He's happy to spend hours handing me two Legos to put together for him (his little hands can't quite manage this even though they're big, baby-sized Legos), then he takes them apart and gives them back to me to reassemble. His patience with this is astounding. I guess I should be glad he's not one of those kids who's bored with everything after five minutes. On the other hand, I'm not overly fond of reassembling the Legos 400,000 times a day. If he weren't so delighted with it I wouldn't bother, just as I wouldn't bother pretending to answer his baby cell phone for an hour a day, or pretending to take pictures of him with his baby camera. But he's totally thrilled to bits with these things, every time. And it's not like I have much else going on.
Maybe that's the rub, the feeling that there's nothing going on and everything will continue exactly the same forever and ever. I blame spring. There are definitely spring-y things happening here. Trees are budding, including the lovely ones with the white flowers, and the stupid birds who've chosen a hole right outside my bedroom window for their nest are back, complete with their pre-sunrise screeching and scrabbling. Lucky for them this year, LE usually has me up by this time anyway so I haven't once tried to discourage their nest placement by chucking slippers at the window. But the early days of spring have such promise. In that first week, the saps are rising outside and in me and I get a definite feeling that Something is going to happen.
But nothing is happening. I'm completely, absolutely sick to death of living here, and the future days hours minutes of having to live here are suddenly pressing down on me, as they do from time to time. Turkish politics are a circus, as are American. Every night, I give LE a bath in water that keeps running orange for some reason and it pisses me off. My in-laws continue to be an alternately whining, alternately authoritative presence that just won't go away no matter how much I wish they would. Strangers keep giving me stupid advice about how I do everything wrong with my son then try to touch his mouth. Prices keep shooting up, even for the orange water. I'm sick to death of the same fruits and vegetables I've been eating since November. And spring just makes me think that it will be summer soon, with long sweltering days that I've never quite adjusted to, in which all the windows will have to be kept open to fully let in the sound of the mosque that keeps getting louder (I realized yesterday as I was passing next to the mosque that it's the same volume right next to it as several blocks away, I guess due to an echo effect of all the identical, ugly, luridly colored buildings), as well as the grime from outside and the occasional pigeon. Last year a pigeon came in (and it's always the nastiest, mangiest, sickest-looking ones that come in) and flew straight into the back bedroom where I was on the computer. It scared me half to death with the sudden sound and I managed to trap it in the bathroom before calling my husband at work in a panicked rage, telling him to do something about the pigeon right away. I must have been hating living in Turkey on that day as well, because I remember the sub-text of that conversation was 'Your damn country has sent one of your damn greasy, lice-infested flying rats through these damn Turkish windows that swing open like doors and can't be opened partially and I'm stuck out here alone with the baby in these damn suburbs of this polluted shithole city...' You get the point. My poor husband takes the brunt of these I-hate-living-in-Turkey times, partly because he's the only living representative that I have close by to vent on, but also it's because of him that I'm stuck here and can't go home. So sometimes everything is all his fault. Even pigeons.
In his defence, he dealt with the pigeon quite effectively by sending the barber from the downstairs shop up with a bag and a broom, who neatly dispatched of said pigeon without even waking the baby. I almost forgave the barber for failing to acknowledge my existence with more than a shy nod when passing on the street even though he knows damn well who I am and even though my husband spends hours with him in his shop, not to mention the occasional man-nights-out, from which I'm automatically excluded because, by Turkish Man Law, guys like the barber are forbidden from looking at or speaking to me out of respect for my husband. And that's another damn thing I'm sick of about living here, that I should just be happy staying at home day after day, night after night, while my husband is free to relieve himself of being a father whenever he wants to go out with the guys, who are all presumably abandoning their wives at home as well, and whose wives are presumably okay with this as their lot in life forever and ever. Of course, I'm not overly keen to leave LE for a night on the toot, and I know those days are over for a long, long while. Still, I can't help but resent having my face rubbed in the fact that a bit of outside, alcohol-fueled fun is not even a possibility, that I'm tied to home, that I'd better learn to like it, and perhaps I should learn to love ironing and endless börek-making while I'm at it, because there's fuck-all else to do.
Bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch. That's why I haven't been posting lately, because any post I start to compose in my head goes the way this one is going, on an endless expanding loop of why everything sucks and why I'm sick of it here and why it's all Turkey's fault, as though I'm the first mother in the world to get a bit resentful missing her old life, or the first foreigner in the world to get homesick. As though to prove the point, LE is crying for me again because I've been away from him for an entire 30 minutes, and even though his father is with him and eager to play, it simply will not do for a small fellow who has to have at least visual contact, if not continuous physical contact of some sort with his mommy approximately 21 hours a day. Also he's probably hungry and since I seem to be the only one around here who knows what he eats, I'd better get going.