Biking on the left

Number of different friends and neighbors who offered to drive us to the airport: 6.

Number of times Sophie decided it would be fun to play run-away-from-Momma in the San Diego airport: 2, unfortunately, but she stops when she can’t see me.

Number of brief crying outbursts on the airplanes: Only 4.

Hours of naps in the plane: 2 hours on the first plane, almost 5 hours on the second plane, which isn’t bad, but is only half of Sophie’s daily sleep need. Still, it gave me time to read the New Yorker and watch the movie “Frost/Nixon” and wonder what it was I had been dreading so much about the long flights. I even napped a little myself.

Number of times Sophie fell off her airplane seat in her sleep: 2, but I caught her.

Number of minutes Sophie spent wearing her airplane seatbelt: 20, total, crying in protest almost the whole time. I don’t know what to do about that. This was the first time she had her own airplane seat, and she didn’t think it was a safe place for take-off and landing. She insisted on being on my lap. I relented.

Number of children with whom Sophie shared her toy trucks: 5, everyone we met in the airports, but unfortunately none of them were seated near us on the airplanes.

Number of times the man behind us on the Minneapolis-to-London flight kicked my seat: Uncountable. The grouch was mad that I dared to recline my seat, and that Sophie had dared to attempt to play peek-a-boo with him. I have no idea why anyone would decline peek-a-boo with my child, especially since it meant he had to listen to more crying, and to listen to Sophie repeatedly asking, “What’s that? That’s a grouchy man.”

Number of times Ben actually skipped in Heathrow airport while hugging Sophie: Uncountable. And if you know Ben, you know he never skips in public.

Stuff that has already surprised me here: People maintain their cute British accents even when talking to children. Sophie is still sleeping this morning, even though it’s past 9am. Ben’s apartment is comfortable. I actually really like Cambridge: people walking and biking more than driving, wonderful old Britishy buildings, independent shops everywhere, people punting on the river, tasty fish-and-chips, and someone to share parenting with. Ben bought me a sweet British commuter bike to welcome me here. It’s exceedingly difficult to remember to bike on the left.

Today’s plan: bike to every playground in Cambridge that we can fine. Then maybe try punting.

Life is pretty good.


3 responses to “Biking on the left

  1. Tracy

    Elaine, I am so happy for you and I can’t wait to hear about all your adventures in Cambridge!

  2. celochick

    I am guessing that “punting” doesn’t have to do with kicking an odd-shaped ball through an upright goal! Glad you survived your trip across the pond. Sorry about the grumpy man. Enjoy your time over there and cash in all those chips you earned over the past six weeks!

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