Sunday, April 27, 2014


Shortly before Marie's head dunking, Angie turned a disapproving eye to me.

'Steve! You can't take pictures in a church!'

I justified my next move by explaining to Angie that at least she would finally have photographic proof that I never listen to her.

The problem is that pictures are like Pringles - you just can't stop after one.

As an American, I'm still shocked at all the lawsuit-worthy things they do in Europe. Like the whole 'letting little kids run around with fire'.

Shortly after this shot, Paul almost accidentally set Lisi's hair on fire, prompting the reverend to briefly stop the service to blow out Paul's torch.

Considering that I had been ignoring religious etiquette for pretty much the entire sermon and that I am a natural born trendsetter, it was no surprise that Marie's baptism suddenly turned into a photo shoot. Smile!

After taking a bunch of pictures that were blurry enough to remind me to get a new camera, we moved to the reception. Angie scrutinized the menu for a tad bit longer than usual before announcing her decision to the incredibly patient waiter.

'I'll have wine.'

My wife was on her third glass when she informed me that I would be taking Peter and David to different birthday parties. 

'Um, okay, and thanks for choosing me! What time do they need to be where?'

'Peter needs to be there at 2:00 and David's party starts at 3:00.'

'It's 3:30.'

'Then you better hurry up.'

On my way out, I caught a glimpse of pure Papa-Marie bonding and just couldn't resist.  

For the next hour, I raced around Heidelberg delivering two thirds of my children to birthday kids that only tolerate late well wishers if they show up bearing gifts. Luckily they were and I made it back just before the entourage embarked on their sunny river stroll. 

Shortly after leaving the restaurant, I asked Angie if she still had our family book. See, she wasn't sure what documents the German church might require for her to be officially named as Marie's Godmama, so she just decided to bring our entire family book. This book has the original birth certificates for all of our children, as well as our original marriage certificate and all of our social security cards. So yeah, I was a little focused on keeping track of it. The 'frozen in the headlights' look worried me slightly.

'Tell me that you do still have it, right?'

Instead of answering, Angie's cheeks turned beet red. 

'I left it in the men's room.'

'You left it where??!!'

Before Blushy could confuse me further, she turned and raced back to the restaurant. It wasn't until she returned, out of breath and gripping our family book that I finally got, in the words of the great Paul Harvey 'the rest of the story'.

Angie reluctantly explained that at one point while I was shuttling our children to get their parties on, she needed to tinkle. The women's bathroom had apparently been hijacked by a line of inconsiderate Japanese tourists that also needed to tinkle. Angie's utter lack of patience, coupled with a few glasses of wine, convinced her bladder that she should just use the men's room, which had almost no line at all. 


'I used a stall!'

To the poor Japanese tourists of male persuasion that were at the urinal when my wife burst in on you - I apologize. Gomenasai!

To the subsequent stall visitors that probably wondered who would be stupid enough to leave such important life documents on the floor of a men's bathroom - thank you for not walking away with our family history. Arigato! 

In an ironic twist, we learned that Angie did not even need any paperwork to become Marie's Godmama.  She only needed love and patience, but hey, one out of two ain't bad.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That I could be on Vincent's party. 
David: That Marie had a Taufe. 
Tom: That I could have sweets by the restaurant with Paul, Elisabeth, Götz, Isabel, and Marie.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: That my back hurts.
David: That Tommy was a little bit mean right now.
Tom: That David did burp and he was mean to me.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to trade Pokemon cards with Arman.
David: I want to have fun in my new school day.
Tom: Nothing.

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