The whole idea of the “nesting instinct” is pretty funny to me. That classic example of “tearing out the rose bush” and re-doing the yard just before going into labor is pretty true to the intensity of that desire to get everything just right before the baby arrives, at least in my experience. Our family just got home after being away on a visa trip for over 2 weeks and as soon as I walked in the door, the nesting began. I usually take my time to get things settled after trips, but not this time. Those loads of laundry needed to get done that night, even if it killed the washing machine! True story. The washing machine died a horrible screeching death the next day, BUT I have 7 loads of clean laundry to show for it (and no we didn’t bring 14 bags with us… our washing machine is just that miniature).
It is funny enough when you’re nesting in your familiar country and culture, but this time around (this is the first baby of ours to be born overseas) I feel a bit like a sun-loving pink flamingo trying to build a nest in the frigid wilderness of Alaska. Not that the “birds” here don’t build cozy nests as much as anywhere else in the world, but I find myself trying to build the same type of nest native to my species, but in this instance using some rather foreign twigs.
This nesting urge has manifested itself in some intense language study as I try to figure out the names of products that I hope to procure, a bit of furniture re-purposing while trying to determine where the baby will exactly fit in our 2 bedroom apartment, some work with fabric that I could hardly call sewing (since I can’t sew to save my life), some international shopping and shipping, and even my first ever, horribly unsuccessful, very hilarious attempt at plumbing.
Like I mentioned earlier, thanks to the free diaper grant from Cotton Babies, we are giving cloth diapering a try this time. I have heard that a “diaper sprayer” is a treasure worth its weight in gold for cloth diapering moms, and having found a mini-shower/bidet fixture that looks like the exact same thing, I decided to buy it and install it myself. Who cares that the item itself was purchased in Finland to be used for a Russian toilet, or that I had no idea what fixtures it needed, or the fact that I have never heard the first thing about plumbing or home improvement… I was determined that this simple project of screwing a few hoses and fixtures in place would take an adept person like myself all of 15 minutes to successfully install. Four hours later, after googling “how to use teflon plumbing tape” and “plumbing for (female largely pregnant nesting) idiots,” I had succeeded only in soaking a large number of towels and causing our toilet to leak. “Hello?! I’m nesting here! Where’s my forward progress?!”
Well, the diaper sprayer might never get installed, and I will probably feel completely ill-prepared until my foreign “necessities” make their snail-paced way here, mostly likely after the baby’s arrival, but the baby is coming in his or her own time one way or another, and I trust that God has given us every necessity necessary to welcome this little one into our foreign nest. Until then, I’ll probably keep on being that flamingo in Alaska, and we’ll see where I end up in the end. It might be time though to learn from the local birds rather than trying to reinvent the nest.
I’d love to hear your stories about nesting overseas! Did you find yourself in any funny situations as you prepared to welcome your baby into a foreign land? What things did you find your self searching high and low for before his/her arrival?
(Post by: Ashley)