Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Munich Zoo & Circumcisions

We got up this morning and ate pancakes... AGAIN. We rarely ate pancakes at home. In recent months, we had been getting turned on to blueberry pancakes once a week, but never plain pancakes. Now because it's difficult to get regular buttermilk pancakes and maple syrup here, we are craving them all the time and eating them every other day. In just over two weeks, we've gone through a small box of bisquick and half a bottle of syrup. If we were at home, we could care less and wouldn't even be craving these things. It's only because we "can't" get them easily. When I was in the U.S. I wanted crepes all the time. Go figure.
Mmm... pancakes!

After breakfast, we met Liesel and her family at the "tierpark" (zoo) in Munich.
A few things worth mentioning about the zoo are that there are virtually no major fences to keep you out of habitats so you really have to watch your kids, you can get beer in glasses, and your dogs are allowed to be there on-leash. I love seeing places where you can bring your dogs with you. It was interesting to see all these different breeds wandering around. Gerrit probably thought they were part of the attractions there. Gerrit enjoyed the aquarium (obviously), and in fact, any animal that was in water- sea lions, polar bears, ducks, and especially penguins. He was downright giddy when he saw penguins swimming around in the water.
Oooh.... wow!!
Hey, did you see that penguin swim by? Wasn't that cool?Daddy, Daddy... Look at the giraffes!
Mommy showing Gerrit how to feed animals at the petting zoo
Mommy satisfies a chocolate craving
Gerrit enjoys his first popsicle
What are you looking at?

We stopped at a playground and I had a pleasant chat with Liesel's eldest son, Samuel. Samuel will be six next month and just started traditional German school in grade one. He knows English and Swedish but very little German. Samuel is bright, mature, and very articulate for his age. He was telling me about his school today and all the things he likes and dislikes. He said (of course) he loves being able to play soccer outside, but that he doesn't like all the homework he gets. He also mentioned that he doesn't like that he has to learn German fast to catch up, and sometimes he stares at his teacher when she's speaking German because he doesn't understand what she's saying. He seemed really frustrated so I told him that I was also taking German classes and had to go to school to learn German, too. I told him that I had homework just like he did and that I found it difficult to understand my teacher as well. He laughed when I said that my teacher corrected us when we answered in German incorrectly, and he said that his teacher didn't do that.
The bridge near the playground
Samuel, Liesel, Ella, Thomas, Martin & Steph

DISCLAIMER: Circumcision Talk Here. Those who are squeamish about this topic may wish to skip to the end of the post.

So I'm not sure why men are so obsessed with their penis. It seems that men are convinced that their sons need to "look just like them" in that department. I've had conversations with several women about this "circumcision" topic and where their husbands stand on this, and it all seems the same. They want their sons to look just like them... as if they are constantly comparing themselves to each other in the gym showers. Hmm... my mom is really large breasted, and the only time I seem to have any sort of "volume" up top is when I'm pregnant or nursing, and I am obviously completely scarred over not looking just like her. Gerard and I had several discussions before Gerrit was born about whether or not to circumcise him. My personal attitude is that it is not medically necessary so why do it? Gerard felt a bit differently before Gerrit was born. Now that he is here and the doctor basically botched the surgery, essentially leaving him only partly circumcised, I think he feels differently. He is much more open to the idea that his next son be left "intact." Not that it matters much what his attitude is, since here they don't really circumcise kids unless it's for religious reasons. Unlike the U.S., circumcisions in Germany are done under general anesthesia, but since it's too much of a risk to put infants under, they don't do it until at least age 2 or 3. The way I look at it, none of the men in my life will look the same "in that department" as all three will have had different amounts of foreskin (or no foreskin) taken off. So they'll just think it's normal for everyone to look different. Now isn't that a much more pleasant thought than worrying that they need to all look the same?


At October 3, 2007 at 5:45 PM , Blogger Adrienne said...

"So I'm not sure why men are so obsessed with their penis."

This makes it sound like there is one collective penis between all men.

Hehehehehe . . .

At October 3, 2007 at 11:20 PM , Blogger Alex said...

Haha this made me laugh!

At October 3, 2007 at 11:20 PM , Blogger Alex said...

And lil Gerritt is soooo cute! =)


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