I should have known--it should have raised my red flag that he was so happily and quietly occupied on the balcony for over half an hour while I was trying to decipher cryptic medical insurance statements and the Diplomat was battling a big piece of fish in the kitchen. And when Son proudly dragged us to the balcony to show us his work, I almost gagged--especially since two highly amused 20-something year olds from the building opposite ours cheerfully informed us that Son had been throwing various interesting things down for the past 30 mins. Horrified, we looked over the rail and since we live on the 10th floor, we saw a massive amount of cars and clothes on the ground, along with an assortment of his drying underwear strewn upon people's balconies below us. NO floor had been spared--each one featured at least one colorful pair of Thomas the Train or Monkeys or Cars undies, plus some sheets and shorts.
So, I spent the next 20 humiliating minutes going from floor to floor, asking people to go to their balconies and bring me back the wet underwear and whatever random cars had landed there. One thing I will say--my building has a shocking amount of single women living in it! Then I marched the now sobbing Son to the street and made him collect his gazillion cars from there, while I stood there sweating in the sun trying to look impenetrable and a bastion of parental discipline. It did not help that passers-by would give me odd looks and try to help Son while I would bark, "No, he is learning a lesson!"
I have now started my Consular training at FSI and I must admit that I unabashedly love it! Perhaps its rules-based nature appeals to my base lawyer instincts but I daresay that consular work and I were made for each other! I have also realized that I have about a month before I leave this beautiful land of America to begin the crazy Bangladesh experience so my obsessive planning nature has going into intense overdrive--the past two weeks have been spent dealing with scheduling our packouts, trying to figure out how to ship Fat Cat (the major headache in this process), getting our shiny new diplomatic passports (there HAD to be a snag in that one as well!), applying for visas, reserving tickets, booking hotels and a zillion other little details. It is all superfun. I also spent 3 hours in Costco on Monday and shopped to my heart's content for those precious American necessities without which my life in Bangladesh would be empty (like toilet paper, dried basil and olive oil, for example). I will devote an entire post on what I consider necessities for posts in South Asia--I have a nifty spreadsheet on the subject. I will also post a curious picture showing my Costco bounty!