He did become extra clingy, however, and is still not quite over that phase. I heard a LOT of pleas for Mommy while we were in Germany, especially whenever one of his grandparents wanted to pick him up. (Also he would yell "bye-bye Opa!" to indicate that he did NOT want them, thank you, which they found pretty much as charming as you can imagine.) We found that it was actually better for us to leave the house entirely or at least disappear to another floor--he would scream for a minute and then get over it and play happily. So we got in a lot of extra sleeping time, where we would bring him to play with Oma and Opa when he woke up and then we would go back to sleep. It was awesome. But even now that we are back there have been many angry screams for Mommy-Daddy whenever one of us dares to leave the room, so that is an awesome new development. And just in time for him to start daycare tomorrow! I am just hoping that the "out of sight, out of mind" principle will apply and he'll do well with daycare once we've left the premises. Eeek.
Lest this post focus entirely on Callum, Torsten and I had a great trip too. We hit up all Torsten's favorite places in his hometown, and went to some lovely Christmas markets, specifically the one in Mannheim. The weather was brisk but not icy and mostly clear, lucky for a trip in late December. We spent an unexpected night with friends in Paris after an issue with our rental car, but it turned out to be great to have more time with them, though it sucked to miss a day with my host family in Toulouse. Especially since they fed us incredibly well. They pulled out all the stops with the amazing meals and now I'm pretty sure Torsten is dying to go back there at least as much, if not more, than I am.
London was also awesome. I did procure the Marian Keyes book that is not yet out in the U.S., but I failed to find a personalized souvenir for Callum (this was a goal of mine since Callum is a very common name in the UK). The only personalized stuff I could find was ugly and tacky, like keychains with flowers on them that said "the world according to Callum." No license plates, London keychains, or anything else that was at all souvenir-ish. Apparently that's not a Thing in the UK? Who knew. We went to some of Torsten's old favorite places from when he lived in London, walked the Millennium Mile, saw Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, rode the London Eye, checked out the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, and even had one clear, sunny day. We also got a ton of use out of Callum's Bundle Me, because it was definitely chilly.
So, in sum: the trip was awesome, photos will have to come in a separate post because they are scattered across a variety of different devices and I haven't yet uploaded any of them, and I also still need to do that end-of-year survey that I'm sure everyone else is totally sick of. But first I have to catch up on work. And also get everything ready for Callum's first day of daycare. We are definitely back to the real world. But it's kind of great.
P.S. Here's one photo I just pulled off my phone, of Callum sleeping in his car seat on the first transatlantic flight. Like I said: traveling champ.