I have a teeny confession to make. Yes, I was an unrecognizable domestic goddess last week but I neglected to mention that Germany has a 4-day Easter holiday. I hope you can still respect me. Now it's back to work and there will be no sewing, baking or cleaning of any kind for a while.
One last heartwarming Easter story before we move on to new topics. On Easter Sunday we took the kids to Wildpark Poing, which is an amazing animal park with petting zoos, play grounds, real bears and majestic peacocks that walk around everywhere. Like that one.
We ran into some Russian friends of ours and I was able to use the one Russian phrase I still remember from colleage: Prevyet - kak dela?
(Hi, how are you?)
Cool, huh? Practice it on your Russian friends, it is guaranteed to bring on a torrent of Slavik gibberish and maybe a flask of vodka.
Later we ran into a German family we know from Kindergarten and hung with them for the rest of the morning. The mom is a nice but harassed woman with three kids. We occassionally have a playdate but don't seem to have much to talk about. Possibly my effortless mothering annoys her.
As we were meandering she confided in me that she's been worried about Patrick, who has been deliberately scratching himself hard enough to draw blood lately.
Side note: Traditional German names like Hans, Peter, Dieter, Kai-Uwe, Michaela, Petra and Elke don't exist any more, everyone's Daniel or Patrick or Leia or Selena these days.
Anyway, I sensed an opportunity to be of use with my excellent advice and do some mommy bonding.
Me: Oh, I wouldn't worry about it, I did the exact same thing when I was a kid. I would scratch myself as hard as I could, sometimes with a knife or a protractor, just to freak out the other kids. And we used to rub the skin off the back of our hands with erasers in school. Mainly initials. It drove the teachers crazy. But I eventually stopped doing stuff like that and (comfortingly) most of the scars are gone now or at least faded. Well, you can still see the 'D' on my left hand but you have to really look for it. I'm sure it's just a totally normal phase.
Her (after a slight awkward pause used to put a little more distance between us): I'm glad you were able to get past... er, that. But I was actually thinking that Patrick's allergic to something.
Me: Oh. . . right. Yeah. That's probably it. Um, pretzel anyone?