Well, really, it's a shame E only comes around once because so many things are embarassing. Still, there's always H for 'Humiliating' so I'm going to blow my E post on the following:
K starts school next week and had her 6th birthday party yesterday so last Thursday we stopped by the school supplies store to buy notebooks, pens, glue, construction paper and other useful stuff.
The stern German shopkeeper ringing up the family in front of us handed the little girl a large box with ABC printed on it and explained that it was full of free supplies for kids starting school. The girl tripped merrily out of the store with her free box of stuff while K tracked her egress with narrowed eyes.
Then she fixed those same eyes on me expectantly and I understood that she also wanted a box of free stuff.
Come to mention it, so did I. I mean, free stuff. So while the German shopkeeper was ringing us up, with nary a word about free stuff, I informed her that K is also starting school.
'The box is only for kids who buy their school supplies here,' she informed me gruffly.
I guess my paltry stash didn't make the cut. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I tried again: 'Her father brought her last week and bought a whole bunch of stuff for school and he did not come home with a box of free stuff.'
She shrugged and handed me my change.
I shook my head sadly at K and we turned to go. She's very supportive in moments like these. She doesn't have a very high opinion of my success rate in confrontations with German shopkeepers but I do get credit for trying.
With an apparent change of heart, the shopkeeper ran into the back room and emerged holding a red shoulder bag with something in it. She presented it to K, who methodically sized it up and shook her head. 'No, thanks.'
I winced and smiled a weak apology. Next week's topic will be, 'Pretending you like something.'
Looking somewhat strained and clearly regretting her spontaneous half generosity, the shopkeeper said, 'Well, then, your sister can have it.'
She looked around for L and stiffened.
Then I looked around for L and stiffened.
L had apparently decided she spends too much time clothed from the waist down and had pulled down her pants and underwear.
'L, pull up your pants!' I whispered.
Delighted, she turned around and mooned us with some impressive wiggling action. Then she stood up and came forward to collect her free bag, pants dragging around her ankles and swishing loudly as she shuffled across the carpet.
Somehow all of this happened in slow motion.
Oh, and in any other country there would have been some friendly chuckles about this. Not so in Germany.
'Thank you,' I muttered, yanking up L's pants and pretty much running out of the store.
K, happily, kept her pants on.
And now, if any of you are part-time working moms like me, this post may interest you: http://ls-workgirl.blogspot.com/