There are days in every school, in every country, where every kid just goes ape-sauce. As teachers we have taken to blaming the weather and there has been scientific studies to prove it, but as long as everyone else’s kids are going crazy and it’s not just mine, that’s all I need. So this was my day:
We started off going to the public library, which we do every few weeks, so it went just fine. We then moved across the street to play in the big park there and it was looking like a great day with good weather. Then…
Child: D has pee in his pants
D is at the top of a climbing apparatus just looking at me. He comes down and hobbles over to where I have supplies. And by supplies I mean everything but what I really needed. So he hobbles all the way back to the kita and we change his pants and we return. Luckily I learned from not having necessary supplies and brought back a spare pair of pants with me as well as one of the kids backpacks that was sitting in the school with their lunch in it. Smooth kid.
Also let me remind you that no one has peed their pants since like, December so this is out of the norm. While I’m gone this happens.
Child to other teacher: I’m humpy (hungry) (this is the darling that left her backpack int he school)
I come back and sit down for abooouuut 2 minutes when child 2 comes up with “pee in his pants.” This is where the spare comes in handy. Crisis averted. After he put his wet things in the plastic bag and tie it up real nice.
Me: where does this bag go?
Child: in the trash
Me: No, where does it go?
Child: in your backpack *starts opening up my bag*
Me: No, in YOUR backpack
Other child later: Gay-yul I want to show you something, it’s in the sand.
Me: what’s in the sand?
Child: A hole
I will leave you with the gems of wisdom that were told to me by my walking partner on the trip back.
Me: What do you want to learn about mini-beasts (British term for insects and small creatures)?
Child: I already know everything about everything
A few minutes later…
Child: Gay-yul, if a man marries a man he can’t have babies, but if a man marries a woman or a woman marries a man they can have babies, or if a woman marries a woman they can have a baby
I’ll let you be the judge.
God bless Zumba for giving the rhythmically challenged a place to dance. This one goes out to the dark-skinned Danny Devito that proudly took the front row.
During one of my trips to the grocery store- that I take every other day because I never want to carry more than three items- I was at the pinnacle moment of paying. I was using my new debit card because I recently lost my old one, but I successfully replaced it without acting irrationally or cursing the city. The nice young man puts the card in machine and turns it to me to put in my pin number. After my best attempt at what I thought was my number, I was rejected. I never really say anything whilst buying my groceries so nobody knows that I am not German and I rarely understand what they rattle off in German when something goes wrong. I have the basic script down, but there is always something new to keep me confused. I asked meekly if I could just try again because I am also never sure when there is going to be some crazy German rule/law/social norm that I have broken and will therefore be judged quietly. The Germans love their rules and I am pretty sure they secretly love it when people break them just so that they can get upset about it and explain again why they love their rules. So the kind cashier kindly obliges and says, “Do you feel the pleasure?” As I said, he was a young man and I wasn’t really sure what to make of the statement, but I just nodded and nervously tried my number again. It went through just fine and we finished out the goodbye script. It was only after I had left the store that I realize he was asking if I felt the pressure. He was pretty cute so maybe I felt a little bit of both.
I was reading a book the other day to the kinder that had a picture of lightning and this descriptive writing about it when I realized these kids have probably never seen lightning. I don’t know how much they would ever hear about it either. It is so crazy to consider how completely different someone’s perspective could be based on where they were raised. It is also very sad to consider that they don’t get to see lightning often- because it is awesome. They probably have never heard that Garth Brooks song up top either and that is a whole other disgrace I won’t get into.
Today at lunch I accidentally dropped a piece of my spinach pasta thing and it rolled all the way down my shirt and pants onto the floor. I giggled about it with my kids and went to get a napkin. When I came back and started wiping it off one of the girls said something about “meine mama” and “borse.” I had to take my allotted 5 seconds of translation time to remember what borse meant. And then reiterated “Is my mom going to be mad? No, I think she will be ok because I will clean it.”
So I have to give it to the German people, or at least the people of this city, that they come through in being considerate in different ways. Not to make a generalization about all German people, but I have had many instances of unnecessary rudeness during my time here and it tends to enrage me. But I am always surprised and impressed when I get on the train. If there is an elderly woman or couple standing up, some young person always gets up and gives them their seat and it might just be the sweetest human interaction I ever get to witness. They don’t know each other, they don’t have to, and they don’t owe anything to this person, but they get up anyways. I try as often as I can to offer my seat as needed, but if I am not paying attention or they are not in my part of the train or bus it is so encouraging to see this exchange from afar. I have also had different men do a sweet urban chivalry act of pushing the button on the train to open the door and then stand by as I get on and find a seat. It’s like holding an automatic door open, it’s precious. I have also been helped carrying a large bag up a huge flight of stairs and have seen men help someone else carry a stroller up the stairs. So naturally, I am in love with all of those men. Sadly, I have never talked to any of them. So here’s to you humanity-may you continue to impress the cynics.
can we please talk about the fact that one of my kids was wearing two pairs of underwear today and he had his pants on backwards? His little drawstrings were just flying around back there like he had a tail.
Yesterday we celebrated Fasching which is the German equivalent of Fat Tuesday. All of the kids dressed up and I did my best, but I did not fully understand how much these non-Catholic Germans that don’t practice Lent get into this celebration. This has nothing to do with my cute little kid story, but I thought I would share the latest cultural thing I have experienced.
When I sat down to eat lunch with my kids I sat next a girl that has recently been climbing the charts as my favorite kid ever. She has always been suuuuper cute, but she was shy and I didn’t get to see her personality. About two seconds after I sat down she looked at me and said “Gayle?” Which is normally followed by a “Weiss du was?” and a tattle or they need something from me.
cutie-pie: I like you
Guess who just blew the numbers out of the water?
So my little lovelies have no boundaries, basically. I was talking to them one day about what personal space is.These little guys are always grabbing each other’s faces and picking each other up, etc. I told them we all have a bubble and if you want to touch someone or get in their bubble you need to ask first.
Cut to later that afternoon when I was sitting on the floor with a few of them after playing a riveting round of London Bridge (in honor of my recent trip to the actual London Bridge). I saw one of the kids grab somebody else or something and I reminded them about our bubbles. One little boy was sitting right next to me on the floor and reached up, poked my boob, and said “is that your bubble?” My response was “no.” He poked it again and said “what is that?” My response was, “it’s mine and you don’t touch it.”
I was not about to be the person to teach him that new word.