Monday, April 27, 2009

Borrowing Canaan...

I just had a really good afternoon today, one that could have been really boring, slightly irritating, and possibly even embarrassing. But, I avoided all those things by borrowing Canaan. That's right, I had an errand to run, so I borrowed Canaan to make my life easier and it ended up being more fun too!
You see, I had to go to the post office. Several of you have heard about my first trip to the post office here in Kharkov. It wasn't pleasant, in fact, it was emotionally difficult on me. I got yelled at by the ladies behind the counter, they yelled at each other and I was frazzled by the end of the experience. I didn't realize it at the time, but looking back, it really left a mark on me emotionally and I avoided going out alone for several months after because I was scared.
But then, I went to the post office with Lucy, Max, and Canaan. Wow, what a difference. Our good experience had nothing to do with Lucy or I... it had everything to do with the kids. Ukrainians take one look at the kids and their sympathies and patience level increase significantly. So I made a mental note: borrow kids next time.
And that's exactly what I did today! Canaan was so excited to get out into the warm weather with me, he practically ran to the post office (a 10 minute walk away). We looked at all sorts of things along the way, marveling at especially the trucks, tractors, and motorcycles that passed us by. Then we got to the post office. We waited in line for about 30 minutes until we were finally helped, then we waited and worked with the ladies behind the counter for another 30 minutes getting the package all sorted to be mailed internationally. (They really are in no hurry to get anything done.) I filled out one form they gave me, then another they gave me. Then they threw the first slip away that I filled out because I didn't need to fill it out. Then they opened my package and weighed each thing inside individually, writing the weight of each object on the customs form. Then I filled out the customs slip again because I had misspelled "magnet" in Russian. After all that and 8 stamps to make everything official, Canaan and I were finally out of the post office. Canaan was incredibly good there, we played together in line, talked about all sorts of things around us, and he even got to flirt with one of the girls we were in line with. Did we get yelled at? Not once! They were actually really kind and patient with my limited Russian!
After the incredibly long time at the post office, we went and got a milkshake at McDonalds for our walk home. He certainly deserved it after being fantastic for such a long time in line!
It was a win-win situation: Canaan got a milkshake, the McDougles got a lot done at their house, and I walked away happy and encouraged from my post office experience! :)
Note to self: keep borrowing kids! :)

11 comments:

Mihills Family Blog said...

Cute story!! I'm so glad ya'll had a wonderful and productive time during your retreat! It always helps to get away from the everyday things to concentrate on what's really important. Sounds like things are really beginning to come together for you all.

Love to you all,

Debbie

Zack said...

Funny story! So sorry your first experience going to the post office was so bad for you. But glad you started going with people, especially with kids. Praying for you and David and your whole team! God bless. Grace and Peace.r

Jeanette said...

thats hilarious! I wish it was that was in the states... people seem to be MORE annoyed when you have a kid!

Lori said...

That's interesting because when I need to do errands, it's easier w/o Abigail.

Also, instead of borrowing a child, you could have one :).

Deanna said...

I say, use whatever works best and if it just so happens to be a very cute child, even better!

Timbra said...

or you know. . .just HAVE one!!! ha ha. that is so funny about the change in attitude regarding kids. sad that you were emotionally traumatized by your initial experience, hopefully this will cover up the old scars!

Barb said...

What a fun story! Sorry to hear about the first trip to the PO though. I guess every missionary has at least one. Just one more reminder about how kids bring so much joy to others.

Love you guys!
Barb

Russell, Alison and Grant said...

Glad things went better this time! Borrowing kids is definitely a lot easier than having your own.

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

Ok- this made me laugh out loud!!! It made me think of what drastic turnarounds those little old Ukrainian ladies can make from swinging their purses to pinching baby cheeks! Canaan looks so cute in the sunglasses! Hope David is feeling better. Love you!

Marisa said...

The yelling part reminds me of getting yelled at by Germans. Too funny about some of our similarities, but I completely understand. I'm glad the Ukrainians like children. You know, pregnancy has made a difference for me in Germany. Once I started actually looking pregnant people have not been as rude and are even somewhat friendlier.

Mike and Lucy said...

You can borrow him anytime! He has so much fun with you! And we did get lots done! He will be ready to hang out with you in a a few weeks when we come back!
Love ya!