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! :)