What's 'embarrassed' in Russian?

>> Sunday, 23 August 2009

So, picture the scene...

The Potski Familiski were at Boy #1’s new school in Moscow. He had gone with Husband to be ‘assessed’ for an hour so they can decide which class he ‘fits’ into. This is a rather cautious move on our part, as we won't be here until at least October and will be going back to his UK school in the meantime, but me and Baden Powell, we like to Be Prepared...

Anyway, it was a long hour. I have to say, that when Husband failed to reappear during it, I assumed the worst; Boy #1 had expressed a strong opinion that he did not want to do this, and his strong opinions on matters like this are never good (see last September’s fun and games for examples). We had decided as a result that Husband – being less easy than I am to manipulate – should accompany Boy #1 to the classroom, as this should mean fewer fun and games from our oldest son. That of course left me to deal with the fun and games our youngest son decided to dish up...

Whilst we were waiting I needed to use the facilities. Boy #2, with his ever-increasing sense of self, decided that whilst he needed to use them too, he was not going to use the Ladies. He is a Boy. They use the MEN’s loos. Obviously, with my being a Lady, and NOT using the Men’s loos, this presented a problem. No way was I letting him loose in the Mens on his own with unsupervised access to unlimited loo-roll, but likewise no way was I sneaking in to use the Mens with him on our first visit to the school. What would the stalwart mums from the Parent Teacher Organisation stationed directly opposite the loo entrances think, for a start?

I informed him that – just this once - he would just have to use the Ladies. He refused – of course.

Left with a stand-off situation and picturing having to deal with a smelly wet-shorted son if we didn’t sort this out sharp-ish, I took the snap decision to re-brand one of the cubicles within the Ladies a Men’s loo. All went well; Boy #2 accepted the compromise and was just washing his hands when a teenage girl, all long blonde hair and spray-on jeans, walked in. She decided to use the very cubicle that I had temporarily redesignated the Mens...

(Please note that the following conversation was held at the top of Boy #2’s voice. Any louder and they would have heard him in London.)

Boy #2: “What’s. She. DOING?”

Me: “She’s going to the loo, Boy #2.”

Boy #2: “But she’s gone into the MEN’S toilet!” Me (thinking, best brush over this, we’ll be out of here in a moment): “Has she? Oh dear.”

Boy #2: “Why? WHY Mama? She’s a lady... (he paused for thought). Or is she? Is she, mama? Or is she... A LADY MAN?”

Me (struggling not to laugh) “I really don’t think so sweetie. I think she’s just gone to the loo in the wrong cubicle.”

Boy #2: “No, No. She’s a LADY MAN! She IS, Mama!”

Me: “Right. Now, let’s just put your coat on...”

Boy #2: “And what’s. That. SMELL? Is it the LADY MAN, Mama? Is it her?”

Me: “We’re leaving. We’re leaving now...”


Mwa 23 August 2009 at 19:39  

I don't know what it is about men's bathrooms either, but I won't let my five year old go in them on his own either. I suppose it's just that I'd rather not go in there if he needs any help.

I hope that lady man didn't speak English.

A Modern Mother 23 August 2009 at 19:45  

The things they say! Can't believe you are really going. What an adventure. Think of all the great writing material.

The Green Stone Woman 23 August 2009 at 21:12  

It's an English language school Boy #1 is going to, isn't it? An international school? I am sure there are lots of foreigners there for you to mingle with. What an adventure! As long as you keep blogging, because you will have a lot to tell us and we will be all ears.

Frog in the Field 24 August 2009 at 00:02  

Your son saying embaressing things? I simply can't imagine such an occasion!
Maybe you got away with it this time...maybe she didn't speak English?

Frog in the Field 24 August 2009 at 00:04  

Oh and the term you're looking for?
I think it's 'blushski'

Tattie Weasle 24 August 2009 at 09:39  

I don't mind it when Bog Boy says embarrassing things about people it's just the fact that he has to say it so LOUD that gets me!

Potty Mummy 24 August 2009 at 21:52  

Mwa, if it had been the 5 year old I might have considered it - but it was the 3 year old. No way was he going in there solo. And yes - LadyMan did speak English, blast it.

Modern, that's what I keep repeating to myself. 'Think of the blog fodder, think of the blog fodder...'

Irene, yes it's an international English Language school. We're not so brave as to throw him into a Russian one.

Frog, I know, I know, completely out of character for either of them to do that to me.

You're right Tattie, it's the VOLUME that's the problem. As I found out on the plane today!

Chic Mama 24 August 2009 at 23:47  

Hmmmm, I have that toilet problem all the time too. Wow, I didn't realise you are going to live there. How exciting. :0)

Very Bored Housewife 1 September 2009 at 14:10  

LOL, fabulous. I look forward to the day my boy similarly embarrasses me in such a way, I sure my fate will be the same as well and they will understand English perfectly.

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