February 2004 - in Bulgaria

February 2004 - in Chipishev/BG

Kids love hearing stories about themselves or their parents. Both of our children regularly request stories about silly things they did as a younger kiddo, or stories about their father or me as a child. Tonight at dinner we got on a roll and had them both laughing until they cried. I must admit, we do have some good stories.

Like the time I took Principesa into an airport bathroom in Germany. She was potty trained while we were in Bulgaria where there are no public bathrooms, so she was used to just going behind a bush or something and taking care of business. (I did have to ask a Bulgarian friend exactly how you held a little girl for that because she kept peeing on my shoes, but that’s another story.) So the spotless white porcelain toilet in the airport was the first time she’d dealt with an automatic flush toilet. I didn’t even think about it and plopped her on the seat and while she was still there, it flushed underneath her.

She levitated off the toilet and landed on my head.

It was like a scene from Scooby Doo when Scooby gets scared and jumps straight up, legs flailing, and lands on the dumb guy’s head. (What was his name? Can’t remember…) She let out a yelp and started crying and I was laughing so hard I was crying too. I felt terrible for laughing so hard at her terror, but couldn’t stop laughing. Beloved was standing outside the door and could hear the commotion, so he’s standing out there wondering what in the world happened.

It was months before she would even set foot in a bathroom stall that had an automatic flush. She’d peek her head around the corner and say, “NO, Mommy! It’s blinking at me!” and I’d have to promise to keep my hand over the evil eye until she was done and off the toilet and out of the stall.

A few stories like that and everyone is laughing and demanding more stories. All of us around the dinner table laughing is one of my favorite times of day. I am thankful for my family and look forward to collecting more stories.

Heirlooms we don’t have in our family. But stories we’ve got.   — Rose Cherin

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