Nikolaus, plastic bags, underwear

| December 5, 2014

I sure hope no one has a view of our hotel room tonight. Warning: I curse here. I have reason to curse; I am a stressed-out parent who cannot handle fleeting childhood wonder.

For those of you who do not know about Nikolaus, it is a German tradition to leave a boot outside on the eve of 06 December. Sankt Nikolaus then goes around to all the houses and leaves candy, an orange, and some nuts in the shoes. (There is no room for nut allergies in German tradition.)

Sequoia very excitedly put a boot out tonight on the balcony of our Bavarian hotel room, announcing she could not possibly go to sleep.

While she and I were swimming earlier, Paul ran to the store to pick up the necessities. After Sequoia fell asleep, I banged a sleeping Paul on the shoulder repeatedly, until he woke. I told him it was time to do Nikolaus. He informed me of where he’d stashed the goods, then rolled back over to sleep.

I tiptoed to the cabinet and saw that Paul had placed a loud plastic bag out of my reach. I stood on my tippy toes and attempted to quietly pull the bag toward me. The echo of the rustling of this plastic bag, which was filled with more fucking plastic bags, was enough to wake the dead.

Somehow, Sequoia slept through the 10-minute process of me jumping up and down coaxing this bag out of the cabinet.

I then snuck into the bathroom. The light switch is on the wall outside of the bathroom, requiring me to open the door and flood the room with light. Sequoia somehow slept through the bright lights and rustling bag.

I opened the bag to find not only the orange and a chocolate Nikolaus, but these more fucking bags. Not only would none of these bags fit into a seven-year-old’s boot, but the peanut bag had a bright orange price sticker across the front of the package.

I would like to note here that my husband, with his fucking plastic bags, is an amateur. I was sweating and shaking through this whole process because my husband has no idea how to handle sneaky traditions.

I began to open plastic bags with my teeth. That is not an easy or quiet operation. The sound echoed through the silent room and presumably down the halls to hotel reception. I placed items on a soft bath towel in the bathtub, so that when I made my way through a maze of clothes and past her bed, the LOUD PLASTIC BAG would not rustle past her sleeping head–which, I might add, is precisely two feet from the balcony door.

After successfully transferring small amounts of treats into the towel, I gingerly placed the remaining candy back into the plastic bag and stuck it back into the cabinet. I then walked halfway through the room to my bed, where I sat quietly until I was pretty sure she was still asleep.

I got up and inched past a chair filled with Sequoia’s 500 most treasured stuffed animals. I bent down to her head and listened to her breathing, then held up the light of my phone to see if the blanket was moving up and down at an even pace. Satisfied, I retrieved the towel of goodies and tiptoed past my child’s head to the balcony door.

I couldn’t open the fucking door. I stood there silently freaking out. I couldn’t figure out how to open the window, which I was prepared to climb out. I finally was able to jerk the door open with a loud creak, as cold air rushed into the room and past my slumbering child’s head. She continued in her state of sleep. I tiptoed onto the balcony and prayed the door would not lock behind me.

I stood there in the freezing Bavarian air in my bare feet and fucking underwear (I do blame myself for that) and proceeded to fill her boot with all the goodies. I’m wearing a thong. I froze from ass to toe.

I then, shivering violently, stepped back into the room and forced the door shut with a bang, two feet from Sequoia’s head. Unbelievable.

My husband also slept through this. Because men.

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Category: Europe, Ex-pat Parenting, FAMILY, Festivals, Germany, In Germany A Broad blog, Shits & Giggles, Travel, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

Comments (2)

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  1. Jacki Reese says:

    I hope you plastered your frozen feet onto Paul’s back!