The last year of kindergarten here in Germany is free, allowing Finje to stay until 3pm if she wishes. This happens most days, due, I suspect, to her mini crush on the teacher responsible for the "late shift".
We'll call him Herr German.
Herr German is young (late twenties), always smiling and, well, rather lovely......if you like that kind of thing of course *looks nonchalant*. Always available for jolly japes, piggy back rides and the like, the kids adore him. Mums can be found hair twiddling in his presence, asking irrelevant questions about little Fritz or Heidi and even I admit to finding him, well, endearing.
In a hands-off-the-toy-boy way. Obviously.
Insisting I don't pick her up a second earlier, by 3pm, Finje is often the last child picked up, this allowing her to wallow in the exclusive attentions of Herr German. I usually find her snuggled up on his lap listening to a story and staring into his eyes.
Dragging her away yesterday, I asked the obligatory question; had my daughter behaved. "Oh yes", he grinned, "Finje was very chatty today. She told me about what mama and papa do when she is in bed!" The grin had morphed into a full blown smirk as he asked Finje to repeat her
"When I'm in bed, I hear mama and papa strampeling (English:peddling) I think they are exercising!"
It's a rare circumstance that renders me speechless, but I found myself momentarily mute and unsure of where to look. Ignorant of my discomfort, Finje, was occupying herself trying to find her shoe. Stood in front of Herr German, I experienced a feeling not encountered since I was 15. Then, staggering into the house at 4am, the wrong side of half a bottle of Southern Comfort, I found my dad waiting. Bad.
As I searched for a hole in which to crawl, Herr German was not for letting me off the hook. Catching my eye, with what I took to be a challenging raise of an eyebrow,
Staring him down and channeling my inner Greta Garbo, I shot back,
"Oh yes, I do so like to keep fit".
Don't fight out of your league, son!