One advantage of living abroad is the option to blame certain faux pas on your Johnny Foreigner status. Cultural or language differences can be, and are repeatedly employed as a viable excuse for numerous misdemeanours.
Some things, however, simply cannot be blamed on the environment. I've talked about swearing before but Finje came out with such a shocker this week I couldn't let it go without a mention!
Before I reveal the bombshell, I must fess up. I have been known, on occasion, to utter the odd profanity. I try to refrain in the presence of minors, but occasionally the intermittent expletive finds its way out of my normally squeaky clean mouth. The "F" word I attempt to save for unavoidable circumstances: Accidentally addressing a police officer with the informal word for "you" was followed by an under-the-breath "F" word (and an apology). A much louder and forceful trio of said word were deployed after biting into an inconceivably hot bratwurst at the Christmas Market.
A relatively benign incident however caused Finje to render me momentarily speechless. It was Easter Sunday. We live in a quaint village, our house situated next to a stunning 12th Century Church. It's a beautiful building but one not visited by me or my husband, both being irreligious.
Our morning was spent in the somewhat ungodly pursuit of chocolate egg hunting in the garden. The activity may have been godless but the scene was enchanting. Finje, hair in pigtails, was skipping around the garden filling her wicker basket with goodies singing some song about the Easter Bunny. As a stream of elegantly dressed Germans passed us on the way to church they smiled in delight at the picture of familial bliss.
These exact words then exited the previously innocent mouth of my four-year-old:
"F**K MY AR*E"
She had dropped one of her eggs which smashed on the paving.
For a second the world stopped turning. Christian, hysterical with laughter, had fallen off his chair and was about as useful as knickers on a kipper so it was up to me to somehow save face. Dropping my face into my hands I wondered how quickly I could erect a sign in the garden:
My Child Has Tourettes!
Eventually finding the courage to face the public I was beyond relieved to see that no one seemed to be in the process of calling child services.
Of course! They hadn't understood Finje's "special" use of the English language.
And that from an atheist.