Achtung Baby Or The Lessons Of Life!

07/04/2010 10:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

My friend is eight months pregnant and looks like she's simply overdone it a bit on the currywurst. When I was eight months pregnant I looked like a Volvo.

It's one of life's little anomalies there to remind us that our parents were correct when they told us (frequently in my case) that life is not fair.

There's a German proverb, "He who teaches children learns more than they do". Probably Goethe. If so, did he have children? All I feel I'm learning at present is deep breathing techniques and how hard you can wallop a scatter cushion before feathers start flying. Finje has officially entered the "It's not fair!" stage with wanton abandon and an enthusiasm I only wish she would apply to tidying her room or the consumption of vegetables.

It's not just that absolutely everything from oral hygiene to dressing is declared "not fair", (in German unfair, which at least simplifies matters) but the accompanying whiny tone and foot stamping that are driving me to hyperventilation and random attacks on soft furnishings.

Motivated by my staunch belief that the best time to offer advice to your children is whilst they are still young enough to believe you know what you are talking about, I resolutely decided we should have a chat.

The sharing of Gummi Bears featured heavily in my hypothetical scenarios. She seemed to understand the connection between sharing and fairness. So far so good.

When Finje does something wrong or against the house her immediate form of defense is, "It wasn't me". Yesterday I caught her literally red-handed trying to paint the cat's paws an admittedly rather pleasant shade of crimson. She provided me with her best Labrador look, paint brush still in hand and said, "It wasn't me".

Fair? I think not.

She lied and was appropriately punished. Screams of "It's not fair", tears and a positive river of radioactive looking snot (she has a cold, again) didn't distract me from my mission.

I was, sadly, fighting a losing battle against a child with an attention span comparable to that of a gnat. Nevertheless, I persisted and the occasional "Ja" provided me with a glimmer of hope.

"So Finje, what is fair?"

"It's where you get to eat candy floss and ride on the big wheel".



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