I'm one of those beings often labeled "stay-at-home-mum". Not that the staying at home accounts for a large part of that description as Finje's social calendar is one to rival that of Paris Hilton's.
I'm unsure as to the general attitude towards women like me in the UK. I've never experienced it first hand but reading the papers it appears derogatory at best, pitying at worst. Also occasionally stamped with the title "Full Time Mum" (is there a flexi-time mum option?), we enjoy a fairly easy ride here. Or maybe we don't.
The point is, I truly couldn't give a flying fig for the opinions of others.
Various personal issues were factored in when deciding on our domestic arrangements. Not least of which being that I figured it might come in helpful one day if Finje were able to pick me out in an identity parade. Should the need arise!
It was not a decision of mammoth proportions for me. Not to be compared with the "to perm or not to perm" brain bender of 1985. I kid you not. I suffered many a sleepless night pondering the pros and cons of that particular life-changer.
Our set up works for us. End of. Talk to the hand and all that sideways head waggling stuff. What I had failed to appreciate however, was a four year old's awareness of situations different to her own.
Amidst the bedlam of picking up time at Kindergarten I made a passing comment about another mother's foot attire. She was wearing those designer wellies. Now I am about as likely to be seen sporting a pair of designer rubber footwear as I am to be seen arriving at the gate in my private Learjet, but Finje's eye had been caught. Understandable really. Luminous green and covered in frogs, as in "mad as a box of".
Coincidence? I think not.
"I bet you like those wellies Heidi's mum has on"
"That's not Heidi's mum it's her Tagesmutter"
Tagesmutter; Day mother or nanny. I had not expected that. I mean we live in the back of German beyond, not Chelsea. Peggy Lee singing I'm a Woman is like a National Anthem for women in this village. Turns out I wouldn't know Heidi's actual mother if I ran over her in my Lear!
That evening Finje overheard me discussing this with her dad. It was idle chit-chat, not meant to reach her ears but in the end I was glad it did.
"I'm glad you pick me up everyday mummy!"
Oh, a heart-melting moment. Tears pricked. So profound. So heartfelt. So earnest.
"Heidi's Tagesmutter doesn't bring her a biscuit"
Ah, right. Not that profound after all then.