Achtung Baby Or He's Not Coming Back!

10/08/2010 16:26 | Updated 22 May 2015

Our kindergarten takes a three week holiday in summer. I didn't know that. Is that normal?

Reading the notice I had a slight, almost unnoticeable to the untrained eye, nervous breakdown. It's not that I don't enjoy spending time with my daughter, it's just, well, I enjoy the four hours peace without her too. I can almost hear the tut tutting from you Super-Mums out there, but I stand my ground.

In order to lessen the blow, I did what any Non-Super-Mum would do and farmed her off to her grandparents for a week. This should not be classed as a mum-fail, as all parties involved were satisfied with the arrangement.

Not unlike any self-respecting grandparents, Finje's spoil her rotten. So, after a couple of days when we called up to see how she they were doing coping I expected the usual chipper reports from Finje. Gummi Bear overload and how many new toys/games/clothes she had acquired usually feature strongly. But no!

"Oh I'm fine Mama, we went to a funeral yesterday!"Trying to mop up the coffee I had just snorted out of my nose with one hand whilst gripping the phone with the other I tried to remain serene and enquired as to the unfortunate individual who had breathed his last. Grandma took over the call, with only the slightest hint of panic in her voice in order to explain that the deceased had been their neighbour. This however, not before Finje had blurted out details with an rather worrying level of enthusiasm. Phrases like "big hole in the ground", "very very deep" and "never coming back" were spinning round my head whilst I was anticipating the consequences of this particular milestone.

I think it's good she went to a funeral and the Germans' penchant for burials probably helped as it leaves no room for interpretation.

Later, reunited, I tentatively asked about it again. As a fairly staunch atheist I had my concerns about people telling her the poor chap had "gone to heaven" or he was "with the angels" or some such thing.

"So where is Herr Schmidt now then Finje?"

"He's in a box under the ground" (Tone similar to that used when telling me where she left her slippers).

"Is he coming back then?"

"Noooooooooo..he's DEAD mama" (Tone of a rather bored teenager). Had she been a few years older I'm pretty sure she would have added "Duh!"

I think she's got it.

Would you take a four year old to a funeral?

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