Achtung Baby Or My Daughter The Turkey

10/08/2010 16:13 | Updated 22 May 2015

If lucky, we all carry with us a few good memories. Moments we hope never to forget even when sitting in our Stannah Stairlifts wondering where the heck we put the crocheting needles and looking for our specs which have been in-situ on our foreheads for the last four hours.

My experiences living here in Germany are stacking up nicely. Many ex-pats will probably be able to tell you all about the first time they dreamed in their second language and I have a vivid recollection of flying into Hamburg after a trip to the UK and being taken aback by the feeling of having arrived "home".

If you are attempting to bring up children bi or multi-lingually you may even remember their very first perfect, unprompted sentence in your language. If you have read any of my previous blogs you will be aware that Finje's reluctance to speak in English is, despite much advice to the contrary, a cause of constant vexation.

I need worry no more! The day came. The words spilled out and were fluent and fluid and beautiful with only the merest hint of German accent. Well, If I'm honest there was more than a whiff of Herr Flick but hey we're splitting hairs here, a milestone has been reached. I am so proud.

The sentence? The words that will be ingrained on the inside of my skull as the words that marked the beginning of a new epoch? My confirmation that hours of Beatrix Potter readings were not in vain?

"Mama, I have become a turkey".

Any of you who battled through German lessons at school may remember that the German verb "bekommen" means to get or receive something. It's a common mistake. I taught English to Germans for five years and fought with my facial expressions on a daily basis as students told me they, "would like to become a steak please" or "would become a new car in a few days". It was so tempting just to let them think it was correct but of course I didn't. I got my kicks elsewhere. Teaching Northern English I never ceased to get that warm fuzzy feeling when I heard, "By eck, I sink it iz time for a cuppa no?"

I had hoped to avoid having to "teach" Finje any English but teach I must it seems and now before it's too late and adolescence hits. The sentence "I have become a pimple" will not get her far in life.

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