Finje is only four but I worry sometimes that her occasional moments of obstinacy which usually involve a lot of hand-on-hip, hair-flying and backward-glance-over-shoulder action could be a something of a sneak preview for her teenage, full-on gala performance. I'm terrified of adolescents. These inhuman beings living in limbo land who only yesterday were playing on the swings in the same park where they are now quaffing down Special Brew and smoking their first fag, are a constant cause of concern to me.
It is of no comfort whatsoever that I've never once witnessed such behavior where we live. Indeed most of the teenagers are rather pleasant individuals who are more likely to be found helping old ladies across the road than mugging them for 20 cents.
The problem is, I was a bloody awful teenager. Not the smoking, drinking, give-me-your-purse type but nevertheless the sulky, know-it-all, I hate life generally type. I'm steeling myself for it with Finje already. I even found myself flicking though a "How to Deal With Your Out of Control Teenager" book at a flea-market last weekend! "But she's only four" protested my husband. Never mind that. Forewarned is forearmed. Or something.Anyway, the cavalry is coming it seems and in the form of Angela Merkel, if you can get your head around that imagery. Germany has come up with it's 21st Century form of Borstal. But the rolling green landscape of Buckinghamshire it is not. Oh no, beware the sullen, defiant, obstreperous German teenie who dares to cross Angie for he will find himself in.... Siberia!
A bit extreme? Not for me. I think it's inspired. The "misunderstood" little darlings will learn a bit of humility in the land of....well, nothing, won't they?
Okay, panic not all you über-liberal parents out there. It's only for nine months. Oh yes, and a little truculence isn't going to see you digging out your thermal knickers for a life of wood chopping and frost bite. These so called "Intense Educational Experiences Abroad" are, for the moment at least, exclusively restricted to those deemed to be "pathologically aggressive".
I'm not sure that Finje's hissy fits over not being allowed a second Müller Lite (the yoghurt not the beer!) could be apportioned to pathological aggression, but hey, she doesn't know that does she?
"Stop it RIGHT NOW Finje, you know I have the phone on speed dial to the travel agent...."