I've never parented a child in the UK so I don't know if this is a German thing or not. Finje has been coming home recently with a book to fill out called "Alle meine Kindergartenfreunde" or All my Kindergarten Friends. Each child gets designated a couple of pages and is required to answer such probing questions as; favourite colour, height, weight, eye colour, etc. A bit like Smash Hits for four year olds.
Of course our pre-schoolers under the German education system, are not yet able to write their name never mind a full sentence. This opens up all kinds of opportunities for parents to question their children and then write down whatever they want/sounds good/will make their little Fritz or Heidi sound über-cool. So, even something so innocuous as an "All my Kindergarten Friends" book can turn into a parental crusade.
If the questions had not strayed from eye colour and height to more penetrating queries such as: What makes me special? or Favourite Book? I may not have become so suspicious.
Now call me skeptical but whilst under the heading "favourite book" nobody actually wrote War & Peace but I'm nevertheless pretty damn sure that no four-year-old I've seen in that kindergarten is up to the challenge of "How My Digestive System Works" and if he is, I'd bet he's not begging for his dad to read it to him every night. "Oh daddy pleeease tell me about my digestive system one more time, I'd much rather have that than Mr.Tickle".
The other telling entry was "What I wish in life for my friend". Reading over the other entries, the parents had clearly taken it upon themselves to answer this one. Answers were a variation on a theme; health and happiness, everything you wish for, that all your wishes come true.
Yadda yadda yadda.
We decided to break the mould write down exactly what Finje said when asked. This was the result:
Favourite Book: Cat in the Hat
The song I like: You are my Sunshine
What I can do especially well: Walk like a spider (eh?)
What I like to play with the most: Diggers and Lego
What makes me special: Doesn't matter how well my hair is brushed, after 5 minutes I look like a scarecrow (true)
What I wish in life for my friend: A strawberry. No, lots of strawberries.
The last one being my personal favourite, followed by her picture for her friend (see above).