29/08/2010 09:42 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Achtung Baby Or It's Just Not Write

I was browsing through one of my favourite mum blogs the other day. The mum-blogger in question has a daughter of Finje's age and her writing is hilarious. It usually has me guffawing out loud, nodding with empathy and snorting coffee through my nose. But, after a throw away comment in last week's post I've gone right off her.

She was discussing, as it happened, one of my favourite topics, parenting as a competitive sport. You know those mums:

"Oh yes I got pregnant immediately. Little Tarfarquin was sleeping through the night three days after he was born and popping off to the toilet on his own at six months. He loves to eat sushi and stuffed olives and was a natural with the violin we bought him for his 2nd birthday. It is such a squeeze fitting in his piano forte with the World Politics lessons though as they both fall on a Monday."

What both my fellow blogger and I want to yell calmly say is,

"Here's a piece of advice for you, free of charge. If your child is "special" stick it! Let's talk about grass growing/paint drying/irritable bowel syndrome anything but Tarfarquin."

It was all going so well until my blogger deftly mentioned that she herself had come across such an attempt at one-up-manship with some other parents whose children's handwriting had apparently received a higher grade from the teacher than her daughter's!



The familiar Mumfail wave began to wash over me as I stared in disbelief at the page. A cold sweat began trickling down my bingo wings as a mouth, mine, dropped open in disbelief. Here I was, having sleepless nights because my four-year-old is not yet conversing fluently in English (or even German for that matter) and all the time I should have been more concerned about the fact that she doesn't know the difference between a curly "c" and a kicking "k". It seems kids of her age in the UK are learning not only to write but to practice their handwriting!

Oh, not good, not good, I chuntered to myself whilst trawling the Internet for advice. To no avail.

So....... I'm appealing to all you English parents out there:

Is this normal? Should I be worried?

Yours, begging for feedback,

Concerned of Lüneburg