20/05/2011 19:37 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Achtung Baby Or Bless You!

Achtung Baby or Bless you! Getty

Since our return from Australia, Finje's English continues to flourish by the day. It's not perfect. She persists in sounding like last year's Eurovision winner (I'm gonna love you any-why). Obviously unacceptable, but there's plenty of time to work on that.

There still appears to be some confusion regarding with whom she should speak which language to, occasionally chattering on to some poor unsuspecting stranger in English. More often than not, that presents no problem for the majority of Germans who tend to be pretty proficient in English. Now and again though, I do wonder if my cringe-worth parental moments would be greatly reduced were English not the international language.

Pleases, thank yous, and excuse me's are obviously the child-rearing staple, regardless of the language, and I'm relentless in my insistence of their use.

Standing in the queue at the supermarket yesterday, Finje sneezed. Impressively, she dutifully did what she has been brainwashed into doing in kindergarten. She stifled the bodily function in the inside of her elbow (not in the hand which is apparently unhygienic), so as not to spread bird/swine or any any other kind of flu.

Busying myself with the stresses of coordinating run away tomatoes with a weirdly speedy conveyor belt, I failed to offer up the standard "Bless you". To her credit, she realised I was otherwise engaged and searched for another victim. The rather well dressed, middle-aged gentleman waiting patiently behind us made the mistake of catching her eye. She wasn't for taking prisoners:

"I have snozen! What do you say?" she demanded of him (No idea where she got that tone of voice from.....looks down, shuffles feet).

Taken somewhat by surprise, to his credit, he nevertheless responded automatically,


But she was not yet satisfied.

"And? Anything else?" (Again, no idea as to her vocabulary sources!)

She was waiting for a "Bless you", unreasonably expecting one, slightly off guard business man to play the role of both parents.

Then, this impeccably dressed, polite and slightly smirking gentleman both made my day and added to my list of moments of parenting excellence as he retorted in perfect English.

" appear to have deposited some snoze on your pullover!"

Where the heck is that tissue when you need it most?