The German word that encompasses all things tooth-rotting is "Süßigkeiten". One word covers the lot, chocolate, biscuits, lollies and sweets.
There is no escaping the deluge of Süßigkeiten at Christmas.
I'm fairly strict when it comes to my daughter's sugar consumption. Finje knows certain foods are "sometimes" foods and that "Sweets are fun, sweets are yum, but too much sugar is bad for your tum". But the festive season is a challenge. Sugary temptation all around and we still have a jar full of filling-pullers left over from Halloween!
There's the advent calendars for a start. My homemade one is full of little gifts and bits and bobs to hang on the mini tree in her room. Those from grandparents and friends are, naturally, chocolate filled. Every shop here at this time of the year has a basket full of Plätschen (home made biscuits slathered with icing and sprinkles) by the till for the kids to help themselves to. Should you be feeling particularly brave and forbid your child to take one (that being the fifth shop of the day) you risk the wrath of The German Sales Frau.
Finding yourself the recipient of a bone-chilling glance of pure derision if you deny yet more sugar to your already glucose-laden offspring requires nerves of steel. She hates you. Your child hates you. The kid is already bouncing off the walls. She has a look in her eyes not dissimilar to that of her mother after four double espressos. These facts, plus your ineffectual attempts to save her from a life of obesity and rotten gnashers, go clearly unappreciated.
You know those sweet manufacturers whose life ambition it is to get our children addicted to sugar? I'd like to force feed them Kinder Surprise, roll them in syrup and slowly caramelize them in a frying pan. Sweet revenge.
Recently, we visited an aquarium, the stars of which are two beavers who have taken up residence in the stream. Exploiting the furry fellas to the hilt, management have set up a highly interesting and educational presentation. As we learned all there is to know about beavers and cooed over film of their babies (it gets no cuter), Finje leaned over and whispered "Look Süßigkeiten!"
Noooo! Surely not here! She must be hallucinating. Low blood sugar perhaps? Should I reach for a Curly Wurly?
But no. Lying there in a neat pile by mama beaver was a neat pyramid of beaver droppings.
And they looked exactly like......... Maltesers!
Fighting a losing battle.