2013 ist schon da! A new Kaffeeklatsch thread for the New Year - living in Germany and Austria

(923 Posts)
LinzerTorte Tue 08-Jan-13 11:48:02

All welcome - whether you're living in Germany or Austria, have questions about life in those countries or just want to chat. smile

Previous thread here.

admylin Tue 29-Jan-13 17:29:44

tumbles looks as if all the talk about Bavarian school system being the toughest/best is maybe true! Mine never had so much homework in years 1 and 2 and even in year 3 and 4 in Berlin it was all quite easy going. I wonder if the Bavarian dc are alot ahead of other Bundesländer. Was it on fb you were talking about several sheets of maths for one homework session?

outnumbered sounds like the sooner you can change kindergarden the better! I used to have a staff member tell me off for speaking English to my ds when I came to pick him up, as if she'd never even heard of bilingualism or OPOL or anything! I lost all confidence in them when one day we were invited to a Fasching tea party there and dh told ds's teacher what his job was and she went all stupid and said ooh that's far too complicated for me - he'd only said his job title!

admylin yes that was me - she does get a lot of homework. I find the school system very old fashioned - they all have to work at the same pace so sometimes they end up with more homework because if they don't keep up in class they have to finish the class work before the next day too. They get 3 pieces of proper homework most days though, plus anything they haven't finished in class - hence the 7 pieces she had the other day! DD enjoys school and is probably of slightly above average ability (which I think is the easiest place to be - not shiningly brilliant, but a bit above average, gives the easiest ride I suspect, especially in a system like the one here which insists on everyone working at the same level rather than individualised learning) but she is very young for her year and I think the lack of maturity (plus probably her natural personality) equals a lack of organisation and focus sometimes which is her downfall, and is at least partly what leads to all the homework stress.

I have read and heard lots of people say that older children who move from the Bavarian system to other Bundeslandes are moved up a school year almost automatically, and that the reverse is also true of older children moving into Bavaria - but I have no actual idea whether this is true or an urban myth. I have also read in lots of places that the German school system as a whole rates not especially well in international league tables, but that the Bavarian one taken on it own places really highly - but I have tried to find such league tables on line and failed to find them - if anyone knows where to look I'd be interested too! I can believe they do achieve high levels of literacy and numeracy, but what I've heard (also anecdotally) is that more children do very well, but the ones who fall through the cracks fall right through the cracks and are totally failed by the saystem, which I can also imagine being true.

Blimey at that Kindergarten worker - was she flirting with your DH do you think? I had that "you live in Germany - you should speak German to your children" attitude from a few locals around here when we (ironically DH told me that those same families couldn't speak German themselves, they were all speaking mostly Bavarian dialect) but I don't have much to do with them now (partly as I realised I could communicate better with people who spoke less dialect! Also partly as they are ignorant and not worth the trouble smile ) but I never had any doubt that speaking correct English was better than speaking very bad German - especially at the start when my German was really, really bad and really limited - so I just ignored them. I have never had that attitude from Kindergarten, though a teacher at the bigger school DD's school is attached to told me we should do OPOL - which we don't - since she's actually been at school nobody has said anything but positive things about her bilingualism though, as she has no problems at all with German - the problems she has are with maths!

LinzerTorte Wed 30-Jan-13 07:32:59

Well, DD2 did play in the concert after all - about half an hour after she'd calmed down, she came to me and said she'd changed her mind and would play. She didn't seem at all nervous beforehand, despite the fact that it was the first time that she'd played in front of several hundred people, and played very well - you wouldn't have thought it was the same child who was trying to make herself sick several hours earlier.

MrTumbles Your school system sounds very similar to the system here - everyone expected to work at the same pace, etc. (Although here, the more "above average" you are the better, it seems; there's a huge amount of comparison and talk of the Klassenbeste/r, which drives me mad.) The amount of homework your DD gets does seem extreme, though; is there a parallel class and do they get the same amount? I find that standards/expectations vary hugely, not just from school to school but also from class to class; DD2 get about half an hour to an hour a night, but one of the other 3. Klassen gets much more. At the same age, DD1 was having to revise 12 (dense) A4 pages on the Romans, whereas DD2's Sachunterricht tests have been few and far between, much easier subject matter and with about 3-4 pages to learn.

outnumbered I think you were fully justified in making an exception wrt the DVD yesterday - I'm sure I'd do the same with two of them at home! I picked up a sheet from the clinical psychologist about the ideal amount of TV for children to watch; it actually recommends no TV at all for children up to the age of 12 with Teilleistungs- oder Aufmerksamkeitsstörungen (like DD1), but I think letting her watch at the weekend is a good compromise - she doesn't watch a huge amount even then.

admylin I was wondering whether they'd check references before or after interview; in some jobs, the fact that you're able to provide the names of referees is enough, or they only check the references of the candidate to whom they've more or less decided to give the job. At any rate, hope you hear something positive soon!

Linzer when I used to teach at the Aktive Schule there was a girl who had had a psychological breakdown at her regular Grundschüle - she was off the scale, amazingly, frighteningly intelligent and the teacher couldn't cope with her, and she couldn't cope with regular school here - she did fine at the Aktive schule (though I don't think it was necessarily right for less motivated "average" children) where she could set her own agenda, do extended projects following her own lines of research on her own or with another child on the things that interested her and present them to the rest of the children, learn English and Spanish by immersion and reading books but also have whole days in the forest not reading or writing anything - apparently she had been refusing to go to school and making herself physically ill when at Grundschule. She is one of the reasons I think being "too" bright in the system here is as much of a problem as not bright enough...

Big congratulations to your DD2 (both of them in fact) its a big deal to play in front of such a big audience so young!

The no TV thing is all very "worthy" but in all honesty I am not convinced - kids do learn things from TV that we might not think of teaching, as long as the viewing is appropriate - but also children who are not allowed to watch any TV do stand out as weird to their peers - its very middle class (or the German equivalent) to think that doesn't matter, or even wear it as a badge of honour that you as a parent have decided to make your child "better" than the majority, but the fact is, to kids, it does matter. Also for all we might not like it TV is popular culture, and popular culture does have a genuine role, and a shared cultural background is of value (think of how adults love to reminisce about beloved children's programmes occasionally) so excluding children from TV viewing totally is not, in my opinion, all its cracked up to be - and a bit of TV time is not in my opinion evil at all (though of course hours slack jawed in front of the TV is a whole different thing).

LinzerTorte Wed 30-Jan-13 08:35:05

MrTumbles No TV at all was only recommended for children with Teilleistungsschwächen (it would be up to an hour a day for children of DD1's age) and watching TV does seem to have a huge effect on DD1's concentration, so I think it's for the best that she doesn't watch during the week. She was also struggling to entertain herself without the TV, another reason we decided to introduce our screentime-during-the-week ban (instituted before I read the information from the psychologist.)

I honestly don't think that DD1 is being set apart from her peers by not watching TV during the week. Firstly, she just isn't interested in watching the same TV shows as others her age (I remember one girl coming over and being amazed that DD1 still watches Wickie, but she's never been into Hannah Montana and the like). And secondly, the DC mainly want to watch DVDs (of British TV), which they can't really discuss with their friends either. The type of TV being discussed at the DC's schools is Dancing Stars and the like - we let them watch the final as everyone was talking about it, but they're not interested in watching regularly.

Anyway, lange Rede, kurzer Sinn... a bit of TV is fine for most children (and for the parents' sanity!), but DD1 is doing better without any Mon-Fri. The others don't seem to be suffering because they're only watching at the weekend, either; DD2 isn't interested in watching much in any case, and DS's main interest is Star Wars films on YouTube!

I agree that there isn't always enough stimulation for bright children at school - no Begabtenförderung until secondary school level here, although I know there is at other primaries. However, there are/were some very bright children in both DDs' classes - probably not as exceptionally so as the girl you mentioned - and they got on fine at school. They read a book/write in their notebook while they're waiting for others to catch up rather than being stretched by having to do additional exercises, but I think they have it far, far easier than anyone who's struggling slightly.

Linzer I didn't mean what I wrote as a criticism of what you are doing, but of the literature that sweepingly states that children under 12 shouldn't watch any TV at all, ever! I do remember feeling very "out of the loop" at the end of primary because we were not allowed to watch Top of The Pops or any soaps what so ever (which even then I had realised was hypocritical due to my mother's Archers addiction!). I don'T think it damaged or scared me, but I think it was unnecessary to ban it outright, and that my parents did it to be smug and because it fitted in with their idea of what kind of parents they were (and even more importantly because they didn't want to have to watch soaps or Top of The Pops themselves smile

There is no parallel class at DD's school - teeny little school, only has 4 classes, one for each school year. No head teacher nor office staff or anything either which is why we can't phone in if a child is sick but have to catch a neighbour child to take a note! :D The closest thing to a parallel class would be the sister school in another town (they share a head and admin staff), but I don't see anyone with a child there very often, as the intakes are split geographically.

LinzerTorte Wed 30-Jan-13 09:21:16

Yes, I totally agree with an outright ban being unncessary when it's more about the parents' aspirations than the children. FWIW the only soap I watched when I was at primary school was Crossroads, but I was far too embarrassed to admit it to my friends. grin There's nothing more bonding than being able to discuss The Clangers and the like, but my only British friends here are 15 years older and 10 years younger so we don't share the same cultural TV references, and DH isn't familiar with British TV pre-1995. I shall start feeling homesick in a minute if I'm not careful. grin

When DS's teacher gave us the school phone number to call if your child is ill, I specifically asked her whether it's possible to get another child to entschuldigen them instead - I'll do anything to avoid using the phone. grin Although I was quite proud of myself just now as I phoned the Bandagist to ask about my knee brace (unfortunately not the most straightforward of phone calls as they seem to have lost all record of my order etc.). Think I might reward myself with a coffee and some reading time!

AntiqueMuppet Wed 30-Jan-13 10:06:52

Fingers crossed for your DH's application, admylin! It's nice that your DD is excited too. Moving as a teenager isn't easy so a positive attitude from the outset will hopefully make things a lot easier for you.
What a brilliant example that Kiga teacher must have been setting to the kids with comments like the one she made to your DH hmm

MrTumbles Like you I don't really see tv as the big evil (depending on what you're letting them watch, of course) and think an outright ban is generally more for the parents than the children, but each to their own. I think, as in Linzer's case, you generally know what works for your own child/ren. I speak, obviously, from no experience whatsoever, and have just sat and watched an episode of Bob the Builder with my 16 month old!
Your poor DD does sound like she gets a ridiculous amount of homework.
I've heard that about the Bavarian school system ranking really highly on its own, where the German system as a whole doesn't. I think I read it in Stern or Spiegel or something similar but don't have a helpful link!

Linzer Well done to your DD2! That's a really brave thing to do that I'm sure not many adults would be brave enough for so good on her!

outnumbered How arrogant of the Kiga to think they know better than you and the autism specialists! Hope yesterday wasn't too stressful in the end.

DS' rash is no better but also no worse. PIL were going to be looking after him this weekend as DH is going to the football where they live and I've arranged to go to the theatre with some friends where we live, but they're also looking after DN so if he's still spotty one of us is going to have to cancel our plans, boo!

cheaspicks Wed 30-Jan-13 11:17:14

I just googled Pisa results for Bavaria and got this article about how the Bundesland comparison isn't being calculated any more. You may note that Bavaria came 4th internationally in 2008 in science - behind Finland, Saxony and Canada grin.

Another article I skim-read may have been suggesting that Saxony has a very small immigrant population and that therefore Bavarian schools do better really...

admylin Wed 30-Jan-13 11:21:30

Antique surely once a rash appears with most of these types of illness the infectious stage is over? Maybe you can still have your weekend? You brought back memories of watching Bob the Builder over and over again! I liked Postman Pat much more and I loathed Thomas the Tank Engine!

Linzer I bet your dd was really proud of herself after playing at her concert. Well done to both of them. Well done on sticking to your no screen time during the week rule. I'm going to have to start limiting dd's internet time as she's addicted to watching youtube videos. She watches blog type videos by teenagers in the US and UK, they show how they put their make-up on and which cosmetics and clothes they've bought.

tumbles I can imagine a Bavarian dc would go up a year in Berlin for sure! Dd had a new boy one year who joined the Gymnasium here in Hanover from Bavaria and he'd been at a Hauptschule there! He's managed to stick it out and is still in her class now so there must be something good about their system. Your dc are lucky, you can help them and supervise, make sure they do their homework, learn their vocab, spellings etc - it's more the dc who have no help or interest shown at home who fall through the system completely.

Dh was brought up in an even stricter than Bavarian style school run by Irish priests in India. He would think nothing of sitting learning until past 10pm in order to get good grades. Thank goodness our dc don't have it that bad. It's no surprise that dh lived his 2nd child hood when our dc were born and bought them all the bobby cars, lego and toys available! He still can't do a jigsaw puzzle to save himself though (even though he has a PhD and teaches our future neurosurgeons)!

LinzerTorte Wed 30-Jan-13 11:38:35

admylin DH doesn't even have the excuse of strict schooling to explain his far-more-generous-than-mine attitude towards buying things for the DC. He mainly limits himself to Lego and things that he can bastel with them, so I'm sure it's just an excuse to enjoy a second childhood with him!

Antique Is there anyone that you can go to for a second opinion on your DS's rash - a GP, for example? It would be such a shame for you to have to cancel your plans if your DS isn't actually infectious after all.

DD1 was obsessed with Bob the Builder when she was little. She even had some Bob (boy's) pants, bought in a desperate attempt to get her potty trained (they didn't work). DS was never particularly interested in him though, so we've got rid of all our Bob the Builder DVDs now.

I managed to get my knee brace without any problems. I was expecting to have to go into the shop and explain myself all over again, justifying why they should exchange it for free when I was obviously the one who broke it, but luckily they had it ready for me when I walked in and just handed it over. I shall never complain about Austrian service again. Possibly. grin

platanos Wed 30-Jan-13 13:09:39

Liinzer - oh dear, please keep complaining grin. I have stumbled across several service issues recently that are annoying me. And a rant about dd2's teacher who gives her a lower mark and tells her "although you can do everything (maths) without making mistakes, you are not fast enough..." going back to what mr tumbles said that all expected to work at same speed. But I shall keep those all for when we meet grin friday is good for us. will pm you.

Back to work. Hello all and will post soon....

itsMYNutella Wed 30-Jan-13 13:10:26

Hello all

Very interesting reading about the schools. It tallies with what I've read and been told. Hmm... It's all really interesting, I liked going to school but didn't put much work in.., DP on the other hand struggled when he was forced into a gymnasium by his father parents.

How are the poorly DCs, outnumbered & mrtumble hope they get better really quickly!

Linzer I think after having a panic about it your DD was really brave to then play in front of such a big audience. Well done to both of them!

antique I hope the rash clears up or is fine for you and DH to enjoy your weekend plans.

When it comes to TV, my dad used to put a block on the tuner in the summer holidays to make us go out and play. The TV would then work fine again after about 7pm then my dad would sit and watch it all evening hypocrite

But my older brother has terrible mood swings if he watches TV. After 33 years he has realised this himself and watches as little TV as possible.

DP did ask me not to let DS see the screen if I'm watching tv while holding/feeding him confused

DS had his U3 yesterday, now weighs 3900g and 54cm long. Incredible!

AntiqueMuppet Wed 30-Jan-13 13:33:11

Linzer Good point, I'm a bit embarrassed I hadn't thought of that! <I appear to have a touch of PFB-itis> I'll give the GP a call later. They rash seemed to have faded a bit when I changed his nappy just before his nap so fingers crossed.

Nutella Aww! Is he all pudgy and gorgeous?

Hello platanos!

Interesting article, cheas.

admylin I'm not a Thomas fan either but I quite like Bob! I think it's the scarecrow (who I'm fairly sure is drunk) that keeps me watching grin

DS is back to having regular daytime naps, yay, so instead of doing something productive I'm MNing and baking. Plus ca change....

battyralphie Wed 30-Jan-13 14:28:46

If there are any Mumsnetters living in Hessen, could you have a look at this online petition against the proposed Kinderförderungsgesetz? Basically the proposed law will negatively impact on the staff/child ration, allow larger groups and is generally a nightmare. Of course if anyone not living in Hessen wanted to sign too, that would be great. here is the link
https://www.openpetition.de/petition/online/protest-gegen-das-hessische-kinderfoerderungsgesetz-hesskifoeg

itsMYNutella Wed 30-Jan-13 15:57:38

antique he is more podgy and less skinny..... And he would be more gorgeous if he wasn't developing plenty of newborn acne. Of course we love him despite the spots and constant hunger

hello everyone!
phew I am glad today is over. second day of being without an Integrationshelfer at home, plus I had ds1 and ds3 at home today with another visit to the docs. ds1 is going back to kiga tomorrow, but ds3 will stay at home for the rest of the week.

mrtumbles your village kiga sounds amazing! envy sadly our local one ois the complete opposite. apart from one hour of 'project time' between 10 and 11am, where the different age groups do something together, there is absolutely no structure whatsoever. and the staff dont reall seem to do much with the kids hmm whenever I come in the kids entertain themselves and staff get on with things I think they should be doing after work (like office type things). there are lots of things for bastelling, but even there kids seem to bastel on their own. if they need help and ask for help, they would get it. the problem is that ds2 really needs to be forced to do things sometimes. He'l quite happily sit there and do nothing for an entire day. and the staff just leaves him to it. and if he does join other children in drawing, he'll do a little bit of kritzeling (wink I love Germish) and then stop after a minute. he would never finish something. and he would never ask for help.

in ds1' kiga staff is always doing something with the children, playing boardgames, bastelling, drawing, working on a project, reading etc.

problem is that ds1 kiga is at the other end of town and we dont really get the chance to get to know parents. at ds2&3 kiga the other children are lovely and so are their parents. I am finally - after nearly 2 years in town- getting to know others and being ivited to join e.g. Mutter Kind Turnen. on the one hand I'd love both ds2&3 to go to ds1 kiga, as it's just an amazing place with fantastic staff. but for ds2 it is far more important to be in the right environment, to have his weaknesses recognised and to get him prepared for school.

linzer well done to your dds!!!

admylin grin at the staff at your local kiga. you know, if the staff there was a bit more intelligent, they probably would not choose the route of Erzieher - for which I dont think you need even ABitur - but choose to study teaching or Sozialpädagogik instead. actually, saying that apparently there are discussions that at least the Kiga Leitung should have a Sozialpädagogik degree in future. I think that's a good idea tbh - if the Leitung at ds2' kiga had a degree like that chances would be slightly higher that she knew a bit more about autism. the reason she has decided for herself (and keeps telling us and other staff as well) that ds2 is not autistic is, because they had ONE child with Aspergers at that kiga a few years ago. and that boy was completely same ldifferent!! if I use the same logic on something else I could argue that ds3 is not actually a boy. because xy is a boy and he is completely different. hmm

mr tumbles iand admylin intersting talk about schooling. growing up there was certainly always talk about Bavaria having tough schools. but also Bavarians always SAYING that their system is the best even when not necessarily the case.a bit like Germany in general - who seem to feel that their education system is so much better than that of the rest of the world...
Hessen and Bremen had the reputation of being the opposite to Bavaria. Actually, dh grew up in Lower Saxony, but right on the border to Bremen. when he came to choose a Gymnasium, he opted for the one in Bremerhaven (in the state of Bremen) as his chances of getting a good Abitur were much better. He got a 1.3 grade average at his ABitur. I wonder if that is the equivalent of my embarrassing 3.2 average obtained in Lower Saxony? grin

TV talk - I also dont think TV is all bad for children. it all depends on what they watch and how much of it, doesnt it?! I am actually one of those whose parents didnt have TV until I was a teen. I didnt really miss it, I have to say and cant remember feeling left out. but still, I wouldnt consider raising ours without TV. apart from the fact that sometimes I just rely on it to calm ds1 down...

antique did you get a second opinion? like others, I also thought it was a very strange non-diagnosis. and has someone else said, usually once the rash is there, it is usually not contagious anymore. as said before, ds2 gets a rash AFTER every single virus he had. I still send him to kiga with it. I tell them what it is and that's that.

hello platanos cheas and whoever else I missed

nutelly aww at your ds. he sounds delicious smile

Weissdorn Thu 31-Jan-13 08:09:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cheaspicks Thu 31-Jan-13 09:03:22

weissdorn we've just finished watching series 2 of Homeland and both really enjoyed it. I have to say I can't quite believe that senior CIA employees would really be quite so boorishly self-congratulatory - there's a bit of a whiff of the The Office about David Estes in series 1 I think - or maybe it's just too American for someone used to watching Spooks smile. We've got the box set of Prisoners of War waiting, too (the Israeli series that it's based on), but we have to catch up on Borgen before we start on yet more subtitles.

nutella a friend of mine took her four month old out of the room before letting me show her a 2 minute film of dd and a mutual friend's dd on my phone confused.

I'm more anti-tv than blase about it for kids, I guess. I think banning it during the week lke linzer is doing is a pretty good idea, and something I mostly stick to for dd, too, although she watches stuff on the two afternoons she's at PIL's. I don't think tv is particularly damaging, although I know there is some evidence to suggest it might be for under-3s, but for me it's hard to limit once it's on - dd will sit and watch until it's switched off again and it's so easy for me to let her. So atm I guess it's the opposite for us to what mrtumbles said - we put the tv on when we can't be bothered to entertain dd, or at least suggest something else for her to do, and let her watch when we/I'd rather be on the computer in peace!

I guess things may change if dd starts asking to watch Wickie in a year or so because her friends are talking about it, and I don't intend to prevent her doing so, but atm she's too young to be having that sort of conversation.

outnumbered very interesting to hear the descriptions of your and mrtumbles's kigas. DD's Erzieherin is very young and therefore easily swayed by training courses she goes on, or conversations she has with the more experienced staff at the kiga. Last year she seemed to do a lot of structured bastelling (going with the British spelling now) and carefully planned projects where they did activites every day related to the project. This year she's embraced the idea that children should structure their own play as much as possible, so she's stopped writing a weekly plan in advance and there's much less evidence of painting and other bastelling activities. I think this has partly come from the head, who has expressed her opinion on free play to the Elternbeirat before.

Personally I think there's room for both, especially for the Vorschulkinder. After listening to the head extol the benefits of free play I tried her suggestion of letting the child lead and saying as little as possible at home with dd and was amazed that she spent 1 hour 20 minutes playing imaginatively with her Little People although she'd been in a phase of spending no longer than 2 minutes with each toy before starting with the "Mummeee" again. It would be a big shock to the system to go from free play for most of the day to the structure of school though and so I think there needs to be a balance.

platanos utter shock at that teacher. Surely it's better to be methodical and correct rather than quick and schlampig - it's what I always tell music students at least: first correct, then fast. hmm

Er, seem to have written an essay. Hello to everyone I've missed!

hupa Thu 31-Jan-13 09:27:15

At last I´ve found time to post. I don´t know what´s changed, but I don´t seem to have has much time to post.

MrTumbles Your Kiga sounds really good. Ours was ok, but not particularly brilliant and there was lots of tension betweeen the staff which didn´t help create a good atmosphere. I was glad when the dc moved on to school.

Outnumbered It must be so frustrating having to listen to that ignorance all the time. I hope ds3 is feeling better soon.

I´ve got a friend training to be an Erzieherin at the moment. It seems a bit strange to me as she often has to write essays in English. Last week I was helping her write about child development at 12 months. At least she learnt English at school, whereas some of the others didn´t, yet they´re still expected to write in English. I find it really bizarre.

Yesterday I went to a really interesting talk from the police about child safety. They are running a course for the 4. Klasse about how to recognise and deal with dangerous situations. They`ll do lots of role play with the dc, so I think it will be really useful.

hupa Thu 31-Jan-13 09:35:39

Crossed posts there, as someone phoned half way through my post.

I´m glad to hear the good reviews of Homeland. I´ve been contemplating buying it, so is good to hear positive reviews.

I must admit I´ve got less strict about the tv as the dc have got older, although I still put a limit on it for ds or he´d spend all day in front of it. I find they watch much more tv in the winter, but once we get longer evenings and the weather improves, they hardly watch it during the week.

itsMYNutella Thu 31-Jan-13 10:20:44

Morning! grin We had a reasonable night of sleep last night.

DS still has tummy trouble and whinges when it's hurting him, although the nappy he produced this morning... Well, we were impressed by the coping ability of the nappy honestly!

weissdorn the acne seems to have really appeared in the last week and next week DS will be 5 weeks old confused hope it gets better quick. I think I have the same cream, we were given it as a gift, need to investigate that because where his face isn't spotty it is quite dry. Mostly DS is rubbed with a bit of olive oil which seems to work. Although I haven't put any on the acne. grin

Ploom Thu 31-Jan-13 10:23:32

Morning!

So much chatting since I last posted that I feel like I've missed loads.

antique - am properly shocked that they made you wait on the stairwell. They could have at least put you in a spare room if they were so worried he had the plague! Glad he didnt have anything infectious after all - hope it clears up soon.

nutella - aw your little nutellachen sounds so cute even with his newborn acne. He's still a whole kilo lighter than my ds1 was when he was born - still amazed I managed to get him out!

outnumbered - I think some people just like saying negative things about the dc and I found this too at kiga. I wondered if they could just have been more positive about ds2 when he was there that his behaviour might have improved. Shocked though that the staff were trying to disagree with you that ds2 was autistic - like she's the expert??

hupa - that child safety course seems really interesting. Think we were always taught about stranger danger but its often not strangers that get dc into dangerous situations. What did the dc think about it?
Pleased that you and cheas liked Homeland - saw it advertised on one of the channels last night that it starts on Sunday - wonder if thats the 2nd series? Would we have had to watch the first?

platanos - shock shock shock at the teacher. So the dc are now being penalised for getting the answers right but not fast enough? Unreal!

admylin - that sounds like positive news about the job in Texas - fingers crossed smile.

linzer - well done to your dd for playing at the concert - thats so impressive for an 8 year old. And you also get some praise for doing your phone calls - I hate doing them too.

Dh went and got my car back on Friday evening - it was finished faster than they thought - just cost €375 sad. So with that and the skischool it was an expensive weekend. The first day of ski school was a complete waste of time - there was just 3 of them for 4 hours and the teacher didnt even attempt to teach them to snowplough so by the end of the day they still couldnt control their speed or stop (unless the fell hmm). But they phoned at 7am on sunday to say the teacher was sick and we would have to join a different group at a different slope - I wasnt that nervous till I got there and there was about 20 dc and they were sending them straight up on the ski lift - I'm not a fussy mum but I was nearly having a heart attack at this point. Thakfully one of the teachers realised that they couldnt ski (esp ds2) and got an adult to go up on the lift with them but by this point I was properly stressing. The lift was 850m long so I was worried as to how they would get down. Went back to the car and was sobbing with worry sad - so unlike me. But somehow they did it - the teacher was better, they learned quickly to snow plough and by the afternoon session they were up and down on the lift. Was amazing to see the difference a good teacher had made. Was all for emailing and complaining about the saturday when we came home but I've calmed down and just havent. Just a bit sad that the snow has very quickly melted - would have loved to go again with them in the half term but thats looking unlikely.

But I have to make this face grin - I've lost 8lbs in weight since starting to diet on the 7th of January grin grin. A good incentive to keep going - just another at least 12 to go.

cheaspicks Thu 31-Jan-13 11:36:15

ploom definitely watch series 1 first, the story simply continues in series 2. Well done on the weight loss. I've given up on my resolution of swimming every week for now, since Katy Says doesn't recommend it grin grin, but am trying to walk as much as possible.

Do you have time to meet up soon? I've had to turn down every single concert I've been asked to do so far this year, very frustrating, but does mean I'm not particularly busy or stressed atm...

cheaspicks Thu 31-Jan-13 12:33:07

Ps, ploom we can lend you the box set for series 1...

Hi, hupa! that's pretty weird about the student Erzieher haing to write essays in English. It's hardly a huge part of the job, is it?

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