Use Your Fork

It never occurred to me that at the age of 8 my daughter would be judged on her ability to use a fork and knife while eating lunch at school. When I started dating Markus was when I was slapped across the face with the fact that my southern style table manners, which I learned at Lainey’s age, were in fact, only appropriate in the South! I found a pretty good explanation of southern table manners, here.

Cutting your food with your fork or cutting food and putting your knife down to eat with the fork only is considered juvenile and inefficient. The appropriate eating position is fork in non-dominant hand and knife in the other, for the entire meal. Only cut off what you pick up with your fork for that bite, otherwise it is also wrong. I found this webpage that explains it better than I ever could. Use-a-Fork-and-Knife

It seems my naivety has caused issues for her being picked on in her new international environment. For the past few years when visiting Lainey at school for lunch in Texas it always made me laugh that they were only given plastic spoons for any and all food consumption needs, which proved to be tricky on the one occasion that I loved to eat with her, Thanksgiving turkey and dressing.

Now that not using hands and knowing how to use a knife are an everyday necessity, it’s causing me to re-evaluate the order of importance of my parenting teaching. If I am being completely honest, I have always been happy to get my kids to eat, and didn’t care if it was with their hands, feet, fork, spoon, my fork, off my plate or anything else. Teaching them to eat with a fork and knife at this point had just never even crossed my mind! So now I am off to find tools and tricks to add to my boards on Pinterest to help me tackle this new parenting requirement.


Our daughter Lainey is 8 going on 18! She’s a creative little girl with a mind all her own, and interests that make me both proud and make me shake my head. This year Lainey made her father and I both hold her down to get her flu shot but then happily and bravely got her ears pierced! The past year has been a rough one for all of us but she has taken it all in stride. Learning from home has had its struggles. A unique star as bright as Lainey needs to be social and to shine her light for all to see. Even still, we have watched her thrive independently in school while also spending four nights a week in German classes.

German Texas Girl

Thanks to her wonderful teacher Nicole through the German Institute for the Southwest, Lainey has a much stronger grasp of the German language and has enjoyed getting there! Out of all of us, Lainey is most excited about the move. I believe she still has a good memory of all the family we have in Germany and what it’s like to be there for weeks at a time. When she starts school she will need to be able to take at least 60% of her instruction in German so we have been pushing as much as you can push an 8 year old with a stubborn streak!

Snake Fun

We recently spent the day at the zoo with friends. Lainey was the oldest with the group, but that didn’t stop her from carrying around three plastic snakes everywhere she went. She even showed them the snake exhibit. We got stuffed snake animals at the gift shop and she sleeps with them at night. The one thing I have to make sure of is that I check to make sure she hasn’t “fed” them anything!

Prissy with a side of Tom-Boy

Lainey loves all things that she can build and create! We used to let her build entire worlds with Lego in the guest room. She would spend hours working on it and just disappear into her creations! Recently she started watching videos on YouTube that teach her to draw and the things she is able to make are amazing! She happily will play video games and watch YouTube and build legos but she misses to play with her princess and super hero dolls and that’s just who she is!

Big Sister

Lainey was already a big sister before the pandemic began, but she became a big sister for the second time after the beginning of the lock down. With her brother Logan, who is now 5, Lainey was closer in age and younger when he was born. She has always loved Logan and played with him. With Lukas, Lainey gets to be the older sibling who helps with him and can know what she needs to do to help us with him. She’s been amazing and she loves Lukas so much!


Lainey got a video camera for her 8th birthday and wants to start making videos about the things she does and sees. I plan to use this site to host those videos for her. It will be interesting to also hear her perspective on this international move and let her show you along the way!