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.

Registering in Germany (Meldepflicht)

We had our appointment today to register in Germany. If you are staying in Germany more than three months you are required to register your address (anmelden) with the local office called Bürgeramt. There is a limited amount of time you have to this (14 days from arrival), and is especially important if its needed for the customs clearance of your container, which is our case. Our future house will not be available until November for move in, so we aren’t allowed to use this address until that time. Our current address is that of my parents-in-law, which is not located in the same town as where we will live in the future. To most this wouldn’t seem like a big deal, but this registrations dictates a number of things. Just a few are…

  • Address
  • Registration for the car and license plate
    • Germany license plates are typically a combination of the city + initials + selected number – which would change when our address changes so we would need to wait for that!
  • Where the kids would be required to be in school. Attendance in school is not something that can be taken lightly. As soon as we register, Lainey will be required to be in school. Since the German school year ends middle of July, we just found out that she will need to be in school within a week of registration. This is brand new information to us and has us a little panicked today!
  • Registration will also be used to establish tax identifications for us and also enable us to start health insurance locally.

It seems that of the majority of changes happening for us, Lainey is having to be the one to put herself out first. Even Markus is working from home, although it would be easiest for him. When I asked if I could go to classes with her, I was given a side-eye so I assume the answer is no. I know that she will do fabulous. She’s brave and smart and amazing, but this is not only a huge change, she has also been in online classes since March of 2020.

One awesome thing I found out today is that Texas now reciprocates the drivers license with Germany, so I won’t need to go through the long testing process I had previously been afraid of, I will just need to submit a translated copy of my existing license and pay a fee.

Our lives are just getting started here and registration was the very first step! One down, 100’s to go!