“It’s so funny,” remarked a friend to me once, “how these Prenzlauer Berg mums all think their kids are so clever and special.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said. “It’s totally hilarious.”
He looked at me carefully. “So you don’t think yours is clever and special?”
“Well, mine really is clever and special,” I explained helpfully. “But those other mums, they’re all deluded. I’m just being totally objective.”
“They’re deluded but you’re objective? Is that what you really think?”
“Yes,” I replied. “Rico’s just one Stufe under genius. And to be honest, I’m fairly relieved that he’s not actually a genius. It’d be a nightmare – paying for all those violin lessons, sending him off to Latin camp and all that.”
Anyways, so here it is. The Top Five of “Clever Shit My Kid Says”. Judge for yourselves, people:
1) On East/West Germany:
I’m reading Rico a fairy tale about that little old lady who lived in a vinegar bottle, right? And every time, straight after the fairy improves the little old lady’s housing situation, it goes: “And then the fairy went north, and she went south, and she went east, and she went west, all about the business she had to do.” Rico sniffs and goes: “So, now we know that the fairy comes from Germany and the story was written in the Olden Days.”
2) On his teacher:
“Mum, you know my teacher Stephanie? She is really clever. I think she’s cleverer than you, to be honest, Mum. Actually, I even think she’s cleverer than Ben. She is so clever. She knows all this information about all of the Buchstaben and then she gives us this information. Then we learn that information, and when we’re older – when we leave school – we will be as clever as she is.”
3) On his teacher one week later:
“Mum, you know what I noticed about my teacher? I noticed she gets all the information about the Buchstaben out of a computer before each lesson. I noticed it. So then I realized she isn’t actually that clever.”
4) On baddies in films:
We’re watching Batman on YouTube. The Riddler does an evil laugh. Rico looks at me reassuringly.
“Don’t worry about the baddie laughing, Mum. Whenever the baddie laughs, that means the goodie is gonna win in the next bit.”
5) On cucumbers:
“Mum, you know crisps? Crisps are one of those things. When you eat them, you want more and more. Like cigarettes for grown-ups. You have one, you want more. One of those things. Like ice-cream. Mum, you know what is not one of those things? Gurke.”
But he does say some thick-as-shit-shit, too, don’t panic. The other week he threw loads of pepper down the toilet. When I asked him why, he said he was trying to make the toilet sneeze.
PS: A bank holiday on a Sunday, Germany? WHAT THE FUCK POINTLESSNESS IS THAT? It doesn’t just make me angry, it makes me angry and confused and slightly worried. It’s like when people send you a video of a girl inserting a Coke can into her vagina. In England, when a special Feiertag falls on a Sunday, we get an extra one. Fuck the actual significance of the date, we want a day off, man. It’s one of the few instances when we are more logical and less romantic than the Germans. There are some others, too, mind. Also, our attitudes towards Christmas, Easter, motherhood, Altbau versus Neubau and eating breakfast. But the bank holiday thing is just wrong. It’s so wrong that it’s wrong in a loud American accent, it’s like RARNGGGG, man. We need to get out on the streets. Sod Stuttgart. We need an extra bank holiday to make up for the crap ones that fall on a Saturday or a Sunday – AND WE NEED IT TODAY!