Foreign Exchange

We’ve just come back from the Garda Station (that’s our police) where we’ve been signing the forms for Tinson2 to renew his passport. This will replace the current one, with its picture of a cherubic little 11-year old with one showing a lanky teenager (lanky by the standards of our short-arse family, at any rate).

He needs it because as part of his Transition Year at school he is off to Germany for four days to stay with a German family. This trip will take place in about four weeks time, and then in May the son from that family will come to stay with us.

When Tinson2 was very young we used to call him “Smoddler”, which was short for “Smiley Toddler” because of his happy disposition. Lest he sounds too perfect I must point out that earlier in his toddlerhood, when we were frankly afraid of him, he was known as “Groddler”, from Grumpy Toddler.

Anyway, we still occasionally call him Smoddler, because annoying your teenage children is one of the great pleasures of parenthood (on the way to the polling station on Friday we kept trying to persuade Tinson1 that voting is done by putting smiley faces beside the candidates you like and frowny ones opposite those you don’t), and since we heard about this we’ve been referring to the guy who’s coming here as “Der Schmoddler” and will have to try not to call him this to his face when he arrives.

It’s one more great Transition Year activity (he’s also at the moment being forced to do Home Economics, and has arrived home with stir-fried chicken and then caramel slices on the last two Thursdays) and I’m really glad they brought it in.


6 thoughts on “Foreign Exchange

  1. speccy

    Long long ago in a county far far away ago a German teenager came to stay with us for a week. Prior to his arrival he was known by the -to us, hilarious- name of Otto, which was not, of course, his real name.
    On the first morning my mother rushed about, setting the table and preparing proper breakfasts. Naturally all her good work was undone when Thomas walked in, she greeted him happily with ‘Good morning Otto’, and the rest of the family corpsed. Tears of laughter from us, total bewilderment from him, and my poor mother struggling to not curl up with embarrassment.
    That was probably about 30 years ago, and we can still get great value out of it

  2. Tinman Post author

    Since you’ve been so honest about Otto, speccy, I have to admit that when we’re not calling our future visitor Der Schmoddler we refer to him as Fritz.


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