One of the things I regretted while we planned our move back to Germany was that we’d lose our great neighbors. Not only were they good people to live next door to, they have a daughter about the same age as K and a 7-year-old son that L had a huge crush on. However, fate has smiled on us in that department. After we moved to California the German neighbor scene shuffled a bit as these things do and now there’s a little girl living right next door that is about the same age as K and L has a huge crush on her as well. She’s a very nice and polite-spoken little girl who sometimes seems almost too good to be true. When she comes over to play she chats me up almost professionally (“Hallo, Frau Schroeder, how lovely you look today, is that a new shirt?”) before making her play for snacks, an episode of the Bugaloos, etc.
She’s not angling for candy or chips, however – in fact, she doesn’t eat any junk food at all and once, when I offered her a piece of buttered white toast, informed me that she only likes whole grain toast. If I offer chips she politely refuses and requests fruit so now I buy apples just for her. For dinner (according to her mother) she eats all the broccoli she can get her hands on, while my kids munch on chicken nuggets, fish sticks and whatever fruit or vegetables I can hide in tomato sauce, popcycles or brownies. So, she’s not exactly good for my maternal ego when I compare her manners and eating habits to those of my own offspring, but she does seem to be good for K. Not in the sense that K has seen the light and now eats fruit of her own free will, but in the sense that she has someone to play with in the afternoon and doesn’t feel quite so homesick.