Dear parents, you are being lied to.

This is so important. Living in a vaccine-sceptical neighbourhood, I totally see the need to spread the word here.

Violent metaphors

Standard of care.

In light of recent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine preventable illnesses, and the refusal of anti-vaccination advocates to acknowledge the problem, I thought it was past time for this post.

Dear parents,

You are being lied to. The people who claim to be acting in the best interests of your children are putting their health and even lives at risk.

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It’s the season to sing Oh Tannenbaum!

Manchmal muss ich Leo ein Lied so richtig aus der Nase ziehen. Er mag Musik und Gesang, aber selber singen auf Anforderung – vergiss es. “Magst du mal was singen, Leo?” Fehlanzeige.

Um so erstaunlicher heute, als Leo voller Inbrunst zu singen anfängt: “Oh Tannenbaum!”

Zunächst geht der Liedtext normal los.

“Oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum…”

Die Fortsetzung lässt allerdings bei mir die Kinnlade herunterfallen:

“…die Oma liegt im Kofferraum”


“der Opa ruft die Polizei,”

“die Polizei kommt nackt vorbei,”

“oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum, die Oma bleibt im Kofferraum.”

Naja. Immerhin hat er mir vorgesungen.

Leo decorating the Christmas tree

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Kiss-craving cannibal?

We’re sitting peacefully at dinner when Leo all of a sudden exclaims:
“I’m gonna eat all moms in the world!”

After almost choking on her food, his mom asks him, “don’t you think the children would be sad and miss their moms?”

“No, I don’t think so.”
“But wouldn’t you be sad and miss your mom if she got eaten?”
“But I’m not going to eat you, mom.”
“Why not?”
“’cause I still need you for kisses.”Leo biking

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Arr Arr!

Arr Arr!

It is my intention to commandeer one of these ships, pick up a crew in Tortuga, raid, pillage, plunder and otherwise pilfer my weasely black guts out.

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October 31, 2013 · 23:50

Of stones, pierres and stenar – and faux amis

Tonight, I read for the first time a story book that has been standing on Leo’s bookshelf for a year now. The reason why he has always been reluctant to read it with me is quite simple. He has seen the movie. And we all know that having seen the movie always spoils the book.

In fact, it’s a bit more complicated than that. He’s seen the video in French, and the book is (originally!) in Swedish (Anton’s stenar). Since Leo’s mom and dad have a rather strict division of labor in terms of story telling – meaning that mom reads only in French and dad only in Swedish – it is actually quite loastonsstenargical that Leo didn’t want to read the book with me, since he regarded it as a “French” story.

Well, tonight that changed.

After some deliberating, Leo agreed to read Anton’s stenar with me. Leo immediately started filling in, interrupting and cutting me off – in French!

Me: “And then Anton picks up…”

Leo: “…une pierre!”

But it gets better.

As the story continues, Anton (a dog obsessed with collecting stones, by the way) believes that the stones he finds “are alone, bored or cold”. Hearing the phrase “ha det trist” (EN: being bored), Leo turns to me and asks me in Swedish, “what does ‘trist’ mean?” I realize he’s confused, because he actually knows the word, but has confounded it with the French “être triste” (EN: being sad). Of course, being francophone, he knows very well the meaning of being “triste”, but for the first time is confronted with a semantic dilemma. He looks to his father with a quizzical gaze, sort of: “are you sure about that???”

Resolving his dilemma with the faux amis was maybe not so spectacular – but getting there was and the realization that this four-year old is capable of stuff I maybe couldn’t learn until high school is mind-boggling.

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October 24, 2013 · 21:21

Wanna play doctor?

I guess most parents encounter this issue at some point or the other. How do you react when your child starts closing the door? To what extent can you intrude, especially when there is a friend in there?

My son (4) was playing doctor with neighbor girl (6) tonight. Being a bit anxious having seen the girl bring in the heavy orthopedic equipment, I told Leo that you can also make believe and you don’t have to undress to be butt naked and get ‘hurt’ by the doctor.

In the end, everything went fine. I’m just glad I wasn’t dealing with pubescent kids. But I guess that time will come, too, eventually.

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Like father like son

I love languages and I am fortunate to have it as my profession. Back in school, I always knew that I wanted to be surrounded by language(s) and immerse myself in foreign ones. Leo TigerSo moving on to studying languages was a logical step. Later landing in the interpreting, translation and localization business was not exactly planned, but nevertheless a move totally in line with my interest.

Although I have a profound love for linguistics and the field of translation as such, I never see myself ever trying to steer Leo towards such professions. Rather, I want him to pursue his very own interests and maybe eventually feel that surge of interest I felt that sort of pulls you towards a certain field or line of work.

Would you believe my surprise then tonight after I’d put Leo to bed, turned on his small night lamp and said my standard Swedish rhyme “Godnatt…min skatt!” (literally: Good night, treasure), to hear him call me back to his room and say (in Swedish): “Dad, do you want to hear that in German?”. “Yes, of course I’d like that.”. “Well,” says Leo, “it’s ‘Gute Nacht, mein Schatz!'”, giving me a perfectly correct German translation of the phrase.

Can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

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September 27, 2013 · 21:36