When you are three and a half, and you're told you're being taken to see a castle, you expect something like this:
It's something of a shock then, when after a long train trip, what you arrive at is this:
Poor Mads discovered how disappointing real castles can be when we went on our first train trip outside of Frankfurt this weekend to see the castle at Konigstein. (Please note that there should be two dots over the 'o' in Konigstein but I haven't worked out how to do that, or even if it's possible on my computer). Where were the ballrooms? The sumptuous feasts? The roof? There was great consternation, and only an ice cream, hastily applied, could console her. It reminded me of how disappointed my sister was when she was taken to see the fairy penguins at Phillip Island as a child and discovered that they weren't dressed up with wings, tutus and wands.
Konigstein was, incidentally, the site of our first public tantrum in Germany(when the afore-mentioned ice-cream was not applied quite hastily enough). A crowd quickly gathered around us as the tantrum unfolded, awe-inspired by our off-spring's noise-making abilities and the speed with which her limbs can flail. Perhaps they were wondering if such impressive energy could be harnessed to power a small to medium sized generator. It was then that I realised that German kids do not have tantrums. Or even cry much. There's quite a bit of shoving, but it all seems to be done silently, almost like a mime. Mads' wailing seemed to reverberate off the nearby Taunus mountain range. A couple of heavy blocks toppled from the ancient castle walls. The crowd parted as we scooped up our thrashing child and headed determindedly towards the ruins.
Kinder, which supposedly starts this week, is going to be interesting.