Life with a seven-month-old

On the term Nimmersatt
The children’s book title The Very Hungry Caterpillar is translated into German as Der kleine Raupe Nimmersatt — literally, The Little Caterpillar Never-Full. As a parent of a Nimmersatt, I enjoy greatly that this noun exists.

I confess that when I first heard it, though, it did remind me of the term Never-Nude, and this was good for a giggle. (This is an “unusual” condition experienced by a character on the T.V. series Arrested Development. For those who have not seen it, suffice it to say that there is a certain humorous absurdity in a classic children’s book making one think of Tobias F√ľnke, not unlike the absurd humor often found in the show itself.)

On the importance of Strumpfhosen
Speaking of states of undress . . . one might naively think that a Body (onsie), a Hose (pants), and Socken (socks) might be a complete set of things in which to reasonably dress one’s baby (along with the diaper, of course). This would not, in fact, be correct.

When dropping our baby off at the Krippe (daycare) in just such an outfit, I was holding her such that the pants had bunched up a bit. One of the teachers caught a glimpse of exposed baby calf and exclaimed something about naked legs. My daughter’s teacher, who was coming over for the hand-off, asked the baby, “Bist du nackt?” (“Are you naked?”)

“No, she’s not naked! She’s wearing a onsie, and pants, and socks!” I might have replied. But instead I meekly asked, “Ist das nicht richtig? Sollte sie auch—”

“Stumpfhosen,” the teacher completed my sentence with the answer, kindly but firmly. Tights are, it seems, an necessary addition to the outfit described above. Pants with feet are also an acceptable alternative, as are footed sleepers (both of which the baby had worn to daycare previously without incident). But calves, it seems, must be kept meticulously covered.

Maybe, come summer, the tights will become optional? I won’t count on it, though.

(finally posted 26 March 2015)

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