German Lesson: die Wickelkommode

My niece is about to have her first child and so my sister informed me that she could use a money present to buy the baby’s furniture. Among the needed items listed is a Wickelkommode (baby dressing table or diaper changing table). This triggered some memories for an item I never had, a Wickelkommode.

I have raised two children and didn’t need one. I guess the reason being was that our first child was born in Japan and we occupied a tiny teachers housing flat, with tatami mat rooms. First of all, these apartments are not equipped to room a baby changing table. Also, the traditional Japanese mom changes her baby’s diaper on the tatami floor, which I did too.

And one thing I never had to worry about was the baby rolling off the dresser.

A few years later, when we came to Germany and we had our second child, I continued changing the baby’s diaper on the floor, just the way I had learned it in Japan and I had gotten very used to it as well.

A Wickelkommode, in my viewpoint, is a very commercial item. It is much more comfortable being on the floor with the baby, there is plenty of room to put items aside, it is more relaxing, and does not cost a cent.


Resources for Grade 5 Parents

The other day I talked to a longtime friend in Texas, whose 6th grade daughter, showing signs of anxiety and missing school, gave us a common ground for a small discussion. Last fall, my own 6th grade daughter showed signs of anxiety by having an overall body itch just before her oral presentation was due. I took her to the doctor to be told there was nothing wrong with her. Reading some of these recommended books and websites (see below) might prepare us for those situations.

This list of suggested reading material, compiled by the 5th grade team of educators at Frankfurt International School,  had been given to us a while back, and I find it useful to be shared with other parents in similar situations.

Resources for Grade 5 Parents – for Growing Up Unit of Inquiry

Some books you might find helpful:

My Body, My Self for Boys, Revised Third Edition (What’s Happening to My Body?) by Lynda Madaras

Girl Stuff: A Survival Guide to Growing Up by Margaret Blackstone

My Body, My Self for Girls, Revised 2nd Edition (What’s Happening to My Body?) Workbook by Lynda Madaras

Changes in You and Me: A Book About Puberty Mostly for Boys by Paulette Bourgeois

What’s Going on Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask by Chava Castro

The Feelings Book: The Care & Keeping of Your Emotions (American Girl) by Norm Bendell and Lynda Madison

It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health (The Family Library) by Robie H. Harris

Let’s Talk: About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families & Friends (Lets Talk) by Robie H. Harris

The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls (American Girl Library) by Valorie Schaefer

Asking About Sex and Growing Up: A Question-and-Answer Book for Boys and Girls by Joanna Cole

Girls Are Girls and Boys Are Boys: So What’s the Difference? by Sol Gordon

The Period Book, Updated Edition: Everything You Don’t Want to Ask (But Need to Know) by Karen Gravelle

How to Talk to Your Child About Sex: It’s Best to Start Early, but It’s Never Too Late — A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents by Linda Eyre, Richard M. Eyre

American Medical Association Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Teen by Amy B. Middleman

Below are some websites that you might find helpful as well (most have both parent and kids sections):

Growing Kids

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