Saturday, 14 August 2010

Egy emberről nem lehet két bőrt lenyúzni

Mother's little helpers

By appearing at all this posting rather denies the Hungarian proverb, Egy emberről nem lehet két bőrt lenyúzn ('You cannot skin a ferret twice'), as this is now the third posting on Conductive World since Tuesday around the recent advert for a conductor as a home-help for the family of a motor-disordered child in Germany (see below for URLs).

The original advert was published in German (plus a little Hungarian) but that has not deterred an extended discussion at the foot of the first of these postings on Conductive World.  These comments have mainly involved concerns from the point of view of those who provide conductive services, and this emphasis apparent too in a further posting. Emma McDowell, however, has brought the discussion back round to a view from the parents' camp.

The advert

To permit wider comment upon this, should people wish, the advert is presented again here, this time in English translation, along with a repeat of Wmma's comment.

Looking for a conductor
Family looking for long-term employment of friendly, young conductor or student for our two children (boy 7 with a developmental disorder and girl 12 years).
Location: our house is located in Germany, approximately 50 km south of Munich, Tegernsee.
We offer: good pay, free accommodation and food (own little apartment in the house), insurance, cars and the family.
Prerequisite: good German language skills, love of children, motivated and committed, and driver's license.
Task: childcare and support after school, help with housework and garden.
Start: mid-September or earlier.
Written applications with pictures please:, +49 8022 706783
Fee: contact Eva Kovacs
>>> Log in to view contact information! <<<

In response

Emma McDowell writes, under the heading of 'Somebody Who Knows' –

Please somebody explain to this mother – somebody who speaks German – how very easily this plan can lead to mutual disappointment. I am using a Hungarian idiom by saying “Two skins cannot be pulled off the one hare” (or conductor). Yes, the mother needs help with housework, but only because she herself has to learn to become a conductor to her own child. This takes a lot of time, ingenuity, patience, EVERY DAY.
She also needs to find out about CE by visiting a good centre with good conductors in it. These days young parents (like everybody else) tend to look for the Internet for enlightenment but nothing can substitute participation. She can also read Dina It is in German.
From my own example, I mean that a mother of a disabled child needs help with housework (I certainly did) if she wants to become a conductor to her own child. I used to invite young Hungarian friends for the summer holidays (they were not called au-pairs then); I made sure that it was a holiday for them, as well as giving them some pocket-money. They were treated as family, and sometimes they played with my son George the way that I asked and showed them how, but mostly I worked with George and they gave me a little help with household chores. 
After my second son Andrew was born these girls (and once a young man) mainly played with Andrew, again to give me some time with George. The girls (and boy) were of course all hand-picked, through family friends, and they very easily picked up the right ways with George. 
I am trying to say that this mother has to learn (based on what she has seen and learned in a proper conductive group) how to become “conductive” in everyday things, in her own daily routine.
PS  I have only ever heard the Hungarian idiom as Egy emberről nem lehet két bőrt lenyúzni. It is not actually hares but people that are referred to; but I found this too harsh an image in English. The Mongols did skin people alive, so Hungarian folk memory possibly goes back to that for this drastic image. “To skin poor people”, = utterly exploit the poor, is a live expression in Hungarian (but you can’t skin them twice!) I know at least two other idioms in Hungarian, expressing the same truth, that you cannot over-exploit people (or things even), it leads to no good.

Thanks, Emma. It will be interesting to hear others' views.

By the way, to swap colloquial expressions, I think that an appropriate English one for for your concluding sentiment is 'It will end in tears' – or, to use something more suited to speaking of nannies, 'Tears before bedtime'.

The two earlier posting on this advert

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