Natürlich bin ich nicht seine Mama, als er auf die Welt kam, lag ich noch als Käse im Schaufenster - aber die Mutter seines Sohnes bin ich und deshalb habe ich mir ein Geschenk verdient!
I think the English idiom means that he has not yet been conceived while these two German expressions refer to a conceived but yet unborn child.- Da war er noch so klein! - Then he was so small! (With strong emphasis on "so" and a gesture added: showing between thumb and index finger a small gap of a couple of millimeters which indicates how little he still was = almost non-existant.)
- Da war er noch im Bauch der Mama. - Then he still was in the womb of his mother. (This would be used if explaining to a child - do not use this when communicating with adults, or if then only in an ironic way!)
I think so. My comment applies only to Sokol's 2nd and 3rd suggestions."Käse im Schaufenster" usually means "not even conceived yet".
Wörtlich übersetzt heißt es "Er war erst ein Funkeln im Auge seines Vaters".What is the context of "twinkle ..."?
I have no idea at all, to be honest [and couldn't find confirmation in my dictionaries], but I'll trust your feeling anyway.I think the English idiom means that he has not yet been conceived while these two German expressions refer to a conceived but yet unborn child.
I don't think either that this is a fixed and well-known idiom; but it will of course be understood if used."Seine Eltern haben [damals] noch nicht einmal an ihn gedacht." comes to my mind. But I wouldn't contend that it be a well-known idiom.
This is possible, and so I searched in the Internet to make sure it was not only at one place.And Hutschi's "Käse im Schaufenster" I do not know at all; probably this is specific for Germany only (or parts of Germany).
I know this expression, but the connotation is negative - at least in my mind - while "twinkle ..." is positive or at least it sounds positive for me."Seine Eltern haben [damals] noch nicht einmal an ihn gedacht."
This is not the phrase I know which is "Seine Eltern haben [damals] noch nicht einmal an ihn gedacht". This has a slightly different tilt that the one you quoted. But I agree, it doesn't fit 100%. Though it is the closed I could think of which is at least a bit idiomatic.So the negative form "da war noch nicht mal dran zu denken" does not match.
The context is (after discussion with my English colleague):This is not the phrase I know which is "Seine Eltern haben [damals] noch nicht einmal an ihn gedacht". To me, this is not at all negative.