Poor Matthijs was ill, with lots of coughing and a sore throat. But he still
liked to eat ice lollies, lie on the couch and be a bit spoiled.
This month we celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary.
I had a conversation with a friend a week or so beforehand
in which he casually said "of course most marriages run
in to trouble after six years, (pause) how long have
you and Marjolein been together. Me, very dry, "six years".
Collapse of stout party. Amazingly enough we managed
to celebrate our sixth (what is that, wood, paper, string
wedding anniversary, how many years is rubber???) without
the kiddos. This was achieved by the madness of our good
friend Lies who offered to occupy our den and look after
our monsters for the whole weekend. We left them all
behind and went for a "bracing" weekend in Groningen
with a day out on the island Schiermonnickoog. We picked
the hotel off the Internet and wound up in a place that
obviously primarily catered for business travellers for
the exhibition hall next door. This gave us both a powerful
dose of deja vu as we have spent many nights sitting
in such places girding our loins for the next days sales
call and presentation. We kept expecting collegues to
turn up during supper or the boss to phone. Spooky. Schiermonnickoog
was very nice, but not actually lots nicer than the Haarlem
dunes. It makes you realise how lucky you are... Going
there on the ferry we were surrounded by Dachshunds which
were all going to some kind of convention. Surreal. We
biked around and read books in the sunshine in the company
of most of the Netherlands that had had the same Schier-idea.
This month it was also Matthijs' birthday and he became
three years old. We gave him a strictly limited number
of prezzos as he is already drowning in toys; they just
accumulate. Fortunately we held his party on the Sunday
before the date as his actual birthday was on the 11th,
the day of the WTC disaster. As it was we had a very
jolly party and lots of our friends were there. Most
people had asked for guidance and I had told them Duplo
or musical things, so he ended up with lots of very nice
Duplo, some fun instruments and a box of mutant lego.
This last we swiftly exiled to his room before Daniel
could swallow it all, stick it in his ears or use it
to construct nuclear warheads...
Matthijs birthday also involved him taking some kind
of treat to school. This is a kind of tacit competition
between parents and Matthijs regularly brings home handicraft
objects that some obsessive parent has made to distribute
sweeties or raisins in. Determined not to be outdone
Marjolein descended on me as the resident artist and
I was silly enough to construct little paper houses for
Matthijs to elegantly paint in his own style. That was
not smart. Elegant little paper houses do not take well
to being battered with a brush and doused in litres of
highly dilute paint. So Daddy ended up in the wee small
hours sticking the dratted things together and painting
them himself. Now top that punks...
The next weekend we went down to visit my mother in
Belgium and Matthijs and Daniel got another round of
prezzos. Matthijs showed his appreciation by making a
beeline for the garden and firing up the water pistol
and the garden hose. He is a pretty good shot and succeeded
in drenching his uncle Johnathan pretty thoroughly. Daniel
is no better, just less capable.
Kiddo Quotes this month:
Matthijs:"Mamma, may I have the guitar pleeeeeease?"
This sort of conversation can go on forever...
"No Matthijs, that is for Daniël"
"But I asked very politely!?!"
"Even when you ask nicely, you can't have everything!"
"But I didn't ask for everything Mamma!"
Marjolein enrolled herself in an online Flash course
this month. This does not involve raincoats in any way
but has resulted in very large numbers of moving web
pictures that jump, gibber and squeak at you quite alarmingly.
My main fear is that she will get really proficient and
that our website will vanish into a cloud of highly animated
This month was also Ramses' birthday, a great event
for both the boys. They behaved quite well and Ramses
kindly sorted out some toys that he was too old for so
they came home with yet more loot. I am definately thinking
of setting up a second-hand toyshop (if they leave anything
whole that is).
Daniel is more and more interactive and interested
in people's reactions. He still is not talking much but
it is amazing what he understands. He eats neatly with
a spoon or fork, blows kisses, draws (violently) and
still climbs anything that is not greased and surrounded
by barbed wire. He wipes his face, pulls his shirts over
his head and tries to wash his hands. In short, anything
he sees Matthijs doing...
We took them both out to the children's farm the same
weekend and they loved it. Neither of them are afraid
of animals and they both had a whale of a time feeding
and stroking the goats and sheep.