The 2nd of May is Daniel's birthday. That fell on a Sunday this year,
so we held his party on the day itself and combined it with Marjolein's
birthday (which is actually a week earlier). I was home from the funeral
in Ireland (see April) just in time. We had a nice little party with
just family. Daniel got his presents in the morning and was very happy
with them. He was particularly fond (as was Matthijs) of the haunted
house pop-up book with spider and skeletons leaping out of the pages.
He is a pretty rewarding recipient as all presents are accepted with
We went down to Brussels next weekend, where Daniel got yet another
party and loot from his grandmother and uncle. Falco surprised us at
dinnertime while we were there: he got a biscuit after the other two
had got down from table to play and immediately turned round and called "Daniel,
Matthijs, fooo-oood!" He is talking more and more and is already
making short sentences: "mama daahn sters" (mama, go down
stairs please - I want my breakfast). He is very fond of his bed time
story and of books in general. His absolute favourite is sitting on
your lap and pointing at the pictures ("Caaahw", "MOOOOOO!").
We do latch his door at bedtime though - his is perfectly capable of
opening it and going exploring otherwise.
Naptime is on the way out. Though he really still needs the rest,
it is a big fight to get him to bed in the afternoons so we are gradually
giving up. He is also a very sociable creature. He goes up to other
children and squats down next to them with a cheerful grin, brings
them toys and (if they are big enough) creeps onto their laps for a
see-saw: that worked less well with the neighbour's eight month old
Daniel is now at primary school. Though he likes it the first comment
we got was "goodness, isn't he STUBBORN!". Indeed. Incidentally,
the "Daniel" is the official international unit of stubbornness.
A normal person is about 2 to 3 miliDaniels (mDan). While Marjolein
was at school she happened to see a long line of children heading for
gym in their knickers, vests and gym shoes, followed by one very grumpy
Daniel in his outside clothes and gym shoes...
The next day he was very cross with his teacher (and she was a bit
ticked off with him by now) and did not want to take of his gym shoes
at all. Marjolein finally managed to decipher his involved explanation
and discovered that he wanted to do gym because Matthijs had had gym
in the other school when he started. Fortunately we managed to find
a really great gym class (Matthijs loves it too) just after school
so we were able to fulfill his wish, though school gym will not start
until next year.
Mothers Day was celebrated with the traditional (dangerous) breakfast
in bed, a poem Matthijs had learnt at school and a necklace he had
made. Daniel liked the necklace very much and made the same one next
day at school, telling Marjolein sternly that this one was for him,
not for her.
The fair came back to town again and they children ate sticky stuff
and were whirled around. Surprisingly enough Falco did not like the
(rather gentle) ride we put him on: floods of tears. Usually he likes
exiting stuff: he loves to jump and climb and slide, but I think
he prefers to be in control.
We let the big boys choose 5 things. Daniel and Matthijs enjoyed the
haunted house and dodgems. But then Matthis chose more dodgems and
Daniel wanted the pony-ride and mini ferris wheel. The wild-water ride
was too creepy for Matthijs, but Daniel thought it was a blast... twice.
Lots of fun for all.
Matthijs decided to stay on a scouting, though he is the only boy
in the troop: the activities are fun and some of the girls are pretty
tough... They had a big ceremony and he was made an official Beaver
with scarf, woggle and patches.
Marjolein is still feeling rather tired. She is probably still getting
over the pregnancies and a day with the toads tires anyone but she
is gradually pulling out of it.
The month ended with a lovely sunny Whitsun so we all went to the beach.
The sea was too cold for swimming but the toads had a great time anyway.
Though there was a fresh breeze the sun was fierce. I found out the
hard way. I had sunscreened the kiddos but forgotten myself so I ended
up looking like a Brighton postcard, all white body with scarlet shoulders...