The Fastest Way to Start the Day (do-not-try-this-at-home version)

Our son, Walter (10), sleeps in the bedroom next to ours – we also have a common door.
This morning he asks me to dress him up (this negotiation process repeats itself every morning, by the way).
I inform him that this is unfortunately impossible – due to the fact that these moments I myself am hoping to get someone who dresses ME up.
Hearing this, he flies Hippo from his bed to ours, so Hippo will help me get dressed and so I can help Walter..
On the other hand, he himself admits he cannot rely with all this MasterPlan only on a single toy.. so he also flies Chicken, who according to the script will support Hippo in his devoted efforts to dress me up..
My husband wishes success to the mission, and – being pretty good in reading situations quickly – serves breakfast both to me and our son in bed today.

Today the whole population of Belgium is buzzing around: according to the weather forecast we might have even 14 degrees during the day!!

I have already reacted this breaking-news with the necessary precautions, and as Ultimate Mitigating Measures has already prepared my sunglasses, a 50-factor suntan lotion, a safe shadow, and arranged for preventing dehydration for the whole day.

Should I not come here any more, I simply got heat stroke.

Same day a year ago in Hungary it was 30 degrees. We had a visitor from Budapest, who – having heard our weather forecast – has brought her winter coat.

Walter (10): ‘Mama, what are Hungarian schools like? Same as in Belgium?’

Me: ‘Well, there are some differences.. E.g. in Hungarian schools we don’t bring lunch boxes but eat warm lunch every day together in the school canteen..’
Walter: ‘Like in a jail?’



You know the game, right?

It is being played nowadays all around the world giving a little solace to children who are stuck at home during the Corona lockdown.

The rules are simple: first you go and find some stuffed bears at home, put them in the window on a visible spot, and so when you go for a walk with your children (and other parents with theirs) it makes children happy when they try to spot as many bears as they can.

Such a nice & warm initiative!

Although my children do not show any particular interest in the above activity, my husband seems to be realising rather good progress, as by the end of the 3rd week he was not only able to make a difference with zebras, but sometimes also bunnies, too.

Some obvious conclusions only..

I am sitting in the garden. My husband joins me, but then he smells something strange..

My husband: ‘What is that strange smell?’

Me: ‘It must be coming from the back neighbour. I believe they are having a BBQ.

What makes me conclude this is the following:

A few moments ago they were singing together – apparently they are celebrating a family member’s birthday.

Now it’s all silent – they must be eating.

And because I can hear some cutlery noise, they must be eating in the garden, and since the weather today is exceptionally ideal (especially considering Belgium) it is somewhat obvious that they have had a BBQ, for which they must have used one of those barbecue fuel things, briquette or coal, which can have that funny smell..

Since we have a slight north-east breeze today, I conclude it’s not our direct back neighbour but the one on the right hand side.’

My husband: ‘Thank you for the thorough reasoning, covering all the vital aspects of my question.

.. By the way, if I may advise …you could take a short break reading your favourite books by Agatha Christie.’

Mission completed

This picture is something my daughter (14 ys) has just posted on social media.

I’ve always been adamant to teach my children the importance of being rational and authentic in whatever they do.

Well, if there is 1 person on planet Earth who has years of experience in how to exist as a unicorn among all those humanoids – it is definitely MY daughter… so hereby I consider this piece of parental lesson nicely learnt here.

Little mistake

Our son (10) in an utmost sentimental tone):
‘Papa, you are my 2nd best papa in the world!!!!’
My husband (in his sober-minded self):
‘My dearest son, under no circumstances would I intend to interrupt you…but who is the 1st one?’
Walter (after a short pause):
‘I mean the 1st one. 
Sorry, little mistake in my calculations.’

Children and lockdown

This morning:

Me: ‘I see, Sweety, that you’re up to something – what are the plans for today?’

Walter (10): ‘I know you both need to work, so I will play carnival, you see I put pyjama on back to front, and will build a nest below your table. Will not disturb: I’ve brought some books and toys, but I need to return for a 2nd transport.’

Child disease

Yesterday my husband receives a call: the deputy principal of the school informs him that our daughter (14) regularly ignores her homework of one of the school subjects in Google classroom!
My husband suggests the Deputy Principal should clarify it directly with our daughter, so he gives the phone to her.
Deputy Principal: ‘Good morning Noëmi, I am the Deputy Principal from the school and I received the information from your Latin teacher that you totally ignore your homework given on Google classroom on this subject!’
Our daughter: ‘Yes, and I have a good reason to do so.’
Deputy Principal: ‘Ohhyeeees? And what is it if I may ask?’
Our daughter: ‘I do not learn Latin. I belong to the “natural sciences” part of the class. So it must be an administration mistake – could you please indicate it to the Latin teacher, asking her to remove my name from her list?’
Deputy Principal: ‘Oh….. I see…. of course I will align it  with her… sorry…. And, anyway, how are you these days?’
Our daughter: ‘Very fine. All homework I receive from all teachers I always get ready with already on the first day. The rest of the week I keep myself busy with studying other things or relaxing. And how are you yourself?’

Side effects

Our 10-yr-old son’s friend has been with us since yesterday. After today’s full play date, today at least they listened to me and started to study.

I am just going upstairs with some drinks to their floor when I hear the conversation behind the door:

They: ‘Ok, so we have a list of words, let’s see: ‘orgasm’ – what can it be??’

At this point I am very silently turning around tiptoeing downstairs, when the door opens:

My son: ‘Mama, where are you going? Aren’t those drinks for us? Listen, we need your help. What is ‘orgasm’?’

Me: ‘First of all let’s see what the task exactly is, before we would jump on the explanation..’

They: ‘We need to write each word to 1 of the coloumns ‘men’, ‘women’, ‘both’. Is it for both, with each other?’

Me: ‘Yes. I mean no! It can be for 2 men or 2 women as well… or 1… or… But hey, let’s not get stuck at the 1st word, let’s move on to the next one, I say..’

They: ‘Yes, ok, good idea! The 2nd one is ‘e-ja-cu-lation’..’

Giving to 10-yr-old children the sexual education school material – then the next day locking down schools closing children up with their home-office parents for weeks … very funny, dear teachers… very funny..

About Our Newest Mass Social Experiment

Corona – apart from being a ‘medical situation’ – is a nice big social experiment at the same time.

Yesterday my husband went to do the groceries (regular shopping, no extra amount or frequency), among them toilet paper.

Returning home I asked him what he experienced in Delhaize.

He: ‘Some food products are sold out, there I bought something comparable.

Toilet paper is indeed almost completely off. I took the last but one package.’

Btw, I don’t find it a pure coincidence that I had married a guy who finishes the sentence with ‘the last but one package’ instead of ‘the 2 last packages’.



My husband: ‘Children, let’s go outside to take a walk in the fresh air..’
Our children (in chorus): ‘No, we don’t want to!! We will go out to the playground but not further..’
Me: ‘Ok, there is only 1 way out of taking a walk: you go to the playground AND later also pack away the washed clothes from yesterday..’
Children: ‘It’s not fair, only to the playground!’
Me: ‘Children, I’ve been watching House of Cards for 5 hours today, I would easily tackle even the political crisis of the Middle East, your negotiation position is somewhat weak at the moment..’
Ps: when I appeared next to them to take this photo, my daughter simply qualified the situation as catastrophe tourism.

Home schooling

Due to Corona virus, the next 3 weeks schools are closed in Belgium, and children are studying from home. They might here and there need some help from the parents – which, in a highly educated family like ours can of course not be a problem.
My son (10) is currently preparing his biology homework: they learn about the female genitals.
He: ‘Mama, I need to fill in this picture with the names of the female genitals, but it’s so difficult..’
Me: ‘No panic, Walter, mama keeps everything under control. I will just look up a similar drawing on the internet in Dutch, and so you can just learn from that one… here we go!’ 
He: ‘Mama… this woman has a penis.’
Me: ‘Ooops, one seconds, I’m looking for another one..’
Home schooling – with slight bumps on the road – so what..