Never too late

Having arrived at our holiday accommodation in the UK we spotted the freezer was not working properly in the apartment. So we called the rental agency who has fixed an appointment with a mechanic by this morning.

I was expecting a Serious Looking Gentleman in Blue Zipped Work Overall Equipped With Some Tools I’ve Never Been Even Close To Know The Name Of.

What we got instead has been 2 blond ladies in pink currently resolving the issue (background) with great expertise.

Talk about breaking away from traditional social & gender roles .. I’ve always been thinking of myself as somebody relatively free from such carved-in-stone concepts.

But it’s never too late to grow some more open-mindedness, is it.

Long term

I like these letter boxes in front of family homes in Antwerp: they are just so thoughtul & considerate.
The owner is apparently a long term thinker, as this one can be easily re-used as an urn grave when fate comes knocking on your door.
A definite add-on is that its split structure will help you out even in times when complete generations of your family have deceased.

I feel slightly embarrassed having considered myself a long term planner up to now.
‘Room for improvement’ – that’s what my auditor/compliance friends would call it.

De gustibus non est disputandum..

Our son (11) this morning, utmost excited:
‘Imagine, today starts the test week in school!!! For a whole week we will write 2 tests every day!! Finally!!! And we start with 2 maths tests today!! It’s a beautiful day!!!’
Our daughter (15), looking at her brother like NASA scientists study a UFO:
‘OK, you’ve got me here: about this nothing funny comes into my mind..’


I am playing chess with our son, Walter (11) who’s been member of the local chess club for a couple of years now.
His papa is walking by. He stops, looking interested.
Husband: ‘What is happening here precisely?’
Walter: ‘Playing chess with mama. She is a superb player, we’ve been fighting for half an hour at least!’
Husband: ‘Walter, your mama cannot play chess.’
Walter: ‘Of curse she can! What smart steps! And her strategy is amazing!’
Husband (in resignation): ‘It’s not only the name of the pieces she is not aware of but also how much one can move in which direction.’
Me (crushed, with eyes downcast): ‘Walter, what papa says is perfectly true.’
Walter: ‘But how come then that you play so terrifically good??’
Me: ‘I’ve just copied your movements. Each and every one of them.’
Walter: ‘So the past 30 minutes I’ve been amazed by my own chess knowledge?’
Me: ‘Sort of.’ 

The hard life of an average Belgian child

Me (to my son): ‘And how was your school bike exam?’

He (11 years): ‘It was terribly difficult.’

Me: ‘How come? You bike pretty well I thought.’

He: ‘That’s what I thought, too. But then it turned out that during the exam we weren’t allowed neither to stand on the bike nor to steer it with 1 hand or no hands – and so I was so bored I was watching the landscape left and right and almost hit another bike in front of me. Haven’t the organisers ever heard about ‘road safety’ for God’s sake??’

Good news

My children in a dialogue:

She (15): ‘Walter!!! You’ve eaten up my chocolate!!! I can’t believe it, you don’t even like white chocolate!!!’
He (11): ‘True. It did take some time to convince myself to eat it up, believe me. But when I started I realised it has also brown parts!! Anyway, you should be happy to learn that your brother is not racist..’

The Terrible Pain & Torture of Multilingual Families

Our daughter (15) is about to decide on the studies she wants to follow next year out of the 5 directions offered by the school.
She: ‘What I am sure about is that I don’t want to study ‘languages’. Languages are simply not for me..’
Me: ‘I am interested to learn this given that you currently speak 3 languages and learn a 4th one at school..’
She: ‘Ah, you mean THOSE languages? They are just in me but I didn’t need to LEARN them for God’s sake..’

I think I get it

Our son (11) brings home his school report.
He: ‘To sum it up, I have received top scores from basically all subjects, except for free discussion,from which I got a 3 on a scale of 5.’
Me: ‘How come?’
He: ‘Some of my classmates receive better scores, but they talk about all kinds of pointless blabla, while I only speak when I have something to say.’
Me: ‘But when is this class? Morning or during the day? And what are the topics? And you have to prepare? And..’
He: ‘I have said everything about this subject.’
Me: ‘Ok, I think I get it.’


This morning:

Our daughter (15): ‘Papa, do we have anything delicious for breakfast?’

Papa: ‘Don’t know. Let’s go down the kitchen to prepare something, call your brother, too.’

She (to her bro): ‘Walter, watch out, escape, run for your life, I got caught, but you might still have a better life waiting for you somewhere else….!’

She’s turned 15 today.

Only 15 and she is already constantly busy with the welfare of mankind!

My girl.


Me: ‘What are you up to?’
My husband: ‘Oh just prepared some breakfast for the children: home made waffle, whipped cream, and some fresh fruit on the side.’
Me: ‘I see…. And where are you carrying those plates now?’
My husband: ‘Upstairs in their room, of course. Brunch in bed. I cannot expect them after all to descend to the dining room even on their school holiday week!!’
Very true.
Even the rigour of a father has its limits.

Best mom ever

My daughter (14 – storming in the room where I am reading): ‘Now I am coming and disturb you!!’
Me: ‘And how are you planning to do that?’
She: ‘So that I’m here and not letting you read!!’
Me: ‘You are my daughter, I am happy any time to see you and talk to you.’
She: ‘Mamaaaaa – can’t you just normally play this game??’
Me: ‘Ah, I am awfully sorry… ok, have you visited your bother yet?’
She: ‘You are a genius! The best mama on Earth!!’

How lucky

Our son (11), for his school homework, is asking his papa about which language we actually speak at home.
My husband: ‘Well, you see.. I think what we speak at home is poor Hungarian, incorrect Dutch and low level English..’
Our son: ‘I am starting to be happy I learn French at school..’

How things go

Our daughter (14): ‘Papa!!! A spider!!!! Get it out of here!!!!’
My husband: ‘Relax, Sweetie, 1 little spider sitting peacefully in the corner..’
Our daughter: ‘Yes, 1…. FOR THE MOMENT! Then it gets married, will have babies and live here happily, all of them, more and more!! Papa, I am a teenager, I exactly know how these things go, all right?’


In a bike shop in Belgium.
My husband to the shop assistant: ‘I would like a bike for myself – what do you recommend?’
Shop assistant: ‘Now, that I look at you, the model called ‘Heavy Duty’ for sure.’
My husband: ‘Heavy Duty – very authentic. Describes my whole existence. ..Let’s find a bike to my wife, too. Do you have also models like ‘Easy Life’?’

Not the same

My daughter (14): ‘My favourite movie genre is horror!’
Me: ‘But why? Who on earth likes to be terrified?’
She: ‘Me, for example.’
Me: ‘Well, how come then that yesterday when we found that ugly big spider in the living room, you claimed we should move to another house immediately? You did not seem to be enjoying horror.’
She: ‘It’s simple. The genre of the Ugly Big Spider is not horror. It’s Nat Geo.’

Knowledge sharing

Me to our 10-yr-old son: ‘Walter, could you please put your plate in the dishwasher after dinner? Don’t just place it on the counter, if I may ask.’
He: ‘How could you see it??? You are not even looking this direction!!’
Me: ‘You know, mothers have eyes on the sides as well..’
My husband: ‘Just like hammerhead sharks.’
Me (with moderate warmth in my voice): ‘Would you like to add something?’
My husband: ‘I just thought.. in order to make the link with natural sciences… or maybe not..’

Viva la revolution

My husband to our 10-yr-old son:

‘Walter, would you like to come and see how I make pancake? In case in the future you would also end up with a lazy daughter & wife in your family who you would need to cook for.. But don’t forget son, in this family we are still working hard on getting equal rights for boys..’

Walter: ‘Uh you are making pancakes?? Can I also get some? Don’t have time now, still playing on my mobile…’

My husband: ‘…Where was I? Ah yes, at the equal-right-for-papas movement..’


Our daughter (14): ‘Papa, we must go shopping NOW! I need nude make-up.’
My husband: ‘Nude make-up.’
She: ‘Make-up which makes my skin light brown.. transparent, slightly shiny eyelids.. light-pink lips..’
My husband: ‘My dearest daughter, you were born like this. Anything else?’


This morning:

Me: ‘What do you have in your cup, tea?’

My husband (with patience): ‘Yes, it is tea. I am well aware that it might be mistaken for a urine sample, too, still it is camomile tea. ….True, it WILL become a urine sample pretty soon, and…’

Me: ‘Thank you. Honestly, all I wanted to ask you if you want a re-fill from the freshly made tea …but to receive a complete urological dissertation instead is way better than that, isn’t it..’

Ok, let that 2021 start, we are ready.

It works

Yesterday my daughter (14) prepared a stress ball out of a balloon – and since she did not find flour, she replaced it with cocoa powder.
As she informed us, the stress ball is perfect in relieving stress – after which her papa asked ‘ok, but what stress you have around you?’.
5 minutes ago her papa prepared pancake – and immediately recognised in upset, that he has nothing to fill them with – as there is no more cocoa powder left. 
So he took the stress ball and opened it in order to relive the stress – caused in him by the lack of cocoa powder..
Our daughter concluding it all: 
“I’ve told you it works”.

For our mental hygiene

– sorry for the English speakers, one post exceptionally in Hungarian.. –

A minap becsönget hozzánk a szomszédasszony, kezében egy sor égőt lóbálva, aminek is köszönhetően az alábbi lélekemelő beszélgetésnek vagyok fültanúja:

Szomszédasszony: “…és tehát arra gondoltam, hogy az ünnepekre tekintettel mi is fénybe boríthatnánk itt az utcát úgy, hogy önök és a szembeszomszéd is keresztülvezeti ezt az égősort a levegőben kb emelet magasságban, nézze csak, pont mint mi..”

Házastársam (marcona kiállás, vallási ünnepek iránt mérsékelten fogékony lelkület):

“Remek ötletnek hangzik – egészen a következő villanyszámláig.”

Szomszédasszony: “Természetesen csak sötétedéskor kapcsoljuk fel! Ezekben a lelkileg nehéz időkben jót tenne mindannyiunk mentálhigiéniájának..”

Házastársam: “…valamint a globális felmelegedésnek..”

Szomszédasszony: “Nade milyen szép is lesz, amikor az embereket munkából hazajöve fényár fogadja..”

Házastársam: “Nekem úgy rémlik, Covid van, kb mindenki itthonról dolgozik.”

Szomszédasszony: “De mégiscsak karácsony meg az ünnepi hangulat..”

Házastársam: “Nem vagyok róla meggyőződve, hogy az ünnepi hangulat jegyében feltétlenül újabb szöget kellene vernünk bolygónk koporsójába.., de ha a szembeszomszéd benne van, én semmi jónak nem leszek elrontója.”

Szomszédasszony: “Tudtam én, hogy ilyen kedves ember maga, megyek is és intézkedem a szomszédnál!”

Így esett, hogy egy nap a szomszédig átívelő égősor került ablakunkba.

A romantika kedvelőinek:

A helyzetet végül a kukásautó oldotta meg, mely csütörtöki szokásos körén nemes egyszerűséggel magával vitte a teljes felszerelést fényárral, mentálhigiéniával..

Azóta házastársam ünnepi hangulata töretlen.


My daughter (14) is currently getting dressed in big rush to leave home in order to meet her best friend. 
The reason for the delay is that in the last 1 hour she and the same friend were on social media carefully discussing all details, among them that they should meet absolutely on time and so under no circumstances should they be late.
They finished the call 5 mins before the meeting itself.
Technology is a blessing.

And then Reality kicks in..

My children, approaching me with angel smiles on their face: 
My daughter (14): ‘Mama, we saw today a cute little kitten on the street apparently totally alone and lonely.. Can we bring her home, mommy? We could keep her in the garden, we would take care of her… I’ve take a photo of her, look how cute she is, kitty kitty…’
Me: ‘Darling, we don’t have a garden.’
Her brother (10) (with quiet resignation): ‘I told you mama would notice..’