Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Whoa! As I read this back before hitting ‘publish’ I realise it is a loooong post. Apparently a lot going on these days. Don’t bother to read it all if you don’t feel like it. It’s just what has been going on in my little corner. :-)

The guy and I are getting tired now. The kiddies are 5 months and I have been working three days since October. I get up at six on Wednesday in order to get the kiddies (and me) ready to take them to daycare. We have several inches of snow now so I’m literally plowing the big baby carriage through the snow. At the end of the day we bring them to my parents’ house where they spend the night (and we SLEEP during ours) and my parents don’t need to get through traffic to get to us in the morning of Thursday when they babysit. The night’s sleep is great but on Thursday I end up missing the kiddies a lot so I am always happy to see them again on Thursday evening.

These past few days, maybe a week, have shown that the ladies are getting older. More specifically, their brains are making the connection between cause and effect that was not there before. On one hand, that is amazing and wonderful and all that. On the other hand, it means that they realise that they can manipulate situations with their behaviour. “If I do this, then that happens!” More specifically, the kiddies won’t go to sleep because calling out will bring papa and mama to their room to tuck them in again and that is such great fun! Argh. By the time one realises it is not working anymore, the other one hasn’t caught on yet and so they keep each other awake. And us. Plus the whole shebang is repeated at… (wait for it…) four in the morning. I am a lousy sleeper anyway so I have been living on about two hours a night for the past four or five days. I think I will collapse today somewhere halfway a project report. This morning, after two hours of calling and crying and screaming from two disgruntled young critters, it was time for me to get up anyway. I was not pleased with them.

That said: I only whinge and whine here because this is my place to whinge and whine. I don’t do this in real life. In real life I don’t like parents who bitch about how annoying their kids are with their sleeping and eating problems etc. That happens a lot! I notice that it is often expected of me as a new parent to complain to other parents. Like it is some kind of professional code among mothers to bitch and moan about how the children changed their lives and how they don’t behave sensibly etc. Only to close off the rant with “but you get so much in return you know?” Maybe, just maybe, they should put that in front of the whole monologue – it might change the whole thing.


Sleeping: a new policy is called for, methinks. Recently the guy and me have gotten used to responding to a kiddie’s cry in the night immediately, if only because it often happens that one wakes up the other. As described above, changing this policy is not easy because ignoring them does not bring about the desired effect yet. We’ll hang on and hope like hell it will get better. Also we have been trying to keep quiet in the evenings after putting them to bed but so far this only meant that they have been noisy themselves. We tried of course to be quiet so they would sleep but now we realised that maybe they are noisy because we are quiet – some time ago we would just talk, have the tv on, etc. and they would go to sleep. I don’t know if there is a direct correlation between these but we’re going to give that a try. The pudding for proof will be Christmas. We’re spending Christmas at my brother’s. We’re taking the kiddies and putting them to bed there. They have three kids who are usually noisy and very, um, active which is normal for kids aged 8, 6 and 3. I hope that will work out.

Hey, at least Lisa is eating again! For a while she refused anything more than 50 cc which is not nearly enough. Now she is eating 150 to 200 cc per feeding so that’s good. We learned that if she starts pulling the “nodontwannaeat!” thing again we’ll just wait it out. She’ll get back on.

Further news: as I said we have several inches of snow here in the Netherlands. Now for you folks in Canada and large parts of the US this may not be anything special but I can tell you that for us Dutchies it is. Big time. We usually have a kind of moderate weather with temperatures between 0 and 25 degrees C and rainy so a week of heavy snow and freezing too – it is remarkable. As a consequence society as we know it comes to a complete halt. Trains no longer go, traffic forms a big fat jam the size of a small country (oh wait, that would be our whole country…) and people are advised to stay indoors. It’s insane.

The snow brings more than chaos however. It brings a beauty that is sometimes literally breathtaking. I was working in the centre of Amsterdam on Friday when the heaviest snow came down. My office is close to Dam Square. It looks out over the old rooftops in the centre and towards the seventeenth century canals area. Church spires, tiled roofs, everything covered in a soft blanket of snow. When I stepped outside into the street which is usually messy and noisy and packed with tourists, everything was soft and quiet. There was ten inches of snow on everything, including bikes parked everywhere. I decided not to bet on trams anymore and walked home. On my way I passed the canals (now Unesco World Heritage) and part of the Jordaan area. Good gods, that was beautiful! Here is a picture of the Bloemgracht. :) What you don't see is the fire truck stuck on the other end of the canal, unable to tackle the bridge. I met three of those on my way.
So when I got home I was cold and exhausted from dragging my feet through the snow but also delighted with the place where I live. I dropped off my heavy backpack and headed out the door again to go pick up the kiddies from daycare. On my way out I ran into the boy next door who had walked home from school. He looked exactly the way I felt. I told him I had to go out to pick up the kiddies and jokingly invited him to join me – and he actually hesitated. He is a great kid and absolutely in love with the kiddies. He is thirteen or fourteen and in keeping with his age plays the ‘tough guy’ act but ask him to do anything with the kiddies and he melts and lights up at the same time. So sweet. He didn’t join me in the end. Poor kid deserved to curl up on the couch after a school day like that anyway.

So now I am at work, have a ton of stuff to do, and can’t be bothered. I need to do things but more than that I need sleep. Maybe what I really need is a bit of coffee, some banter with my friend Rob, and then kicking my ass into gear. I will now do just that.*

Thanks for listening. :)

*If anyone from works reads this: sue me! ;-) Why are you reading this now anyway? You should be working too!

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