A week in Nininand

It has been a busy week so far in Nininand and there is much to reflect on, but today I would like to give you a more visual impression of an Exceedingly Dutch Week.

In the month leading up to our visit, the Toddler put a sticker on a calendar every morning to count down to our departure. By the time we got to number 9, he was pretty solid on the concept of “tomorrow”, as evidenced by our bedtime conversations: “And tomorrow, number 9, and then 8, and then 7, and then 6, and then 5, and then 4, and then 3, and then 2, and then 1, and then: opa oma Nininand!”

count down calendar

Numbers on the calendar written by the Toddler himself, using a stencil set.

His very exciting new bed at Opa and Oma's house.

His very exciting new bed at Opa and Oma’s house.

He has surprisingly not once asked to watch Numberjacks, and has taken a liking to Dutch Mickey Mouse Clubhuis and Dutch Sesamestreet instead. This meant I could finally produce my 26 year old Sesamestreet colouring book for him. It soon derailed into “Mummy, seven?” Groan.

Everything is better with addednumbers.

Everything is better with added numbers.

Picking his own apples in the supermarket

Picking his own apples in the supermarket

Koffietijd (coffee time) - a Dutch institution. Toddler joins in with a beaker of milk.

Koffietijd (coffee time) – a Dutch institution. Toddler joins in with a beaker of milk.

Lego. Also 20 years old. Still awesome.

Lego. Also 20 years old. Still awesome.

Very Dutch Lego.

Very Dutch Lego.

Most Dutch houses have a built-in attachment for a flag pole, for festive occasions like the Queen’s (now the King’s) birthday, Liberation Day or someone in your house having passed their school exams. Or just because you are selling nice fish, as is the case in the picture below. Worth celebrating.

Flags. Because there are fish. Of course.

Flags. Because there are fish. Of course.

My parents have a dishwasher. Hurray!

My parents have a dishwasher. Hurray!

My Mum's list of what is in the fridge and freezer.

My Mum’s list of what is in the fridge and freezer.

Oma's slippers are a wonderful toy if you are 7 months old.

Oma’s slippers are a wonderful toy if you are 7 months old.

The Toddler's very own, mini supermarket, complete with miniature food you can sell to Opa for a cent or two.

The Toddler’s very own mini supermarket, complete with miniature food you can sell to Opa for a cent or two.

Learning the Dutch alphabet, in which P is for umbrella and S is for turtle. It's a whole other language, I tell you!

Learning the Dutch alphabet, in which P is for umbrella and S is for turtle. It’s a whole other language, I tell you!

They also slot into this cool bus.

They also slot into this cool bus.

I have done a lot of freelance work while I’ve been here. And a lot of writing of various sorts. I feel a little sad that I have barely spent time with my parents in the evenings as I have been staring at this very screen most of the time. I am starting to feel a bit like the Toddler when he sees me tip-tapping away on the laptop again: Nuff Puter!

Nuff puter, Mama.

Nuff puter, Mama.

Just a few more days and we will say goodbye to Nininand. What will the Toddler miss the most? Will it be Opa and Oma? Will it be Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? Will it be baking number biscuits? Will it be the Lego? Tune in next week to find out…

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Adventure

Well, tomorrow we’re off to a distant unknown city on a wild and probably ill-advised adventure. The Husband has been invited to get involved in a film project up there and was told that his wife and children would also be welcome to come along. Fools!

The Toddler is going in the car with Daddy and all the stuff. We anticipate that there will not be room for me and the Baby, as going away for a week with two small children basically means taking the entire contents of your house with you, so us ladies are going by train.

I am oddly quite looking forward to a mad dash across town to the station, followed by a three hour train journey with an unwieldy pram and a baby who will need feeding at least once on the way. In a strange way I see it as a little time-travelling opportunity. I get to experience the baby bit again, without a toddler in tow, but with all the knowledge of a second time mum. This is what I keep thinking you see – I’d quite like to do the baby part with my son again. Rather like a re-sit, I suppose, where I’m hoping I’d do better now that I have the benefit of experience. For instance, to the question: “Would you take your 7 week old baby out on a train journey?” I would formerly have responded by turning white as a sheet and hiding under the duvet. Now I am pleased to tick: “Yes, and I will take my laptop so I can do some work on the way.”

But, you know. Talk to me again on Sunday. I might want to change my answer then.