Sporty September

September started with beautiful sunny weather, which was a good thing because we celebrated our ninth wedding-anniversary with a weekend away together. Our babysitter and her boyfriend stayed in our house for two days. They did get some surprised looks when they took the kids out to the open day at the local sports field: they looked rather young to be the parents of a six-year-old…

We had a lovely, peaceful, relaxed weekend in a little motel in the woods near Utrecht. We had a walk in the woods on Saturday, sat outside on the terrace with beers, ate a nice meal and went to the sauna on Sunday. It was lovely to have time for each other to just talk and be together without having to have half an eye on what the kiddos were doing or cooking or cleaning.

The next weekend was Matthijs’ birthday and we had a smallish party with just the family. We were sparing with the prezzos (they get lots of stuff anyway) but he got lots anyway, with the Spiderman pyjamas he got from Marjolein’s brother Roy being a particular hit.

Naturally he also had a kiddo party. Last year’s was pretty exhausting, so this year we cheated by doing it at a big indoor playground. We also stipulated that two of the invitees had to be girls: 100% boys tends to be much louder and rougher than a mixed group. They had a good time, but it was still pretty tiring. The playground people obviously did kiddo parties every five minutes and we got the “standard party product” served up by a young lady who had no affinity with children and a voice like a robot but the children had a fine time climbing, bouncing, crawling through tunnels and eating chips for tea.

We are very happy with Matthijs’ school. We went in for a talk about the report we got from the Gifted Children Centre of Nijmegen University. The deputy-head had read the report and a book on teaching gifted children which Marjolein had lent him. He had worked with Matthijs’ teacher to cross-check the conclusions he had drawn against her experience of Matthijs and they had made a special plan for him that they wanted our comments on. The plan made good sense, they gave us a copy and filled in dates for implementation two days later: it was very, very professional and makes me feel much more secure about Matthijs’ education.

One of the girls in Matthijs’ class sent him a love-letter, well drawing, since she cannot yet write and Matthijs cannot yet read. He says that he is in love with her too. That seems to be that for now, but of course they are planning to get married…

Daniel is doing fine at school too. He enjoys going and one of the best ways of getting him to get dressed in the morning is threatening not to take him to school unless he does. Naturally he has also decided that he is in love, but the object of his affections informed him crisply that she was not interested. He seems to be coping with the rejection very well ;-).

Falco went to the clinic for the standard check-up and turned out to be slightly shorter than average (89cm) and a little heavier (13,5 kilos). They told Marjolein not to worry because his Body Mass Index was ok. She did not need to reassured, because she had seen the same pattern with the other two boys, one of whom (Matthijs) is currently a healthy, muscular stick-insect, despite all our attempts to fatten him up. Falco is happy and active and interested in everything. He still loves puzzles and, while doing them, spreads them all over the floor. He also likes arranging things neatly in rows and stacking things.

We are still jogging three times a week, plugging steadily though the schedule. It is rewarding, because you do see results: the runs we are doing now would have been far too hard for us a month ago. We are hoping to be able to run a full half hour continuously next month.

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