Category Archives: Out of the mouths of babes

Everything I need to know about life I learn from my 5 year old

Nestor {from the back of my bike, where he is always the most inspired to talk}: “Mama, leven is leuk.”

I {Instead of the only life motto you need, I hear a grammar mistake. Adults are funny like that.}: “Yes, darling, life is good. Het leven is leuk.

Nestor: “Nee, dat bedoel ik niet. Ik bedoel” (No, I didn’t mean it like that. I meant: It is good to live.)


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Filed under Daily gratitude, Out of the mouths of babes, Raising multilingual children

Latest Nestorisms



Nestor: “Mama, M (the new kid in his class) does not speak Dutch, only German and English. I think he is really sweet so I am helping him learn Dutch. Today I thought him to say “In a galaxy far far away”.

I: “Very sweet of you, Nestor. And very useful, indeed.”


I: “Nestor, what would you like to do today?”

Nestor: “Build technology!”

There is no hope for this one either. {The photo below is Una’s first technical design of a boat made from milk carton. At the age of 6. }



Nestor: “Mama, I am so happy you were born.”

I: {sometimes there just are no words}.

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Filed under Out of the mouths of babes, Raising multilingual children, Uncategorized

My work here is done, folks

{This morning Una climbs into bed next to me for a cuddle. The nasty flu has kept me out of the normal family life for three days and the first she does is she feels my forehead to check whether the fever is gone. This already starts melting my feverish heart. What happens next finishes it off}

Una: “Mama, I love you more than anything in the world. You, Daddy and Nestor. {Pause} Sorry mama, but I actually do love Nestor a tiny little bit more”

Una The Nurse caring for her little patient with "broken" leg

Una The Nurse caring for her little patient with “broken” leg (check out the paper “cast”)

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Una’s latest

Una: “Mama, do you think I could be a strip tekenaar (comic book artist)?

I: “I think you could, what do you think?”

Una: “I kind of think so too. I am quite good at both drawing and creating stories, so I thought this could be a good choice for me”.



Una: “Daddy, could you help me find a good app, I would like to start learning Chinese”

Mark: “?X$$%%#%#%#”

{And there we wondered whether she could handle being trilingual}

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Filed under Growing up too fast, Out of the mouths of babes, Raising multilingual children

Well, at least we are all smiling…

In the past few weeks, Nestor’s class has been working on the theme “Family”. The kids drew their families, made them from clay, talked about their favourite memories with the grandparents (Nestor’s key words: turning radio on and off (?), 8100 (??), fake grandfather, building towers – his fantasy world is truly fascinating).

This is how Nestor sees his family. It looks like one of his parents is in a serious need of a diet, doesn’t it? At this age Una could already make a very clear distinction between her mum and dad, if nothing the hair would give us away. With Nestor, it remains a mystery.



Filed under Family, Out of the mouths of babes

Sorry sliced bread…

…but having an older sister is best thing ever.

I knew this, of course, I have one (in fact I owe her my very existence as my father, an only child himself, was perfectly content with one child, and I was born because my sister begged for a sibling).

But here some additional proof from our family:

– We celebrate Christmas twice. On Dec 25 and Jan 7. Gregorian calendar, Julian calendar, mixed (a)religious family, long story short but Sinterklas into it and our kids are thrilled with this never-ending celebration. The down side is that by the time the “second” Christmas (disputable, my dad used to argue that our Christmas comes first, the rest have to wait almost a year :)) rolls around we are kind of tired of all the merriment. Add to it that by that time everyone is back at work/school and the holiday feeling is gone, I always get slightly nostalgic for “real” Christmas atmosphere. This year the “second” Christmas fell on a Wednesday, Mark took a day off and we decided to let the kids go to school since Wednesday is a short day anyway (til 12) and asking for permission to take a child out of school in NL is a pain. As soon as he opened his gifts on the 25th, said his thankyous and proclaimed his undying love for the toys he received, Nestor started counting down sleepies and talking about  the”next” Christmas to anyone who would listen, or not listen, he doesn’t really care. So on Christmas Eve, Una told Mark that she thinks that it would be wise if we talked to the teacher in the morning and explained that today was our Christmas and that Nestor will probably talk a lot about it and other kids may tease him that he doesn’t know when Christmas is. But if the teacher knows she can help him if other kids make fun of him. Neither of his parents even remotely thought of that, she did.

– One day they came home from school and Nestor told me that no one wanted to play with him during recess. I was kind of surprised as he makes friends very easily and even though he had just started school a couple of months earlier seems to have found his place. I told him that I was sorry and asked him what he did then. He said: “Una saw I was alone and came to play with me. And then a girl from Una’s class started teasing Una that she has to entertain her little brother” I said that that was not a nice thing of her to say and asked what Una did then. Peer pressure is no joke at that age, and Una is a very sensitive little girl. Nestor was puzzled: “Nothing? She continued playing with me”.

– She is as sore a loser when it comes to board games as her mother. Today, she let him win. She went so far as to ask me to let him win. If that is not love I don’t know what is.

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Filed under Out of the mouths of babes, Siblings love

On coffee addiction, toy guns and will we ever get sleep again?


Una: “Ahhh, not again, I have had enough coffee for today!”

{It was Mark and mine 12.5th dating anniversary on Saturday so the four of us went to have lunch in town. We decided to check out a new place which turned out to be cute but rather overpriced, sort of smelly (weird old wood smell) and with very limited menu. They did have “children cappuccino”, which is basically steamed milk with cacao. Una and Nestor naturally decided to have a cappuccino like their parents. After that we did some shopping, got frozen and Mark suggested we warm up in our favourite coffee place. Una decided to protest with the sentence above}


The same day, while walking in town, we ran into Sinterklaas with his Pieten on the main square. I will write a separate post about the Sinterklaas craze around here as it seems all we talk about these days. For now, as soon as Nestor and Una saw the Sint, they let go of our hands, ran to him and Nestor ever so gratefully said:

“Sint, thank you SO much for my toy gun!” Sint chuckled and told Nestor that he was very welcome.

{a bit of background story – we are really uncomfortable with toy guns in our house, so neither of the kids have had them before. Una got a NERF foam dart gun as a birthday present from a friend, and Nestor has been drooling over it ever since. So we gave in and ask Sint to get him one of his own.}


Nestor is going through a phase where he is scared at night and anywhere from 1am onward climbs into our bed to cuddle, talk, sing, muse on the meaning of life, in short anything but sleep. Needless to say we are all TIRED.

The conversation at breakfast this morning:

Mark: “Nestor, will you please stay in your own bed at night?”

Nestor: “Yes, Daddy. I will. One day.”

Mark: “Not one day, Nestor. Tonight.”

Nestor: “Not tonight. Monday”

The end.

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Filed under Out of the mouths of babes, They are outsmarting us