Today was Mother’s Day in the Netherlands.

That meant a champagne breakfast in bed and a day at the spa for me. Yippee.


Actually after the day I have just had, I am promising myself that for next year.

The truth is, my day started by releasing the froglets. They were getting too jumpy for the husband and causing him fairly major anxiety. He had developed a nervous, twitchy-glance over his shoulder to every ploppy noise, so we decided that it was time they headed off to the pond around the corner.

Admittedly they were not exactly frogs just yet, some of them still had tails and no legs.

Okay. We got rid of the tadpoles. Three had turned into frogs and the rest had severe developmental disorders and were lagging behind. So we ditched them. I don’t want to talk about it.

The 3 year old is going to miss her friends, God love her.

We’ve had them for 10 weeks and she’s still calling them, “Talpoles”. Oddly, she now calls tampons the same thing. It’s an awkward thing when you are in a public loo and your 3 year old starts yelling out, “Mama, do you need one of your TALPOLES?”.

I am relieved that they are gone.

The kids were amped up from the excitement of giving me their presents and receiving accolade for their efforts. Also they had eaten all my fancy chocolate. So were wired all kinds of wrong.

Amid the stress of trying to get both crotchety, overwrought kids out the door with shoes and pants on, we had shut the door prematurely … my keys were still in the lock, on the inside. So we had locked ourselves out.


We had managed to do the exact same thing on Christmas day.

We had taken the kids to the lake after a late Christmas lunch to run off some tub and when we arrived back at 6pm, we realised we were locked out. All of the windows properly shut.

Now dinner time is a pretty sacred, ‘Do Not Disturb’, time here. We could see happy Dutch families sitting down to candle-lit tables in every home around us. It was like a flippin’ Disney Christmas movie, and there was NO WAY we were going to ring their doorbells. We need them to not hate us.

We called a locksmith and he arrived jubilantly singing “Deck the Halls”. Before you could say, “Jingle Bells”, he’d flipped a bit of plastic up the inside of our door and we were in.
Rather worrying really.

We paid him enough money for him to head of to New York for the New Year and we thought we had learnt our lesson.

And here we were, standing outside our home again. Thank Christ a bedroom skylight had been left open.

Our lovely neighbour popped out to help and we propped her ladder up the side of our house and sent the husband up it.
He nervously scaled up the side of our home and heaved himself up the steeply gabled roof, squeaking about it being slippy and something about life insurance.

Our 5 year old found the situation far too stressful to cope with and promptly went into meltdown mode. We think his brain actually imploded trying to process it all. Our 3 year old started howling because she wanted to go on the roof too.

I clutched our lovely neighbour and laughed hysterically at the sight of the husband doing a complicated forward roll in the window, his legs sliding through the gap. He’s rather long, the roll forward was very slow, and for a moment it looked like a very disturbing reverse birth.

I was left, hooting uncontrollably, with two wailing kids.

In my garden.
In suburbia.
In the Netherlands.

Wondering if 1130 was too early to crack open the bottle of Mother’s day white, chilling in the fridge.

Apparently it was.

So we headed out to see some sheep being sheared.

I tell you what. Next year I’m doing naked time at that spa.

I was born in Ireland, grew up in England and met my Cornish husband in Catalonia. We now live in the Netherlands, in Dutch suburbia with our two differently wired, small kids. I spend my days parenting, writing and being amazed at all the Dutchness around me.

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