My parents came to the Netherlands for a visit. They were dying to spend some time with the grandkids. It had been a while since their last visit and it was much anticipated.

The kids were beside themselves with excitement that Gran and Grandpa were coming ‘for a sleepover’.

We had a countdown chart for their arrival.

Most of our daily conversations on the lead up to the visit were about them.

My parents arrived. We all survived the excitement without wetting ourselves or meltdowns. Massive achievement. Mainly for me.

We had all barely gotten in the door when my parents were dragged off to play.

Within 5 minutes Gran was in full princess regalia and on the trampoline with a besotted 3 year old.

Grandpa was constructing some sort of complex vehicle axle. The 5 year old was instructing him in the finer points of attachment.

I know.

We are like an advert for gender stereotyped kiddos. It’s just the way it is. My daughter is mad for pink. My son goes nuts over mechanics.

I tried to keep it neutral.
I gave them both dollies.
And lego.

They chose their own paths.

Over the next few days ours was a happy, harmonious and busy home.

One afternoon the 3 year old needed a nap, so we took her for a drive before collecting the 5 year old from school.

My parents and I were wiffling on about things. The 3 year old was sleepily listening as we drove around the Dutch countryside

She started singing.
Quietly.

She was singing in a slow mournful voice to the tune of, ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’…. but it sounded like she was going off road with the lyrics.

We continued chatting. The song droned on.

It sounded like she said, “Vulva”, but I wasn’t really listening to her properly. She warmed up and got a little louder. It was indeed her favourite song.

It’s called, “I’ve got a vagina and a vulva but I’ll never have a willy”…

It went on forever … I had said that Gran liked singing. The 3 year old had taken me at my word.

I glanced at my mum’s face in the rearview mirror to see if she had registered what my little songbird was warbling.

She was going through a round of emotions.

My parents were purple faced and quivering with chuckle repression. They were desperately trying not to laugh and give her an audience.

I am lolophobic about laughing at the 3 year old and further encouraging her dramatic and inventive musical persuasions.

Her songs are usually rude, mainly derogatory and astoundingly accurate. I really didn’t want her to bust out this one at playgroup. Or the dreaded checkout queue at Lidl where so many of my humiliations happen.

But ohmygoodgod.

We drove around for 20 minutes listening to her creative and biologically correct version of this popular nursery rhyme.

My inward battle of laughter mufflement was intense. I was shaking so much from trying to suppress the chortles that I think I may have managed to pull a stomach muscle.

I am still laughtershocking about it as I write. Gran and Grandpa will never feel the same about that song again. I wonder if it stuck in their heads for the journey home?

I have a feeling it may be a thing, this toddler song warping. Especially at inopportune moments. It’s like they are driven by the devious desire to see mama struggle.

I’ve decided to sign her up for song classes to see what happens….who knows? There may be some Dutch songs to creatively rewrite……

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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