Debtors beware!

We have received an official email from Alex and Alans school. In this email the school states they will finally act against the debtors, parents that fail to pay up the tuition of their children. This sounds like a very good step to ensure the financial future of the school, but things are not so simple. Even though we pay everything we need to pay I can still understand that in some situations it might be logical not not pay up without putting up a fight. The context of this email is in this case very important.

  • Officially the school is free. The government pays all the fees related to the students. The school does have a voluntary contribution of about 50 EUR a month that the parents are required to pay.
  • The reason for the voluntary required contribution is always explained by summing up various small details, but a real specification has never been presented, and probably will never be presented.
  • Some parents refuse to pay the voluntary mandatory contribution out of principle.
  • To force the debtors to pay the voluntary fees the school will take the following measures:
    • Parents that do not pay will be unable to see their kids results on the school website
    • Kids will not be allowed to go on field trips
    • Kids will not be allowed to be dropped of early or collected late
    • Regarding all extras the school offers the kids of parents that do not pay might be excluded

It seems that the school is targeting the students to force the parents to pay up. I really doubt that this is the correct manner to act in this case and frankly I suspect this email will not result in the end of the debtors.

Coca Cola & Mentos fountain

The Cola Cola Mentos experiment is quite simple. Throw a couple of mentos in a bottle of Coca Cola and a huge fountain of cola will be the result. At least in theory. To Alex I had to explain that this experiment would be impossible to do inside the house. Everything would be covered in cola. This one needed to be done outside.

The somewhat disappointing result can be seen in the video below.

Godfather for Alex

Godfather certificate!Since a very short while I have been the godfather of little Jack and since yesterday Alex also has a godfather. This great responsibility will rest on the shoulders of Miguel, a mutual friend and a person for which both Ana and I share a great deal of trust. We are convinced that Miguel will have a very positive effect on Alex’ development.

The search for a godmother is still going on. Officially the godfather and -mother will be registered during the baptism. We have yet to start arranging this ceremony for Alex and it looks like it will take quite some more time. Until then we all the time we need to search for the perfect godmother.

Next to the bed

We had quite a scare. Today Alex rolled of the bed for the first and hopefully last time. He woke up around six thirty and this normally means he won’t sleep any more. Alex likes to start his days bright and early. After cleaning his diaper and feeding his his bottle of milk he spend some time playing in our bed with his purple elephant and his little fabric donkey book. Normally he plays a little and then lies done to relax next to his mother.

Today was different and he was much more active in the morning. He was rolling around. In a very short time he role to the edge of the bed and then… boink! Ana in a panic and the little one was crying a bit because he got quite a scare. Luckily if was only a very short distance he fell from our bed onto a rug, and Alex quickly forgot all about it. As parent we did not forget so easily and we were treated to a big adrenaline shot. The days we can leave Alex in peace, doing whatever he likes seem to be coming to an end. From now on we need to pay attention and be vigilant.

Cereals no, fruit yes

Fruit break!The little one is growing up very fast. Today he became 5 months. Two weeks ago we started adding some cereals to his milk. Alex gets a bottle twice a day when his mother is working. Clearly the cereals did not agree with Alex.

Last week we also started with fruit. First for three days we fed him teaspoons of orange juice and then little by little more juice. The orange juice was a bit acid, but Alex loved it. Long before the arrival of the spoon his mouth went wide open. After three days we added pear.. a slightly firmer substance which was also very popular. The most recent addition was some delicious apple.

4 Months

Alex surprised!It has already been 4 months since Alex’ birth and he has grown a lot. After the birth of our son our lived changed to the fast lane. Everything is happening faster and suddenly we don’t have time for a lot of things we used to take for granted. It seems that we are living our lives with much more intensity.

A simple cold that used to be annoying is suddenly a big issue because the results are much bigger. When I got a cold the little one also got it, resulting in sleepless nights, a poor coughing baby, a baby that does not want to drink, and a poor baby that will only quiet down and sleep it you rock it to sleep in your arms. This is quite an effort if you have a cold and need to keep it up a few days, 24 hours a day.

At the same time it is a fantastic experience to notice new developments all the time. Alex picking something up, Alex looking at his father when someone says ‘daddy’, Alex getting smarter all the time, avoiding we spray a salt solution in his nose, Alex controlling his body better and better and sometimes stretching his legs to avoid his pants being put on.

Being a parent is a lot of work, but it pays out. An Alex laughing, or showing a little smile is the best thing there is, and Alex smiles a lot. Even after coughing, puking, or whatever there is still a smile that appears on his little face.

The next adventure is already imminent. It looks like one of his teeth is starting to grow.

Coughing

Rhinomer!Yesterday and today the little one had a bad cold and this affected us dearly. Drinking his milk posed a problem because this nose was so blocked up that he could not drink and breath at the same time. The entire time he was coughing and he didn’t sleep for even a second the entire night. The immediate result was that we also did not sleep during the night. The poor boy, but it didn’t seem to bother him that much. A few times, just after a cough that sounded horrible, and sounded like the worst yet, a beautiful smile appeared on his little face.

The solution we are trying now is Rhinomer. A salt solution that we spray directly in his nose. Alex does not like it at all, but it works very well to get his some temporary relief.

The shoe is set

First set shoe!I don’t think Alex will realize it, but his shoe is set and it contains a nice big carrot. The only attention point is probably the distance from Holland, but Alex is hopeful that the Sint will make a detour and also provide half-dutch children with a present.

Alex has been a good boy, that’s for sure and the horse on which the Sint rides will surely like the carrot because it is a nice Canarian one.

Bilingual

Bilingual!It is a faith that cannot be avoided. Our little one well be raised in both Dutch and Spanish. Luckily it seems that raising a child bilingually can have positive results. For us it was easy to reach this decision.

  • My Spanish, be it fluent is still far from perfect. Even though a Spaniard will be able to understand me without problems my speech is full of mistakes. It would be horrible if the little one copies my personal adaptation of the Spanish language.
  • Half of our family (grandpa, grandma, uncle, aunt, niece and nephew) are Dutch (and Australian) and the little one needs to communicate with this family in Dutch.

The division of responsibilities is simple. I will speak my mother tongue Dutch and Ana will speak Spanish, but only when we are addressing our child. I will remain talking in Spanish when talking to Ana. I am curious if this bilingual education of our child will also have an effect on the mother. Hopefully she will put in some extra effort to at least understand the topic when I am speaking in Dutch.

Of course English is also a very important language, but to not confuse the little one we’ll keep this language for later. I have a wealth of English books and movies so I don’t foresee any problems here.

I never paused to think about it, but using various languages offers additional advantages. I can talk to my son in Dutch without his mother understanding. I can even talk to his mother in English without the child understanding. Clearly knowledge is power.