I will become a coach. The date we have to focus on is Saturday the 19th. The event is the Kids Race 2022, in Maspalomas. Alex and Alan will have to perform then. Alan will run 300 meters, and Alex needs to cover 1000 meters. The kids have developed some nasty habits for the weekends where they quickly get bored, and often the situation deteriorates rapidly into fighting. I hope to change this behaviour by focussing on something physical in the mornings. We will do a couple of training sessions, just like the real deal.

Usually we go to these running events without any preparation. The distances are so small that the kids can easily run them, and just participating is much more important than actually winning. This time I want to try and get a good result. Finish in the top 10. We need to approach this professionally. Evaluate the distance. Find out a good speed. See how much sprinting they can do. We have two weekends to prepare and train. If we go on Saterday and Sunday we have 4 sessions available. If they both try their distance twice it should be more than enough preparation. If they train in the morning they don’t even need to change their weekend routines (hopefully with less fighting).

The plan

  • Warming up. Walk to Romano (the track), do some jumping, some stretching, maybe a few push ups.
  • Review the track. Walk the entire distance, and discuss the optimal approach to running the distance in a good/easy/fast way.
  • Alan: 300 meters. First a small candy for some extra energy. Start running normally the first 220 meters, and finish with 80 meters superfast. Drink water and relax/rest. Do this twice! I will measure the time.
  • Alex: 1000 meters. First a small candy for some extra energy. Start running normally the first 300 meters, then slow down a bit for 300 meters to regain strength, then another 300 meters normally and finish with 100 meters superfast. Drink water and relax/rest. Do this twice! I will measure the time.
  • Cooling down, a few jumps, stretch, discuss results, walk back home.
  • Objective

    The results really are not so important. If the kids have a good time that is the only important thing. The preparation is more meant to stimulate the kids and to prepare them a bit. If they reach their goal of finishing with the first 10, well, thats great! It will boost their self-esteem, which is great. If they just finish that is also great. They will have prepared for something, and gave if their best try. This is also something to feel good about.

    Schoolwork at home

    It could have been so easy. It should have been easy, but it is not. I’m talking about the schoolwork our kids get to avoid getting far behind. It looked so logical. Use the internet and just do lots of things from home. It should work, but it has mostly been very frustrating. It is unbelievable that almost everything that could go wrong really does go wrong.

    Our kids school uses an app to communicate with the parents. We managed to log in on the app, and then the problems started. The entire interface was customized. No menu, no normal buttons. It took me a couple of days to (by change) figure out how to change the active chapter of a digital book.

    Then we have the errors. Of course you can have a typo somewhere, but tasks that need to be returned with incorrect answers required are truly demotivating. Some questions require a true or false, and only allow you to continue if you give the wrong answer.

    English. The professor is not a native, but reading simple tests displays a lot of errors that can easily be picked up. It’s not tomato or tomato, but “Tomatoe”. Unbelievable. Out of every three pages with questions one page has one or more errors.

    To finish it all off we get PDF’s with additional exercises. For some reason these have huge URLs in them that you need to copy. Manually.


    It is clear that the current situation is new for everyone. The idea is to keep the kids occupied so they will not lose to many of the knowledge they have. Next period they will probably try to make it all up. For the parents it is a bit more frustrating. Work during the day and in the evenings solve problems so we can do the schoolwork together.

    Chimbroek, Espinita and two shrimp

    Alan takes care of Chimbroek, a black and blue fish. Alex has Espinitas, a purple and blue fish and I got tho shrimp. We all got some pets. Alex and Alan’s fish need three grains of fish-food twice a day every other day. A good way to start developing a bit of responsibility.

    Both fish have already been upgraded to version 2.0. The first versions were not a good buy and were floating up side down after two days already. They were changed without problem for better versions. Alex understood perfectly that the new Espinitas was a different fish. Alan had his doubts and noticed something had happened. He now keeps asking if his fish is dead again (even when its just sleeping) and he has figured out that sometimes dead fish revive with a bit more blueish color.

    My shrimp are (for now) the easiest. I just put them in a big pot with a little plant and they do all the cleaning. I don’t think I even need to feed them.

    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.