“When the teacher said Belgium, I didn’t know too much.
Is that where they have a lot of waffels and such?
Looked at a map, saw a country north of France, that’s when I started…
I started to sing and dance.
Oh, if you want to have fun with me, oh Belgium is where I’ll be.
Waffels for breakfast and lunch and dinner too.
We’ll take the train in the rain on down to Waterloo.
Kick off our shoes and socks, cuz you know that BELGIUM ROCKS! …”
Lyrics for the “Belgium Rocks” song from an episode of the great series about a talking dog, Martha Speaks.
Belgium does rock.
We’ve been there quite a lot. And we’ve been singing and dancing to this song almost as much. (Especially the month we thought we’d be moving to Belgium.)
Imagine the horror to open Jacob’s homework folder and discover this:
WHA? How is it possible for anyone not to love Belgium? This is not my child.
Interesting note: Belgium has more castles than every other European country. They’re just not what we expect them to be—closer to estate or manor houses. Even in Germany, which is known for their castles, most are reproductions build in the late 1800s. I talked a little about that here.
It’s been a long time since I posted anything. So what have we been up to…
Jacob lost his first top tooth on the 15th. It was was barely hanging on and so gross. At one point there was a piece of pepper or something stuck inside it so it looked like it was black. Once he closed his mouth and it was sticking straight out from between his lips, hillbilly style. I was so happy when it finally fell out. It was dis-gus-ting.
The tooth fairy brought him a euro for the tooth. And Jacob gave it to Nicholas (he wanted to sneak in and put it under his pillow while he was sleeping). Jacob said he already had 6€ and that’s enough to buy 2 Lego Hero Factory guys (one of those two for Nicholas). Was there a mix up at the hospital? Sometimes I wonder how he got so nice. I would never have given money to my brother or sister.
Here he is, in desperate need of a haircut, at the Borefts Beer Festival on Friday (more on that later). His drawing says “Oh! this beer is heavy!” I believe that is the start of a drawing of De Molen windmill off to the side.
In other news: I got a job. It’s advertising/graphic design. Not very challenging and not great pay, but does it feel good to get back to work! One thing I never talked a lot about was how hard it was when we moved here—going from running a department to managing two toddlers. And there’s no amount of personal satisfaction to be gained from spending your days doing things like laundry. (Which is probably why we travel so much. And why there’s a big-ass pile of unfolded and unwashed clothes in the basement.) I was really looking forward to doing some things on my own while the kids are in school, but I guess now with a job, we can afford to do more. Like…
Go to Morocco! Seriously. Some friends volunteered to watch our kids, so we’re thinking maybe a week in the spring. I should probably do more than just think about it. This year has flown by. I feel like I woke up yesterday and it was August. Tomorrow it will be October. We’re pulling out the sweaters, and the leaves are starting to turn. I hate to think I’ll wake up again and it will be spring. And then it will be time pack up and start a new adventure somewhere. Somewhere much less interesting, I’m sure.
We’re starting to get a routine down between school and work. So look for more regular posting soon.
I have to preface this Jacob-ism with this:
A couple weeks ago Jacob told me god made our furniture and the grass. He learned this at school. I always thought “under god” in the pledge of allegiance was innocuous enough. I mean it’s not creationism, but for a kindergartner, it’s enough to get him questioning.
So someone at school is teaching Jacob that god made everything—people, grass, furniture.
For the record, I don’t have a problem with Jacob learning about religion. We’ve never shied away from abstract concepts. What I do have a problem with is: 1) Where it’s happening. I’m going to assume it’s a kid telling him these things. If it’s a teacher, then we have a real problem. 2) The context in which it’s presented. At 5, everything is so right/wrong, black/white. I think it’s important to stress that different people believe different things, that one is not “right” (and the others wrong) and no belief set is better than any other. But I know that’s not happening. In grade school, if you go to church, you’re good. If you don’t, you’re evil.
So what’s a parent to do? After we settled the whole god/furniture thing, Jacob and I had a long conversation about evolution. About how our ancestors were monkeys who over a long period of time, dropped down from the trees, began walking upright and using tools, who developed a complex brains, societies and language until…they became humans. I figure if Jacob’s coming home with all this god stuff, maybe he can send a kid home with a bit of scientific fact.
After that conversation, I understand why parents tell their kids god made everything. OMG, it’s easier. If god made it, that’s it. Absolute. The be all, end all final answer. No more questions.
As much as I want him to shut up sometimes/a lot of times, “Yes, Jacob, god made our furniture and everything else” would just be lazy and, I’ll say it, irresponsible. I mean, he might stop asking so many questions. But then he’d stop asking so many questions. And isn’t that kind of the point of life?
Jacob: Hey. You know god was a monkey too. Me: What? Jacob: You know god was a monkey. And he’s dead and that’s why we can’t find him. Cause he got dead and buried like a monkey. He was the first monkey.
Some will say science and religion can’t coexist; I think they work quite well together in Jacob’s version of events.
Jacob: What does cancel mean? I struggle to come up with an explanation that’s not too abstract. Me: It’s like if you wanted have a party at the beach, but it was raining that day. You wouldn’t want everyone to get wet, so you’d cancel the party—not have it that day. And have it later or reschedule it for Jacob: A sunny day. Me: That’s right. Jacob: If you want to put stars on your fan, but the fans not hanging up, you have to cancel it. Me: That’s right. Jacob: And if you have a brother and you don’t want one, you can cancel him.
With Jacob’s kindergarten registration, came a big stack of papers. In it was a list of things your kid should know/be able to do before beginning school. Things like: Run, write their name, know parents names, etc. So we were quizzing Jacob, and he was demonstrating his ability to march, stand on one leg, etc.
One of the things he’s supposed to know is his sex.
Me: Jacob, do you know your sex? Jacob: Um, maybe when I’m bigger I can have sex.
I certainly hope the school asks him the same question.