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Razor Sharp

Wolf found his mother's razor in the bathroom. He asked what it's for, so I explained to him that it was a razor and that it was very sharp, and that his mummy uses it to shave her beard.

He accepted that without further comment.

They are so gullible at this age.

No Bare Breasts At The Dinner Table

Wolf today, during lunch:

'Mum, can I see your breasts?'

Mrs.B, slightly stunned: 'Excuse me?'

'Can I see your breasts?' Wolf repeats, while I nod vigorously in support. I feel it's important to support my son in his inquisitive nature.

'No I won't show you my breasts. There are no breasts to be shown at the dinner table!'

'But why not?' he asks.

'Yes, why not?', I add in support. I get a vicious look from the other side of the table. Clearly, Mrs.B does not have the same ideas about support our son's inquisitive nature as I do.

'No breasts at the dinner table', says Mrs.B in a stern voice. She make it sound final, but I see an opening here. Maybe naked breasts at the coffee table are still open for debate.

Naughty toddler

Naughty toddler



Brace Yourself

In an attempt to become even more beautiful than she is today, Mrs.B has braces. These days, braces don't carry the stigma they used to have. They even come in fashionable colours, I mean those small rubber bands that just used to be white. You can get all kinds of flashy colours. Mrs.B selected green rubber bands.

'How do you like them', she asked.

'You look like you've eaten spinach', I replied.


Hell never hath a fury like a woman scourned...

Grounds For Divorce

I just discovered a nearly new T-shirt of mine in the garbage bin. It was barely twenty years old - or twenty-two, but let's not start nitpicking please - and it's still in perfect shape apart from the large grease stain and the building-foam drops that cling to it everywhere and are impossible to remove and some paint and various other patches of dirt and unidentifiable substances. Granted, it has some ruffles on the neck, but it's still a good T-shirt to do chores, or go to a wedding reception, you know as long as it's nothing too fancy.

I have a pretty good suspicion about who might have thrown it in the bin. I won't divulge any names now, but when she returns from work there will be a cross-examination followed by quick and efficient justice.

No-one throws items of clothing of mine in the bin without my consent, even if that means they have to wait thirty years for it!

Breaking And Clambering

After two weeks of parental leave, it was time to return to work on Monday. So armed with my lunch-box and a magazine, I got onto the train to Brussels. But I'd barely installed myself when Mrs.B called me with a bit of panic in her voice: she'd left the house to bring Wolf to school and had closed the door behind her... leaving the keys on the inside.


So while I quickly got off the train and took a bus home, I considered the options. We bought our house from an old couple with a very negative view of the outside world and of their fellow men. As a consequence, our house is built like a fortress. And with both the back and the front door closed with the keys in the locks, there weren't many options. My only chance would be to climb through the open bedroom window on the first floor.

When I say 'open' I mean that the window was wide open, but the blinds were almost completely lowered. We still have good old fashioned wooden blinds, that weigh about 500 tonnes. Another minor inconvenience was that the floors of our house are quite high, higher than my sorry old ladder. The neighbours on the left have a long ladder, but they were already at work. The neighbours on the other side took even more drastic measures, and moved out a couple of weeks ago. Luckily, I had more luck at the next house because they were at home and they had a ladder. A very very long ladder, suitable to replace aircraft warning lights on big antennas installed on skyscrapers.

The ladder was in their garage further down the street, and although it was made out of aluminium, it weighed as much as one made from wood. We were barely able to get it up with two grown men, but at least it got all the way up to the window sill. Then I had to lift the blinds and prop a wooden stake underneath, hoping that it wouldn't slip away. Otherwise those blinds would chop me in two like a blunt guillotine.

As I clambered through the narrow slit that had opened into our bedroom, I reminisced about my lost youth and how much easier these adventures were  fifteen years ago. It wasn't exactly a stealthy ninja that made his way into the house. But once I wriggled my big butt through the window, the rest was a piece of sachertorte. Moments later, I triumphantly opened the door. Sadly, there was no cheering mob (Mrs.B and Tyl) to greet me, as they were invited in by the neighbours.

So without further ado, I marched back to the bus stop to go to work.

Maximum Thrust

Wolf and I brought Tijl and mummy home last Friday. Our little guy was welcomed by a room full of balloons, flags and banners. The cats were pretty welcoming too, which is surprising as they normally hide into the nearest tree as soon as they spot/hear/smell a baby. Macka was even very curious and after checking Tijl out, he welcomed him with a gentle nudge with his head.

Wolf really is a proud little big brother. The merest sound of Tijl and he jumps up to find his pacifier. And by Jolly he won't rest before that baby has that thing well and truly in his mouth!

The first nights were tiring, with Tijl waking up to drink every three hours, but taking an hour to empty each tit, so there was only an hour between each buffet. But now we can let him sleep for six hours in a row - not that he actually does that, but we don't have to wake him up any more.

They say that every child is different, and it's true. While Wolf was actively preparing for a career as a fireman, using any means to his disposal to douse the 'fire' (meaning us), Tijl has other ambitions:

I guess he wants to be an astronaut, but I really must explain to him that he can ride a rocket and that he doesn't have to produce the massive thrust needed to escape the earth's gravitational field all on his own. So far he managed to cover one bed, one sofa, one dresser and one mother in yellow, runny, smelly poo. The video gives an impression of what it means to stand in this jet.

The only difference is that no-one counts down, so it does come as a complete but nasty surprise.

Status Update

Number of newborn babies: 0

Number of hurt feet: 1

Number of sleepless nights: countless

We're still waiting for the baby to arrive, despite many early warning signs that he/she's about to pop out. Mrs.B has a belly the size of a small moon, and any day now I expect to come home to find she got stuck in one of the door openings. She has problems sleeping and every time she wants to turn over it's a whole operation that involves moving pillows and blankets and stuff. Her bladder is about the size of a walnut, so she needs to get up a lot to go to the downstairs loo. Both these procedures involve loud moans and sighs and mumbling to make sure I'm well aware of her discomfort. So I have a lot of sleepless nights too.

On the plus side, her foot is finally getting better. Last week she was allowed to ditch the crutches, and this week she could trade in her combat boots for more suitable lady-like footwear. Frankly, she looked hilarious on warm days, with her shorts or skirt and those big mountain climbing 4x4 tanks on her feet. But because I love her so much, I didn't snigger even once. I really am the ideal husband.

It doesn't mean her gait is entirely normal, despite the physiotherapist's best efforts. It may have something to do with that dinosaur egg that she's carrying around.

In theory, we still have more than three weeks to go until D-day, but we both hope that it will be earlier. Because, you know, you get to rest a lot with a newborn baby and a hyperactive toddler in the house.

Lingerie Store

With Mrs.B keeping her toes up in the air, it was up to me to do the shopping these last three weeks. Fair enough, I usually do the Saturday morning run to get the groceries anyway. But I hadn't counted on the fact that it's the summer sales period. Regular readers (yes, you two) of this blog know how I feel about sales period. It's what small antelopes think about the crocodile infested pond that's the only source of drinkable water in a 500 mile radius: if there were only a way to avoid it.

I needed a bunch of new clothes, like really really badly. I wear T-shirts that are made from linen because cotton hadn't been discovered yet when I bought them. My collection of single socks is probably the largest in the world. I've got strings for underwear that started their careers as boxer shorts. My sweaters were all the fashion in the 19th century. And the police have issued a warning that they'd arrest me the very next time they see me in one of my shorts.

Still, all fine and dandy. After all, I used to buy me own clothes back when I was still single. The bad part is that my sweet flamingo needed some clothes too. Among them were items such as underwear and pyjamas. And that is where the drama begins.

In Belgium we're all for the equality of sexes, but we also must admit that this supposed equality is not perfect. Women earn less on average and they find it much more difficult to have a career and climb to the ranks of upper management. However, no-one stares at them when they buy underwear for their husbands. No-one sniggers or smiles.

I, on the other hand, found myself to be the only man in the women's lingerie department. I tried hard not to notice the strange glances and the knowing smiles when I browsed through panties and knickers. And I desperately tried to cool off that red beet my head had turned into when I inquired about pyjamas. For all the feminist bullshit, shopping in a lingerie store is like looking for a particular CD while being engulfed in flames. After a couple of minutes I could take no longer, and I had to restrain myself from not running out in sheer panic.

But once I got out, I'd realised that I had still not found what I was supposed to get, and that meant that another visit to yet another lingerie shop awaited me.

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