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We'll Meet Again In The Afterlife

Tyl lost a dear friend yesterday. The poor little guy was inconsolable, crying his eyes out, shouting out the pain. He went through all stages of grief in a matter of minutes: pain, anger, denial, bargaining and then back to tears again. Time and again he came to me to ask why this loss, only to rebuke me when I tried to explain and comfort him.

Better get a new DVD player soon, otherwise we're going to have this scene every freaking time he wants to see Miffy.

And A Good Renal Health To You


Oh yeah. Happy New Year and stuff.

We broke with tradition this year, we didn't spend the first week of the New Year in hospital because Tyl wasn't ill and dangerously underweight for a change. That is the good news.

But we did spend some time at the doctor's with our little guy. A couple of months ago we noticed that his left leg grew at a strange angle from the knee down. So we took him to a doctor, who advised us to see another doctor, and then they had to take some pictures and they saw that his epiphyseal plates were curved instead of straight. But when they did some blood tests, they found that there was some deeper problem here. Tyl had all the signs of vitamin deficiency. Now before you conclude that we failed as parents, let me assure you that we generally eat fresh food and that Tyl gets plenty of vegetables, fruit, dairy products and so on. We very rarely eat canned food or junk food. And of course, he is also small for his age and he doesn't gain in weight either. All this is very strange, because he eats like a tiger most of the time.

So more tests. A genetics specialist joined the gang, and then finally the doctors started to think about a possible problem with his kidneys. They tapped a couple of liters of his blood, and today we were invited to have a chat with the kidneys specialist (I am sure there is a proper scientific name for this type of specialisation). Anyway, it seems that Tyl has a problem with his renal tubule. For those of you who aren't specialised in how the kidneys work: the renal tubule are responsible for absorbing important salts and vitamins and other stuff that your body needs. Basically, Tyl doesn't absorb these elements very well and they flush out with his urine. This means his body has certain deficiencies, so he doesn't grow and gain weight and get strong bones like he is supposed to.

Unfortunately, this problem can't be cured. Fortunately, it is relatively simple to improve his condition. He just has to take a number of supplements to compensate for the fact that his body gets rid of a lot of the vitamins, calcium, phosphor and so on. This should ensure that he will continue to grow normally - the doctor even hopes that he'll catch up a bit. If all goes well, by the end of the summer his leg should be all right again. But he will need to take these supplements for the rest of his life, especially up to his eightteenth birthday.

And he will have to undergo regular medical check-ups, which means tapping some blood every time. Which means our ears will be well tested, because Tyl doesn't like needles. And when Tyl doesn't like something, he will make sure that the whole hospital and any neighbouring provinces are aware of his displeasure.

Sinterklaas Not Again

Yesterday was Sinterklaas' birthday, which is traditionally the day when children that were well behaved all through the year find one or more presents in their shoe or boot. Of course, as every parent knows, the phrase 'well behaved all through the year' is up for interpretation, and although Sinterklaas is supposed to know everything, there is a lot of leeway. Every parent knows this, because every parent once was a child too and desperately counted on the good man's sense of humour.

Anyway, because the 6th of December fell right smack bang in the middle of the week this year, Sinterklaas in all his wisdom decided to advance his schedule and pay his nightly visit to our household last Saturday. Much loot was had by both our sons, since it was Sinterdad who did most of the shopping this year because he didn't agree with the quota that Sintermom tends to infringe.

So when the children woke up at a time that is technically morning, but what can only be described by any sane person as 'the dead of night', we quickly climbed down the stairs and opened the door in anticipation... to find that the coffee table had disappeared under the presents, chocolates, marsipain and various other treats. Wolf got a giant Lego truck, a dinosaur hunter from the same brand (Jurassic Parc style), the Who-is-it game and a book on how to draw animals. Tyl got the cash register from Fisher Price, a couple of Miffy books and a Miffy DVD (guess who is currently his favourite). Dad got nothing at all, despite acting as a child for most of the year. Not fair.

So you can't say the children had any reason to complain. Still, on Wednessday evening, Wolf timidly inquired if Sinterklaas was still going to come that night, because his teacher had told him so. No harm in asking, right?

He was a bit disappointed the next moring when he found that Sinterklaas hadn't brought a second load of toys, despite the fact that the first time around, he did forget to bring a number of things that were on his wish list.

Well, Christmas is only two weeks away son!


Tyl just spent a happy time plucking one after the other paper tissue out of the box. Of course I tried to explain to him that this was unwanted behaviour, unworthy of a responsible 2-year-old. He just smiled back, thinking 'yeah right'.

He is definitely in 'fun-mode'. Yesterday he produced a puke explosion of the slimey kind of 8.4 on the Richter scale. I had to use a shovel to dig him out of his bed, and then scram to the bathroom trying not to let him slip out of my grip. While Mrs.B hosed him down to get rid of all the bits of minced meat and strings of spagetti, I put on a biohazard suit to clean out his bed.

You know, he's such a cute little boy, but at times as this I seriously contemplate of putting him up for sale on e-bay.

Tyl fell of his bike

Tyl fell of his bike

Brotherly Love



Brotherly love

Brotherly love

Walking Without Training Wheels

'There's a sale in the bike shop', Mrs.B anounced during lunch. 'We should go and look for a new bike for Wolf.'

She was right of course, the boy's current vehicle is a patched up second hand fixer upper his grandmother got him from the flea market. He's outgrown it, and since a couple of weeks it's also clear that he's ready to ditch the training wheels.

So we went to the bike store, and upon seeing the very first children's bike he saw - a bright yellow and red one with teddy bears on it, Wolf exlaimed 'I want this one'.

'Yes well, let's have a look at the other bikes first', I responded. We found another one he liked, but when he tried it we were still in doubt. It was ok, but it was a 16 inch (whatever that means) and it looked asif Wolf would outgrow it rather fast. However, the other bikes were 20 inches (tall? wide? wheel size?) and they were definitely too big. But then my eye fell on the yellow-and-read-teddy-bear-bike again, which seemed bigger than the one we'd selected, but then again not too big.

So we took it for a test drive. It had no training wheels, but that didn't stop Wolf. Within seconds, he was riding on his own, without daddy's assistance. Just like that, a milestone in my son's life.

Sold! We want this bike, and nothing else! The bike shop man took it away to set it up properly (fine tune the breaks and everything), which gave us the time to eat fries (yes, in Belgium you get complimentary fries when you go to a bike sales) and to try out the inflatable jumping castle (they sure know how to woe their future customers). Tyl liked the fries, but was a bit afraid of that inflatable monstrosity with the giant clowns head towering over it. So he stood in front of hit, looking at his big brother go and bounce from one side to the other. And then he let go of the bouncing castle, and stood on his own for a while. And then he took a step, and another one. Without training wheels!

I tell you, this bike shop is a place of miracles and wonder. Next time a kid of mine needs to get potty trained, I'm going there to buy something.

For Those About To Rock

Yesterday, I learned Tyl how to headbang. Clever little boy that he is, he grasped it in seconds and we were both headbanging away to an imaginary Deep Purple concert.

Mrs.B wasn't so chuffed about this, as at the time she was trying to feed Tyl. She threw me some very annoyed glances while she was holding a spoonful of chard and potato.

She obviously didn't grasp the importance of teaching your children to headbang. It is an essential skill and if you want your kid to grow up with a decent taste for music you just can't start soon enough. The importance of chard becomes very relative in the light Hard Rock, Metal and consorts.

However, I do hope that Tyl never turns to that pussy devil worshippers' trash metal stuff...


As I recently mentioned to a friend: it never rains but it's showering tidal waves during an earthquake. In fact you can also throw in a massive volcano eruption and a deadly comet, and some hurricanes for good measure.

Last Saturday, Tyl was readmitted to hospital. He would barely eat since his return home, and on Saturday morning he puked up everything he'd eaten half an hour before. So Mrs.B took him to the doctor, who said he'd better return to the children's ward.

Wolf had to go back to school, so we couldn't sleep over like we had done the first week of January. So Mrs.B rushed to hospital after bringing Wolf to school, and when school was out she took Wolf to Tyl. Then at five she got back home to make dinner for us all. When I got back from work I'd eat, and then it was my turn to go to the hospital. Tyl won't go to sleep before ten o'clock, so I'd be home around ten thirty. Very busy days, as you can imagine. The last thing we needed was for Wolf to turn sick too.

Yesterday Wolf turned sick too. We were at the dinner table, and he wouldn't eat his fish sticks - which he eats by the box normally. We wrongfully assumed he was faking it to get attention now that his little brother got all the focus of our love. Even when he announced that he had to throw up we were having none of it. Five counts later we were having a lot of it, as he puked over half the dining room.

So now I'm at home from work looking after Wolf, while Mrs.B is in hospital taking care of Tyl.

We wished you a spectacular 2012 a couple of weeks ago, and spectacular it is...

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