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Sports Day

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-30-2010

Yesterday, the day before Queen’s Day- a national holiday- it seemed to be Sports Day at schools all around.

First, there was Baby’s. She was supposed to bike about a half an hour away to another village ( the same one in which The Boy did his stage), do Sports Day and then bike back. This is never going to happen. She is not allowed to bike to school ( we live too close) and those Swedish granite cobblestones have been ice slicks for months. She has had no chance to practice. She needs a bigger bike.

So we drove her there. I knew the order in which the classes were leaving the school, and so, as we passed the first group, I said, there is group 7. They were being led by a teacher wearing a fluorescent green vest, and I remarked that it looked like a bunch of ducks, flying overhead, there is always that lead duck.

We next passed her group, look who the lead duck is ! I said. Then Group 5, I recognized that lead duck as well.

We parked outside of the sports field, and waited. Baby was getting very agitated. She doesn’t like her school friends to hear me speaking English and she didn’t like The Father’s choice of music. She was embarrassed. We are saying, no one from your school is here yet, we are inside a car, they cannot hear us, but she was jumping up and down.

And then I saw the first lead duck turning the corner. Duck coming, I said. Sure enough, there they came. Then we waited for the next duck, her group. I spotted that duck right away, here they come ! She doubted me, but I was correct. Here came her class. She was so excited. Led by one very tired looking duck. She jumped out of the car and ran to join them.

She had a wonderful day, her face is rather burned ( I did not even consider sunscreen, for this is The Netherlands). I walked into the fields to pick her up, for I did not think that her duck would let her go without a parent showing their face ( which The Father cannot do right now) and she hissed at me : what are you doing here ? I explained it . She really dislikes me speaking English in front of her school mates, although only Best Friend was nearby and has heard me speak English a zillion times. I was like, well, tough t*tty.

The Boy also had a rather sporty day yesterday : his class or his school was doing a sponsored 45 km bike ride to raise money for some place in Africa. Considering that The Boy bikes 45 minutes, each way to school, I am surprised that his tires did not explode.

The Girl did not have an official sports day, instead, she spent the day with her Grandparents, biking through the dunes.

Back to The Boy. So he has his group to bike with, including his 4 good friends and a guy who has reached high levels in the world of scouting. They have to bike through the dunes and the scout knows a way to cut 10 kms off of their journey. They follow him.

Guess who they see ? They see the girl in the 1956 Ford Thunderbird. The Boy waves to her.

The friends who do not notice his wave ask if the other guys saw that girl biking by.The friends who noticed his wave are stunned. You know her ? Yes, it is my sister. How can someone who looks like you have a sister who looks like that ?

The Boy came home with a bad burn as well. He went to bed at 8pm and we finally woke him up at 11am. He enjoyed telling The Girl about his friends reaction to seeing her and she loved hearing it, even though she sniffed and said, they are only 15.

  1. cindy Said,

    Sue, do you and the kids talk to each other in dutch or english at home?

  2. Mummy Dearest Said,

    Cindy, after much experimentation, we all – including The Father- speak English at home, otherwise there is no way to even attempt to keep their English up. They all still say *of* instead of *or*. I have never heard the kids swear at each other in Dutch. But they swear very well in English ( although recently, I have heard The Boy say * Oh, Fudge !*)

    Whenever I hear ads about how easy it is for children to learn new languages, I am hearing fingernails on a chalkboard. I am a walking Thesaurus : I try out new words with them ( this happens at least 4 times a day) all of the time. Last night, there was one with Baby and one with The Boy. I can’t remember which words. But they are used to me saying, do you know what this means ? They are very comfortable saying *no*. Then I explain it in English. In a pinch, I will use the Dutch word.

    Bilingual is easy at 2. It is tougher as they grow older and should have a more mature vocabulary.

    Yesterday, in the car, we were Listening to a Sid Vicious song. And I said to The Father, the *H* is pronounced, you know. How The Boy can be so weak in English is beyond me. Hardly anyone speaks Queen’s English. This is I suppose my pet peeve.

    Meg is just at an age when she is embarrassed about everything having to do with both of her parents. Doesn’t bother me. I let it slide by.

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