V has never been a very cuddly baby. Ever since he was a newborn he had a very clear opinion about his personal space and body contact in general. He does not like being touched, tickled, he can endure only so many hugs a day and, as parents, we have always been very respectful of this. Unless the reason for us to touch him is a necessity such as changing his diaper, measuring his temperature or removing a gigantic booger from one of his nostrils, we never insist on him accepting our physical contact. We screen him from having to kiss or hug other family members, we react on his cues when he does not want to Continue reading
If you keep an eye on Baby Blues News on social media, you must already know that we have started a collaboration with the brand-new website Rotterdam Parents, which is a source of information and support for the community of expat (but not only) families living in the greater Rotterdam area. I’m very excited to be a regular contributor for the site, as I could not imagine a better way to be involved in creating and promoting a sense of “being at home” for people of all nationalities and walks of life who, just like me, found themselves living in this crazy rainy wonderful country.
The first piece to appear on the site is the tale of what I did on the very first day ever in which I threw in the Mama-towel and jumped a train to the city in a frantic attempt to save my mental sanity. Here is a little taste of how this story goes: Continue reading
It’s strange. Whenever I return from any trip lasting longer than a few days, my home shifts. I walk in, tired after being shaken by one plane, two buses and a train, I drag the backpack, cabin trolley and duty free purchases across my threshold and… the ceiling feels somewhat higher. The living room smells different, the plants are a bit wilder, and I find myself being a bit scared of what I’ll see under the toilet’s lid. In the fridge there is a bunch of lemons cuddled in a fluff of absinthe-colored mold. It’s almost as if my home wants to warn me that time passes even when I’m not around and that things can happen in the emptiness. And the time I did not spend in these four walls, these two weeks I’ve been away, I didn’t freeze-frame them, they are gone. I chose to be elsewhere, the loss is mine.
At the beginning of the Seventies my parents bought a villa by the sea on the Italian island of Sardinia. It was one of those low white buildings you see on Mediterranean postcards, with a flat roof which served as a terrace, enclosed in a cocoon of raving bougainvillea. For the entirety of our childhood, every single summer, my mother and the three of us moved to that house from the early days of June till about a week into September. It was a raw paradise of rocks and secret beaches, everything was Continue reading