The Train Museum

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This month’s highlight of our Toddler-Mama life has been, without a doubt, the trip to the Train Museum. Now, when it comes to toys, we have a tendency to keep them as gender neutral as possible and follow V’s cues as of what he likes without any of that “you are a boy, thus you need to play with cars” nonsense. Unfortunately though, V does not like dolls. He is not interested in fairies and tea parties, he could not care less about glitter. Despite our efforts to broaden his horizon, he just loves cars. And trains. Actually, any vehicle with wheels will do. On the day of the trip, V and I took a bus, then a real train to a station where we met Continue reading

Mama Promises Again

Round about one year ago I wrote a post about all the things that, as a mother, I promised I would never do. Or at least, so I hoped. It was a sort of early motherhood manifesto, a way to pinpoint which were the choices I really, really did not want to make. To this day, that post has held a steady position in the top three most read of this blog’s history.

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At the time I wrote Mama Promises, V was only nine months old and had just started to crawl. One year down the line, I do realize it’s much easier to be sure what you are or are not going to do when your child is still a baby who can barely move or express dissent. Once that baby becomes a toddler who can push chairs around the kitchen, climb on them and find your hidden cookie stash at the back of the cupboard, things tend to reach a slightly different level of challenging. Today I would like to look back at the list of promises I made a year ago and see how it all worked out. Did Mama manage to keep them, or did she have to break a few (or more) in order to survive?

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* NO SUGAR! * Although we do our best to keep it minimal, our Little Man does eat some sugar. Actually, if I were to really be serious about avoiding all sugar floating out there in the atmosphere, I would probably not have any time to Continue reading

Make A List [Rotterdam Parents]

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Lists are incredibly fashionable nowadays. It seems that, in the world of written entertainment, if something is not written in a listicle form it has very few chances to be read. Lists are fun, dynamic, they usually are not too long, they don’t beat it around the bush, and their form is by default fragmented, which allows the reader to easily skip a paragraph without losing the plot. They are fast to write, easy, they don’t have to be works of literary art to be compelling, on the contrary, they are a practical, informative, accessible read. But I think that their entertainment value is not all that lists have to offer. Continue reading

Book, Interrupted

I have finally started bringing out of the garage some of the boxes with books I’ve not yet unpacked since our move to the new house four months ago. This past weekend, I found a bunch of special books which are close to my heart in a peculiar way. Their story is what you are about to read, I call them The Interrupted.

Like many other bookworms out there, it’s quite hard for me to read only one book at a time. Usually, I have an average of 3-4 titles in progress on my desk, bedside table, and toilet sink. Many of them, eventually, meet their destiny and get read till the end, but there is always a small percentage which remains stuck at some level and lingers for months and months in this halfway state between the unread and the finished until I get tired of seeing its cover catching dust, I force myself to make peace with the thought I will not see the end of this story any time soon, and I finally archive the title on The Interrupted Shelf.

Yes, I have an Interrupted Shelf. I also call it “The Limbo Shelf”, a name that wants to express empathy for their stuck and unfinished state of being. I have feelings and respect for my books, even those I will probably never read till the end. That’s why I would like to introduce to you nine of the most egregious Interrupted titles, celebrate them for a moment, before they slide back onto their shelf and deep into this reader’s oblivion.

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1 * THE NEW YORK TRILOGY * Paul Auster

Interrupted when and where: sometime in 2009, on page 129 of 308. Reason for the Interruption: as the title suggests, this is a collection of three stories. I read the first two, City Of Glass and Ghosts, and stopped right before The Locked Room. Why? Although I am a big Continue reading