Luckily we wake up this morning and note a good development: Eleonore’s fever down to a mere 37.2! She still coughs, she still has a throat so sore, that it actually makes her cry in her sleep, poor thing. But still. Good sign! I was not that surprised, as she was sweating profusely a couple of times during the night (of course I had been waking up at every unexpected sound she made, as the awareness that swine flu can cause sudden breathing problems has taken total hold of my unconscious).
07h30. Morning routine over. Including feeding Eleonore a cocktail of Tamiflu, paracetamol, vitamines and cough drink. I feel slightly more awake after three — yes, no less — strong coffees with foamed milk.
07h40. We snuggle up on the couch and watch the daily must-see show in the Netherlands at this time of year (well — at least if you’re either 5 years of age or younger, or the parent of such a child): the Sinterklaasjournaal. The daily adventures, every year the same of course, of St Nicholas, that arrives to the Netherlands from Spain on a real steamer around 17 November with an army of cheering and slightly stupid helpers, Zwarte Pieten, is greeted by the crowds in harbours all over the Netherlands. Literally. Then Sint and his Pieten keep the kids in the country in an iron grip until 5 December, when it is time for presents. And every day in the meantime, you’d better be prepared. Every evening, the shoe will be set at the fireplace, and sugar lumps and carrots need to be placed in it, for Sint’s horse, Amerigo.…and in the morning it better be filled with mini-gingercookies (‘pepernoten’) and a suited small gift. Or the sprout will be veeeery unhappy. I know, because once, I forgot. Never having grown up with this tradition, however, I forgave myself (and could luckily blame the Sint…!)
07h30. Laundy Nr 1 in the washing machine. 30 degrees. Of course. It works!
07h45. Computer on! Scanning through the emails that have arrived since 23h30, when I switched it off last night. Check out my Twitter messages. I have two replies on one of my blog posts — in Russian! Cool. I Google translate and reply. Find an interesting blog post by A Modern Mother on [expat/bilingual] kids and their accents. Makes me smile. Fire off a quick comment — this community I’d be proud to become part of.
9h05. Oups. Realise I have gotten caught in emails, blogs and the rest and left the TV on a bit longer than planned. Eleonore does not seem to mind (surprise). I decide her fever is low enough that she can handle a real shower (last few days, the washing has been somewhat more limited) including hair wash. She disagrees. I win. In the end she is clean. But must admit she screams louder.
09h25. Laundry Nr 1 in dryer. Laundry Nr 2 in washing machine.
9h30. Call the accountant to make an appointment for next week. We need to discuss the monthly reporting to the shareholders, the new tax break that Dutch companies will have as of 2010 on income generated from patents (yes!!! we could qualify for a 5% corporate tax rate! incredible!), the reclaim of VAT paid in Germany during our participation in Kind&Jugend in September and some other bits and pieces.
9h45. Yes. Find a confirmation in my email of the arrangement of a major shipment out of Thailand, that I’ve been trying to make happen during the last week.
10h30. Eleonore takes the lead. She decides to turn the living room into a beauty salon. We curl her veeery straight and (to be brutally honest) rather thin hair. And she surprises me by being able to paint her nails — all by herself, with total concentration and no spillage. And in two colors!
10h55. Nose bleed alert! She gets them often, especially when she is sick. Not very nice. But at least we know how to deal with it. After 15 min of careful nose pinching, we’re both confident it must be over — which it is.
11h12 A.M. My business partner Viktor is on the phone. I share with him some ideas I have after having read Crush It last night. Now, this one gives so much inspiration that it will require a whole new blog post! Which I can’t write today — so keep checking in if you’re interested to know my twist on this (because I do assume you have also read it?) ;-)
11h13 Eleonore starts making presents for Amigo, Sinter Klaas’ horse. I cheer her on from the sidelines while talking to Viktor. After I have hung up I help her wrap carrots and sugar lumps in home-made gift paper and place them in the shoe by the stove — by the way, this year; she has chosen to use a 2 inch hot pink stiletto heal strap sandal of mine. Hm. Last year, it was a rubber boot. Guess she is growing up!
11h20 Laundry No 2 in dryer. Laundry No 3 in washing machine. Horrey — last one for today!
11h30 Oh no. Thai partner calls to say that the local shipping agent has not been in touch as scheduled. Gotta work the phone. Manage to make sure shipper has number of contact person at the pickup address and vice versa.
11h55 OK. Time for lunch. No small task as Eleonore basically refuses to eat because of her throat pain. After trying every trick in the book, I do manage to get her to eat a half a sandwich.
12h30. I decide for myself that Eleonore will not be eternally damaged from watching another video. Especially since we settle on a Swedish, veeeery educational one. That is at least making my conscious a little lighter ;-) I snuggle up next to her with computer on my lap.
13h06. Last laundry goes into the dryer.
13h08. Eleonore’s fever down to 36.7! Happy!!
13h10. We start an ecclectic version of our Winne de Pooh memory board game, according to Eleonore Brutal Rules. I have no idea what the logic is, but hey, we spread out over the entire living room floor, I lose in the end (of course) but we both have fun!
13h38. The mail arrives. I recieve some important documentation about the progress of our trade mark registration in Japan — it is through! MummyMug™ is ready to roll and conquer Tokyo! I also sit down to do some banking errands. I love internet banking. I pay my salary taxes, some pending invoices and shift money between some company accounts. All done in less than 10 mins.
13h50. Eleonore comes up with a brill idea: let’s make a home video! Well — what the heck. Why not! I start charging the battery for the camera, is it has been in a drawer for a while. I start to feel that my little girl is really seeing the end of the flu, she has her energy back.
13h53. While the battery charges, I return a call to a manager at ABN Amro Informal Investment Services in Amsterdam. He’s asked me to speak at an event next week for starting entrepreneurs at Delft University. Of course most honored to be invited — my second speaking engagement!
14h15 Empty the dishwasher and clean up in the kitchen. I hear Eleonore talking to herself as she is inventing her own games in her room. Seems she is turning the doll house into a stable. I really enjoy hearing her a bit energetic and happy again.
14h42Viktor calls to debrief on progress in discussions with a potential major distributor. Good news ! We are slowly but surely sync-ing, which is a really awesome perspective. Me happy ;-)
15h15. Eleonore runs out of steam very suddenly, and wants PANCAKES — NOW! Luckily there is still a pack of pancake meal in the cupboard, because shopping is not possible today. No leaving the house with this flu.
15h30. We engage with heart and soul — as always — in the pancake adventure. Home video idea long forgotten. Eleonore also decides to make a side dish: a homemade soup of water, salt, pepper and some other spices she gets her hands on. Really fun — until it spills ocer her hand and stings her badly, she had a little wound on the finger. Oh dear. We eat pancakes on the couch while the tears stream down her cheeks.
15h55. Time for another video. Don’t feel guilty this time, it is about all that she can manage. She clearly needs a cuddle, so I snuggle up next to her on the couch with the computer on my lap/ I watch Snowwhite with one eye (to be able to grab her hand when it gest scary) and start typing away.
17h00. Oh dear. it takes 30 mins to convince her to take that last dose of Tamiflu. Glad this is over!
18h30. Early night for the little one. She surely needs the sleep.
So. That was my day. Seamless or schitzofrenic — what do you think?? Admittedly not the most standard one for me, as Eleonore is not sick every day (luckily!). And I do work out of an office (often). And I have only one kid to take care of — I know there are many out there who juggle it with many more!
Anyone who finds this being too similar to their daily routine though: can recommend reading the excellent blog on hiremyparents! Today: 6 Work Life balance tips for chronically overwhelmed parents. Whole site really worth a visit!
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