Spain is asleep and enthousiastic children
Written on: Thu, 22 Oct 2009; 23:21
And here I am again! This time with stories about Columbus day, beautiful walks, the swimming pool, stickers, colouring booklets and airplanes! The life of an aupair in a nutshell!

Monday the 12th of October was Columbus Day, or Dia de la Hispanidad as they call it here. It basically means that everyone gets a day off. Why exactly they get this day off most people don't really know. I had to search the internet and ask my Chilean friend Francisco to find out what this day actually was. Officially it's the day Columbus discovered America. In Madrid there is a military parade, and in the rest of the country everybody is in bed. Seriously, it is absolutely fascinating to see how the entire country simply shuts down on a celebration day like this one! When you go outside around 10am there is not a single person to be seen, except possibly for one person walking his dog in his pajamas. In the metro during rush hour there are only 2 people asides from myself, and both are rubbing the sleep from their eyes. All stores - including the supermarkets - are closed. The entire city is sleeping on their celebration day!

Because doing sports is important too, especially when you don't have very much to do during the day, I have started looking at my options. They rent out bicycles here, and although they are not great bicycles it is still quite nice to go cycling for an hour for 2 euros! My best options however are walking and swimming! Walking here is absolutely beautiful. I can leave in the morning and spend hours walking over the cliffs with my iPod in my ears and the fresh wind in my face. It gets colder and colder, so my winter coat has been taking from the closet and I walk with my hands in my pockets looking out over the sea. Everywhere there are places to sit down, and when I have reached my furthest point - around 2 hours from my starting point - I sometimes sit down. Just to think. It's so great!

I have also discovered the swimming pool. It is in a gigantic building, and when you walk in you feel like entering a... palace made of snow. The walls are white, the ceiling is white, the glass has been painted white, the swimming pool itself is white. Everything is white! Even the little flags above the pool. For me that is - aside from the fact that I'm sometimes scared of walking into a wall - not a problem. I swim like a good girl with the obligatory swim-cap on my head. I would however not like to go there with the kids. It seems way too boring...

Clarita and Borjita now receive a sticker every morning. At least, Clarita gets one when she has finished dressing, brushing her teeth and done her hair by 9 o'clock. Borjita gets one when he has not cried before 9 o'clock, and when he has behaved relatively good. When they have 10 stickers they get a present. It works brilliantly. Clarita tries hard and constantly looks at the clock. Borjita understands the principle as well, as a few days ago he didn't get a sticker for the first time. With a sad face he told his grandmother in the afternoon that he had not gotten a sticker because he had cried.

Borjita volarClarita volar My amazing mother and the amazing HEMA (which is a brilliant store in the Netherlands) have helped me greatly to amuse Clarita and Borjita. I got a colouring booklet for Borjita. He only has to paint with water and the colours magically apear on the paper! Proudly he tells anyone who wants to listen that he is really painting! Clarita connects dots on the paper from 1 to 100 to form figures, after which she colours them in.

I have also introduced the concept of the human airplane, which we used to play at home. Both children find it fantastic to fly around in the sky like an "airplane" on my arms and legs while laughing out loud. The only disadvantage with this game is that I get extreme muscle ache in my stomach the day after, but I'll take that!

Lots of love!


Hi Indira
All sounds fantastic - what a great job you are doing with the kids. Just remember that the human airplane is great for those stomach muscles - incorporated in my plan for pilates for mums and kids!!!
Written by ali on Sun, 25 Oct 2009 at 00:10
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