Mother's column – Does the love for animals also apply to insects?
The nice part of September is that you can eat outside without being on guard for wasps. Also, other creeping and buzzing creatures are almost gone.
Of all seasons, spring is still my favourite. If you are lucky, you can go outside without a coat (the ultimate feeling of freedom after all the hassle of hats, scarfs and mittens). Ticks are not active yet, the oak processionary caterpillar has not hatched from its egg yet, the queen of the wasps is still hibernating, and it is still too cold for mosquitoes to multiply themselves on a large scale.
Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).
Of course, even when summer peaks, we still do not have good reasons to complain in the Netherlands. As long as we do not have to deal with a tropical climate, we do not have to fear malaria mosquitos and other creepy insects that terrorise life in warmer countries.
But even though Dutch mosquitoes usually do not transfer scary illnesses, they still wake you up with annoying sounds. And even when you are not affected by it yourself, you may suddenly hear one of the children shout in the middle of the night: "Dad, a mosquito!" That, too, is not very beneficial for your night's rest.
Jan is very good at the mosquito hunt. Especially when the insect found its way to Martha's room, it is essential to act vigorously. Because once she gets stung, she cannot talk about anything else for the next couple of days. "It itches so badly." A bit later: "That mosquito must have been very hungry. I have seven mosquito bites!" And then, revengeful: "Dad should look quickly if it is still there. Then he can give it what it deserves: the death penalty."
I must say that Martha has never been a big fan of animals. That makes a difference. Take Jolijn instead. She wants to pet all animals she sees, intensely enjoys it when a fly walks over her arm and is the only one in the house who is happy about an ant infestation.
One morning, she comes downstairs excitedly. "Look, mom! I have a mosquito bite too! It hurts a bit, but I don't care. I am not going to cry. The mosquito wanted to make a hill, and it succeeded. And then he was very happy."
But even Jolijn is a little done with the mosquito now. Fortunately, it is September now. The month of the spiders!
Mother's column – Passing on the Christian heritage
Mother's column – Clapping my hands against the fruit fly
Mother's column – battling mosquitos with a tent