Tagarchief: rituals

Keeping the girls close

Elda’s story is featured in the July issue of Peekaboo magazine. This one again is so special! Thinking about your routines and rituals make you reflect on the important things in life. Elda surely did. Talking with her about life, her girls, husband and the choices she makes and why she makes them, was amazing.

Elda is one of the founders of the Amazeum and this coming week is a special week for her family as the museum will open to the public!  It’s a great children’s museum where you can tinker and discover and it’s such a wonderful addition to the Bentonville community. You probably already did and if not: Get your memberships now!

As always, browse to the Peekaboo website for a higher quality version of this article. Or, even better, get your copy in print at the various distribution points!

Elda interview

Poekoeloekoe (Pookoolookoo)



Who: Anne, Marijn, Julie & Livia
Ages: 35, 35, 4 & 1
Interviewed: Anne
Ritual: Poekoeloekoe

Omelet on Saturday

My sister and I played hockey every Saturday morning. My father was coach of one of the teams. When we came home he made us a Kaiser roll with omelet. All four of us jumped on the couch where we ate our sandwich. The couch faced towards the window. It was a rather strange position for a couch, but handy as you could look out the window at what was happening in the street. They were very relaxed moments, eating an egg sandwich after a tiring match. It still feels like just yesterday that we sat there.


Since we have had children, we live a more structured life. It is mainly led by Marijn, but I believe it’s important as well, especially for the children. We always put them to bed together. For the last year the game ‘Poekoeloekoe’ has been part of the going to bed ritual. Julie invented the game. She said: ‘1, 2 , 3 Poekoeloekoe!’ and we ran to the couch as fast as possible. Since Livia joined, a robot element has joined the competitive side of it. Marijn is the robot. I say: ‘1, 2, 3 Poekoeloekoe’! and the girls and I start running. The robot starts a little later and catches one of the children. We normally play the game twice as both of them need to be caught.


The evening always follows the same pattern. We’re home from 5pm and the children watch television while I prepare supper. We eat, they bathe, we play Poekoeloekoe, they each get a bottle of milk and at 7pm we put them to bed. Pretty boring, but routines make life easier. Hmm, that sounds quite tough when I say it out loud. Yet I do see it that way. Structure provides stability and creates space to achieve something in life. If life were to revolve around spontaneous moments, that would become your routine. Whereas those unexpected things – such as a spontaneous evening walk – now are the gems that make life extra special.

Pancake Wednesday

I enjoy the unexpected moments, but I realize I have the best memories of things we repeatedly did. Eating an omelet on Saturday and pancakes on Wednesday. My mother used to make pancakes on Wednesday when we came home from school. My sister and I and little neighbor Bob who often joined, enjoyed it very much. My mom still makes them when they are visiting us or if we are on vacation together. She calls it our family tradition.

Being at ease

We never miss this evening ritual. Things like evenings out for the two of us, we always plan to leave after we’ve put the children into bed. The children look forward to Poekoeloekoe, it makes the bedtime ritual fun. Livia will remind us if we forget about it. She just places us at the starting point at the bottom of the stairs. The bedtime ritual is a cozy end to the day. It gives me peace of mind when the children are safe asleep in their beds.

anne collage

Yoghurt & Gingerbread cookies

Family picture eva

Who: Joost, Eva, Boris, Lucie & Bobbie

Ages: 36, 36, 8, 5, 3
Interviewed: Eva
Ritual: Eating Yoghurt for breakfast

Speculaasjes (Ginger bread cookies)

My mum was always there when my sister and I came home from school when we were little. We drank tea  – with milk and sugar – and my mum’s tea always got cold because she she prefers talking to drinking. We got to choose two cookies (speculaasjes). I preferred the cookies with a woman and a man printed on them. We talked about school and when I got older we also watched The Bold and the Beautiful. It gave me a warm and secure feeling. In fact, it still does.

Rootine Eva fingerpYoghurt and fruit

We started eating yoghurt for breakfast about two years ago. The kids wake up early and they eat a sandwich in bed or wherever they hang out. Eating yoghurt together is the breakfast moment we share. We add a lot of fruit to ensure we tick the vitamin box. I prefer eating only fruit and yoghurt and add some muesli The same goes for the girls. Joost and Boris eat a big bowl with fruit and muesli. The kids add Nesquik to their yoghurt and chocolate pops too. Did I just say that it was healthy? Uhm yes, right.

Same place

We sit at the bar in the kitchen. Joost mostly stands and I also use this time to do the girls’ hair. Or at least, Lucie’s hair, Bobbie doesn’t want anything done with her hair. The kids prefer the same place every morning and they have their own bowls and spoons. Boris has a Sponge Bob bowl and a big blue spoon and the girls have Kellogg’s bowls with a girl on a swing printed on it. The girls use small green spoons. They may use another bowl as long as there are no boys printed on it. Joost eats with a metal spoon. How can you eat yoghurt with a metal spoon? We keep on telling him that we don’t understand that.

Being there

We are early and risers and truly morning people. On the weekends we sometimes go for a walk before having breakfast. We quickly put on some clothes and just walk out the door without taking a shower. I remember that we sometimes went on a ‘secret’ morning walk in search of rabbits during holidays when I was little. I loved the fact that everyone was still sleeping and the day was unfolding in front of my eyes. The morning really is my favorite part of the day.

Celebrate a new day

We celebrate the start of the day together. We talk, laugh, dance around the kitchen table and cuddle. Sometimes we’re not together because one of us is running or travelling, but we’d rather not skip it. When I miss it, I feel it for the rest of the day. I look forward to the small talk at the breakfast table. It’s a moment of peace and happiness before everyone flies out.

Collage Eva Lebens