They have the most amazing ways of transporting entire families on bikes. It's truly fascinating. I need to collect some pics and do an entire post on just that. And I will.
How do you feel about your children having a different childhood than your own?
This is how I think about it. My childhood happened in the past. It's done. I would love to take my children to Trout Lake every weekend in the summer, but Ed's Bait Box isn't there. It never could be the same, even if we spent it in all the same places. Like most parents, I am figuring out what childhood I want for my children.
I wouldn't trade my childhood for anything. Not for a passport full of stamps or spring breaks in Florida (via airplane, nontheless). My childhood was truly magical.
|My perfect day, age 11|
How baby/children friendly is it? Are there changing tables everywhere you go? Do you see lots of strollers?
Hmmmm....well it is not as baby friendly as I had expected. We live in the Center, so it's quite busy and I do not think it's convenient with a large stroller. You might have trouble fitting into shops and will most likely have problems bringing a big stroller into a lot of restaurants in the center. I am also now discovering that many of the restaurants in the center do not have high chairs...a subtle way to keep the kids out.
What's worse is that traveling by tram with a stroller can be a real problem. There is an often enforced quota of 2 strollers per tram! I have heard of moms who have had multiple trams pass and refuse to let them on because there were already other strollers on board. And they were probably just trying to get their baby to a doctor's appointment! Extremely frustrating!
Which is why everyone rides a bike...
There are also lots of great playgrounds all over the city. We mostly go to the big one by our house (across from the Heineken brewery), but before I had Ebba we had explored the city a bit more.
|Can't go wrong with bubbles at NEMO|
|We recently discovered the mini disco!|
Are you happy with their education system for your kids? Daycare?
I really don't have a lot of experience with either yet. Simon just started school in March, and he was only in daycare 2 days/week for 6 months. Daycare is quite expensive, and government subsidies were greatly reduced in recent years. The Dutch, who have an extremely high number of part-time workers, are likely to share childcare responsibilities between spouses, grandparents, and daycare. That makes it more affordable.
As for school, from everything I have heard about the Dutch education system I think it's great. I guess I will have to keep you posted on that one....
Also do pregnant/ nursing moms smoke weed? Or drink?
As for drinking, my midwife told me that the recommendation is to completely abstain from alcohol. That said, I do think that there is a more liberal view of drinking later in pregnancy than in the US. When I was in Belgium at the start of my 3rd trimester, we had dinner at the B&B where we were staying. The host could not stop offering me wine, and eying me very suspiciously when I kept declining. He did not seem to think that being pregnant was a valid reason to decline a glass of red wine with a delicious duck dinner.
|Monster sandwich! Scary!|