Cartoon Capers in the NeighbourFood

Yesterday was a brighter day in many ways. The day started out sunny, Lola and I were meeting friends at the Westerpark and there would be food involved. Triple Gold Star Day!

Another reason yesterday was so much brighter? We spent some of it surrounded by yellow, at A Perfect Day, the cartoon/text expo in the Westergasfabriek. The expo includes drawings and text by Dave Eggars, Leonard Cohen, Gummbah and Joe Brainard and is on until 24th February. It was really cool.

After seeing what kind of artwork was already out there, Lola decided it was time to get involved.

If I’m being honest, I would have to say that the crayons spent more time in her mouth than they did actually creating Basquiat-esque eye candy or even a half-arsed doodle. But we loved it and afterwards went to meet our friends for food and drinks at the latest market to hit Westerpark, Neighbourfood.

Lola gave the mini frittatas a thumbs up, whilst Nicole and I got stuck in to some mushroom stroganoff and mashed potatoes and Ryan settled on paella. More salt needed, was the general consensus.

A good variety of food stalls, a well-stocked bar and good company combined to make the perfect recipe for a gezellige time.

It’s no mean feat taking an almost-toddler to a market though, with the enticing distractions of people, dogs, misplaced cables and leftover food. I shot Nicole and Ryan some envious looks whilst their baby girl slept soundly in her pram for most of the afternoon and Lola made another bolt for it into the crowd.

I recently heard that whatever the stage your child is in is both the hardest and the easiest. Yesterday I understood what that meant. When Lola was 3.5 months old, I remember if she slept too long I worried she was ill, or had stopped breathing. If she slept too little, I wondered if she would ever sleep again. I wondered if we’d ever sleep again.

Yesterday I thought about how easy it would be for me now to take a baby out, the lack of mobility and those daytime naps allowing you to finish a conversation. And I’m sure in a few months (weeks?) time, I’ll be reminiscing about what it was like to be able to go somewhere without a 1-hour tantrum beforehand.

But despite some of the challenges each stage brings, the clichés are true. Watching Lola laughing, having new experiences and meeting new people makes any amount of effort worthwhile. And when I think about all the things this city has to offer us, I feel very fortunate to call Amsterdam home.


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