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LIFE AS WE KNOW IT Juliette and Lea Willows were born in Brussels in the Autumn of 2004. We could hardly have imagined how much love and joy they would bring into our family. Every day, they make us laugh, make us think, and surprise us with their creative interpretation of the world. The pages that follow are testimony to life as they have understood it, between 2010 and 2013. We hope you enjoy it.

CHAPTER ONE Matters of Life and Death

You exist. I exist. Ghosts don't exist. - Juliette, On existence

When you die, Mummy, you will be in my heart, like Michael Jackson. - Juliette, On the sudden death of Michael Jackson

I know I'm real, because when I close my eyes I'm still here. - LĂŠa, On Cartesian theories of existence

Daddy, how old will Mummy be when you pass away? - Juliette, On confronting the brutal facts


No, Daddy, I don't want to come for a walk with you this morning - unless you want to take me in a pushchair. - LĂŠa, On being lazy

I can't touch you, Daddy, because you are sick and I'll catch the fleas. - LĂŠa, On bedside manner

Daddy, I feel like a slup. - LĂŠa, On the importance of not confusing your Ps and Ts

Lea, you are so mean. Thank you for waking me up. So I will be mean to you on Sunday. From Juliette.

- Juliette, A note left on the kitchen table

Daddy, I wish I was an omelette. It would be so warm in that pan. - Juliette, On cold winter days

Daddy, when you wear that scarf your neck looks very small. - Juliette, On giving someone a complex

Daddy, you will buy me clothes in future but you will never choose them! - Juliette, On growing out of her Dad’s sense of taste

Juliette, were you in your brother’s room? No, I swear! So why was Jack angry with you? He wanted me to get out. Of where? His room. - Juliette, On getting out of trouble

The problem is that my brain has a mouth.

- Juliette, On why she sometimes says stuff she shouldn’t


Daddy, I wish you never had to shave. That way, you'd be able to take us to school even earlier.

- LĂŠa, On the best days of her life

Daddy, in my new library book it says that if you have a Border Collie like ours, you have to buy 24 sheep. Otherwise, it will get bored. - LĂŠa, On learning about pet care

Someone in my class can turn their tongue into a flower. I wish I could turn my tongue into a flower.

- Juliette, On green envy

Daddy, I came second in the track race today. Daddy, I came second too. The teacher said I was second to last. - Juliette and LĂŠa, On winning and losing

Daddy, can your boss chuck kids out of school? Because, if he can, I have a name for him. Someone who has been really mean to me today.

- LĂŠa, On pulling strings

Daddy, I know how to juggle. But only with one ball. - Juliette, On multitasking

CHAPTER FOUR Religion, Culture and Global Issues

Daddy, my friend sneezed a lot at school today. She said it is because she is allergic to Poland. - LĂŠa, On the side effects of living in the European Union

You know, Daddy, when we went to the Grand Place we saw sheep and kings and shepherds and the baby Jesus. We even saw God. But it was the fake one.

- Juliette, On false prophets

Daddy, you must not set the alarm or make a fire this evening or St Nicolas will not be happy when he comes by tonight.

- LĂŠa, On making sure nothing will spoil her chances of getting what she wants

What did the three wise kings give Jesus? A bottle of milk. Anything else? A nappy.

- Juliette, On biblical tradition

Daddy, why on Thanksgiving do we eat the Turkish? - LĂŠa, On cultural festivals

Daddy, I learned all about Sweden today. I learned that they all buy their biscuits from IKEA. - Juliette, On cultural diversity

The kids were talking about Obama at school today. I think I would have voted for him because he helps more people and gives poor people money.

- LĂŠa, On getting to the heart of US politics

Did you hear about London? Someone broke it.

- Juliette, On the London riots

CHAPTER FIVE Observational miscellany

When a girl gets married, she bows towards her future husband, raises her hat and says Your Majesty. - Juliette, On love and marriage

Daddy, why is it that humans can eat chocolates, but chocolates cannot eat humans? - LĂŠa, On standing up for the rights of others

When you press pause on the television, what happens to the people who are acting?

- Juliette, On life inside the box

So the snake was Harry's mummy. - LĂŠa, On summing up the Hogwarts adventure

Look Daddy, you aren't allowed to brush your teeth on this plane. - LĂŠa, On travel regulations

What's your favorite number? Horses. - LĂŠa, On the challenge of answering questions under pressure

APPENDIX Short stories and sketches By Juliette Willows

Once upon a time there was a mosquito who lived in the hat of a little girl. One day the naughty mosquito climbed down and bit the girl 100 times on her face. It was very itchy!

- Juliette, The Naughty Mosqutio

- Juliette, Wizard

- Juliette, The Perfect Hiding Place

Once upon a time

there was a little girl who lived in a big house. Her mum was on the television. So she invited loads of her friends to her house to play 'tag'. She had the perfect hiding place in the top of the toilet. When her friends came to look for her, she jumped out at them and waved the toilet brush to make them laugh. - Juliette, The Perfect Hiding Place

- Juliette, Girl

Once upon a time

there was a potato who lived under a big bridge, next to a river. The potato never got wet because his house was on some rocks away from the edge of the river. However, one day a person walked under the bridge and the potato got totally squished. And that was the end of the potato. - Juliette, The Unfortunate Potato

- Juliette, Rabbit in his garden

- Juliette, Lamp in the Forest

- Juliette, Man with Tongue

- Juliette, A Sketch of Two People


LIFE AS WE KNOW IT by Juliette and Lea  

Stories, reflections, and sketches of the world by Juliette and Lea Willows, Aged 8.

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