Yesterday at the instigation of the Glam Potter, she and I along with our progeny went to the Belgian coast. So did every one else in Brussels which was why we had to stand all the way there on the train. I had never been to Blankenberg before and I liked it. It’s a lot more down at heel than Knokke and much more appealing. It is full of older people. We were nearly knocked down by a stampede of pensioners as we got off the train. “Anxious to make full use of the time they have left” observed the GP sagely. And it has slightly tatty shops. It is marginally more unspoilt than Knokke, but still boasts rows of high rise buildings on the sea front which is such a delightful feature of the Belgian coast.
We went to lunch in a place called Le Pingouin and if you ever find yourself in Blankenberg with a small child, I cannot recommend it too highly. It’s pleasant. They have high chairs. And colouring pencils. And lovely staff who are happy to reheat baby food and sweep up broken plates. Fantastic. And then on to the beach.
Girls ecstatic at sight of sea. Both ran down to the shore. Then retrieved by anxious mothers and put in their togs and smeared with suncream. Ran down to the shore again and ran screaming into the sea. Ran out again immediately roaring with indignation. “Cole” said the Princess pointing a finger quivering with rage at the water. Well, that’s the north sea for you girls. Their most recent experiences of sea had been in Guadeloupe and Sicily respectively and they hadn’t been fully aware that it came in different temperatures. The Princess, poured a bucket of sea water over herself to double check and confirmed her initial diagnosis. Very “cole”.
Nevertheless, they loved it and except for some mild bickering over buckets and spades all was rosy.
The next bit is only to be read by experienced parents or those with nerves of steel and strong stomachs (that means it’s off limits for you, C).
The Princess was wearing her Guadeloupe t-shirt, a present from baby L. I noticed a nasty brown stain around the hem. Alas. My worst fear had been realised. I grabbed the Princess and put her on the changing mat, which was sand free, however, the strong wind ensured that this was not for long.Â She had produced what was, even by her high standards, an impressively large poo. She wriggled, I struggled, the wind blew, the GP commented from a safe distance – you’ve nearly got it all now – um, I think that’s some on her knee/your elbow/your t-shirt/um, is that some on the back of her neck? As I worked, the GP regaled me with some of her own great poo stories. Like the time baby L, naked, produced a perfect poo in front of a family group on the beach at Guadeloupe. Hard to know what the etiquette is there, I grant you.Â Or the time the GP went in to baby L’s room to get her up for the day and heard her cheerfully singing to herself as she went in the door. That’s nice thought the GP. When she went in she found that baby L had stripped off all her clothes and produced a big poo which she had been busily smearing all over her person and the cot. “Poo” she said happily pointing to her arm as the GP recoiled in horror. Apparently it was like a dirty protest in there.
Anyway, I finished my labours, we finished our day at the beach and we all went home. When I got back, I had the revolting contents of a number of plastic bags to deal with. I decided that the best thing to do would be to suspend her togs in the toilet and flush a number of times before putting them in the washing machine. Can I offer some advice here?Â Don’t try to clean togs in a toilet with a cistern which takes ages to refill while simultaneously trying to keep a toddler away but yet within view (so that she doesn’t kill herself on the million and one booby traps around the house). This advice is free. Anyway, once the flushing was over, I put my filthy cargo in the washing machine in the kitchen and put it on straight away, I mean, you wouldn’t want that to sit dirty in the washing machine for any appreciable length of time. Then after a thorough scrub for both of us, I began to prepare the Princess’s dinner. In the kitchen, with the washing machine on. She is scared of electrical appliances. Even very silent ones. She demanded to be held. Trying. I put her into her high chair with her dinner in front of her. She looked dolefully at the washing machine and held out her hands to be lifted up.Â I encouraged her to try her dinner. She was hungry, she compromised.Â Flushed with success, I decided to unload the dishwasher. She didn’t like that much.Â She tossed her dinner from her and stood up in her high chair, I zoomed over and rescued her.Â Mr. Waffle arrived home at that moment to find me covered in egg with a plate in one hand and a howling baby in the other. He hesitated on the threshhold of the kitchen.Â “Nice day at the beach?”
Well, on the whole, yes.
on 10 September 2004 at 17:16
Can’t see the appeal myself, silver. Poo on the hem of a t-shirt does nothing for Princess’s street cred. And then exposing the royal bum in an attempt to have the offending substance sand blasting off…. god, some mothers are fierce cruel altogether.
[Wonder who won the bickering over those buckets and spades – waf or the glam potter?]
on 10 September 2004 at 17:19
Jack – you’ve not lived until you’ve sat in the highest chair in the room and just chucked your food any darn place you please.
on 10 September 2004 at 17:44
Do the liquid resources of a three-day party distributed from a mezzanine floor count as ‘food’?
on 10 September 2004 at 17:55
Probably not my first choice of repasts for, say, your in-laws. But then again…
on 10 September 2004 at 18:13
Comment Modified) Oh good! I’m covered so. Or rather just about everyone else in the place was.
Funny what seems funny when you’re there…. and shameful everafter!! (Of course that was the Older Me — I’m much better behaved these days.)
on 12 September 2004 at 22:24
Hey guys, glad you like the food throwing…