We went to the Hague last weekend to stay with an old friend of Mr. Waffle’s. The Dutch Mama is originally from North Cork, but having married a very tall Dutch man and having lived in the Netherlands for many years she has become a fluent Dutch speaker. I do find it odd but, as she tells me severely “Dutch is not difficult.” So the DM and her husband have two children, a little boy of 2 ½ who looks very Irish and speaks Dutch with a most impressive guttural g sound and English with a Cork accent. The Princess had her first crush and she trotted round the room after him saying “Bonjour, bonjour” while he, taking this adulation as his due, allowed her to play with his toys while making his impressive guttural noises. The handsome prince has a cute little sister of 8 months but she was of no interest to our lovelorn girl. By the end of the weekend, she was able to say the little boy’s name clearly but still referred to his sister dismissively as “baby”.
On Saturday, the weather was beautiful and we went to the beach. While the men built sandcastles, the women saved the children from drowning. It was all very exciting. At one stage Mr. Waffle and Mr. DM were busy digging a hole while the Prince and Princess looked on longingly. Eventually the DM looked over and said reprovingly “I think you should let the children have one of the spades.”
Saturday night we ventured out. All very pleasant. We came home, however, to find a sick baby. She had just woken up and as I took her into my arms she spewed onto me, herself and the carpet. Alas. The DM had spares of everything and after mopping up we took her into bed with us. And she threw up all over us (of course). The DM proved her mettle, got up at 4 a.m. and supplied fresh everything all over again. The following day we thought that the worst was over and drove to the park. The Princess threw up all over the car seat. The handsome Prince’s car seat (being manly, and Dutch, he was travelling by bike with his Poppa) . The DM, stopped the car, provided spare clothes and we wiped up and washed up and proceded to the park where herself had a great time playing with bunnies while we worried whether she was really ill or this was the end of it.
What with the worry and everything, we were distracted and we arrived back at the house to find that Doggy was MISSING. Yes, we had a sick child and her Doggy was lost. The DM, who had to give her own kids lunch and who, you know, had better things to do, drove Mr. Waffle back to the park to find Doggy. I was torn between severe mortification and overwhelming gratitude. And they found him. The reunion between Princess and vomit flavoured canine companion was touching. And she was fine all afternoon although she didn’t eat much. But then that night, she decided to really test the DM’s resolve and sheet and towel supply and she was sick a number of times. And we were worried. And Monday morning, she was listless and miserable and sick on the DM’s kitchen floor (which the DM wiped up in her work clothes while Mr. Waffle and I stood about wringing our hands – is there no end to the woman’s virtue?). But upon reaching the fastness of her castle in Brussels, the Princess rallied and I am pleased to report that today she is entirely mended.
Meanwhile, back in the Hague, the DM is putting on her 14th lot of washing and handwashing the handsome Prince’s car seat. But we had such a nice time (really despite the vomiting), that I want to go again. The DMs are great fun. The Hague is lovely. What’s not to like? Mr. Waffle feels we should maybe give them a short break before going again though. Can’t imagine why.
on 03 November 2004 at 12:18
The princess adopts the same approach to wooing crushes as I do.
on 03 November 2004 at 12:38
Pog, yes, perhaps it is their turn…Norah, including the vomiting?
on 03 November 2004 at 13:08