Last night we got in about 9.00pm and eventually found ourselves in the baggage hall with two hungry boys in a buggy, two large bags, innumerable smaller bags, two car seats, two tired cranky parents and one hyper small girl (high as a kite on smarties).
Me: Where’s Travel Doggy?
Her: He’s in my pocket.
Me: No he’s not. Is he in your bag?
Me: Did you leave him on the plane?
Her (mournfully): Yes, I forgot him.
Me: How could you do that?
Her: I only have one pair of hands and Daddy was saying hurry up and the boys were crying and I had to put on my coat and…
Him: It’s our fault.
Me (about to collapse in tears – yes, really, it was a long day): I know, I know.
Me: Let’s try to get back on the plane and see whether we can find him.
Him: Are you mad? Honestly, you’re more upset about this than she is, let’s go home.
Me (swooping her up in my arms): I’m going to bargain with the passport official.
The passport official sent us to lost property. The lost property guy said that the plane we came in on had already left (well, we were last off, we had already spent some time on a toilet run and feeding hungry babies takes time also) and doggy was probably on his way back to Ireland. We got a number of contact details but my heart sank. If you saw a filthy cuddly toy would you keep it or chuck it out? Meanwhile, the Princess was anxiously tugging my arm – “tell him that Doggy has a shamrock in his mouth and floppy ears, so that they can find him”.
We emerged into arrivals with Mr. Waffle pulling two bags, the Princess seated on my shoulders while I pushed the buggy with a car seat and various bags balanced precariously on the handles (no trollies, mais naturellement, it was that kind of day), to see a single business man leaping into the only taxi big enough to take 5 people. Eventually home by 10.30. The boys were surprised and delighted to see their home but, alas, anxious to play. Nevertheless, they were unceremoniously bundled into their beds much to their upset. The Princess was a tougher nut to crack but, eventually, Mr. Waffle and I were able to collapse into bed whereupon Michael woke up with a nasty cough. He spent the remainder of the night in our bed where he alternated sleeping with bouts of weepy coughing and sniffing and delighted handclapping (I said that they were pleased to be home). Mr. Waffle and I are feeling fresh as daisies today.
Furthermore, you will be disappointed to hear, this morning the Belgian authorities told Mr. Waffle that they had found no trace of Doggy and the Aer Lingus automated reply said, if you have a complaint put it in writing otherwise go to our website which will have everything you need (patently not the case). He sent them a pitiful fax (text below for your delectation) but I am not hopeful.
“My three-year-old daughter left her favourite toy on flight EI 638 from Dublin to Brussels last night. By the time we realised, it was too late to get back to the plane. The Brussels airport lost property office says it does not deal with items left on planes, and the ground handling firm (Flightcare) has not seen the toy. Both suggest we should try you.
The toy (”Doggy”) is a small brown dog with a shamrock in its mouth. It is small and worn but it means the world to a little girl. If it has been found we would be extremely grateful to get it back (we can send somebody to collect it in Dublin airport, or pick it up in Brussels).
Could you get back to me on the above numbers or by e-mail?”