I know, three days away from the computer, I’m amazed. Let me share all the fascinating things I did with you.
On Friday afternoon, I decided that the Princess and I would go to IKEA. I picked her up from school at 3.15 and when, at 4.00 we still hadn’t reached the motorway, I should have realised that we were doomed. Once on the motorway, I took the wrong exit and found myself driving despairingly round deepest, darkest Anderlecht.
Me: Insert swear word here, we’re insert swear word here lost.
Princess: Mummy, say “oh dear, we’re lost” and there’s no need to worry, just stop and look at the map or maybe we can ask someone for directions.
Following the three year old’s sage advice, we got there eventually at 4.40. This left us just time to buy the bar of chocolate I had promised her in return for her good behaviour in the car and a small selection of Christmas baubles. I was saved from buying further tat (including obligatory nightlights, pog) by my daughter who put her chubby hands over my eyes and said “don’t buy anything Mummy, we have enough stuff and, if we buy it all, there won’t be enough left for everyone else”.
At 17.08 we left IKEA to pick up the boys from the creche, the Princess munching contentedly on her large bar of chocolate. By the time we reached town, she was begging me for water. “Mummy” she said desperately “promise me, you’ll never buy me chocolate again”.Â We stopped in a shop for an emergency bottle of water which she immediately spilt all over herself.Â She spent the remainder of the journey to the creche elaborating on how wet she was “Mummy, my vest is wet.Â And my t-shirt.Â And my socks”.
Saturday was spent admiring Saint Nicolas in the Grand Place.Â The Princess managed to secure five plastic packets of sweets by looking pathetically at the acolytes of Saint Nicolas as they went past while hastily stuffing the fruits of her last pathetic glance in my pocket.Â If you want to know who Saint Nicolas is, may I refer you to this charming story?
Sunday saw the Princess at a concert.Â It was Sleeping Beauty done for kids.Â A bit of Tchaikovsky, a bit of story, a bit of general classical music for kids and a bit of looking at musical instruments.Â Mr. Waffle told me that the ex-pat middle classes were out in force andÂ you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a brilliant, multi-lingual international tot (including ours, of course).Â Â It transpired that we have, however, let her down badly in the Peter and the Wolf stakes.Â WhileÂ all the other kids in the audience bellowed out the answers to which instrument is which part, our girl was baffled and silent.Â And we have the U2 boxed edition as well (of course, we do).Â Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea massima culpa.
Did miss you actually. I love the Princess’ concern for the equal distribution of tat, very considerate.
Been there with the bottle of water and small child spillage so many times I should get a medal – they should supply a waterproof apron with each bottle sold. But at least her knickers weren’t wet, because that’s not nice.
While the Princess may not be able to identify the instruments (yet!), she is obviously a wise young person with her head screwed on right. You may be feeling a little culpa, but she’s obviously doing just fine.
Does the Princess have little wings on her back? You didn’t even spend 1/2 hour in Ikea… Can I borrow her next time I go?
She is SUCH a player. Her sweetie acquisition – masterful.
Oh – and the St Nick’s story – I loved that.
Can I borrow Princess to give an Economics 101 to the brothers?
Used to live in Maastricht. On one shopping trip to Ikea, I think in fact the only one we made, we started off in the wrong direction and ended up in Belgium; turned round and headed the right way but missed the turn off for Ikea and ended up in Germany…. we did finally make it though, but you can see why we never chanced it again. We could have ended up in Italy!
I loved the David Sedaris story. One of his books helped me to laugh a little bit during long hours in a hospital waiting room (not to mention the mothers’ pumping room) when my daughter spent the first week of her life in the newborn intensive care unit, so he has a fond place in my heart.
Now, maybe you’ve answered this question in posts from previous Christmases, but: how does your family celebrate the holiday? At the very real risk of sounding ignorant, I don’t know if Ireland follows the St. Nicholas line or something else entirely. My mother would be very disappointed, as her grandmother moved to the US from Ireland as a grown woman, so I have probably been told stories, but no recollection. What traditions do you keep? Maybe a tour of the Waffle household traditions for an upcoming post?
By the way, to answer your question, I am one of those who did miss you–I love Princess stories!
Nothing wrong with Italy Velcro. And Princess knows U2 – FAR more important. I mean, what did Tshai Tchiki Shaicof ……. that old bloke ever do for world poverty, eh?
Thanks for the full St Nicholas story – finally an answer to all the questions my children bring home from school… You should also point out for the benefit of those living outside Belgium who may not realise this, that the 6-8 black people who accompany the saintlyTurkish bishop are in fact middle-aged white Belgians in boot polish, curly wigs, and black tights. When we met them in our local shopping centre, they didn’t try to kick my children, but they did march about impersonating a brass band.
I just think people should investigate Santa with the same degree of rigour… didn’t he start out as an advertising campaign for Coca-cola? – which as we all know was originally a cover for distributing cocaine to children…