Daniel has been vomitting on and off all week. On our worst night we got to change his bedclothes three times. We went into town yesterday (we are your worst nightmare, a double buggy, two parents and a three year old and, yeah, we probably could have gone in during the week) and took ourselves to the Metropole to revive our flagging spirits – I recommend it, it has the cleanest toilets in Brussels. So, as we sat in splendour here it was inevitable, really, that Daniel would throw up all over the rug. With admirable calm, we stripped him down to his nappy (which he then insisted on removing but it was hastily restored) reclad him, apologised to the waiter and took ourselves and our kit to the adjoining table. On the good news front for Daniel, he has started to walk, though, understandably, not very steadily or very fast. This is unfortunate for him. Michael has gathered that there is praise to be had for walking so he either out runs Daniel into waiting parental arms or, as Daniel is balancing delicately having just stood up with great effort, Michael barges past him and knocks him over. It is not easy being a twin.
Daniel and the Princess are cautious children. I know that this is unusual and I am grateful. Michael is not cautious, I suppose that this is normal. It is scaring the bejaysus out of me. Yesterday I found him trying to surf on the coffee table. Earlier in the day I heard a tap tap noise and I sent the Princess to investigate “it’s just Michael standing on the chair and rocking back and forth”. When I sit him on the counter in the kitchen, he is dangling off it by his fingertips in moments. His sister has sat on that countertop for over three years and when she wants to get down, she still asks me to lift her. I let him sit at the computer keyboard. He used this opportunity to climb up on the desk and on to the bookshelves. I’m a shadow of my former self. On Friday he went to the creche on his own because Daniel was vomitting. Mr. Waffle stayed home with Daniel and I took Michael in. He was a bit clingy at first but was lured away from me by a pink buggy and when I went he had barely a backward glance for me as he wheeled his treasure round the premises. When I collected him he had spent 7 hours in the creche, the longest period he and Daniel have ever spent apart. I asked how it had gone. Absolutely fine except when he woke up from his nap and looked around for Daniel. I have to say, Michael was pleased to see me, but then he always is, in the gratifying manner of young children. He ran around the room picking up little things for me and handing them over saying solemly “ank u” a noise I believe to be thank you. Daniel, safely at home with his father, didn’t seem to have noticed Michael’s absence at all. Perhaps he was doing some work on his walking.
They’re both starting to talk more. I encourage them to kiss each other and when they do we all clap hands and say “Bravo”. The other day, I was distracted and Daniel kissed Michael and I failed to react. “BWABO!” said Daniel indignantly clapping his hands. He can still say “that” and “the bath”. They can both say “Hi” as well as “Mama”, “Papa” and “bye”. It’s maybe not enough to get by in a foreign country but they’re getting there.
An old friend of mine came to visit at the weekend. He came with a friend of his whom I know slightly. His friend asked whether I was working with 3 small children. “Yes” I said proudly. “So am I” added Mr. Waffle indignantly. I think we have a mountain to climb on this feminism thing. My friend is gay and so is his friend though they are not partners. I don’t know why but the Princess was inspired to investigate the whole issue of gay marriage during their visit.
Her: Mummy, can men get married?
Her: To each other?
Me: Yes, certainly in Belgium.
Her: Are T and N married.
Me: Um, no, I don’t think so.
T and N: NO!
T (kindly): And if we were, you would certainly have made the cut for the wedding.
The Princess would like to be a flower girl.
She also wants to know who made God. Any tips?