We had planned to go to Spain tomorrow for a week for M and R’s joint 50th birthday parties which will be held in the little town where they have a house. I was very much looking forward to the trip. What do you think my sentiments were when I got a phone call from the creche mid-afternoon telling me that both boys were sick with high temperatures. Mr. Waffle wants to cancel, I want to go. We’ll see how the night goes. The poor mites were very warm this afternoon and, I suppose a 2 hour flight followed by a nice long drive might not be ideal, if all they really want to do is lie in a darkened room, bleating feebly. Keep your fingers crossed.
Archives for May 2007
Belgium in May is a cruel place. Weekends consist of one bank holiday after another and loving parents run out of ideas as to what their delightful offspring might like to do. On Monday afternoon, we decided to go to the pool. We rang to check it was open on the bank holiday, it was. We herded our children into the car. Half way there, Daniel vomitted copiously getting himself and his seat. We pulled in, in front of a garage and stripped him down to his nappy while the other pair complained vigourously. We wrapped his vomitted on seat in a towel while he sat in the front seat, turned on the radio and waved his arms around happily to the music and the man waiting to get out of the garage (of course) waited. We then went home to change him and regroup amid howls of protest. Then, we set out again, all smelling somewhat of vomit, though, only one of us had to sit in the vomit covered chair wrapped in a towel. Poor Daniel looked a bit pale and interesting as he was driven around the back streets of Brussels inhaling at very close quarters the odour of the regurgitated contents of his stomach. We got to the pool and disgorged everyone. Do I need to tell you that the pool was closed due to a technical fault. What do you think that might be? We drove to another swimming pool. All the roads round it were sealed off but eventually we found the one road which was open. Unlike the pool. Closed for the bank holiday. We all nearly cried on the way home after a singularly unproductive hour and a half in the car.
Michael is very sociable. On Sunday we went to a christening and while the other two stayed near us, other than for forays to the cake table, Michael went everywhere. Feeling increasingly flustered, we found him in the back garden worming his way into the middle of a group of small boys poking the hedge with a stick; we found him chatting up the caterers; we found him poised to try that trick of pulling a tablecloth off a table while leaving all the glass ware in place, in fact he was only too anxious to abandon his loving parents.
I’ve noticed this before. I remember once going to the sandpit and establishing myself, the Princess and the boys in one corner with all our stuff to see Michael striding out to the opposite side to ingratiate himself with the children over there. The combination of this sociability and physical daring bordering on foolhardiness reminds me of both his uncles, in a slightly unnerving way.
No prizes for guessing which boy is busy trying to imitate the Princess in her death defying leap; this despite the considerable handicap of not actually being able to jump yet and also the added difficulty that when he falls over on his back he has to lie there waving his limbs in the air like a stranded beetle until someone comes and rescues him. In this house, that can take ages. I have no video evidence of his jumping, partly because somebody has to catch him and partly because the moment he hears the camera being switched on, he comes haring over to have a look at old photos of himself.
Yesterday afternoon he drank a cup of cold tea I had left on the coffee table (the very one that features in the death defying leap) and last night he woke at 2.00 and stayed awake chatting manically until 5.22. Mr. Waffle watched some telly with him but he kept flicking and I tried to talk to my sister in Chicago but he grabbed the phone from me and repeated excitedly “hello, hiya” until we both gave up. I hope Michael never encounters stronger drugs than caffeine.
From Saturday’s Irish Times:
“Hello World! I’m Jamie Duke Callaghan and I arrived on May 1, 2007. My sister Molly Mae and Mum and Dad…are thrilled. Momo, John, Momo, Donal and loads of other people have been really good to me and I am looking forward to a great life. Bring it on…”
In the unusual names segment of competition:
“…A treasured sister to Fulton, Sofia, Mia and Sabastine…”
Me: Can you believe Michael McDowell lost his seat?
Her: What, what, WHAT are you talking about?
Mr. Waffle: Well, sweetheart, you know there are people who make laws and decide what’s legal and illegal?
Him: Well, in Ireland they were picking people to do that and…
Me: They go and put a cross on a piece of paper beside the name of the person they want to win.
Him: Well, technically that’s a spoiled vote.*
Her: WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
Him: Anyway, this man wanted to be the boss but not enough people voted for him and now he’s not going to be working with the other people making laws in a big building, called the Parliament.
Her: Why did he want to be the boss?
Him: Well, some people do. Your mother and I wouldn’t like to be in charge in that kind of job but some people would like it.
Her (smiling): I would like it, I would like to be the boss.
No surprises there.
*Mr. Waffle on reading over this has said that I should explain that in Ireland we have a list system but one where you must rank the candidates in order of preference. Further he says that he is not sure that marking a cross against one of the candidates is definitely a spoiled vote as it may be taken as a clear indication of preference. Finally, he says that it is easy to use but hard to explain.
Has anyone else seen the ad for some accountancy body featuring a man wrestling with some enormous shark thing? There he is reeling in the enormous fish looking delighted with himself but, the advertisement claims, it wasn’t as exciting as the time he got his accountancy qualifications.