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The Glamorous Home Life of the Working Parent

18 January, 2016 at 10:57 pm by belgianwaffle

I arrived home from work the other night to be greeted by an urgent demand from Michael. Somehow, a DVD and a book had fallen behind the radiator and could not be got out. Before sitting down, before removing my coat, I began work on this important quest. I discovered that the bottom of the radiator was flush with the skirting board and there was no way to get them out from the bottom. Daniel, enterprisingly, got me a stick which had previously been used for flag waving. I poked unavailingly at the DVD and the book. Michael got tense. It was a library book. But of course. I got hotter and sweatier toiling in my coat over the boiling radiator.

The front door banged, Mr. Waffle had come in from work. “Come and help me,” I called. “Never mind your coat,” I added. I explained the problem but he had to establish the parameters of the issue himself (I find that this is always the case for both me and Mr. Waffle, there is no learning from experience in DIY type problems in our house, we both want to try and fail in the same way ourselves). Daniel produced another stick. Slowly, carefully Mr. Waffle and I poked the book with a stick from each end and dragged it to the top of the radiator. Just as we almost got there, it slipped free and fell down to the bottom again. Slowly, painstakingly we tried again, both pushing inwards and upwards with our sticks over the toasty radiator while wearing our coats and being egged on by the boys. About half way up, Mr. Waffle’s stick lost its grip on the book but maintained its vigourous upward trajectory and hit me smartly on the eyeball. Very painful, I can tell you.

At that point, we took a break, took off our coats and had a cup of tea. You will be pleased to hear that later in the evening both items were rescued. My eyeball is fine too. Thanks for asking.

Happy New Year

2 January, 2016 at 12:54 pm by belgianwaffle

I have another cold. On the evening of December 30, I got a headache and by new year’s eve, I was so miserable that I went to bed at 11 unable to make the party to which we had kindly been invited or even to stay up to listen to the bells ringing in the new year. Frankly, not an auspicious start to the year. Yesterday, I didn’t feel up to going to the new year’s day party to which we were invited. We spent the day at home. My sister-in-law and her husband from London came for lunch and stayed for a couple of hours. They are very soothing, undemanding guests, while also being entertaining so it was quite pleasant for me. Mr. Waffle felt that they might have been a bit bored by spending an afternoon listening to me recounting my various ills but I am sure that they had a lovely time. The boys went off to a birthday party and stayed over with the birthday boy, so the evening was very peaceful. I was very sorry for myself. Today I feel alright but not fantastic, still mainlining lemsip and somewhat fed up. The boys will be home shortly from their birthday extravaganza to tend to their sick mother. I am sure that they are looking forward to that. And back to work on Monday. Sigh.

More news to follow. In the interim, I trust that your Christmas was satisfactory and wish you every happiness for 2016. As you know, every reader is precious to me.

A Tooth Fairy’s Lot is Not a Happy One

2 December, 2015 at 8:17 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself lost a tooth yesterday. Who knew children kept losing baby teeth for so long? This morning she came into us to announce that the tooth fairy had not come. “Perhaps he will come today,” I said. She looked at Mr. Waffle with a sapient eye as he dragged himself out of bed and said, “I think the tooth fairy is trudging to his work, even now.”

I got this email from her during the day.

From: Herself
To: Me
Re: Don’t go getting ideas.

This is blatantly unacceptable.

Does there come a time where one is just a smidgen too sophisticated for the tooth fairy?

Plumbing and Logistics

26 November, 2015 at 8:11 pm by belgianwaffle

Our toilet is blocked. Mr. Waffle is upstairs deploying a plunger. The bathroom floor is covered with newspapers. He’s been at this since we got home at 6.30 this evening with only a brief respite for dinner. I feel I am setting a poor example for my children by making plumbing a gendered space but I just can’t face it myself.

We are facing into a logistically complex 48 hours with me going to Cork, herself going to a friend’s house miles away to sleep over (needing to be collected on Saturday morning), Michael doing a thing with scouts and Daniel with his usual Saturday morning GAA match. Today, I have made appointments with doctors and dentists and committed to sending photos to a piano tuner. A number of Christmas events are bearing down on me and I am in no position to be either a host or guest due to complete lack of organisation. Have I laid in any small tasteful presents to dole out at the appropriate moment? I think we both know the answer to that question.

Oh yes, it’s approaching the most wonderful time of the year. You will excuse me, I need to sit quietly in a darkened room while listening to peaceful suctioning noises emanating from the upstairs bathroom.

And to the Americans, happy Thanksgiving. I can only rejoice that this is not an Irish celebration. It might tip me over the edge.

Romantic Text Messages in Middle Age

23 November, 2015 at 11:06 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. Waffle was putting out our bins this evening and he ran into our next door neighbour putting out their bins. Her husband travels a lot for work but she said that no matter where he is or in what time zone, he always texts her to let her know which bin* to put out when.

Unrelated: it was lashing here this evening but Daniel still spent an hour out at GAA training getting damp and filthy. The Gaelic Athletic Association is not for the faint hearted. Also this evening, Michael got his first scout badge; great rejoicing.

*Green for recycling; black for general and brown for organic (only Mr. Waffle and Mr. Next Door can remember which bin goes out on which night).

Australia Vanquished

21 November, 2015 at 9:44 pm by belgianwaffle

It’s freezing here today. Ireland were playing Australia in some kind of game that is half way between Gaelic football and Australian rules football. Mr. Waffle and Daniel went to watch in Croke Park. As Mr. Waffle is a very prepared kind of person, they both had multiple layers and were reasonably toasty throughout. Daniel even had a flask of hot chocolate which his thoughtful father had brought for him. I just picked them up and to add to their happiness, Ireland managed to beat Australia.

On the down side, as I type, Mr. Waffle is upstairs taking off his long johns (purchased many years ago in the Canadian winter and still proving their worth) and even from downstairs I can hear him sneezing and coughing. Alas.


17 November, 2015 at 7:06 pm by belgianwaffle

It was wet and windy today. I had a half day. Michael was home sick. Mr. Waffle minded him in the morning and I had him in the afternoon. I abandoned him to drive into school and pick up Daniel (bike in the boot) and then when I had dropped Daniel, I went in search of herself (communication continues to be challenging – the phone Santa got her for Christmas is unsatisfactory). I found her almost home, her little helmet bobbing along as she walked by the nearby shops. She had been blown off her bike. She had a bloody knee but no serious injury was sustained except to her dignity.

Mr. Waffle arrived in at 6, also windswept and disappointed that his soccer was called off. There’s enthusiasm.

45,000 homes are without electricity though thankfully not ours (although we did lose the internet there for about an hour, so, you know, we could empathise). I lit the fire and made biscuits. Now we are about to eat them.

It’s a day for staying in.


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