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Archive for February, 2006


28 February, 2006 at 1:58 pm by belgianwaffle

Laundry Basket

Washing machine


Basket for transporting laundry

Coat stand

And, as our American cousins would say, payback:

Friar Tuck
on 28 February 2006 at 15:58
Well put. ���
on 28 February 2006 at 18:49
how absolutely wonderful – 1 moment where they aren’t screeching 0
Sweetie(s) given ���
on 28 February 2006 at 21:42
Our house looks like a massive washing basket. Your children should be on a washing powder advert. They are beautiful xx 0
Sweetie(s) given ���
on 02 March 2006 at 10:08
The boys are looking rather nervous in that pic – and they’re all very, very cute. 0
Sweetie(s) given ���
on 02 March 2006 at 22:05
Aw, thank you all very much. Is valium a Class A drug? 0
Sweetie(s) given ���


28 February, 2006 at 1:48 pm by belgianwaffle

I was talking to my friend the tax lawyer recently. “How many houses have you got now?” I asked. “Only two” she said defensively. “Really?” “Well, surely the one I live in doesn’’t count?

Oh good Lord.


on 02 March 2006 at 22:04
And yet, I can’t quite sympathise Ms. Mortgage free.

Mid-term Break

27 February, 2006 at 1:11 pm by belgianwaffle

This week is mid-term. Who knows whether I will be able to blog any more or not? Just me and the three small children at home. To save my sanity there will be a treat at the end of the week. Mr. Waffle is taking a half day on Friday and we are driving to the Hague where the lovely Dutch Mama and her family will be welcoming us for the weekend.

Last time we went there, the Princess vomited on everything all the time and they’’re still having us back. How kind and brave. Frankly, it’’s as well that this treat is in store because on the following Monday night, Mr. Waffle is off in the neighbouring Grand Duchy for work and my children and I will be spending our first night alone together in a while.

By the by, for those of you following the sleeping drama, it took the boys an hour to cry themselves to sleep last night but I’m past caring. Myself and Mr. Waffle sat on the sofa and callously turned up the volume on Jamie’s school dinners subtitled in French, while our poor baby boys howled piteously for their parents. They had the last laugh, however, and got us up from midnight to one, three to four, and four thirty to seven fifteen.

The Princess rose at 7.30 and told us solemnly that she was “not very sick, but a little bit sick”. This would appear to be an accurate diagnosis, so no leaving the house for me then. [Manic cackle echoes round the blog].


poggleon 27 February 2006 at 13:42
Oh lord – stir crazy already!

geepeemumon 27 February 2006 at 16:11
I like UC’s idea. After all we are always trying to teach our children about sharing. Can’t you share your children around all your neighbours for the week?

Friar Tuckon 27 February 2006 at 16:49
I hope you realize that you are ruining my fantasies about the unmitigated bliss of conjugal life!

poggleon 27 February 2006 at 16:53
I love it when the Friar talks dirty …

negritoon 27 February 2006 at 21:52
please try to keep on blogging 🙂

belgianwaffleon 02 March 2006 at 22:03
UC, GPM, yes it is a great idea…thanks fo r the sweetie GPM, I really needed it yesterday.
Pog, stir crazy doesn’t begin to describe it.
FT, pog, quite.
Negrito, blogging is the only thing that keeps me sane. I can now blog with a baby on my lap while reciting nursery rhymes to a toddler. Two awake babies is a killer though..

Worse things happen at sea

26 February, 2006 at 1:07 pm by belgianwaffle

Last night we put the boys to bed at 7.00 and the pair of us alternately and together rocked them and soothed them until 10.20 when we gave up the ghost. Neither of them had slept for more than a few minutes and all four of us were exhausted. We decided to let them cry it out. Michael cried for 20 minutes and then stopped. Daniel cried lustily for a full 45 minutes. At 11.05 all was silent. It is very miserable to listen to your children cry and not to do anything about it. And then, I was cruelly awoken at 11.23 by the sound of howling. I suppose that we will look back at this some day and laugh. Hollowly.


on 26 February 2006 at 16:18

oh poor mr and mrs waffle. i ~do~ sympathise. (see, i’m even doing it non-american style.)

Friar Tuckon 26 February 2006 at 23:45

Have you considered an exorcism? Perhaps this kind can only be driven out by prayer.

jackdaltonon 27 February 2006 at 00:59

They say I cried a lot as a child. I only found out years later that I was plied with whiskey and milk on such occasions. All a bit Pavlovian, I?d say… 🙂
belgianwaffleon 27 February 2006 at 13:05
Mike, that is such a lovely idea. I would pretty much pay anything for borrowed sleep.
Kristin, am touched and spelling variation too.
FT, I like that.
JD, is that illegal now? I suppose no one would have to know..

dmtson 28 February 2006 at 18:46

I’d go for whiskey and an exorcism – you may even want to try witchcraft too.

belgianwaffleon 02 March 2006 at 22:04

DMTS, perhaps the nightmare is ending. No howling so far tonight.


24 February, 2006 at 1:26 pm by belgianwaffle

The no sleep regime continues unabated. Daniel is like a briar. I suppose Michael has never really slept at night, so he’’s used to it, but Daniel is finding the regular waking every bit as trying as his parents.

Today, I decided to go out and buy various things. Just to get out in the car where, I hoped, my cranky Daniel would sleep. I have just moved them to a double buggy which is wonderful etc. but despite being, you would think, an old hand at buggy folding and unfolding, I have found it just a tad challenging. This morning, I had the two boys sitting in their car seats in the hall and I tried to fold the buggy to get it into the car. No joy. Then discovered that the sling had become enmeshed with it and began trying to wrestle it out. Michael gurgled mirthfully at the sight of his mother becoming flushed and unhappy. Daniel began to howl. That boy can howl. I dislodged the sling and discovered that because the seats were still reclining when I tried to fold the wretched thing, that it was stuck half open, half closed. I wrestled some more. Daniel howled some more. The people who work in an office on the ground floor tried to ignore us. I gave a muffled howl of frustration. Daniel didn’’t bother muffling his howls. I stamped my foot. Still, the wretched thing wouldn’’t yield. I put screaming Daniel in the garage where he screamed some more; Michael was enjoying the show so much that I let him stay put. I eventually managed to reopen the buggy but I fear that its canopy is fatally injured.

Did young Daniel fall asleep in the car? No he did not. As I type he sits gurgling in my lap looking as though butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.

Meanwhile, saintly Michael sleeps.

on 24 February 2006 at 19:58 Having read this and your other sleep post I must say how impressed I am about how sane you’re sounding. We introduced the baby girl into the little boy’s room earlier this week, despite complaining of headaches when she cries and a bed-wetting incident which resulted in the little boy coming in to sleep with us, things seem to be going fairly smoothly. I’m only getting up 3 times a night now instead of every 2 hours – sorry this must sound like a luxury to you, but I’m sure things will smooth themselves out soon

on 25 February 2006 at 21:18
why is it that the stroller only malfunctions during moments of stress, like trying to board a plane or pack the munchkins into the car? the stroller gods are evil, methinks.
on 27 February 2006 at 13:02
FT, um, probably…
Lilo, I dunno, I am slightly despairing.
Kristin, the stroller gods are evil and cruel.
on 27 February 2006 at 16:11
I hate it when people offer useless advice when you’re quite literally at the end of your tether- however, the end of my tether was what prompted me to read http://www.babywhisperer.com/ No crying out necessary xxx
on 02 March 2006 at 22:01
Minks, thanks for the sweeties and the advice…in fact, I don’t want to tempt fate here, but tonight they went straight to sleep at 7.30 and here I am (most foolishly) still up at 11.00 and not a peep out of them.

Princesses v. Pirates

23 February, 2006 at 12:03 pm by belgianwaffle

We attended L’s third birthday party yesterday. The invitees were encouraged to come in their carnival outfits. There were eight little girls in attendance. We had seven fairy princesses and one pirate. I regret to inform you that I was not the mother of the pirate.


on 27 February 2006 at 13:00

Why thank you. 0
Sweetie(s) given ���


on 27 February 2006 at 13:01

Sorry, I meant why, thank you. Not why thank you? 0
Sweetie(s) given

Pass Remarkable

21 February, 2006 at 8:59 am by belgianwaffle

My daughter is chatty. I like that. Unfortunately, her ability to talk considerably exceeds her knowledge of socially appropriate behaviour. We visited friends at the weekend and she said to me, loudly and clearly, a propos of their two year old I’m nicer than her. We all laughed and the poor mite knew that she had said something wrong and went pink in the face and asked “Was I bold, Mummy?”.

The other day in the car, we saw a woman on the pavement with weird hair and we had a little chat about her odd hair. I seized the opportunity to say that we could have this chat in the car where the lady couldn’t hear us, but that it would be rude to have this conversation where she could overhear us (Mr. Waffle challenges the ethics of this, but tough). She knitted her brow and mulled this over. Later we went for a cup of tea and
one of the men sitting behind us got up and left his coat over the chair. The Princess said “Look Mummy, he has gone and left his coat and his friend behind.” Pause. “Oh, I shouldn’t say that out loud. I should whisper it to you.”

on 21 February 2006 at 10:49
And me.I love her earnestness.
Friar Tuck
on 21 February 2006 at 16:23
She catches on quickly. She’ll go far in life.
kristin (Homepage)
on 22 February 2006 at 18:10
she is so precocious. bless her concerned little heart.
on 22 February 2006 at 18:47
I am so terrified of having a girl. I’m not good with girls. I like your posts about the princess because it makes me realise that having a girl would be just fine too.

on 27 February 2006 at 13:00
Dmts, pog, this is what we love about you.
FT, dunno.
Kristin, thanks.
Norah, you’d be fabulous with a boy or a girl. Lucky little Splog sprog.

20 February, 2006 at 7:19 pm by belgianwaffle

We have
determined that the boys can no longer sleep in our bed. We have re-read Gina. We have re-read “The no-cry sleep solution”. Rather pathetically, in the latter, I see that my notes on the Princess’s sleeping patterns at 10 months old are still there.� You will
remember that she finally started to sleep through the night at 2.� I
prefer the gentle approach, which is just as well because crying it out is not
a huge option in a three bed appartment with three small children.� Mind
you, on Friday night, I was absolutely exhausted and Mr. Waffle nobly
volunteered to mind the boys.� At 1.00 in the morning, I got up to see
what was happening to discover that he had got Daniel to sleep in his cot
(good); Mr. Waffle had given up the struggle with Michael and he was howling
himself to sleep in the kitchen (bad); and Mr. Waffle was doing some work
because there was no other time to do it (even worse).� Last night, I genuinely don’t think that I
slept for more than half an hour at a stretch. �We put them to bed at 7.00.� I fed them alternately and together until
ten, when I took a break to wash my teeth, ablute and prepare for bed. �I then stayed with them until 3.00, rising
every half hour to sooth one or other of them back to sleep in his cot. �Went into Mr. Waffle exhausted and he stayed
with them until 4.30 when I went back on shift and they continued the waking every
half hour thing until 7.30 when we all gave up the struggle. �By the time 7.00 rolled round this evening they
were exhausted and straight after dinner, amid much wailing, I bathed them and then
fed them and then put them to bed about 7.45. �As of now, they have therefore been asleep for
35 continuous minutes.� Both of them, at
the same time. �Which is more than they
did at any stage last night. �I feel
myself indulging in, probably groundless, optimism.


on 20 February 2006 at 20:17

oh…. **hugs**
I’m not going to offer advice because thatcan be just annoying. Instead I’m sending good sleep vibes from across the globe. 0
Sweetie(s) given ���


on 21 February 2006 at 06:40

I would have resorted to gin well before this stage – for everyone. Like Minks, I can’t imagine how you are feeling – take care. 0
Sweetie(s) given ���


on 21 February 2006 at 07:54

I hope our optimising is well founded Waffly. I also hope when they’re, say six, they will be performing all sorts of household tasks for you. 0
Sweetie(s) given ���


on 21 February 2006 at 09:02

Thank you all very much. 2 sweeties as well, cool! Last night was much less grim but mostly because I was too tired to keep putting them back in their cots and they slept with us which is, of course, where they firmly believe that they belong. 0
Sweetie(s) given ���


on 21 February 2006 at 10:49

Jebus -and you’re contemplating going back to work? I was grumpy enough with just the one howling cat the other night … 2
Sweetie(s) given ���



on 21 February 2006 at 14:23

Bloody hell. ���



on 21 February 2006 at 15:11

We’re having the same issue with our little one . . . and we can’t bear to let her cry (it has dubious success, at any rate). Occasionally, my resolve firms up and I say, “Tonight we shall be strong and let her cry!” But a few minutes of tears and I’m willing to let her sleep in our bed till she’s 13.
Of course, by then, she wouldn’t be caught dead in our bed. ���


on 21 February 2006 at 16:23

Blimey, I don’t even have kids and I’m in total awe.
This goes to you and Mr Waffle: 0
Sweetie(s) given ���


on 21 February 2006 at 18:00

I’m speechless. 0
Sweetie(s) given ���



on 21 February 2006 at 18:32

all i have to say about this is Dear God.
And to add that i’ve read the no-cry sleep solution, which ended up with the child sleeping with one of us. which she still does. poster-child for cry it out, i’m not. but dammit, we all sleep now.
and thanks for your kind note about the cactus. i had nothing to do with it, if i had it would be nothing but a brown stump. ���


on 21 February 2006 at 21:09

well, a ‘child rearing expert’ on telly today explained that children around the world sleep with their parents quite happily and its good for them. Both mine do and have slept in our bed. 0
Sweetie(s) given ���



on 22 February 2006 at 18:45

Sometimes I read your blog out to Mr S and we both smile nervously at each other. ���


on 27 February 2006 at 12:59

Pog, ta for sweeties. Yes, back to work or escape as it’s known round here.
Jordana, thank you for sympathy. Obviously, I know precisely how you feel.
Jojo, come back, we miss you. Or at least set up somewhere else…
Diva, a megal (as herself would say), how kind.
KE, truly? Is your child sleeping through the night. If yes, please don’t tell me.
Kristin, you all sleep. I am so envious. Of that and your cactus.
Minks, yes, but we need a bigger bed.
Norah, I wouldn’t be smiling at all if I were you…evil cackle. 0
Sweetie(s) given ���


18 February, 2006 at 11:12 am by belgianwaffle

On accommodation:
So just saw a place with bells for summoning servants, still a bit
shabby though.� Off to see newer places now. Will report anything
of interest.

On local colour:
Lots more cows today too!! Though nowhere near as many as yesterday when I was out at my meeting.
Just saw my first monkeys on the street.

And, most lengthily, on her trip home to Chicago:

Absolutely exhausted was on a conference call at 5am this morning and
now have to stay up until at least 3.30 am when I can board my flight.

I have been to a lot of airports before but Delhi is hell on earth. The
line [she has been in the US too long, she means the queue] moves at a rate which makes erosion seem rapid, horns sound all
around, everybody smells and the concept of personal space is virtually
non-existant.� I cannot see the top of the queue which is several
meters ahead of me before we get to the terminal door.� Next to me
a woman attempts to push her heavily laden trolley through the throng
to get her 11.45 flight but the sea of people is made impenetrable by
the amount of luggage carried, pushed and dragged by the passengers. A
vast number of well wishers, beggars and persons offering to carry
things rounds out the experience.� Still not even in the terminal.

Once in the terminal, I understand that the business class lounge was
not all she might have hoped for.� Poor snacks.� Very
crowded.� She tells me that to charge her laptop, she had to
unplug a lamp and plunge half the lounge in darkness.� Yes, I
know, it can be difficult to sympathise.

The next update came in the form of a call from Frankfurt early on
Saturday morning.� She had a tight connection but was confident
she could make it.� She zoomed off the plane and, as she was
travelling business, was one of the first off, but, alas there was an
airport employee gathering people for Chicago and she had to wait for
all the people travelling economy.� Gah.� Before boarding the
plane to Chicago, they had to be “wanded” (new ludicrous verb for
me).�� As there were no women available to wield the wand,
the men were wanded first.� The men boarded.� The female
passengers were eventually wanded, but as they emerged at the gate, the
airhostess looked at them and closed the plane door.� My loving
sister was incandescent.� Not to worry she spent most of the 30
hours it took her to get door to door drafting indignant letters of

I spoke to her again on Sunday.
Me: Are you recovered from your marathon trip?
Her: Mmm.� I think I hate Delhi.
Me: Nonsense, you’ll grow to love it in the year you’ll be spending there.
Her:� The non-existant personal space.
Me: The monkeys!
Her: The traffic.
Me: You have a driver.
Her: That won’t help, if I’m dead.
Me: Um, the cows.
Her: The intermittant air conditioning.
Me: The, er, the, um, challenge of the project.
Her:� The complete absence of female colleagues.
Me: The weather.
Her: The weather?

I told her that Gaza M and Bosnia R are seriously considering going on
a visit and she is deeply pleased. Bosnia R is already in training for
a tough environment, he plans to spend 6 weeks walking 1,000 kms on the Camino de Santiago
from Seville to Santiago.� Of course, if they decide not to go
now, she may never speak to them again.� Based on her descriptions
so far, I can’t say I’m overwhelmingly keen to make the trip with my
little family, even if, we will each be able to have our own chandelier
in her enormous flat.

Friar Tuck

on 20 February 2006 at 16:22

Apparently, she has not been to the airport in Calcutta yet. If she had, she would be singing the praises of Delhi’s. ���



on 20 February 2006 at 17:49

as much of a high flyer as she sounds, i still am feeling deep wells of sympathy for sister waffle. i used to live in chicago, and as much as i didn’t like it, i don’t think i’d trade it for delhi. maybe her posting after that will be the south of france, in recompense. ���


on 21 February 2006 at 07:58

Maybe you could compromise and meet in Santiago d. Comp? 0
Sweetie(s) given ���


on 21 February 2006 at 09:04

Pog, well, she will be anxious for visitors. FT, scary. Kristin, you are very good and kind. On a separate note, can I say how impressed I am with your cactus?
Bobble, that would be lovely. I went there on my honeymoon and stayed in the parador. I feel very nostalgic… 0
Sweetie(s) given ���


17 February, 2006 at 8:48 am by belgianwaffle

I met my boss for lunch yesterday to talk about
work related things.� The good news is
that I am going to work a four day week which will mean half days on Wednesdays
and Fridays, so I will be able to pick the Princess up from school twice a
week.� The bad news is that April 3 isn’t
that far away and the logistics of being two working parents of three small
children are terrifying.

As ill-luck would have it, the Princess begins
a fortnight’s Easter holidays on the day that I start back.� We have booked the poor mite in for two one week
courses learning about the music of the world.�
Stop sniggering.� She’ll love it.� She needs a packed lunch for this
extravaganza (she gets a hot lunch at school) and I fear that she won’t eat
whatever I offer.� I would like to take
this opportunity to apologise to my mother for ignoring 13 years worth of
packed lunches.� So poor Madam, not only
will I be starting back to work which will be a shock for her, but also she
will be in a new and strange place and not with her school companions.� The boys will, obviously, be starting at the
creche which, presumably, will give them the opportunity to pick up some nasty
bugs and which, I fear, they may not take to quite immediately given that the
number of breasts available to them will be fewer than at home.� We will probably have to travel separately,
three of us in the car to the creche, which is inconveniently distant, and two
of us on foot or by bike to the school which is gratifyingly close.

And, the Princess’s birthday, which she has
been looking forward to for 10 months now, falls on the 12th of
April and, as far as I can see, all potential invitees will be away on Easter
holidays.� And it will be something of an
organisational marathon.� I have promised
her the sun, moon and stars because when we go to the supermarket, she just
looks at the sweets and says “I can have those for my birthday, but not now”
and never makes a fuss.� I think we will
require a special shop to pick up all the goodies she has earmarked for the
special day and which she so richly deserves.

And I am off on a work trip at the end of
April, so Mr. Waffle will be spending 2 days alone with his offspring and the
school/creche run.� He has asked his
secretary to schedule no meetings or trips.�
He is very afraid.

Oh, and I’ve promised to host the bookclub in
April.� I regret to tell you that I have
heard my loving husband muttering mutinously about straws and camels.


on 17 February 2006 at 12:24

She really is wonderwoman. 0
Sweetie(s) given ���


on 17 February 2006 at 17:18

there are no words… 1
Sweetie(s) given ���


on 17 February 2006 at 18:11

That was exhausting to just READ that! Good luck, if anyone can handle it, you can! ���



on 17 February 2006 at 18:33

if i could bestow sweeties, i would. but if you get through april, then may will be a breeze, right? ���

Friar Tuck

on 18 February 2006 at 03:06

I’ll say a novena for you. Make that two. ���


on 21 February 2006 at 09:01

Thank you all very much. I suppose it won’t be so bad, once I get started. Right? 0
Sweetie(s) given ���



16 February, 2006 at 9:00 am by belgianwaffle

Me (to Mr. Waffle): Nothing’s broken but the doctor says that she has a subcutaneous hematoma.
Him: Is that what you and I would call a bruise?


on 16 February 2006 at 10:04
Now I see where the Princess gets her wit from.
on 16 February 2006 at 14:57
They’d say that on CSI:NY for sure.
on 16 February 2006 at 16:32
and Holby.
on 21 February 2006 at 09:00
Yes, yes, all very dramatic. Peggy, that would be from ME!


15 February, 2006 at 12:46 pm by belgianwaffle

Princess: I made a mask for Carnaval.
Mr. Waffle: Did you? What colour is it?
Princess: Lots of colours. And it has feathers.
Mr. Waffle: Where do feathers come from? Do they come from fish?
Princess (in some puzzlement): No, they come from Madame Marie.

on 15 February 2006 at 21:32
She’s astute alright. God I miss Carnevale, I could do with a fritelle and vin caldo around now.
on 15 February 2006 at 23:09
Of COURSE they do! Silly Mr Waffle. Tutt.

on 16 February 2006 at 08:36

I know, Diva, BHM silly old us.
Bobble, Carnival is a bit different in Belgium. See http://www.carnavaldebinche.be/


15 February, 2006 at 9:01 am by belgianwaffle

Email from sister in Delhi:
“So saw 7 places this morning – they are massive (3 bedrooms) and in ex-pat areas. But generally they are a bit shabby – bathrooms are old, cupboards dark and far too many chandeliers. Also maybe it’s the level 2 area because the diplomats who would be my neighbours are from strange countries – Iran, Azerbaijan, Cyprus
and one place I’d never heard of.”

Phone call from sister in Delhi:
Her: There are 40 people working in the local office here and aside from the general manager’s secretary and me they’re all men.
Me: Mummy’ll be delighted, maybe you’ll meet some nice man.
Her: No, they’re all already married.
Me: What all of them??
Her: Well, once you’re over a certain age here, you tend to be married; it’s all arranged weddings.
Her: But we’re interviewing.
Me: How many female candidates?
Her: Er, none.
Her: I feel a bit vulnerable as a woman on my own here. You don’t see any women on their own on the streets, so I’m looking for accommodation far enough from work, so that I can get driven. Did I tell you that I have a car and a driver?
Me: Splutter.
Her: It’s very different from China [where she worked for a bit and people kept stopping her on the street to take her photo because she was the only westerner they’d ever seen and check out those weird blue eyes].
Me: I suppose.
Her:Somehow, I felt less foreign there and it was less intimidating. Sigh. I suppose that I’ll get used to it.
Me: And you’ll have a driver and chandeliers.

Text message from my sister at 6.00 this morning (of course I was up, why do you ask?): Just saw my first cow on the street.
Me to Mr. Waffle: Gosh, fancy that, how exotic.
Him: Jeez, they have cows there too.
I don’t think that he’s getting into the spirit of things.

on 15 February 2006 at 09:41
A cow on the road over hear is a pain in the arse. A cow on the road abroad is exotic. It’s that simple.
on 15 February 2006 at 09:53
I nearly ran into a cow on the east coast road in Malaysia – so I was almost the pain in its arse.
(And be very, very careful how you respond to that statement, oipd ….)
on 15 February 2006 at 10:16
having a driver is not quite as decadent as people assume. He won’t be in a chauffeur’s uniform and open the door for her. He’ll be a small man with a sweaty back whose job it is to drive a lot and a wait around a lot more. It’s not a well-paid job and involves a lot of sitting around and the hours are long. The biggest advantage of having a driver is never having to park and also being able to send him to collect someone, pick up items from the post office, drop off a borrowed jacket to a friend’s and all manner of little errands like that.
on 15 February 2006 at 10:24
Pog, I have no idea what you mean. Almost drove up it’s arse eh? That would have been a bit of a bugger and no mistake. The cow certainly would have got a bum deal. And his owner would no doubt have told you to sod off. Those watching would have cracked up though. (Ouch – apologies for that last one).

on 15 February 2006 at 10:32
on 15 February 2006 at 10:50
Yeah, you’d have been right in the shit and no mistake.
on 15 February 2006 at 11:08
Now that’s just dirty.
on 15 February 2006 at 11:09
Uh? Right.

on 15 February 2006 at 11:39
And this from the man who said ‘cracked up’ H. Tch.
on 15 February 2006 at 12:55
OK, you lot, clean it up. You know who I mean. Ta for the sweetie though, Heather. And the explanation UC, I intend to forward it on to the sister, but I suppose she already knows…

Love is in the Air

14 February, 2006 at 8:11 am by belgianwaffle

You will recall that my sister is moving to Delhi. Even as I write, she is on a work trip in far off Delhi.

She got the following email from security in her company:

Security: Valentine’s Day unrest possible in India Feb. 14. Avoid protests; use
caution at restaurants and gift shops, especially in northern cities.

Rightwing Hindu groups strongly object to the observance of Valentine’s Day in India. Unrest is possible, especially in Mumbai, New Delhi and other northern Indian cities around Feb. 14. Valentine’s Day is very popular among many young Indians, but groups such as the Shiv Sena, Sangh Parivar, Hindu Jagran Manch, Bajrang Dal, and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) consider Valentine’s Day a vulgar affront to Indian culture and an example of Western commercialism. They regularly threaten to disrupt holiday events; protests are common outside shops selling Valentine’s Day paraphernalia. Demonstrations can turn violent – protesters have ransacked shops, burned bonfires of greeting cards and attacked people celebrating the unofficial holiday. Vandalism and police clashes are possible.

Most Valentine’s Day unrest occurs in New Delhi and in major cities in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Although Mumbai is very cosmopolitan, it is a Shiv Sena stronghold and there has been Valentine’s Day unrest in the city. In New Delhi, mobs have harassed Westerners at Connaught Place. Use caution in the area, as well as at the Kamala Market and Ansal Plaza.

Despite increased police surveillance, security disturbances are possible at public parks, university campuses, and commercial areas in major cities around Feb. 14. Avoid gift shops (such as Archie’s Greetings) whose proprietors ignore warnings from rightwing Hindu organizations. These groups might also threaten
to disrupt Valentine’s Day events at other venues. Potential troublemakers are easily identifiable – rightwing Hindus often wear saffron-colored clothing or carry orange flags.

Valentine’s-related security disturbances since 2000:

  • Andhra
    : Hyderabad
  • Chandigarh
  • Chhattisgarh:
  • Delhi:
    New Delhi
  • Gujarat:
    Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara
  • Jharkhand:
  • Madhya
    : Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur
  • Maharashtra:
    Aurangabad, Mumbai, Nagpur, Nasik, Pune, Thane
  • Orissa:
  • Rajasthan:

A Reading from the Book of Job

13 February, 2006 at 12:16 pm by belgianwaffle

“Does not man have hard service on earth? Are not his days like those of a hired man? Like a slave longing for the evening shadows, or a hired man waiting eagerly for his wages, so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me. When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get
up? The night drags on, and I toss till dawn.’

Job had twins, who knew? Yes, I know I am very lucky. Really. But last night I was at my wits’ end. Poor old
Daniel has a cold and he howled. And he woke Michael and when he got back to sleep, Michael woke him. And I didn’t sleep at all. And nor did my poor husband. And today I am like a zombie and I have two cross babies on my hands and one sick one. And school ends at 3.00.

And in other religious news, my daughter is fascinated by the story of Samson and Delilah. For this, I hold Tom Jones entirely responsible. Our poor daughter is subjected to a barrage of schlocky songs sung by her loving parents. If she bumps herself she sings “I didn’t mean to hurt you, I’m sorry that I made you cry, I
didn’t mean to hurt you, I’m just a jealous guy..”. When dancing she accompanies herself with “I’m in the mood for dancing, romancing…”. When wearing her boots “These boots are made for
walking…are you ready boots?” You get the picture here. When she wails, I try to jolly her out of it by singing “Aie, aie, aie Delilah”. They love it in the supermarket. Anyhow, the other day, she asked me “What’s Delilah, Mummy?”. “Not what darling, who?” And I told her the story, leaving out about Samson being blinded (she is only 2 and 3/4) but including how he brought down a building with his bare hands and crushed his enemies. God, she loves it and I am exhausted from recounting it. I shudder to think what will happen when she finds out about the plagues visited on the Eygptians.


on 13 February 2006 at 14:48
There is something about being Irish and religion, a TV programme, can’t quite remember it at present…

Anyway, showing such an interest can only make you feel less guilty about sending princess to Sunday School and the free hours you will gain from it.

Friar Tuck
on 14 February 2006 at 03:59
Good thing the story of Susanna isn’t read on Sundays!

on 14 February 2006 at 10:07
We were reading Samson and Delilah to our 2 the other day, albeit a slightly sanitised version, and I said to my other half – “So is Samson the prototype suicide bomber and should we really be reading this to our children?” Not sure what messages it sends really!
on 15 February 2006 at 09:48
Murrain! Frogs! er… the Darkness! The plagues ROCK.
on 15 February 2006 at 12:54
Gosh, you lot are a bundle of joy. Bobble, you should know, catholics don’t do Sunday school. That’s protestants, they actually know their bible.


11 February, 2006 at 1:18 pm by belgianwaffle

Two of the women who attended the celebrations had been to a speed dating event earlier in the week. What was it like? “There was a slightly older man who asked me whether I liked dogs. I said yes and he said ‘that’s good as I come as a package with a three legged labrador'”.

Given that it was one of my very rare nights out, I got rather dressed up* and the Princess was fascinated by this vision of her mother. “I like your lips Mummy and your dress and your boots”. It was very gratifying. Though I wouldn’t have bothered with the boots, if I’d known that there would be a forced march from the restaurant back to where our cars were parked.

This was the longest stretch of time I have been away from the twins since they were born. You will, I know, be fascinated to hear that my breasts visibly grew over dinner and that when I came home I expressed 500mls of milk (over a pint for imperial readers).

*Quote from another mother of three (supplied by my friend D) is very appropriate here, when asked whether she ever got out this woman said “yes, occasionally…to the clothesline”

Friar Tuck
on 12 February 2006 at 03:09
Hmmm, a three-legged labrador. Oh well, as long as he wasn’t three-legged I suppose.
Glad you could get out somewhere other than the clothesline.

on 12 February 2006 at 11:20
And in the other jungle at least I have bloglines to tell me of your updating, Are you allowed to have clothes lines in Belgium? There are very few in Switzerland….but then mothers get to go out to do the shopping here

on 12 February 2006 at 13:27
Oohh, a night out. Good for you. Sounds like you had great time.
And like Heidi said- a pint? Impressive.
on 12 February 2006 at 20:12
A pint! jeepers, that’d fetch a few pence on ebay

on 13 February 2006 at 02:09
oh, waffley, glad you got out. i’ve missed you, i’lve been at disneyland with my little one and had no internet. i was crawling the walls, i tell you.

on 15 February 2006 at 12:53
A FEW PENCE Minks, surely more than that? The rest of you are very kind!

Unhelpful TV Viewing Habits

8 February, 2006 at 2:11 pm by belgianwaffle

On a completely separate note, I have been watching Supernanny on the telly. She has dealt with stressed out parents of twins for three weeks in a row. My favourite quotes “I wouldn’t wish twins on my worst enemy” and, from a mother when asked by Supernanny whether she got any “me time”, “I go to my mother of twins group once a month”. Oh good God. The publishing exec (who is now an editor -ta da!- send your unpublished manuscripts here) is responsible for Supernanny the book, so I am the proud possessor of a free copy which I could use to follow up the useful lessons learnt from the telly, but, realistically, I fear that there is no hope.


on 08 February 2006 at 15:23
Just goes to show how different YOUR twins are from all the other sets. One of my friends swears she is going to write a book on parenting twins becasue she says that books are always really negative about it and she has really enjoyed having hers. She has had a 10 year gap since her last child. And she does appear to have twins who sleep 12 hours a night since about 3 days old… I know but she had a bad time with her 1st 2 children so she deserves a break… And anyway who’d want their worst enemy to have such a fab experience as you’ll end up having as they all grow up together?!

on 08 February 2006 at 16:34
i am not a little embarrassed to admit that in a moment of tipsy desperation i sent in our particulars to ABC seeking Supernanny’s assistance. Somehow, tho, i don’t think our painfully shy little one will make good tv. (Edited to add that she’s only painfully shy in front of strangers. When she’s at home she’s a raving lunatic.)

Friar Tuck
on 08 February 2006 at 17:25
Uh, it seems to me that the only thing that will come from your watching Supernanny is a guilt trip. I think you’ve already got one of those; you’re Irish, aren’t you? That would be like me watching the Lives of the Saints channel (thank God it doesn’t exist!). I bet you could teach Supernanny a thing or two! I highly recommend watching Project Runway. Everyone can feel good after watching that.
on 08 February 2006 at 19:27
Supernanny is a crazed dictator so my nursery nurse sister claims. I’m totally obsessed with the House of Tiny Tearaways. Tanya Byron rocks, and Jimi’s got a huge crush on her.
Bobble (Homepage)
on 08 February 2006 at 22:38
There is always Lives of the Saints on TV in Italy, never fear.
on 09 February 2006 at 14:38
Supernanny gets to go home at the end of the day. So she gets a good night’s sleep. See?

on 15 February 2006 at 12:52
Ooh this is all very interesting. Kristin, I think you were a bit optimistic – your home life is really not hideous enough to justify supernanny…

Caption Competition

6 February, 2006 at 9:35 am by belgianwaffle

on 06 February 2006 at 12:40
that is wonderful.
on 06 February 2006 at 13:37
Ahhhh…. so sweet. They’re adorable! 🙂
on 06 February 2006 at 14:15
Very cute, indeed! Is one of them wearing his sister’s old clothes (pink with flowers)?
on 06 February 2006 at 16:38
They really are terribly cute.
on 06 February 2006 at 18:19
The one on teh left looks as though he’ll never never never be the one to back down first!

on 06 February 2006 at 18:44
ooooh lovely!
on 07 February 2006 at 00:08
look at those strong necks! tummy time does its job!! what lovely boys.
on 08 February 2006 at 01:13
ERK! They look like they’re communicating using psychic powers. Are you sure you remember the conception? It wasn’t in a place called Midwich was it 🙂

on 08 February 2006 at 13:12
Madame la Gaufre
any tips or advice on persuading my baby daughter to sleep? My own inclination is towards chloroform, but my wife has expressed misgivings.
thanks in advance

on 15 February 2006 at 12:50
Ahh thank you all very much. Except for the Midwich cuckoos. Humph. DLD, not a hope, Princess didn’t sleep till she was two. Roll with the chloroform.

on 16 February 2006 at 02:40
That’s not to say they don’t look cute. Maybe they’re having some sort of Staring contest.

on 16 February 2006 at 08:35

Conversations with my Family

6 February, 2006 at 9:32 am by belgianwaffle

My mother: Really?
Me: Yes, that wardrobe is surprisingly narrow, I’ve measured it.
My mother: Have you considered that you may want to open it?

My brother: So I was thinking that I might come and visit.
Me: That would be lovely.
Him: When does your holiday end?
Me: In April.
Him (in tones of deep shock): My God, you’re not even protesting anymore.*
Me: I’m too tired to protest.

*You will be aware that I am on maternity leave not on holidays.

on 06 February 2006 at 15:57
holiday, pah.
on 08 February 2006 at 15:32
Free holidays are great aren’t they?*backs away slowly for fear of getting a clatter*
on 15 February 2006 at 12:50

Matters of Faith

5 February, 2006 at 12:53 pm by belgianwaffle

Her: Can we go to the synagogue?
Me: The cinema, sweetheart?
Her: No, Mummy, the syn-a-go-gue.
Me: Well, darling, we’re not Jewish…
Her: But, member, Mummy, the priest said that Jesus went to the synagogue.

Friar Tuck
on 05 February 2006 at 19:07
What?! Jesus attended the synagogue?! But seriously, her name is surely written in the Book of the Elect — she actually listened to a homily.

on 05 February 2006 at 20:44
It’s a peer pressure test – “yes, darling, but just because Jesus went to the synagogue…….”

on 06 February 2006 at 11:25
She has a point …

Linguistic Regime

4 February, 2006 at 10:15 am by belgianwaffle

In recent times, the question has arisen as to in what language announcements should be made on trains (that is rather cumbersomely put, but you appreciate what I’m getting at here). In French speaking Wallonia, announcements are to be made in French and in Flemish speaking Flanders announcements are to be made in Flemish. So far, so straightforward.

But what about in Brussels which is the capital and officially bilingual (though, de facto, French speaking)? Announcements should be made in both languages you might say, which just shows how little you know about the matter. You have not addressed the vexed question of which language comes first; the Belgians have. There are three main stations in Brussels. In Bruxelles-Midi announcements are to be
made in French, then Flemish. In Bruxelles-Nord announcements are to be made in Flemish, then French. This leaves Bruxelles-Central. Which language should have priority here? Worry not, a solution has been found, in odd years announcements will be made in French then Flemish and in even years announcements will be made in Flemish and then French. I swear I am not making this up.

Friar Tuck
on 04 February 2006 at 19:03
If they would just speak English, there would be no problem. The Flemish are almost there anyway.

on 05 February 2006 at 12:58
Berry, Mr. Waffle wants to know what happens in Ottowa and New Brunswick? He was born in Canada, he takes a special interest. You are funny, FT, START YOUR OWN BLOG.

a href=”http://www.20six.co.uk/Berry”>Berry
on 05 February 2006 at 13:54

I’m not too sure in New Brunswick but I’ll find out. In Ottawa, here is a quote from their official language web site “all documents published by the City or its agencies and addressed to the public appear in both official languages (instructions, regulations, municipal by-laws, etc.).That publications be made available in both official languages simultaneously or in the language of the target group (i.e., schedule of courses in French).”

on 05 February 2006 at 23:43
Does that explain why the station staff are so unhelpful at Midi then? You really couldn’t make this up could you.


3 February, 2006 at 1:02 pm by belgianwaffle

Things here in blogland have been a bit strange recently. 20six is “migrating to a new platform”. In the interim, we have been spammed and our home page has become a little, um, odd. I have been invited to join a weblog team called “banmysite”. I’’m guessing that it is not legit. And the whole “migrating to a new platform” thing has spooked lots of people. The words “blog builder” have been mentioned and the non-technical among us are, frankly, nervous. And people are abandoning their 20six blogs like rats departing a sinking ship. And the fabulous Jojo who is paid to keep us happy has left and we could never love another nanny as much.

I chose 20six to host my blog because when I started blogging I went to this site. As you will see, it gives an alphabetical list of possible hosts and the combination of my terminal laziness and the fact that 20six was first on the list made it an obvious choice. If I had known a little more, I might have gone for livejournal or blogspot or blogger but I’m really glad I didn’’t because I have become very fond of the online community that is 20six. I suppose it would be pushing it to say that it breaks my heart to see people like pog (or poggle as she must now be known) thinking about leaving and bobble, norah and jd actually doing so, but it does make me a bit sad.

When I think of all the people I know from here being dispersed across the vastness of the internet, I’m sad, bloglines or no bloglines. OK, I realise that these are people I know that I would walk past on the
street, but they’re still people I know (yes, inter alia, hjb, minks, locotes, this means you too; stop pretending you don’t know me). In fact, they saved my sanity. It’’s hard and a bit lonely being a mother of small children abroad, I can tell you. In fact, I think I have been telling you for some time.

Anyway, the “migration” is scheduled for mid-February. Until then, I intend to stay put in my bunker and see out the last days of the old regime. I trust that when the migration is complete, I will emerge
and see that at least some of my old friends are still about. And, if my blog disappears in mid-February
(my faith in the technical people is, as you see, boundless), it will resurface elsewhere. After all, it is saving my sanity.


on 03 February 2006 at 13:33
Please be sure to keep us updated on your whereabouts!
on 03 February 2006 at 15:12
Ah ‘waf… you soppy old womble you. I didn’t know you cared so much about all us digital denizens …;-)
on 03 February 2006 at 15:32
I can die a happy man after that mention. Funnily enough, you probably HAVE walked past me on the street on one of your far-too-rare homecomings. I was the tall studly-looking fella in case you were wondering…ps – didn’t know you had done a runner jack. Well, best of luck with whatever you’re up to. I’m sure you’ll frustrate any new colleagues just as much as your old 20six ones.;-)
on 03 February 2006 at 16:09
Even for you, this has been a long break, Locotes – Laughably Lazy is an understatement, Mister
Friar Tuck
on 03 February 2006 at 16:28
That’s probably why I don’t have a blog. It would aggravate my separation anxiety syndrome. The pain would be too much to bear.
on 03 February 2006 at 16:28
Angela wrote: Please be sure to keep us updated on your whereabouts!
I second that motion. Even though I don’t do my blogging on here anymore [I’m here now], I still keep tabs on everyone I ‘met’ here, and I think I’d miss 20six if it did go.

on 04 February 2006 at 10:27
Oh Pog, the romance, the drama, “the boy stood on the burning deck when all but he had fled” etc.
Thanks FP, DruidX, worry not, I will force you all to read my new blog, if need arises.
FT, that is no excuse.
JD, Locotes, having you talk to me in comments without seeing your blogs, makes me feel a bit like I’m getting communications from the spirit world, I quite like that.

on 04 February 2006 at 11:09
and here am I having had to change my name because of this 3 letter rule – no more hjb.

on 05 February 2006 at 13:16
I know, Heather, it’s all very dreadful.
on 05 February 2006 at 23:47
I am glad I can keep help you sane my dear Waffly.
I may have moved my inanity to WordPress but I do cross post the link to 20Six so anyone barmy enough to read it can… (and my wordpress is RSS so you can subscribe to it on bloglines if you want…)
on 06 February 2006 at 18:49
I am not capable of leaving anywhere yet. I can barely type!!xx
on 06 February 2006 at 22:19
H: you will always be HJB to us and we’ll always have Paris and all that….
Minks, the trick then is to move to the mostly familiar
(Bobbs has moved out of the mortalsphere at this point but it’s all very, very impressive. Others have gone here-ish.)
[And ‘waf, thanks for this sub-let. :-X ]
on 15 February 2006 at 12:48
Don’t like the “yet” Minks. Quite Jack. Feel free to squat as long as you like.

Principles, What Principles?

2 February, 2006 at 12:41 pm by belgianwaffle

The Princess has been at home sick for three days.  She’s going back to school tomorrow.  Rejoice.  I’m exhausted.  You know that Mr. Waffle and I are somewhat proud that the Princess doesn’t watch any television?  After two days at home alone with my three children, I rang Mr. Waffle and asked him to stop off at the video shop on the way home and, for God’s sake, pick up something for the Princess.  Hotfoot upon pride comes Nemesis the avenger.  Yeah, she’s on her way up from the school now to taunt me.


poggleon 02 February 2006 at 14:04

Is that the little girl you met the other day? Nemesis the Avenger, I mean? 0
Sweetie(s) given


on 02 February 2006 at 17:20

on a recent preschool application form i was requested to note how much television the child watched per day, as well as what kind. it was with great remorse that i wrote ‘disney videos.’
we’ve got a cold here, too. i’m ready to feed her to the wolves.

Minkleberryon 02 February 2006 at 17:23

you’re better parents than us. The wiggles save my sanity for half an hour every day, and probably every 3 hours when I have to feed Seth once Jimi goes back to work!

KateEvanson 02 February 2006 at 20:44

My little one loves to watch television and I encourage it so I can drink cocktails get supper ready, etc. But only normal drama, news, films etc. I don’t want her watching any of that children’s muck. I wonder how long I can keep her ignorant of the wonderful world of teletubbies.

belgianwaffleon 04 February 2006 at 10:24

Mike, quite. Kristin, oh dear, I know PRECISELY how you feel.
Minkleberry, you are a far better parent than I will ever be, you are at home, with two children all the time and an oozing wound to boot and you only watch half an hour’s telly a day. You are my hero.
Kate, you have no oozing wound, you’re clearly just a dreadful parent.

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