We’re back.? We had a fantastic time.? Well, Mr. Waffle and I did. Difficult to know what the Princess thought of her days in the creche since she can’t talk. Have a niggling concern that she may not have enjoyed herself as she roared lustily every morning as she was handed in to the creche people and woke up every two hours at night. So, review of the week:
Took the train there and back. Infinitely superior to air travel. There is a direct train from Bxls to the train station nearest the resort. Only slight disadvantage, we ended up sitting near hyperactive 8 year old twins. It is difficult for a baby to sleep when twins keep running up and down the aisle screaming. Inevitably, we were all sitting in the same seats on the return journey. Train station a complete nightmare. Thought bad thoughts about the architect as we lugged a baby, a pushchair, a travel cot and two large bags of clothes up and down a series of steep staircases while ducking other people’s skis. Bus journey to Val Thorens from train station unspectacular on the way up but on the way back, Princess was sick. Mr. Waffle with great presence of mind and absence of squeamishness caught the vomit in his hand. Yeuch. Kind mother of two sitting opposite plied us with tissues. Princess, none the worse for her adventure, grabbed doggy and fell back asleep. Doggy now smells of vomit despite our best efforts at “surface washing”. However, my sister in America is coming to Cork next week with two doggies which we found on the internet. I am in Cork the week after to collect them (and also to see my parents) and then we will recklessly throw vom doggy in the washing machine.
We booked ourselves in for a series of six lessons with the ESF. The ESF also run the creche. The creche opens at 9.00 and skiing lessons start at 9.00. Do you see a problem here ? First morning we presented ourselves with the Princess’s kit:
3 pairs of bootees
Proof of vaccinations
Complete change of clothes
Hat and scarf
Doudou (sort of doggy type thing, though obviously, we weren’t going to give them doggy, in case they lost him, so gave them an inferior substitute – actually a hat that she likes to snuggle up to).
Packet of “mini-toasts”
The girl on reception looked coldly at our offering and said “Where’s the spoon for the formula?” We had forgotten the wretched spoon. Did they have a spare spoon? Oh no, they’re all different. Spent almost an hour racing round the resort trying to find formula. Eventually ran it to ground in the chemists. 20.70 for a can. And we left it behind us. Rats.
After missing lessons the first morning due to the formula incident, every morning we tried a different permutation to get to our lessons on time. Mr. Waffle was very perturbed by our lateness (I married the only punctual Irish man) and, thus, every morning began in great tension. We tried walking to the creche before 8 with our skis. We tried having Mr. Waffle’s brother, an excellent skier, ski down with our skis, but nothing worked. The creche took our baby at 8.50 at the earliest and it took at least 15 minutes to get to lessons from the creche.
So, after an inevitably late start, we joined up with our group. They were a very nice bunch. Our instructor, C, was sweet and determined that this group should know no fear. On the whole, he gauged the mood of the group well. He called us the “the group of the traverse”. We liked to ski slowly. One of the girls in our group, a Croatian architect, was very good although it was only her second time skiing. She explained that she had travelled from Zagreb with a group of 30 ski instructors. They would put her on the top of a black slope and say “Relax, go…”. She found the mornings a form of gentle relief from the regime of terror in the afternoons.
We went off piste for the morning on Thursday and we took an hour and a half to go from Cime de Caron to Lac du Lou. C said that it was a new record for him. No, not in speediness… meanwhile Mr. Waffle’s brother the expert skier had done the same run in 20 minutes.
In the evenings we would come back to the residence and talk to people in other classes at level 2 or, worse, level 1 and say “We did some more blues today” and they would say things like “We did all reds and blacks today…” Very distressing. Nevertheless, C nursed us along and by the end of the week we were really much better and even did a (very easy) black with no fear. I think I may finally have reached the intermediate rut.
Skiing for Babies
If I get a job, we may go skiing again next year (I don’t think that we could possibly contemplate the ruinous expense of another skiing holiday otherwise). We looked into the possibilities for babies. If we play our cards right, by age 6 the Princess will be able to go for the “Etoile d’Or”. This means that, according to the brochure, she “can ski everywhere including black runs [she will do] timed giant slalom and a technical test”. If on the other hand she is a bit slow she will only be getting ready for the third star “at the end of the week she manages all situations, i.e. slalom, control of speed, good co-ordination, and even more the black run”. I am fascinated and slightly alarmed by the prospect of seeing my daughter eclipse my feeble abilities so thoroughly at such a young age. And this, note, will be achieved by a child who, according to the books, will still need help brushing her teeth.
Yes, lots of same. We shared a chalet with Mr. Waffle’s younger brother and his friends. It was all very pleasant. Everyone in the group either had a partner or a sibling or both on the holiday so it was all very incestuous. I felt like I was starring in a sitcom. But we did have a great time. Except, one presumes, for the only singleton in the chalet who ended up sleeping in the main room and being woken every morning at cock crow by the Waffle parents looking bleary-eyed and shovelling yoghurt into their infant.
I was out four nights last week. Are you amazed? Dear reader, I am shocked. I don’t think that we will see such debauchery again for some time.
Very little of that. The Princess woke every two hours. I am getting mildly desperate. On nights that we weren’t out, I went to bed at 7. She is better now that we are home and only woke twice last night, but the fact remains that I haven’t slept through the night since last April. I was very optimistic about the “No cry sleep solution” which I saw Fluid Pudding was reading and promptly purchased. I note, however, from her recent posts that after 30 days of the no-cry sleep solution FP has abandoned and gone for the cry it out method. And it worked. Should we try again?
Not really anything to do with skiing but it will be (drumroll) my birthday on Wednesday and if you meant to send a card and a tasteful gift, you should probably get going…
on 09 March 2004 at 21:10
Well, you do ski at a funny angle and, what’s more, I have the photos to prove it. I’m sure you’re feeling better now…
Glad to hear you had a good time – a skiiing holiday always sounds like a good laugh, something I must do at some stage.
I like the shamrock on the dogs – very nationalistic. 😉
And I have to commend Mr. W on the vomit catching – I can’t guarantee I would have done the same. In fact, I could well have lept out of my seat to avoid any ‘splashage’. Then maybe grab an annoying 8 year old to wipe the mess with. Kids on any form of public transport….there should be a law against it…
on 18 March 2004 at 12:50
Well yes, I did think you’d say that – which is fair enough. I prefer to think that by the time I have kids in my 50’s I’ll have my fortune earned so that all transportation will take place either in my porsche, or in the landrover I buy for the nanny.
(Hey, nothing wrong with dreaming)
on 18 March 2004 at 19:13
Trust me, you won’t be transporting the kids in your porsche.