Up with the lark with the Princess and Daniel to get croissants and the paper for their father (left Michael slumbering). A somewhat bad tempered trek accompanied by grumbling sounds from herself as the chain kept falling off her bike. Children insisted that we buy juice also and had to carry home two bikes, two litres of juice, the Observer and five croissants.
Arrived home to the sound of Michael’s wails. His brother and sister had gone and left him alone. I pointed out that his father was still there. Further tears. Daniel, who is often kind, gave him a big kiss and he wailed all the louder: “First they left me alone and then Daniel covered me in slime.”
Their father arrived down to Father’s Day breakfast and expressed suitable gratitude. Attended mass accompanied by children lolling in the pews. Went home and tidied the Princess’s room with untoward vigour in the hope of unearthing a missing doggy. No joy but I did discover that she has already packed three large rucksacks for the holidays. Didn’t have the heart to empty them.
After lunch out to the GAA where (with all the other contestants) the children all won medals (hurrah) together with lollipops, bags, footballs and sliotars. Our ball needs are met for the foreseeable future. The afternoon was rendered hideous by the Princess who after her own match and medal ceremony came to watch the boys. The boys, despite getting very little action on the ball, were pink and broadly cheerful while tearing around the pitch. The Princess had had her school play again last night and was exhausted this afternoon. A refusal to buy sweets was enough to tip her over the edge and she spent the rest of the afternoon keening at the edge of the pitch occasionally rousing herself to pink faced abuse when particularly moved. I was mortified. By the time the boys medal ceremony came round, I was sitting in the back of the car berating her thinking to myself “I am sure this is not what Supernanny would do.” I hate Supernanny. Sigh.
Home again where we played with the new toys in the back garden and then round the corner to our street party. It really reminded me of the kind of thing that we had in Brussels but it was, as the Princess kept running up to tell me in delight, completely free. They had two bouncy castles, a barbecue, face painting and a clown who made balloons. It turns out that the neighbourhood is awash with kids. The children dived in but I hung around a little nervously; it appears that I don’t know many of the neighbours. Fortunately, Mr. Waffle met a colleague. She was lovely and knew other people and lived nearby (by definition, I suppose). She brought company, chairs and prosecco and we sat around chatting as the children played (very nicely – or, at least, nobody cried). This is the kind of thing I remember from my childhood. The grown-ups chatting while the children play nearby perfectly happily. Could this herald a new phase and very welcome phase? Mr. Waffle’s colleague lived in Brussels as a teenager on exactly the same street as we did when we lived there up to last year. She and I found this fascinating but the rest of the group seemed, somehow, less interested. But seriously, isn’t that a little odd?
So, now it’s quarter to eleven and nearly dark outside; I think I might go to bed. Long day.