31 March 2009

A Saturday

                       The BF is away in England. I sleep in, waking on and off, not wanting to get up. I let the girls watch more tv then usual, then we eat breakfast and plan the day: packing for Youngest's week away at classe verte, the laundry, the homework, the cutting of fingernails. Eldest agrees to vacuum and mop the hallway. Youngest begins to pack. I haul laundry to the laundromat, nip into the grocery store for milk. On the way back to collect the clean laundry I drop glass bottles into the recycling container at the Parvis Trinité. Satisfyingly, they break upon impact inside. Then I sneak to the secondhand bookstore for 20 minutes, leaving the wash in the machines. Youngest phones in a tiff about something or other, threatening my sneaked moment of peace, but I manage to talk her down. I browse and chat with Louis, the bookshop owner. If I were better at this I'd describe him;  suffice for the moment to say that he is slim, pale, in his thirties, with unruly curly brown hair and scraggly stubble or maybe a would-be beard. He has a quirky sense of humour that I cannot always rise up to although sometimes I can be so banal that it gets surreal. I think he likes that. Having had a dose of actual human contact, I collect the wash and lug it back (assuring myself this has got to be the best weight-bearing excercise; I surely will not sufferrom osteoporosis). At home I sit down with Youngest and so through every item she has packed. She has done a good job, and not tried to sneak in her MP3. 

                       Eldest showers and Youngest mops the kitchen. Yes, they actually like to mop! I hang the laundry to dry, deciding it is not worthwhile to cook today since I have forgotten to buy potatoes to go with the chicken. Decide to take us out to the Balmoral milk bar place on Place Brugman. 

                       "Where?" they ask.

                       "Milkshake place."

                       "Oh that place -- hooray!"

                       All day the weather has been sun interspersed with sudden showers. We walk over to the restaurant while there's sun. BF texts that he's found wellie boots for Youngest. Another hooray. The Balmoral is a 1950s/US-themed resto, with formica tables and car culture motifs and Betty Boop pin-ups. Belgian-style fancy drive-in food. Eldest and I order hamburgers, Youngest a hot dog. I let the girls get milkshakes and take long pulls on each one...

                       On the way home we somehow start singing "If you're happy and you know it". I make up ridiculous things for them to do besides clap their hands and stomp their feet: walk like a duck, etc. We walk/skip/jump back down the chaussée de Waterloo, finishing with several rounds of "Doe, a Deer" from the Sound of Music.

                       It isn't always like this but when it is, it's very good. 

1 comment:

  1. love this story!
    How true that it's not always enjoyable but the happy times make it so worth it!