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Sunday, 13 May 2007

Bon appetit

On Saturday afternoon, Freya and I drove to East Dulwich for a little distraction as the boys had gone to cricket practice, bless! My husband James and darling little Max (mini me), it really was the sweetest thing to observe, and far more healthy for them than being locked in the study for the afternoon 'fishing' on the Wii games console.

Tiny Freya and I decided to visit Stella B shoe shop, in order to buy some more cute Jibbitz badges for her ugly sensible Crocs shoes. Freya chose a skull and a number seven.

"This is my most favourite, favourite number", she insisted. I have tried to encourage her to choose some pretty flowers or Disney princess characters, but no.

We always call into the super little traditional sweet shop Hope and Greenwood where Freya loves to select a lollipop and I buy a bar of Fry's Chocolate Cream for myself. Freya never bothers to eat the sweets;

"they rot your teeth mummy,"

but she does enjoy the occasional glass of warm milk from one of the little coffee shops along the road. We decided to try a coffee shop we had not visited before, and we were happy to observe that as it was before mid-day, the afternoon rush had not yet begun. The staff were warm and friendly, and they had an Apricot Danish (a personal favourite) the size of my head. Freya looked at me in disgust when I ordered it and requested a simple slice of bread and butter for herself. My darling sensible girl.

We were settled into our comfortable chairs, enjoying our drinks and working our way through our "Fun in the Flowertot Garden colouring and Sticker Book" when three enormous unkempt ladies trundled through the door with three children between them.

The double buggy was thrust aggressively into the shop, virtually hurling a pair of old ladies face down into their Earl Grey without ceremony or apology. The first woman had a son the size of a teenager strapped to her back, and the second was heavily pregnant but appeared to be in awe of the other two. The third woman was pushing a Phil and Teds three wheeled double buggy complete with cumbersome side saddle type bag accessories. They all appeared to be exhausted, too exhausted to have brushed their hair.

Initially I was filled with empathy for the group. Pregnancy and small babies, it is just the most difficult time. How the woman who was pregnant managed to display the vast expanse of flesh on her tummy while wearing such an enormous fleece was a source of fascination to me, my word she was hairy!

The group set up court at the next table to ours, and promptly ordered three soya milk organic lattes while two of them commenced breastfeeding the three children. "We are all allergic to cows milk - just pop to Somerfield if you don't have soya milk" insisted the third woman (breastfeeding two children simultaneously).

"Do you have pain aux raisins?" she enquired. "It must have been prepared in a nut free environment, Hugo is allergic to nuts. Anaphylaxis is a huge issue", she continued.

How dreadful I thought to myself, quite distracted. Food allergies must be the most stressful thing. The poor little boy.

Hugo screamed to high heavens when he saw the delicious pain aux raisins on display, which the lovely waitress humbly explained were prepared in their own kitchens next to almond croissants, so poor Hugo would be unable to have one. The little boy screamed like a character from The Exorcist when he was informed, but amazingly within five minutes the mother relented, and said;

"Oh I suppose on this occasion it will be fine, sometimes it is simply not worth it".

Not worth it? I was alarmed...

She would rather see the boy die from anaphylactic shock that endure his cries of anger and annoyance???

Hugo had his pain aux raisins and was indeed a happy boy.

I most perplexed by this. Why would anyone choose to make their child to stand out and endure a special diet? Why would anyone claim their child would suffer from anaphylactic shock when obviously he would not??? I know a super little boy who genuinely is tortured by this issue. What is going on around here? Every one of these women allergic to cows milk? The local GP must be doing a roaring trade in anti-depressants!

This group went on to insist that the staff of the shop stop using the milk steaming machine for cappuccino's as the noise was upsetting the baby. They seemed so very stressed, so anxious and angry with everyone, including their children, each other and themselves.

When we were eventually leaving the shop, as little Freya was packing away her crayons and stickers into her handbag, she looked up at me and said:

"I don't want big boobies or babies when I grow up mummy, it just looks like no fun at all".

The poor darling, and you know I couldn't argue with her? Sleep really is a wonderful thing. These women just need some sleep, perhaps several weeks worth.

NOTE TO SELF; Ensure that Freya settles down with a nice man who can afford to pay for a nanny.


mutterings and meanderings said...

Can't argue with Freya's final comment. I feel like that myself!

rilly super said...

When we had one of those enormous buggies our local cafe wouldn't even let me inside, classing me as a vehicle and insisting I used the drive-thru facilties at the rear, sigh

Omega Mum said...

Ana Phylaxis is really rather a nice sounding name - perhaps you should have suggested it to the pregnant one for her little unborn one.

The Good Woman said...

At least crocs come in a beautiful Barbie pink which should offset the skull and crossbones beautifully.

As for the party at the next table, and as my Bambi would say they've got BAD hypochondria!

Drunk Mummy said...

I love the idea of Freya dispensing these pearls of wisdom as she packs up her handbag. She is obviously a very smart girl (takes after her mum) who understands the value of decent accessories (takes after her mum).

dulwichmum said...

Darling M&M,

I know my baby has understanding well beyond her years. How can I argue? Have you bagged yourself a dentist yet?

Sweet Rilly,

Are you sure that was not a KFC you were visiting? Mmm not very Dulwich! I am sure you have spent far too much time in the north my love... Divorce him now and take his cash and come back to London.

Sweet Omegamum,

If I were just starting this blog again and had the change to change the names of my children - I know what I would choose!

Lovely TGW,

She has them in Barbie pink, but the skull and crossbones, numbers and dog bones just don't look right on my little poppet!

Perfect Drunk Mummy,

That child is every inch of me, she just refuses to acknowledge it!

rilly super said...

don't think I haven't thought about it dulwichmum, sigh

debio said...

Seems to me no matter how ground down one is, it is a rule of sisterhood to complain with grace and dignity.
Cannot stand the 'whole world must take me as I am' approach - charmless and unattractive.
Dear Freya - cut to the chase, eh?

dulwichmum said...

Rilly dear heart,

Do they even sell latte's up North? My poor chum!

Sweet Debio,

From the mouths of babes!