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Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Disneyland Paris

Last Thursday morning at 7 a.m. I departed for Paris. I must admit that I was not at all impressed to find myself tripping off to Disneyland Paris sans enfants... The munchkins have been begging to go for an age, but I have never been convinced. I considered trips to theme parks NOCD (...sigh). Do the restaurants even serve organic fare? Would we be forced to bring our own banana chips and raisins?

When my big boss suggested that myself and my colleagues joined him for our annual "team build" at the resort for two nights - I felt sure that he had lost his mind. How dare he expect me (a busy mother of two young children) to leave the bosom of my family in order to spend time with him in a luxury hotel - at a resort that my munchkins dream of...

I immediately demanded a reply to the obvious question; "is there a spa?" (It is so very hard to find time for oneself as I work full-time you know).

Relaxing in Club Class in my plush armchair on the Eurostar from St Pancras, I noticed a family with two young tots drinking cans of Iron Bru with their breakfast - indeed their parents were drinking wine! The daughter "Prada," and son "Christian" (Dior no doubt) both with pierced ears, dummies in their mouths and Wheelies trainers... OHMYGOD.Their mother had an angular harsh colourful hair style and Juicy Couture velour tracksuit, daddy was head to toe Burberry check with fake Louis Vuitton luggage.

I envied the unconditional approval these sweet energetic children were shown despite their lack of table manners and athletic sofa gymnastics. I am sure that my poppets will develop nervous dispositions - I force them to be so very restrained. I suddenly felt overwhelmed with sadness as I realised that I afford the darlings all of the freedom of battery hens. School holidays and weekends consist of trips to the Imperial War Museum, The V&A, The National History Museum and the park. I would certainly never sanction a trip to Disneyland Paris on a school day.

The children I observed appeared so very happy surrounded by love and approval as they played. They were not even subtly chastised or restrained. They will grow up to be adventurous, self assured and be self-confident - how will my darlings fair in comparison? OHMYGOD, the munchkins could grow to be a pair of nervous bassoonists!

I completely enjoyed the team build - I didn't attend a single session actually but spent a great deal of time on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock'n'Roller Coaster and Crush's Coaster for two days. I bought my darling infants lollipops the size of frying pans and didn't even unpack my straightening iron once! I danced in the street parade with gay abandon, kissed Mickey Mouse and Woody and had a complete ball. Happy and relaxed children were to be observed everywhere, being celebrated and enjoyed, not tutted at or criticised for being excessively exuberant. The trip was a revelation and a complete pleasure.

When I took my seat on the Eurostar for my return journey, I was feeling enlightened, relaxed and enthusiastic, I had already resolved to return with the babies. My hair sat in sausage curls about my shoulders - not a touch of make-up on my face, I was like like a mother reborn. Not long into the journey I overheard the conversation a seven year old was having with his mother "Look mum the frogs cook their cucumbers" OHMYGOD! This child clearly had limited knowledge of green vegetables, he was describing his serving of courgette! I observed young "Beckham" chomp through three bags of Monster Munch as the train hurtled through Dulwich on its way to St Pancras and I felt my old self beginning to surface.

Disneyland surely is the best place to be a care free child. But clearly there is a balance to be struck...


Anonymous said...

Hi Dulwichmum, you very sweetly left a comment on my blog Dulwichdivorcee last May asking if you could do a link but today is the first time I've logged on since March! A very busy time with the lawyers ....but now I'm back on line .... and so jealous you're getting a book published! I've been writing a novel for the last 400 yrs and turned down a million times .....clever you! Would love to hear about it.

Motheratlarge said...

How fantastic the trip sounds - I really do wish I could have been there.

IngeniousRose said...

Oh Dulwich Mum fancy going to Disneyland Paris and not being able to take your children. Your boss has no heart!

aims said...

I've been to a Disney theme park 7 times now! (I know - I'm gloating) They really are the best and happiest place on earth! So very much fun - they make me babble when I talk about them...

Haven't been to the Paris one yet tho----

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Thank you so much for the Mickey Mouse ears dear one. It's a toss-up as to who is going to get more wear out of them: me or Mac!

Potty Mummy said...

But DM, I don't understand. What on earth were these other people doing in the same club carriage as you? Isn't there a special compartment reserved for people of your sensitive disposition?

dulwichmum said...

Oh Anonymous my dear!

I shall head off right now and locate your lovely site! Welcome back sweetie!

Dear Motheratlarge,

I sooo wish you had been there too.

Lovely IngeniousRose,

I know, some mothers are far better than others - there are those who would have refused such a trip...

Sweet Aims,

I went once before before I was married, but we will be heading off again at half term. It was a complete revelation!

Perfect Nunhead Mum of One,

Just don't tell my poppets who gave them to you - they will never forgive me!

Darling Potty Mummy,

Apparently they were upgraded because of some error with their booking.

Kathy said...

Hi Dulwich Mum, Very depressed to see that our luggage looked so fake. But we still had a lovely trip.