Woo Hoooo!!! How I love summer holidays! We just got back from Belgium where we had a splendiferous time with Prince Augustin and his adooooorable parents....
But first, we had to get there.
So we caught a TGV train ... that was fun.
Mama had planned heaps of activities to keep us busy during our four-hour train journey
So whilst I ate the accessories, the boys built balloon men ...
(just for the record, William had to go discretely pop the balloons in the mens toilets before we disembarked - how do you transport ten balloons and a royal march with her thousands of suitcases after all?!!)
Eventually we got to Bruxelles and had a nose around... its a nice place for a Princess, must be said!
And then we went to watch a little boy do wee wee in a large basin ..... maybe in Belgium they don't have electronic song-singing potties like they do in my neck of the woods.
Apparently he's really famous .... called the Mannequin Piss!!!
Then we went to visit his sister on the other side of the Grande Place ....
And then it was time to go meet Prince Augustin and his parents! Yoopeee! We were all so excited ... Mama and Stephanie have been talking on facebook for three years, and at long last decided enough was enough : it was time to meet up!
Like myself, Augustin is genetically enhanced ... it was extraordinary to meet a little boy who I had to much to share with ... we got on so well!
He then took us all back to his Palace in the remote Belgian countryside where Mama and Stephanie did lots of bonding: Mama likes Stephanie a lot!
Augustin and I also got down to business on the bonding front - look at this first kiss!
I also took quite a fancy to Augustin's Papa - he speaks our private language very well I must say!
Augustin and I played and laughed and chased after each other around the garden for two whole days - what a Royal Adventure!
Stephanie spent lots of time enjoying being gently pummelled by both of us ... Stephanie I love you too!
Diego and I discussed the economic crisis and its disastrous ramifications on the price of royal clothing...
and Augustin and I continued to play play play play
(note that I rarely play 'with' other kids - but with Augustin it was different ... finally someone who understood Princess Me and who I could communicate with in my own personal way. And Augustin loved spending time with someone so like himself too. We had SO much fun! Augustin is a darling, such a royal Prince)
We even shared some toilet experiences!
and bathtime too!
Thank you Augustin, Stephanie and Diego for being such very special people in our lives!
Ok Abigail, I know this is your diary, but there is something I have to write in it, just for the record. I am sure other parents of special-needs children have encountered this kind of situation, I just need to get a sense of how they have reacted so I can plagiarize their attitude - my short fuse is not conducive to good "perfect stranger versus hyperactive special needs kid" harmony in public places. I need inspiration!
Today Abigail, to open our four weeks of holiday together, I took you to a fabulous natural park called "Miribel Jonage". We went with your friend Sandrine, the lovely girl who used to look after you at school; your very special school assistant. The two of you tied such a very strong bond last year, and although she no longer works in that school, she has wanted to keep in touch with you and we are very honoured cos Sandrine is a lovely, lovely girl who loves you so very much - she calls you her adoptive godchild! We hadn't seen her since school break-up in June, so this was a lovely opportunity to enjoy the friendship bonds again...
Abigail, we rented you a little Princess Chariot which hooked up behind my bike, and we zoomed off to enjoy the looooong and flaaaaaaat natural paths in the mysterious and exciting woods and dip our toes in the huge (and warm!) lake. You loved every minute!!!
We found a quaint little restaurant on the waters edge, and though you didn't much fancy your kiddy dish of finely-cut steak and chips, Sandrine and I enjoyed watching you run up and down the little path which ran in front of the restaurant tables. For once, you were totally free - no roads, no danger, just security fences all around, and 150m away the lakes edge which you didnt get too near because of your own apprehensions and the knowledge that you were being zealously observed by Mama and Sandrine. You enjoyed that freedom so much little girl... You would walk ten metres, turn round and wave at us for reassurance, and take a few more steps forward. At this apparent freedom, you were in your element! You were visibly beyond yourself with happiness and excitement at this new milestone : a new ability to part from Mama for a short while and go discover the world! Even though you knew we were watching and would never let you venture too far.
Abigail, you were a bit naughty and stole some crisps from an open bag on the beach. You little rascal! Next time you do that, don't nick crisps from a bag which is surrounded by ten people sitting in a circle having a good time on the lake beach : they are likely to catch you! But they thought it was funny and sent you straight back to your beckoning Mama who came down to the beach to reprimand your naughty antics!!
You eventually got bored of hanging out with the cool kids on the beach, and climbed back up to the table with Sandrine and I to munch a few chips and choke on a bit of steak. But I was jolly chuffed at your FIRST EVER restaurant outing! I reckon you did really well little Princess - a year ago you were on purée food and here you were chomping on a steak and chips - way to go little one!!
But eventually the conversation between Sandrine and me bored you too and you wandered off - you are hyperactive after all, its a medical thing and I know that its part of who you are, so I let you change from activity to activity because I know how impossible it is for you to stay put in one place. I wagered a bet with myself : I bet that you would do a tremendous job of eating in a public place, and in particular; that you would be able to eat food not tailor-made for Princess You. I won!!
Until two silly old hags started bitching. Ok, I will euphemise that a little. Until an elderly Mother and daughter yelled over to me - cigarette smoke accompanying the slander frothing forth from her mouth - that she wasn't the babysitter and I needed to watch over my daughter more carefully.
I ........ WENT ........BALLISTIC
I know I shouldn't have. I fully realise I over-reacted and the poor women probably didn't realise she had hit a whirlwind of repressed contention with just about everything linked with raising a child with special needs. I nearly thumped her - and that is not good.
Abigail had wandered over to her table. Abigail had wandered over to several tables before that, befriended one little girl a little younger than her, seduced an elderly couple and mildly irritated a man who didn't like the salt cellar being removed from his table. But he did smile. A little.
But this woman was smoking, and didn't want her butt ending up burning Abigail. So she yelled at me that she wasn't her babysitter.
Now one thing I haven't mentioned is : our lunch lasted 40 minutes. During those 40 minutes, I was probably sat at the table for a total of about 8 of them. I let Abigail wander a little, waving at her regularly to reassure her that she could go on, but would walk over to her when she wandered a little beyond my comfort zone (which was about 50m within the secured area).
When I mentioned to the women (at this stage in a perfectly civil manner) that I didn't much appreciate her comment about babysitting, she started yelling that I let my kid run riot, that I needed a little instrospection to question my ways (yes! she really said that!), and that just cos she was handicapped, that didn't mean I should let her get away with murder. And that she deserved to drown since I let her get so near to the beach on her own.
This was the moment my palm whisked itself 2mm from her face.
Am I supposed to lock Abigail at home because she is hyperactive? She cannot take medication until the age of six. Am I supposed to lock Abigail at home because she is mentally handicapped and has not yet grasped social graces, etiquette and protocol in any way? She has therapy for this. We chose to have lunch in a secure area where she could come to no harm, and I watched her. Very fricking carefully. So what is the deal? Abigail's handicap or this woman's wandering cigarette?
Needless to say, the whole thing blew up into a catty woman fight which nobody won. Abigail was oblivious to it all because she had found more friends in the neighbouring police station and was being oooohed and aaahed at whilst us bellicose women played "the expletive bidding auction game".
I think what pissed me off most about this was that I know it is not the last time someone is going to get naffed off with Abigail's inability to act like other children in a public place. She just cannot; it is literally not in her chromosomes. Does that mean she should should be locked away so she doesn't get in the way of non-handicapped life? Does that mean I will never be able to enjoy a lunch out with my daughter? I am so angry - mostly because I didn't slap that woman!
I feel like I have never spent so long without you although it has been barely 48 hours .... yet we have spent entire weeks apart in the past and survived quite happily ... Little One what have you done to my soul???!!!
You have no idea how much I miss your expressions, your personalised words and your love of life ... instead, the space you normally occupy at home is all empty and so deafeningly quiet ..
Abi ... when I called you today I was expecting the usual cheerful little Princess who loves to speak to Mama over the phone ... I was looking forward to hearing your cheerful babble and laughter at our phone play and your bubbly personality ... but baby ... today I heard you transform from a happy little girl playing with her grandparents to a sobbing little girl whose voice choked when she heard her Mama's voice ... you tried to call me but your voice let you down, preventing you from speaking to your Mama in your customary noise-and-sound code ... little girl I'm sorry you didn't understand I wasn't there ... that you suddenly didn't understand that I was just a voice in the ear-piece .... that you wouldn't find me in the corridors, rooms and garden of your doting Mami and Papi ... as I contined to chat with your Mami, I could hear your beautiful, desperate and confused little voice in the background calling out my name ... searching high and low for your special person.
Little Abi ... till today I loved these three little days on my own at home whilst you enjoyed special time with your grandparents ... and beautiful as those days are for you lil girl, I cannot WAIT to hold you in my arms again tomorrow night ... I miss you more than my tear-ducks can bear ... I miss you too Princess!!! Barely 19 hours to go ... let's be brave!
The secret diary of Abigail, a young Franco-British Princess who is partial to sharing the life and times of her brothers William (14) and Nathan (12), her cousins Lena and Tess, and occasionally of her Mama and Papa too.
Abigail’s blog began in 2007 initially to replace the family photo album tradition but over the years has become her fun place to make friends with bloggers worldwide, and to share experiences with parents of fellow children with rare chromosome disorders.