Thursday, October 11, 2012

les vacances

We're just back from a holiday to France and Switzerland, staying with my sister and her family.  We kept seeing these groovy signs for les toilettes everywhere we went.
The main purpose of the trip was so that the Glasgow branch of the family could finally meet baby Elsie and so that the French branch of the family could finally meet baby Dulcie.  As well as being the reason behind the trip, Elsie and Dulcie were also the reason why it didn't happen sooner - Dulcie with her weakling baby lungs that wouldn't allow her to go on a plane when she was tiny and Elsie with her constantly changing name and resultant lack of passport.  Both babies turned out to be worth the wait though!
You couldn't exactly call it a quiet trip since there were ten of us (five children and five adults) all staying in the house, but we didn't really do much in terms of outings etc.  We did go to an apple festival in a nearby village and, naturally, we had a day of charity shopping (more on that some other time) but other than that it was really just about hanging out and catching up with everyone.  My sister has four chickens and a swing in her garden, both of which were a big hit with Dulcie, so she was pretty much guaranteed to have a good time.
Elsie and Dulcie are very different babies, both in appearance and attitude.  They would have been born just one month apart if Dulcie hadn't been so early, but it still seems funny that Dulcie is so much smaller when she's the elder by three months.  Dulcie wanted to make friends with Elsie straight away, but Elsie spent the first few days giving her the this-town-ain't-big-enough-for-the-both-of-us look and then (since she can crawl already) mostly just pottered about doing her own thing.  I think they'll get on well in the future though and Dulcie certainly enjoyed playing with all Elsie's toys.  Do you remember how exciting it was to play with different toys in someone else's house when you were little?  I think even babies must get that feeling, judging by Dulcie's reaction.
Dulcie was well received by her three other cousins and really liked all of them, I think.  She had a particular soft spot for Angus, but we could all understand that, since he was so sweet and gentle towards her and was constantly dancing around and making faces to entertain her.  The first day we were there, he was overheard telling his mum that Dulcie was much cuter than Elsie.  My sister advised him never to compare babies in their mothers' hearing again.  My eldest niece Kim, ever the diplomat, immediately sought me out to say, "Dulcie is really cute, but Elsie is really cute too."
The holiday was also a good opportunity for Dulcie to spend some quality time with her dad who had no reason not to spend time cuddling most days, unlike at home when he nearly always has cat puke to be cleaning up!  Dulcie's behaviour changed drastically the minute we arrived in France.  Not only did she start sleeping most of the night IN HER OWN COT (hooray!) but she also stopped freaking out whenever I left the room, so I managed to pass her onto other people and enjoy a little break from her now and again.  She has continued sleeping in her own cot since we got back, so I'm tentatively hoping that the change of scene did the trick.  I don't imagine Supernanny would have advised anything quite so easy had I contacted her!
It was just so nice to see Dulcie joining in and making herself part of the action with all her cousins all week...
... even if she didn't enjoy every moment of it!

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