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On Being Boring

I moved from London to Brussels with my husband nearly 10 years ago. When I told people we were moving, the news was greeted with bemusement: why did we want to move to a city that was possibly the most boring place on earth? Ten years later and I can honestly say that I've had more fun here than I ever did living in London. It might not be the most exciting city in the world but it is a fantastic place to live. It is full of hidden treasures that you probably never get to see as a tourist: wonderful shops, amazing food, great museums and galleries, beautiful architecture, a forest (yes, a whole forest), and so much more... And if that doesn't convince you, well, get on a train and you could be in Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne or, yes, London in no more than a couple of hours... Which other city can you say that about?

Charlie – 3 and a half years old

You know those pictures that perfect mummies make about their perfect children? “Edward, 3 years old: loves ice-cream and painting, favourite colour blue, wants to be a fireman when he grows up, currently studying for a PhD in solar physics”. That kind of thing? I wanted to do one too. I even had a picture with lots of blank space to put my text in (see left, pictured admiring his very own Play-Doh art which he has ever so helpfully stuck to our wall). Well, I’ve just spent the last 2 hours trying to position my text on the picture and it still looked really ugly. Clearly, I’m not a perfect mummy. So I’ve given up (on placing my text that is, not on being a perfect mummy. I never had any illusions about that anyway) and I’m just going to post my text below instead. So, without further ado, I present to you Charlie, aged 3 and a half:

 – Routinely forgets what his legs are for (and therefore insists on being carried absolutely everywhere)

– Will make a gun out of just about anything (including half-eaten waffles)

– Favourite pass-time: vomiting (he really vomits a lot. A LOT.)

– Loves to destroy things (especially if his sister has spent hours making them)

– Does not like food unless it’s 95% sugar or can be worn as a hat

– Still hasn’t mastered the use of cutlery

– Screams like he’s having his fingernails pulled out at the mere sight of a toothbrush

– Flatly refuses to drink out of anything not equipped with a teat

– Nonetheless somehow freakishly adorable

And that, mesdames et messieurs, is my perfect child.

No really. He is perfect. Perfect and beautiful and delicious. A pain in the bum at times, maybe, but I wouldn’t want him any other way.

19 December 2013 - 9:07 AM Renate - Love this post, because it's real and that's why it's perfect! Besides, I can totally relate. My kids are really fussy about food and walking as well. And they love to destroy, especially pretty books. Oh, who needs perfect kids anyway, booooring! ;)

19 December 2013 - 5:18 PM The other Charlie - Merci de me faire régulièrement rigoler! Tu pourrais écrire un livre de recettes illustré 'Food that can be worn as a hat'. Passez d'excellentes fêtes de fin d'année. A l'été prochain... chez nous certainement!

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