Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The Princeling is three today, it doesn't seem five minutes since he was the Most Beautiful Not-a-Wailing-Orange in the maternity ward He's still a very handsome fellow and, following a brief and sporadic spell of being rather more two-year-old goblin than elf, a very lovely character too.

So to mark the occasion, some pictures from an outing we made a couple of weeks ago.

It was a rare day of sunshine among a lot of rainy and cold ones, and we set off around the big lake in Lamballe.

There were things to climb on,

and it was so warm, we spread plastic bags on the rather soggy picnic benches and table,

and bread and Nutella, among other things, were consumed,

 Mostly by Ilan.

Then we repaired to the cafe in the square.

A spoonful of the froth from his mother's coffee, followed by the speculoos biscuit; he is evidently being raised as un vrai français.*   In fact, despite being quite as accustomed to functioning in French herself, Iso's always been very good about speaking in English to him, even curbing her execrable if unwitting Franglais to make sure she does so properly.  However, as he's generally surrounded by French otherwise, at home, with his dad's family and with his nounou, his childminder, he's been inclined to keep his counsel and not to commit himself too much in either language until recently. Now though, while most of the words were coming out French, he was obviously quite at ease with us in English and understands and responds happily.

(Thinks: this one's not quite such a pushover but I think I can probably get around him...)

The cafe turned out to be next to a rather charming toyshop containing nice old-fashioned things made of wood and cloth.  It was closed for lunch but was clearly an irresistible draw, but we were obliged to be gone, so we finished our coffee and went on our way, leaving them to it.  

It was a lovely outing and a welcome bit of sunshine, in more ways than one.  

Happy Birthday Princeling!

*Yes, I know speculoos are Belgian.    


Kelly said...

What a wonderful age he is. Very cute kid.

Dale said...


zephyr said...


Rouchswalwe said...

Kids and Nutella! ♥

Roderick Robinson said...

The stone facings of buildings in Brittany - so solid, so comforting, seemingly built to last a thousand years. So you repaired to a café. I wondered whether I could, without cheating, (ie, using the etymological dictionary) track down possible French roots to that particular meaning notably via repérer. Don't think so. But it's one to ponder on my less evocative walks to Tesco. As to old-fashioned toyshops, check with Princeling. In my experience it's adults who respond to choo-choos carved minimalist fashion in wood. Kids prefer Hornby 00 gauge, the more detail the better. Or perhaps the infants I've encountered have simply had no soul - like me, whose preferences in these matters are no secret.

Fire Bird said...

shocking this little charmer has grown up so fast - or my perception of time is like a runaway train these days. anyway it seems a few months agao you posted his baby pix. he is a lovely kid! 3 - what an age to be...

Jen said...

I really need a cute, bilingual princeling to share the beautiful world with. He is so adorable - I could gobble him up without even dunking him in my frothy coffee first.

HKatz said...

Lovely photos; looks like you had a wonderful birthday outing :)

(And I like how you call him Princeling - it sounds like he's a character in a book, the little master of his domain who gets up to all kinds of mischief and adventures)

YourFireAnt said...

He is completely and utterly lovely.


Sheila said...

What fun! And he is so cute! I can't believe he is this big already, just from remembering him on your blog earlier. Wow.

(Is it possible that nounou can also mean teddy bear? Seems I remember that from a French friend years ago.)

Dick said...

Happy Birthday, indeed! Maisie is now 4 and just that little bit more knowing. Three is a magical age. For so many of us memories begin there. Profitez-ens, tous!

Lucy said...

Thanks all.

Yes there's nothing like the rate of growth of small children to bring it home how time passes. I see him often enough to be able to pick up where we left off, but with enough gaps to notice the changes in him.

After reading this, his mum sent me an iphone video of him; she must have told him to move around and make a noise, as he was launching himself around the sofa making hideous goblin roars and whoops, which had the effect of rendering me helpless with laughter, all the more so because I didn't have to worry about encouraging him since he couldn't see me laughing.

She also sent a photo of him with his collection of Playmobile figures, which while not all rag and woodwork, are reassuringly old-fashioned toys, and still very popular with kids here of quite a wide range of ages. But it's true, detail and colour are certainly more popular with youngsters really than retro simplicity and natural materials.