This is the winter holiday season in Norway. An 'exodus' from the cities ensues as many families head to the mountains for a week’s holidays.
Last week, our friends and their children joined us in Narnia. I love children, but I couldn’t eat a whole one. We usually have a crowd of family and friends in the mountains on weekends and holidays, we’re just that sort of folk.
The agenda is pretty straight forward, loads of skiing, more skiing, a warm fire, and general bon viveury, including a big hot dog party for the kids with way too much chocolate, sweeties and games.
I skied with my friend’s 2 young boys aged 4 and 6. The little gremlins are pretty fearless on the hills at that age, zipping off piste into the boreal forest for a little forage every now and then. This can be perilous for anyone over 1 meter tall unless you really like the taste of wood. It is all good fun!
In the mornings, our friends skied with their boys while we looked after their daughter, Mrs. BB’s 4 month old goddaughter. Mrs. BB is a natural with children!
One morning, sitting eating my breakfast, and partaking in activities of the on-line variety, while watching skiing on TV, I was confronted by Mrs. BB holding a crying baby.
As I put bread roll to mouth, Mrs. BB shoved the baby, bottom first into my face.
“Sniff the bum”, demanded Mrs. BB.
I was taken aback. Before I knew what was going on I was gagging as tears formed in the ducts of my eyes. It all happened so quickly!
“Ja, thank you” says me, “what am I, a champion bum sniffer or something?”
“Well, you’re pretty good at it”, she offers.
“Hmmm”, I grumble.
As Mrs. BB attends to the matter at hand, I bin my breakfast and knock back a stiff Aquavit trying to arouse my olfactory senses. It takes a second shot and a Marly light for core systems to return to normal.
Both the baby and I have now stopped crying.
We have more friends with babies coming for Easter, another week long family holiday in the mountains for many Norwegians.
In preparation, I plan to shop for a white lab coat with a pencil protector, a big wooden clothes pin, black horn rimmed glasses, tissues, and a clipboard. In addition, I consider a car air freshener to hang around my neck.
I have a feeling I may be called upon to perform this task again in the future, and I wish to be better prepared for it.
I must not delay, Easter holidays are only 6 weeks away. I am not sure yet what I will do with the clipboard, but at this stage it seems essential.