October 08, 2005

"Harow, Pin-cess!"

We had the best, most magical day today. The whole day was really outstanding, the driving aside.

It was raining buckets and sheets today and the parkway was full of deceptively larged puddles that caused hydroplaning and loss of control in several spots. In fact, it didn't stop raining at any point the whole day. That to one side, pretty much everything else was excellent.

We set off to New York City at around 9, me, wife, two kids and nanny (along as a guest, not as a worker) and arrived at Scandinavian House at around 10:45. We were going to attend a special children's book reading:

Princes Märtha Louise of Norway reads her newly published children's book, Why Kings & Queens Don't Wear Crowns (Hvorfor de kongelige ikke har krone på hodet) (Skandisk, Inc., 2005).

It was supposed to start at 11:30 but we wanted to get there early to make sure we could get tickets. While we were chasing the children around the lobby, a distinguished looking gentleman in a tie and coat approached my wife and inquired, gently, if she and the children were Norwegian. Upon being told they were, he invited us to take part in a private, invitation only reception for the Princess. Coool. We were escorted up in the elevator and hung out until the Princess made her entrance. There weren't more than 15 people at the private reception. The kids were excited to meet her, with the Boy Child practicing saying, "Harow, Pin-cess!", right up until the point she arrived when they got a major case of the shys. I actually had to bribe the Boy Child to say hello. Candy works miracles. This was one of the first outright bribes I ever bothered to resort to.

The Princess was way more attractive than I expected. And very nice, too. No one was really talking to her. I think that there may be an etiquette issue about speaking to royalty. Well, I'm American and I sort of assume that doesn't apply to me. So, we had a short but very pleasant chat about her time in New York. I'm glad I wore a jacket. She seemed pleased that someone spoke to her.

By the time we went down to the auditorium, we were among the last ones there and the place was filled. Except for the two rows up front which all had reserved signs taped to the chairs. We were directed to those seats. Again, cool.

I bought a copy of her book while everyone else sat down. Nice illustrations, by the way.

The Princess really was quite excellent. She told stories about trolls and stories about growing up as a Princess in Norway. The kids got to sit in front of her on the stage. It was, actually, a big media event with tons of photographers. My kids ended up getting filmed for Norwegian television because of how cute they were. Really. The Boy Child insisted on sitting on his sister's lap and she welcomed him and they just looked so darn cute together.

She read from her book and then they brought in a table for her to sit at to sign books. Because of our placement, we were around the first four or five people on line to get the book signed. The line stretched around the auditorium and out the door.

My wife went up with the Girl Child. When they got up there, the Princess looked up with a bright and wide smile. I had to wait until later to hear what happened.

GC and Viking Bride approach Princess and GC says, in Norwegian: Princess, would you like to come have lunch with us afterwards?

Princess: I would have loved to but I am having lunch with someone else today but maybe next time!

GC: Ok!

The Viking Bride wished her a safe trip back and they moved on.

I was, again, quite proud of the Girl Child. So self-possessed! Good for her!

We moved on to lunch at a private club nearby where we raided the coldcuts, made sandwiches and stole chips off each other's plates. I changed the Boy Child in the locker room of the men's fitness center. Thankfully, the only two guys in there were my friends and they didn't seem to mind.

After lunch, we ventured back out into the rain and retrieved the car from the garage to head off to the Norwegian Seaman's Church to stock up on chocolate. Well, chocolate stocks were low, but they did have a fresh cake, fresh waffles, and risgroet! Happiness was shared by all! The coffee was good too. After cake and waffles, one of the very nice ladies set the kids up with papers and magic markers and they happily scribbled away. The Boy Child was scribbling on his face, as well.

One amusing interchange. The Boy Child was scribbling away on another boy's paper and I overheard the following:

Boy to GC about the Boy Child (outraged): Hey! He's coloring on my paper!

GC to Boy (very calm): Its alright. You see, he's just a baby and doesn't understand, so its ok.

Again, quite proud of her. Like I've never said that before.

On the way home from the church, we made a quick stop at my favorite Hungarian butcher shop to pick up some yummy Hungarian salami and some walnut bread.

Then to home. Except that the nanny had to make an emergency pit stop in Norwalk, so we pulled off and all had dinner together.

Off to home, kids in bed by 6:45, and parents quite tired out, too.

All told, just a wonderful day. And pretty magic for a young woman, the nanny, who was making her first trip into NYC. Seriously, does it get any better?

Oh, and I almost forgot, the kids had no naps and behaved like total and complete angels.

Posted by Random Penseur at October 8, 2005 07:24 PM | TrackBack

Your children are amazing!

I have no doubt they inherited from two special parents.

; )

Posted by: Christina at October 8, 2005 08:40 PM

Just got to ask "what is the big deal with changing BC diapers/small clothes in the Men's locker room??" Like this is something that is different??

Posted by: Azalea at October 8, 2005 11:00 PM

Oh my gosh, risgrott. I had completely forgotten about it, a Swedish must at the holidays.


I'm homesick for a place that was only briefly home now.

Posted by: Helen at October 9, 2005 03:10 AM

Your children are wonderful! I'd be bursting at the seams with proud wonder if they were mine, as you obviously are and rightly so.

Happy to hear that your grandfather is doing better as well.

Posted by: dee at October 9, 2005 10:26 AM

RP, you do some of the coolest stuff I know. Getting to meet a Norwegian Pricess. Wow. And, uh, when you mention 'nanny' is this current nanny or new nanny? Just, um...you know...wondering.

Posted by: Howard at October 9, 2005 11:43 AM

You met a Norwegian Princess and had the gall to speak to her? Dang you! Stop making me jealous and do more yard work!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 10, 2005 11:57 PM

I don't know you're kids but as I read I felt pride stirring within. I'm so impressed GC asked Princess for lunch. The events and observations of this special day made for a special read as well. Thanks for sharing it.

Posted by: Roberta S at October 11, 2005 01:28 AM

Leapin' Royalty Batman. What an incredibly cool day. What an amazing story they will have to tell when they grow up!!!!

Posted by: Elizabeth at October 13, 2005 05:14 PM
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