Eloise: my model for child-rearing

Yesterday, I acquired a 6-year old. I know the 6-year old, and her Mother was completely happy for me to take her, and I held her hand carefully when we crossed roads, and only permitted skipping on wide empty pavements, and she had a perfectly lovely time- only I’m not sure anyone else did.

I took her to the Godiva chocolate cafe at Harrods, because I have learnt almost everything I know about child-rearing from the Eloise books. It’s London Chocolate Week (which, as my friend pointed out rather unkindly, makes very little material difference to my own life, as ‘every week is chocolate week for you’), so it all seemed to make sense.

I dragged my unsuspecting friend along with us- who, to her credit, was extremely gracious and sanguine when greeted with my new, skipping appendage.

Godiva have just launched their new Christmas range, so obviously I tried them all. ‘I’m not a big fan of fancy chocolates,’ I mumbled with my mouth full of honey and salt-flavoured chocolate. ‘No,’ My friend agreed. ‘I can see that.’ I beckoned a waiter over. (It is amazing how easy it is to order when you are with a beautiful child. People are so smiley). ‘Could I please have a hot chocolate?’ I asked. ‘I don’t want a hot chocolate,’ The 6-year old piped up. The waiter looked concerned. ‘Oh no,’ I replied robustly. ‘Ignore that one entirely. She’s 6-years old.’

My hot chocolate arrived, and was placed in front of the 6-year old, until I swiftly removed it and placed it in front of myself. Except for the fact that Godiva is too fancy to put whipped cream on their hot chocolate, this was the best hot chocolate I have ever had in London. (The 6-year old, I’m sure, would agree if I had let her have any).

Equally, their chocolates aren’t half bad. ‘Ooh,’ The 6-year old begged. ‘Can we get that one?’ She pointed to their Royal Swarovski Box- an enormous, suede case covered in sparkling crystals in the Godiva emblem. ‘Look,’ She pointed out helpfully, opening its drawers. ‘There are loads of chocolates in this one.’ ‘Don’t be so childish,’ I snapped, using my spoon to dig out the very best bit of melted chocolate at the bottom of my hot chocolate. ‘If we get anything, it’s this milk chocolate reindeer figurine. Look at it, all smiley and wearing a scarf.’ ‘That’s not a scarf,’ The child replied loudly. ‘That’s white chocolate.’

As I said, she  had a perfectly lovely time.

(This article first appeared here: thelondonlook.com)

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