Tag Archives: Paris

Where’s the baby ?… Here’s the baby !!!

1 Sep

From the day we are born until a certain age we are taught and incited to play. Our rooms are filled with toys, books, games of all sorts. Playing is part of our evolution, our education, our growth.

Just like we teach our animals to sit, lie down, roll over or play dead through games and treats, we teach our kids the same thing.

This got me thinking… Why do we become so serious and stop playing ? We reach a point in life where playing seems “childish” and we forget to enjoy these rare and relaxing moments. I’m not talking about gluing yourself to the iPad, iPhone, Nintendo and any other brain numbing machine. This probably kills braincells faster than vodka !! Nor am I talking about any competitive games where you end up wanting to beat the crap out of your opponent and where your self esteem is wracked if you loose.

Now that I have a baby of my own and that I am dedicating my days, aside from boring and numbing housework, to play games, make noise with rattles, pretend to be a frog and a princess whenever I shake that finger marionette in front of an hysterical baby, play with weird looking animals that make noise, I admire his innocent smile and ability to enjoy a moment that we would (and that we do) consider silly and a waste of time. He will, for the next 4-6 years, learn “life” through games. Hold (highly important) conferences with his toys. Play loud instruments that people (other than his parents of course) will be offering him. Learn what’s a tree and an apple through books and puzzles. Swing for 15 min on a rusty swing in the park and have the time of his life…

At what point do we wake up in the morning, look ourselves in the mirror and think that this is it !? That we are now too “old” to play (and optionally enjoy ourselves) !? The more important question is – why ?…

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What is time ?

10 Aug

When you have a baby or an older kid I imagine, the concept of “time” is no longer the same. As a parent you must dedicate most of it if not all of it to your offspring (although somehow it may be more of a female thing as I have noticed that men manage to make time for themselves for whatever activity they are interested in whenever they are interested in it… One hand on the video game while the other is holding the (baby) bottle. Both hands on the video game while the baby is sitting in his chair waiting for his bottle,…) Don’t get me wrong, men are great with kids as well, but their priorities don’t seem to be the same as for us, mothers… At time suckers (when we decide to exchange a beauty treat for a house cleaning session while the baby is asleep)

After a birth, men (and some women, but I’m still looking for them) go back to work where they talk about business things, take important decisions and sign elaborate contracts. They wine and lunch out practically every day, sitting calmly at the round table of the working knights, making jokes and taking it easy for a full hour or two.

At home for the one who’s on his full time baby-shift it’s a different story. A baby has a particular notion of time. Time means : “feed me”, “play with me”, “there is something wet taking over my body.. Have I peed ?”, “I’m tired, I want to sleep but I don’t know if I can and oh look, there is a lion smiling at me, I must smile back and taste his fur”, so your time does no longer exist. I’ve been talking to mothers around the world and it makes me feel good to know that I’m not the only one not having time for a shower until a ridiculous hour in the day, to do my nails when they no longer look like dignified lady nails, to finish my breakfast before it’s lunch time etc. We take time for ourselves whenever we can rather than whenever we want… A wise man once said : “we must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right” (~Nelson Mandela) My time is ripe right now to go home and bath the baby…

Insouciance

4 Aug

When you have a baby, that you stop working for a few months to be a mother and a “housewife”, especially when you’re not used to (either of) it, as the days go by, each day seems like the day that preceded it. You do the same things over and over again. Your conversations seem dull compared to your working friends. Daily entertainment limited. Intellectual level low. Weekends seem like week days and you find yourself day dreaming more and more of holidays in far away lands under coconut trees with cocktails in your hand and George Clooney sitting by your side…

Life is not boring, don’t misunderstand me, only so (oh so) different. And by the time that you get used to it, you’re back to work, you see your kid only for short periods of time in the evening and the weekend and before you know it, poof, he’s off to college !! (Well, Hugo has a few 17 years and 6 months left before packing his bags, which is a relief I must admit as I’m telling myself I’d like to see the outcome of my constant diaper changing). I do realize, as so many keep telling me, that I’m lucky to see him change and grow (and when I think of it, 5 months ago he wasn’t half of the baby he is today) Witness his first laughs, see him catch objects, turn on his stomach, then fight his way back on his back. Talk baby talk. Grow from 0M to 3-6M old cloths…

In the meantime, I have lost my job. The company I was working for shut down and so far, no job to return to. I know I’ll miss Hugo as of September as he’s the only thing I’ve known since March, but at the same time, I know I’ll be happy to find some sort of independence again as I truly need it !!… Did I mention that “very much” !?

My mom told me not so long ago she felt like there was an elastic band holding us together when I was a baby. She could go that far without me but at some point she was being pulled back to her “duties and responsibilities”. I understand that feeling only so well now. In no way do I question the love that I feel for both my baby and my husband, but this situation can feel like a burden at times…

Tonight I went out for drinks with a dear and old friend of mine I haven’t seen in a real a long time and what seems to be a former life… All my men were left at home. Just me, my friends and cocktails. This reminded me I should be doing this more often… Would every night be ok ?

Summer heat and a baby

18 Jul

Those of you in Paris have probably noticed that it is really hot at the moment. More or less 30 degrees C… And if you’re here next week, we’ll gain some extra 10… Add cars and tourist groups and you’ve got yourself an oven !!! French people don’t like air conditioning. They rather suffer and have something to moan about… That’s the only rational explanation I’ve come up with so far.

A baby can’t talk and tell you he’s slightly unhappy with the weather and so he cries, fights sleep, moves a lot… And so you move more then you should and end up wishing you could give him away, move to Iceland and get him back for winter.

Have you already taken your baby for an X-ray during a heat wave ? They lock you up in a tiny room and make you undress, strap, hold down your baby until the picture is taken. Obviously there is a bug or 2 on the way, the baby keeps moving, twisting… Also, obviously, again, there is no air conditioning in that tiny room either and you come out of there looking as if someone dressed you up in wool cloths and just for fun, dropped a bucket of water on you to see what happens…

Our life as mothers (and probably fathers too in Sweden) during a very (very !!!!!!) warm day with a baby can look something like this ; your house is probably as warm inside as it is outside and if like me, you don’t own a fan (a small USB MUJI fan doesn’t help I’m afraid) you’re pretty much screwed !! You shut your blinds and open your windows in hope for some air. Your baby wants to be carried around, played with, fed, changed, bathed all through the day… In between you wash a bit, clean a bit, prepare some lunch, clear the lunch, fold, clean up… When you decide to go out for a walk because staying in will just turn you into a depressed alcoholic, pushing around 10kg feels like a punishment !! By the time you make it out the door with your baby, the stroller, your bag and his bag you feel you need to go back up for a shower or go for a spiritual retreat somewhere far far away. In reality you simply go anywhere where the air conditioning is turned on… Mainly shops, shopping malls, supermarkets…
What we want is just to cool our brain down and love life again while you probably think we are creatures of leisure and shopaholic. Obviously, in shops, shopping malls and supermarkets, we do shop. It’s our compensation !!

Not heat related but – the frustrating thing about spending your days with a baby is that you don’t have much to say about your day. You’ve taken care of your baby, played with your baby, cared for your baby, gone out for a walk with your baby, bought a top for yourself, some carrots, milk or a shirt for your baby…
When I read myself, I’d love to have a baby every year !!! It sounds like its all fun and games.. But the reality is not as sexy and on the contrary, quite exhausting !!!

The good thing is that I get to see this baby grow… Starting with that shy smile during his sleep when he was born, his big smile nowadays whenever he sees me and obviously recognizes me, his hysterical laugh whenever I tickle his foot, his victory smile as he manages to flip over on his stomach all by himself…

Once upon a time Thursday night used to be all about drinking champagne and discovering new cocktails… Now, I’m just hoping I still have a few diapers for tomorrow !!

A city girl in the French Southern country… Again

16 Aug

One may assume a city girl needs her city-comfort when taken out of her usual habitat and placed into a green area invisible on most maps, or else she may turn yellow along with nature. Try this (for their safety, please keep children away from this post) ;…

So… Take a city girl out of her natural busy and structured habitat and place her in a destructed, reconstructed country home where rubles have replaced lawns, stones used as stairs and where toilets and bathrooms are standing proudly with no roof nor all 4 walls intact… 

Give her a lantern at night to help her hold her toothbrush in hand and help her find her own two feet. Give her a mop at day to help her sweep the floors and walls in case of nightly rain and don’t forget an extra pack of toilet paper if the others, left outside, have turned into wet sponges…

Take her out to lunch in a fabulous spot overlooking the lake and the mountains. Then take her out for a walk… Let her climb the Gorge-du-Verdon in the rain, wearing nothing but a light city dress and slippery rubber city shoes that will end in hubby’s hands, holding on to her little city pouch for dear life as she faces, barefoot, slippery stones, worms and other bugs that shouldn’t even be mentioned ! The only difference between her and Indiana Jones was Steven Spielberg running after Harrison Ford with a camera on his shoulder screaming “wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care Harry”…

Gorge du Verdon

Gorge du Verdon

Si non, in the country side, the Mediterranean one in any case which is probably my favorite green shiny area, one can also harvest lavender. You cut it, collect it, smell it, sit by the pool and assemble it into small bouquets that you will then let dry for a month. before decorating your city home with. There’s nothing better than fresh lavender smell…

Fresh lavender

Fresh lavender

Once she got back to her everyday city life, she started (strangely enough) missing her Southern country (and it must be said, her friends that go with it)… And so the city girl has decided to take her bag out and pack all over again. A second trip to the country side is starting tomorrow…

Lavender

Lavender

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