Okay, so we didn’t make it to London on Thursday – we’ve rescheduled for June 8th as I have been in called in to talk about my return to work in light of a restructure. Sounds ominous – which is good – but I’ll talk about that another day.
We did, however, go to a few other interesting places this weekend.
The first thing we did in France was go to Canada (well, sort of). The Vimy Memorial land is owned by Canada, has Government of/du Canada signs all over it, and is populated with Canadian students working and Canadians visiting it, so that’s practically Canada, right? I told Mark to get his passport out, ha ha. So Oliver got to go to Canada and I dressed him appropriately for this first visit:
On Sunday, we had a tiring yet mostly good day in Paris. He alternated between sleeping through attractions (here, at the Eiffel Tower):
(sidenote: thank god we brought the Baby Bjorn with us as Paris is not pushchair friendly at all – if you can do it, leave the pushchair at home as the Metro/RER becomes a nightmare)
Or screaming them down. In the past few weeks, he’s developed a really high pitched scream that started off as a scream of delight. Recently this has morphed into an ear-piercing scream of distress that seems to mean “NO I WILL NOT HAVE A NAP DESPITE YOUR BEST EFFORTS TO GET ME TO SLEEP” and/or “MY EMERGING TEETH ARE KILLING ME”. I can’t even begin to describe how loud and high-pitched it is. Yes, we know we have been dealing with the run-up to teething for a while, but he’s really feeling the pain and knashing hard on anything he can get in his mouth. Stick a finger in there and you might not get it back.
So anyway, he screamed down the Eiffel Tour once we got up it, he screamed down a tour boat on the Seine (as this is what you do when you have a handful of a child – you pay for a sit down boat tour and you forget about the last time you went to Paris, as a student, and managed to walk and explore everywhere). He also screamed down restaurants, but luckily we managed to sit outside for dinner every night except Monday, where I had to run him outside to calm him down while Mark paid the bill. And he screamed down the ferry. I don’t deal with him very well when he gets like this – I want to chuck him in the Channel – so thankfully Mark takes him for a walk and he calms down when he has new things to look at. I hate that people are getting annoyed with us and moving seats away from us when he starts. But I don’t know how to quell it.
In Spain, baby stuff seemed expensive, although he did get some little swimming trunks and a souvenir boy in traditional costume. In France, baby stuff was supremely affordable. On a trip to the hypermarket where we bought our wedding booze a year and a half ago, we ended up getting him a wooden high chair, 20 pairs of socks, and various items only costing 1 Euro (such as a teething ring – this is good as the dog has actually eaten all his other teething rings). No souvenirs this time, though. I also got him a set of overall shorts with matching t-shirts, including one that is embellished with ‘les aventures de Jim, special sailor boy’. Sounds kinky.
And this weekend, he managed to roll from his back to his front for the first time. He hates being on his front, which is not good, as you learn when you have a baby that they need to have tummy time, and I know that I don’t give him enough. But rolling is good, rolling is development, and it means I have new things to worry about, which keeps me on my toes.
Another bad thing – am officially a Really Bad Mother now. I didn’t drop him on his head, I didn’t forget him in a shopping mall – I let him get sunburnt. We got caught out in Paris. At our hotel in the suburbs it was threatening rain and slightly chilly. We got out at Les Invalides and it was brilliantly sunny and warm. Despite a hat and a shady umbrella on the pushchair, I forgot the sunscreen and he’s got a pink nose, cheeks and arms. It’s not a bad burn but it’s still a burn and he is so not even supposed to get any sun. So we dished out some serious cash on some Vichy cell repairing after sun balm and it seems to be healing. I feel terrible. Never mind that Mark and I got really cooked and are sore with the sunburns too, it’s the red face of the baby that convinces me that people are looking at us and shaming me.
It was Mother’s Day in France on Sunday (my third one so far, pretty good considering he’s only 5 months old!) and I kept getting given roses for my pains – once at a small supermarket, once at a McDonalds’ for breakfast (yes there is also shame in eating McD’s when travelling to wonderful countries with great food – but I have to tell you, they also do the best tasting Bacon and Egg McMuffin you will ever taste in France; plus, we were on the road and needed a quick and cheap brekky).
I’ll put the rest of the story of the trip on the main blog and photos on Flickr, in between unpacking and cleaning. I can’t believe I actually managed to write this entire post without the screaming boy awakening the village… can not remember when I have been able to write so much during the day. A nice change!