Tuesday, September 04, 2007

La promenade

You want to take a nice, long walk along the Seine or to the Bois de Boulogne, or just pop out to the grocery store. Here are the rules of the game.

Les règles du Petit :

1) Impressioner le voisinage : Impress the neighbors

Make sure to cry, and loudly, in the hallway where your voice carries particularly well and you're certain to impress the neighbors your parents are most likely to run into regularly. You can stop to catch your breath in the elevator, but save some energy for one last, good howl as you pass in front of the concierge on your way out the door.

Le Petit says: This morning, I was in mid-crise as Mom struggled to get the front door open with the stroller. The nice man who cleans the hallway tried to distract me by jiggling his large collection of keys in front of my nose, but I was undeterred. I kept crying until we passed the pizzeria outside.

2) Attention aux chaussettes : Lose your socks whenever possible

Shake your legs as hard as you can, rub your feet together, twist inside your blanket, bref, do everything you can to make your socks fall off. Especially those hand knit ones from Grandma.

Le Petit says: On our last walk, I lost one sock right outside the front door right before we went back into the apartment building. Sure, it would have been more fun if I'd lost it farther away from the home -- I tried my best -- but it was nevertheless amusing to see Mom retrace her steps, then try to bend down and pick up the sock with me in the Bjorn, especially since she'd already dropped the mail and her keys trying to open the door.

3. Savoir dire merde à la poussette : Put up with the stroller, but only temporarily

The stroller can be fun briefly, but let's face it, the world is more interesting when seen from Mom or Dad's arms. In fact, it gets more and more interesting the farther we get from home, so make sure to wait to cry and express one's desire to get the heck outta this stupid rolling thing and break out the Bjorn Emergency Backup System.

Le Petit says: It's fun to see Mom push the empty stroller back home with me strapped to her chest. This morning we went to the pharmacy and she used the stroller to bring back a rented breast pump. Can't say I wasn't thinking ahead for her -- that thing is heavy!

4. La manifestation contestataire : Make your presence known when it counts

Sometimes you just need to express yourself. You need to explain to everyone how the world is not fair. Or how you're tired, you need to sleep, but the world around you is just too darn interesting for you to shut your eyes just yet. Why do it when you don't have an audience?

Le Petit says: The other day I started getting upset in the supermarket, but waited until Mom got to the checkout line to really start screaming. Mom had me in the Bjorn, so I heard a nice lady nearby ask her, "Have you tried a pacifier?"

"I've tried five pacifiers," was my mom's weary response. Darn right. I hate those stupid plastic things. If I have something to say, no one's going to make me be quiet!

"Bon courage," the nice lady said before fleeing.

Once Mom and I were outside and on the way home, I fell asleep.

5. Non aux siestes forcées : Resist sleep, especially after six o'clock

Yeah, you're tired by seven, but the evening is when things get interesting. Dad comes home and cooks dinner. If you're awake, you can sit at the table and watch Dad cut up Mom's dinner as she tries to eat one-handed. Plus, who wants to miss the chance to get really worked up and upset before going to bed?

Le Petit says: Since I've been going to bed with Mom and Dad at eleven, Mom's been trying to get me to sleep from six to eight. She uses her favorite tool, la promenade, but I see that one coming. I'll drift off for a half an hour in the Bjorn, but how can I fall asleep for long when I know the best part of the day is coming up?

Mom says: Let's face it, I'm outsmarted. At least le Petit is determined I get some exercise.

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