Friday, November 30, 2007

Firsts

With his first teeth -- now he's got two! -- le Petit has a few more firsts to check off the list.

This week I took him on his first bus ride. He loved it. He stared out the window, utterly absorbed by the passing scenery, before drifting off to sleep. It turns out that being snuggled against Mom and in a moving vehicle is just about perfect for getting him to nap. (Oh, how I wish I could explain to him the necessity of car seats! Or convince him that holding onto Mom's hand while sitting next to her is just as good as being in the Bjorn! Though car trips have been going better recently, I will admit.)

During the entire ride he was perfectly relaxed, while I was a nervous wreck. In my primitive new mom brain, public transportation = germs everywhere, and I wrapped him up in my coat as best I could to shield him from imagined biological weaponry. Someone at the back of the bus coughed and I jumped.

This is Paris, so naturally his first bus ride couldn't go off without a hitch. Sure enough, the driver stopped early and announced that he could go no further, as protesters (striking students?) were blocking the route. Luckily I'd brought my local map, and it turned out we were only ten minutes away by foot from our destination. I wondered if le Petit would have his first brush with the CRS, or French riot police, as well as his first bus trip, but we didn't see any protesters and I figured the bus driver was just anxious for a coffee break.

We were on our way to our first La Leche League meeting, in the posh neighborhood near the Madeleine. We were a dozen new and expecting mothers welcomed by the leader in her spacious, Haussmanian apartment, which was a happy mess of nursing literature, books and CDs, and toys. Le Petit wore his "Je bois mon lait à la source" (I drink my milk at the source) t-shirt for the occasion. The meeting was wonderful for both of us, and I think le Petit enjoyed seeing other breastfeeding moms and babies almost as much as I did.

The meeting lasted into the late afternoon, and it was dark when we left. Minor problem: I had no idea where to catch the bus on the way back, or even if the buses were running or if service was blocked because of imaginary protesters. I decided to hike it on foot. We hadn't gotten our walk in that day, after all. We passed in front of a Starbucks, and I decided that some sinful, calorie-filled coffee drink was just the fuel I needed.

I'm from Seattle, so for me, Starbucks coffee is practically comfort food. I decided it was high time le Petit was introduced to this part of his patrimoine. So I barely blinked when I handed over 5 euros for a crème brulée latté, perfect, the sign assured me, for celebrating the holidays. The French Touch.

The barista flirted with me and called me mademoiselle despite the baby I was wearing. I was flattered, and le Petit was either asleep or pretended not to notice.

First teeth, first coffee, first bus, first la Leche League meeting. This week we also tried out the Big Kid Stroller and broke out the size three diapers. What's next, and are we ready?

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