We have honed our Paris weekends away so they are as ritualised as our London ones. Rose Bakery, felafel in the Marais, APC-and-Merci-Merci (chant it), Shakespeare and Co, a steak place, an oyster place, a token new place. It is not boring to us to repeat this! Over and over again! But this time we had a plus one. We got to have Rose Bakery and felafel, but no steak. Oysters we had at Bones, before rushing Sunday back for bed. She danced at Le Comptoir Generale. We fed her next to a tomb in Père Lachaise. Having her with us made it more fun, not less.
On the train I read Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. Interesting! Now I’ve started Jennifer Senior’s All Joy and No Fun. They’re both anthropological deep dives with a light touch.
I just put Sunday to bed. I am very strict and inflexible about her bedtime. We’re travelling to Paris in a few weeks, and only after we booked did we suddenly realise we’d have to stay in the hotel after 7pm and silently eat dinner together so she can sleep. C’est la vie! I can’t wait for us to show her Paris. Even French people, famously French, will melt at the sight of this small baby. Everyone does. Today I was at Ridley Road Market and saw a simple blue tshirt upon which was written “SELF ELEVATION/love urself.” I took a picture of it, obviously. The stall holder ran up to me. He was going to get cross, but as I turned around he saw my baby strapped my chest. He downgraded from furious to cooing in an instant. I deleted the photo while he waved at Sunday. He said thank you; he had to “protect his IP.” (Please don’t copy his slogan.) Anyway, Sunday is seven months old now. Life is very happy with her in it. She can sit up without help, and also say “buh.”
Photos by Sunday’s friend Vic.
We were here first, are bigger and “smarter,” and we’re two against one. But all pretence that Jude and I are in charge in this house is over. This small despot is growing every day and ready to stretch out. She has requisitioned the largest room in her house as her bedroom and playroom. RIP our old lives, RIP our dominance. At least I finally got to use some picture ledges to put up some of my favourite of her books, willingly becoming a human Pinterest as well as this baby’s slave.