Sunday, September 30, 2012

{pretty, happy, funny, real} On Our Visit to the Iron Lady, First Steps, Marking Territory, and the Difficulties of Starting School - September 22, 2012

This entry is from September 22nd.  Last Saturday, we left for our vacation and I didn't manage to get this out before our departure.   For more {pretty, happy, funny, real}, visit Like Mother, Like Daughter.


On Wednesday, Muschi and I packed up the girls and trundled off into the city.  Our first stop was a shopping center in in Montparnass to buy this picnic backpack (we had a gift certificate).  Our second, and primary destination, was the Eiffel tower.  It was high time that we had a picture of the children in front of Paris' s most recognizable landmark!

The Iron Lady-- this filigree giantess does not disappoint!

Maria was charmed to see the tower, which she has seen so often in pictures and books.  (We've visited the tower before, but Maria was asleep in the stroller by the time we got close.)  After a couple moments, the excitement of the monument wore off, and Maria began to look around for more mundane sources of entertainment, like chasing pigeons and exclaiming over Louisa's chubby cheeks.

 Both girls enjoyed the playground on the Champ du Mars. There is something special about these photos of the playground with the tower behind it.  


Houston, we have a biped! 

This picture was taken on Tuesday, after Louisa walked about four steps from where Muschi was seated at the the table over to the bed.  Louisa had just accepted a croissant from Muschi and being much preoccupied with the gift, walked to the bed without holding on to anything.   Presumably, she was going to the bed wipe her crumb-covered, buttery hands on the sheets.

It's remarkable how children arrive at these milestones without even realizing what they've done.   After all that struggling and flopping about, is simply happens one day and is as natural as anything!

The victor enjoys her croissant.


To my delight, Maria is getting the trick of going to the bathroom outdoors. I have no talent for getting my toddler to the bathroom when we are out and about, so this makes me very happy.

I've heard women speaking with pride about all the places they've breastfed their babies.  They keep a running list. 

I have the feeling I'm going to be the same about of Maria's marking the territory.  So far, our list is small--the back yard, the parking lot by playground, the alley by the school.  Now, I get to add the Champ du Mars!

{also funny}

A conversation between man and wife:

Me: (After we'd settled in for the night) Shoot! There's laundry in the dryer.  Donnie, would you be my knight in shining armor and get the laundry.

Donnie: Oh, that means I have to sneak by the dragon (aka: Louisa, who sleeps in foyer, which must be crossed to access the laundry.)  Ughh.  Sure.  I'll be your knight.  But, I have to find my shiny armor.  Would you get it for me?

Me:  Where is it?

Donnie: In the dryer.

End of story, Donnie got the laundry even though he didn't have the armor.


We're still suffering pangs of adjustment from the beginning of school.  Maria's excitement over school lasted only for the first few days, and has transformed into outright resistance.   When it comes time to leave, she pitches a fit, trying every trick in her repertoire to delay departure. First it's the "I'm too tired" phase, then it changes to the "I want Pooh! No, I don't want pooh!" phase.  There have been a number of days when we've carried her, literally kicking and screaming all the way to the maternelle.

Maria's adjustment to the Haltegarderie was no where so difficult.  The Haltegarderie was more like a play date with a lot of really wonderful toys.   At the maternelle, the teacher to student ratio is lower, and the mornings include many structured activities.  The children need to move together as a group.  The Maitresses must be quite strict to get everyone where they need to be.  Lets face it, just getting a group of 15 toddlers onto and off of the potty is a major operation! The teachers aren't able to spend much time comforting upset children. There's at least one crying child whenever we go, and that child is usually left to calm down by him or herself.   The language is an extra burden for Maria, who always seems a bit dazed when we pick her up.

I'm certain that it is a matter of acclimation, and that Maria will soon be rattling off French and have a bunch of little friends whom she looks forward to seeing at school.  But for now, I'm grateful we're only doing mornings four times a week.  It also makes me rather more interested in investigating homeschooling for the future.  


  1. What beautiful photos of the girls at the playground! Hope you are having a wonderful vacation!

  2. I love getting details about your week! Great pictures. Give LouLou a big hug from us--hurray for walking! And sweet Maria too. It must be hard on all of you. We love you!