Saturday, September 1, 2007


I know I need to write about the Europe trip… School started for me as soon as we got back, AND we all got sick, so I’m a little behind on several things including mowing the lawn, which is beginning to look jungleish.

Frances is walking. Walking! She started in Paris, which is a nice thing to be able to tell her later. It’s fun to watch, and she hasn’t taken off to such a degree that I’m running after her. She takes a few steps and stops to balance, then continues on. She can go clear across the room now, and is very pleased with herself.

Traveling with a baby. Well, it wasn’t as hard as I’d expected, I suppose. You just entertain her when she’s fussy, and keep bottles constantly on hand. She got many more bottles than she should have—meaning she didn’t eat much solid food, I have to say. We’re back in our food routine now that we’re home. And both my mother and Mitch’s mother were with us, which meant I got to sit the entire first leg of the flight without holding her at all, listening quietly to my shuffle. It was rather heavenly. We rented a car in France for getting around, and the car seat was in the middle back (of course) so Frances had a grandmother on either side of her all the time. She had a hard time being in the back seat by herself when we got home.

The first night we were in Lacoste, in Provence, and we’d not really slept the night before because of the flight, and Frances completely fell to pieces at bedtime. Completely. She sobbed hysterically for 2 hours, would periodically fall asleep in our arms, and when we tried to put her down, would wake up and sob some more. After that first night, though, she was fine. Took most of her naps in the stroller because we were out touring towns and other things, and when she’d get squirrelly we’d just take her out of the stroller and either put her on our backs or walk with her holding onto our hands, which she LOVES to do. Having four adults at meals was good too, because we could take turns walking around with her while other folks ate. They apparently do not believe in highchairs in France. Besides, in Provence, every family in Europe with babies was there on vacation. It was like they were having some sort of population explosion. In Paris I think I saw one baby other than Frances. Not a child in sight there. City folks don’t propagate, apparently. Or they’d all left town for Provence.

So here’s what we saw, in case you’re interested in that—In Provence we stayed in Lacoste and visited Avignon, Arles, Roussillion, Bonnieux, Goult, L’Isle sur la Sorgue, Fontaine de Vaucluse, Cavillion, Gordes, St. Remy, and we also went to the Mediterranean and saw Cassis. Then up to Paris where our friend Tim, who now lives in Denmark, met us with his girlfriend. The two of them stayed with us there, which was great, and then we went up to Holland—Groningen—for 3 days while Mitch presented in a conference there. On the drive back down to Paris we drove by Rotterdam and the surrounding villages because Mitch has an interview with a University there in a couple of weeks. The position would be for next fall… Rotterdam wasn’t so great—just a big city, but the villages around were beautiful.

All of it was great. It was a fantastic trip. I could have felt better during it, but nothing much to be done about that. I’m hoping that when I remember the trip further from now I am able to edit out the nausea. Also, I have to admit here that while I’ve fantasized about having enough money to afford a nanny, even part time, I haven’t ever really gotten how that would work… I mean, do folks with nannies ever spend time w/ their kids? Do they want to? How much hands on stuff do they participate in? But with both grandmas with us on the trip, I get it now. Seriously. Because of the nausea, and because I had two nannies with me, I didn’t change a diaper for over 2 weeks. I know that’s nuts, but it was also really great. (What does this say about me as a parent? Anything?) It was amazing how much more patience I had when I could hand her off as soon as my fuse got low, and my fuse is shorter than usual these days—hormones, tiredness, nausea and all. So I’m fantasizing again… Maybe that’s what will save me from being institutionalized after baby #2 comes.

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