Lucien thinks every store is a boulangerie. Alex took him into our favorite wine shop and Lucien walked up to the counter and ordered a baguette. It's possible we consume too much bread. Wait -- that's a dumb thing to say. Forgive me, bread; sometimes I write too hastily.
The Loosh's fever was a non-event. He had it for 24 hours and then it disappeared with no other symptoms. I hate mystery fevers. They make me paranoid. If something is lurking inside my son, I want it to come out and face me instead of hiding like a coward.
The injustices keep piling up on our poor Camille. First there were condoms on her legs at bathtime. Now there's this:
The "minor" hip problem, while indeed minor in the grand scheme of things, requires two months of constant wearing of this impressively large and awkward hip brace. Coco seems to hate it as much as you think she would.
In my experience, doctors here don't like patients asking a lot of questions. They are the authority and don't have much patience for patient self-advocacy. My repeated questions for the hip specialist, such as, "What the hell are you doing, bub?" went largely unanswered as he pulled the brace from a cabinet and strapped it on my girl. She then shared some choice words of her own in baby language, hollering in his face and waving her tiny fists around, demanding to speak to the manager.
Then he said, "She can't wear pants anymore" which sucked because that's what I dressed her in for the long journey out to the hospital. I got her home by wrapping the lower half of her body in a blanket and tying it on with my scarf. She looked ridiculous all the way home and I looked like a really, really strange mother.
I tried convincing Coco hip braces were all the rage in Parisian fashion but she glared at me with a look that clearly said, "I've only had my life for one month and you mf'rs are already ruining it." Then she made her hilarious scrunched-up face -- the one that comes just before lots of screaming. Could be a long two months over here.
When I returned home, I was met at the door by an equally irate and incredulous Lucien who said, "The stupid birdie ate my french fries!" This was disturbing news indeed. On his last day of paternity leave, Alex took Lucien for one final "dude lunch." Since Lucien cares little for fancy French cuisine, they ended up sitting outside at a fast food-ish restaurant. They left their food momentarily to duck inside for napkins. They returned to find a large gang of hoodlum pigeons carrying off Lucien's french fries one by one.
The Loosh can't shake the experience and now has a serious vendetta against pigeons. Alex now has a serious vendetta against the other diners who, while sitting just an arm's length away from their table, did nothing to stop the carnage. NOT COOL, Frenchies.
We took the long trip up to the north of Paris this weekend to once again visit le marché aux puces, or bigass flea market. We went with zero purchasing expectations this time, now familiar with the outrageous prices and fancy wares. (We have an expensive bread habit to support.)
It's fun to wander around up there. We will continue to make treks every once in awhile just to soak in the ambiance and leave empty handed. Our most outrageous find this time was a behemoth chandelier. We would have bought it except it's ridiculous, larger than our apartment, and costs more than my life is worth by a LOT.
We had lunch at a small cafe in the middle of the market and that's where we began our normal process of "standing out." First of all, there are few people dumb enough to bring two small children antiquing. Second, Lucien is Lucien and feels it's his duty to entertain anyone who looks at him. Third, I have to nurse the baby covered in blankets at a tiny table in very close proximity to other tables. This is Paris, after all, where "elbow room" is as foreign a concept as "customer service" or "successful package delivery." And fourth, like his son, Alex is just Alex.
Alex recently bought a very Frenchman-like scarf. It's beautiful and huge. Al stood up, wrapped the scarf around him like a little old lady's shawl and squealed, "Oooooh, I have a chill!" Al's inside voice is an outside voice to the rest of us so immediately every eye swiveled in our direction including those of the elderly couple seated next to us. Al, uncharacteristically realizing he was perhaps a tad too loud, leaned over and whispered, "That guy just looked at me like I was from another planet."
The couple next to us didn't stop staring from then on. I mean unabashedly, unapologetically staring with no expression on their faces. Alex started feeling nervous and muttered, "I can't decide if that couple thinks we're the cutest family ever or the most obnoxious." My thoughts exactly. And truthfully, I don't think the couple knew how they felt about us either and did all that staring to gather evidence for their verdict.
(They eventually came down on the side of "cute" and were very nice, though I think it was tiny baby Camille in the big scary hip brace that won them over. And perhaps Lucien's prattling nonsensically in Frenglish.)
One final adventure for the day was changing Coco's diaper in a bathroom stall the exact size of a toilet. No wasted space makes for awkward diaper changes. I had to balance the both of us on the toilet lid. It was difficult but I now know I can do anything I put my mind to.
We threw blankets over the heads of the kids for the metro ride home and bathed in Purell upon exiting the metro. We are scared of the flu just like everyone else but still want to get out and have fun. Therefore, our blanket-headed kids will continue to stand out and we will continue to be of questionable judgment.
Keep f'g that chicken, Al