Batignolles

Hi there son,

It’s Friday morning, another night with no night feedings, and I am drinking a cup of tea while watching you have a morning nap in your swing and listening to Dvorak even though Papa says it’s going to make you want to invade Poland. I was thinking that I don’t talk enough about what you are doing, “achieving” if you will although that sounds a bit too Type A for me, but I think what I need to do is include a couple of sentences either before or after each post and call it something like Milestones. Although I don’t like “Milestones” because that too sounds a bit too much like I’m shoving baby Einstein down your throat, and I don’t want to do that. Maybe “Observations” is better. Yeah. Observations. That’s better.

So, Observations for the past couple of days are, yesterday in the park you started reaching for the plastic bag hanging off the stroller, meaning you are making a grab for things that are not necessarily what I hang in front of you. I am glad to see this although I know that means that this will be the beginning of having to be more careful about what you grab (like plastic bags).

Also, you really want to turn it seems, and I have to remember to put you on your back or tummy more to encourage this (although this too will mean more vigilance, such as not being able to use the changing table much longer for fear of you falling). This comes at a time when I finally got around to putting up some stickers on the wall, a pond scene with ducks and frogs and ladybugs and fireflies and birds, etc.

So ok, on to the post. Yesterday, I got dressed in my brown corduroy skirt and low heeled shoes and put on some mascara, and I put you in a white Jacadi onesie (which I had bought you for my birthday two months ago, along with a Diptyque candle for me and my evening spa/shower time) and the light blue Janie and Jack pants that you wore this summer, a gift from Grandma Momie’s friend S in NYC, and in which inexplicably you always have a poo accident, maybe it’s the cut that encourages leakage? Anyway, we got dressed and had a short walk to Batignolles, had a sandwich in the park, looked at the ducks, watched the cascades of brown, dried-out leaves float down with the wind into the pond, then had a decaf espresso at an Italian cafe on the square next to the church. There were tons and tons of strollers around, lots of double poussettes I noticed.

This was the second time this week that we walked to Batignolles, because I have decided it is too charming for words, however, it is dangerous to the pocketbook. That’s one thing about living in Paris: the children’s clothing and toy shops are too cute. There are the obvious ones like Bonpoint and Tartine et Chocolat, which are delightful although the problem I have with them, besides the price, is the fact that all the boy clothes look like people want to dress their sons for G&Ts in the garden after a round of polo.

What I absolutely adore are the wonderful, whimsical independent shops and clothing lines, which abound aplenty, especially in, but not limited to, Batignolles. On the rue des Moines alone, there’s Leo et les Crocos for cute Milk on the Rocks onesies from New York, and there’s a toy shop called L’école Buissonière (which loosely translates to “School in the bushes” and is an expression to mean someone is playing hooky, something I hope you know nothing about) across the street from it, where I buy your mobiles and where I bought the wall stickers. Then there is a delightful clothing shop called Les Trois Cailloux, which has a turn of the (twentieth) century feel to it and adorable vintagey-type clothing and items. Seriously deadly for Mama’s wallet. On the way back we passed a depot-vente pour enfant but at that rate I didn’t even want to go in, I was too afraid of more financial damage.

It’s not just the shops that are charming though. The streets around rue des Moines and rue Lemercier are really just what you think of when you think of Paris. The square des Batignolles for starters, with its cafe terrace in summer next to the merry go round and its lake and with the ducks and swans and rock formation bridge, and on the rue des Moines, there is an old-fashioned pharmacy, complete with butterflies in glass boxes hanging on the wall, and a couple of cute cafes, including Les Puces which we discovered a few days ago, which is decorated in kitschy midcentury antiques, and Le Manoir, which I have gone to several times over the years.

And that’s just Batignolles. There are plenty more adorable children’s shops in Montmartre, as well as in neighborhoods I and my wallet have yet to explore.

Only “trouble” is, you grow out of things so quickly. Not that that is a problem that you are growing of course, but some fall things I bought you in summer in the three month old size, you almost have grown out of already. I fear it’s the same with the six month old winter things I have bought. What’s a mama to do? Just buy a year old and let everything be baggy? No. Enjoy them while we can, I say…

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