Monday, August 22, 2011

Women Need Not Apply

A and I have been having a great summer: lots of fun, better sleep, and nice weather. When it's just the two or three of us, it's great, but A has entered a new phase that makes some social interactions a bit awkward... He pushes women away. It doesn't matter if he knows them or not, he wants nothing to do with them and makes these punching gestures towards them if they so much as try to talk to him! The only ones that he accepts are me, my mom, and his babysitter.. Most men are OK, he'll sometimes seek their attention, and is always ready to laugh with them.

I was talking about it with another mom who has two boys and she says her boys went through the same thing. Her explanation is that they are entirely satisfied with their mom (yey!) and think that the other women are trying to take her place, so they push them away. I think it makes total sense! I also think that men are usually better at playing, and little ones respond to that well.

As with everything else, it's a phase and we'll just wait it out and explain to him that it's not the best way to interact with other people, and I'll just keep apologizing to all the women that cross our path and have the bad idea of trying to say hi to a cute toddler... In the meantime, I'm not sure how he'll deal with his two female teachers when he starts preschool in a couple weeks... oops!

Have you ever had to deal with that kind of reaction in your child? How did you deal with it?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

French Vacation Part 2

We spent the second week of our vacation at the beach in Brittany, in a beautiful town called Dinard.
We were in a great house with a little yard where the kids could play, and about an 8 minute-walk away from the beach. A loved the sea, and the best part of the beach in Dinard is that it has big tides, so you can go swim easily or play in the waves when it's high tide , but you can also enjoy the wide beach when it's low tide, play soccer, build castles, look for sea shells and crabs.. and we did... all of the above.

When we were not busy at the beach, we went for a stroll in the town, enjoyed the market and of course... the manege!

A particularly enjoyed eating crepes (the local specialty), but didn't really bother trying the salty ones... nutella works just fine for dinner (what we pass on during vacation...)
We had a special day for SleepyPapa. We headed over the Dinan to watch the Tour de France. It was something he had been talking about for years, since he's a fan of all sports, so when we realized we would be in France during the Tour, we checked the schedule, and sure enough, they had a stage starting just an hour away from where we were. It was a fun morning, with lots of waiting, for a very quick view of the bikers, but it was all worth it!
how many thunder sticks does one need?

Aren't we the happy family?
After that trip, SleepyPapa flew back home because he lives in the real world where people actually have to work... we spent a few days in Paris before heading down to the south of France, to spend some time with one of my girlfriend and her two little ones at her in-laws gorgeous house. It was nice and relaxing, with great meals and good company.  The only tough thing was that he wouldn't let anyone else take care of him, so I was on pretty much all the time, which can be a bit draining.
Between those two trips, A got to ride the TGV four times, which he was thrilled with. (the TGV is France's speed train -up to 201 mph-.. you know, kind of what Obama wants the US to have, but for some reason, Republicans don't seem to want to make it easier and faster for everybody, including businessmen to travel between our cities?)

getting on the TGV

quite the little traveler

After that, we headed back to Paris, visited family and friends, and then spent a few days in the countryside, at my mom's best friend's place (she also happens to be my girlfriend's mom... ) so it was the three generations together. A still has a few social skills to learn, but overall he had a good time with my friend's daughter, who's just a few months younger than him,

 they enjoyed eating fruits in the garden, paying a visit to the hens and sheep at neighboring farms,

 looking for the cat that they had renamed "big cat".
It was a great trip, A saw and enjoyed many new things, made new friends and I got a chance to actually spend some time with my friends instead of seeing them one night in a year. I hope we can do it again next year. In the meantime, we have great memories to enjoy!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Enjoying the Summer, France Part 1

Wow, I haven't written anything here since the end of June, it will be a true miracle if anybody stops by and sees this post! The reason I've been silent for so long is, mainly, that I was fully enjoying our vacation in France and didn't really have any time to sit down and write. Why haven't I written since our return? A is now happily napping on his own, which means I am not stuck in his room for two hours a day anymore, so I do stuff around the house instead (it's good for the house, not for the blog...)
We are getting back in our Central New York routine, little by little, but I'll try to give you an idea of our vacation.
We spent our first week in Paris, at my Mom's apartment. The apartment is great, but A is used to running around a lot, so we spent most of our days going to parks around the city and visiting with friends. We also took a side trip to Normandy to visit my aunt, uncle and grandfather. We made it an overnight trip, with a great stop in Lyons-la-Foret.

Here are A's favorite things about Paris, in no particular order:
  • the buses
  • the metro (which he, at first, named "tchoo-tchoo in the night", before switching the "metro")
  • the taxis
  • the camions-poubelles (garbage trucks)
  • the busy traffic ("regarder voitures encore!")
  • the parks
  • the "maneges" (merry-go-rounds -- they are everywhere: parks, street corners, etc... a great incentive to go out)
  • the bread
  • pains au chocolat and brioches

My favorite things about being in Paris with A?
  • Taking him to the parks where I played as a child, watching him ride the same "maneges" I rode.
  • Having him taste the great fresh foods and the amazing stuff boulangeries have to offer.
  • Seeing him play with my childhood friends' children.
  • a major plus: kids- even toddlers! -can ride the maneges on their own in France, so you can actually get a break while they have fun (why can't we have that here???)

here are a few pictures of A in Paris:

this manege is in the Champs de Mars, it's manual wind-up carousel

the kids get a little stick and they have to catch rings on it

A was just happy to hit the ring-holder

a modern "manege"

same one, different car

yet another manege

A walking in "les Tuilleries"

Next post: week 2: Brittany