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April 2012
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June 2012

May 2012

Prolonged spring in Paris.

Maximilien was on break from school for two weeks in April. I worked one week and decided to close L'OisiveThé the second week so we could spend some quality time together. The creche doesn't close during the school breaks so Alixe was all business as usual. We kept her in the creche the two weeks because she was in the midst of full blown potty training!   She sort of initiated her potty training phase herself. She came home one day from the Creche asking for a culotte. Being  the youngest in her class, more than half of her class was already potty trained. 

Left over Ikea cabinet = Alixe's own personal bathroom. We start naps w/out diapers this weekend. During the day stuff she down like a little pro.

She is only two years and three months old so it really wasn't in my radar for her to start potty training right now. I figured we'd let her run around diaperless this summer and she'd figure it out before she starts petit section (!) this fall. I'm very happy to be coming out of this diaper phase because changing diapers is a pain as any parent will attest to but now it's abundantly clear that she's no longer a baby anymore. At the same time she started using the potty she started speaking in complete sentences! Double milestone. I am melancholy because we probably won't have any other children, so she's my last... typing that seems so final. May need to sit down and have another talk with Julien about this... I am on the fence. 

Max is full fledge five year old now. Five is for sure different than four. He is learning hard lessons right now such as the consequences to lying. He is testing us and his limits to see where it will take him. He is starting to learn he doesn't like where lying takes him. We've had a lovely week so far even though the weather in Paris has been overcast and rainy for nearly two weeks. Earlier this week we put out rain gear on and went to the Jardin d'Acclimatation. It was the first time visiting the park for our family. Despite the rain, we had a really great time. Maximilien rode his first roller coaster:

Maximilien's first roller coaster ride.

Alixe even tagged along. I don't think she was as impressed with the roller coaster as Maximilien was. She hid in the crook of my arm the entire duration of the ride. 

Jardin de Séoul at La Jardin d'Acclimatation.

You should have seen Maximilien face when I explained to him where knitting wool came from.

Since the school holidays the weather has been gray and rainy with random minutes during the day full of sunshine. A prolonged spring in Paris. The yellow rain coats have been getting a lot of use lately.It makes me reminescent of our last visit to Belle ile... 



A Mother's day I will never forget.

Belle Ile

Photo from our last trip to Belle Ile, Dec 2011.  My little dreamer.


Maximilien pulled a fast one on us today. We packed up this afternoon to head to the Jardin des Plantes pour the plant festival this weekend. We planned to ride over on our bikes so we headed directly over to the bike locker. Though we didn't verbally say we were taking the bikes we walked in the opposite direction of the entrance/exit of our residence to get our bikes. Maximilien ran ahead of us like he does every  weekday because we use the bike to go to school/creche.  Lately, he's been playing a game of hiding in the doorways of the other building in our residence. Assuming that this is what he was doing we went about getting the bikes ready for our ride. My mother's instinct started to tingle (sort of like spidey sense) and I started to look around for Max. Julien told me he was hiding somewhere and not to worry. Another few seconds went by and I wasn't convinced he was hiding so I started calling his name. No response.

I started to walk around our residence and I couldn't see him. I ran back to Julien to say that I couldn't see him. We started calling his name. No response.

I immediately ran to gated entrance of our residence and ran outside. I saw a man in the street and asked him if he has seen a little boy with a Spiderman backpack. He did not. Panicked, I ran across two streets to get to the Parc de Choisy and started calling out Max's name. The park was packed with families. There were children everywhere. I called his name again and didn't get a response. I ran up towards the play structures and then I heard him crying out my name. In that moment I felt so many emotions. Fear, relief, sadness and anger. Anger was the emotion that took over and I ran to Max and grabbed him hard. I could see he was upset. He was scared because he couldn't find us. I was confused to why he was acting like this only because I was so focused on my anger he had left our apt complex ALONE. The return was dramatic. Julien and I both lost our tempers. Poor Max. He scared the shit out of his parents and we couldn't control ourselves and lost our tempers.  It was a nuclear meltdown of human emotions.  We went straight back to the apt to talk about what had just happened. 

Apparently, Maximilien didn't realize we were taking the bikes out though we had walked in the opposite direction of the door to the bike locker. He also thought that we had somehow run off ahead of him to the park and left him behind hence his panicked face when I found him at the park. Poor, poor Max. This was a scary situation for all of us. We talked about the importance of staying with Mommy and Daddy and that he should NEVER leave the residence without us. The residence where we live is gated and Maximilien can now reach the button to unlock the gate to the street. Inside the residence, he is safe to run around because there are no cars and only people who live in the residence and have the code can come and go. 

I rack my brain trying to understand my five year old's reasoning. My first reaction to him was why did he cross the street ALONE? He knows that this is not allowed. We have been repeating this rule to him since he stopped using the stroller. He knows to hold or hand crossing the street and he systematically waits for us when he arrives to the crosswalk. I have to believe that he honestly believe we had left him behind for him to cross the street alone and to come looking for us at the park. I can't believe he went all the way to the park alone. 

It took me two hours to calm down after we found Max. We layed in our bed talking about what happened, hugging each other and promising that we wouldn't never let this happen again. I reassured him to my best ability that I would never ever leave him behind. I can't believe he'd think that. He must have been so distracted in the moment.  

While we were laying together I thought about a story that my parents used to repeat to me over and over again when I was kid. I was younger than Max and we were in Korea for the summer visiting family. Apprently, I got bored and left the family residence and walked a long distance (for a four year old) to go to the park and play.  The way I remember my parents telling me the story they made it sound sort of funny. It was my Halahboji who knew exactly where I had run off to. I have to believe that my parents were probably feeling pretty panicked (me: hysterical) in the moment just like Julien and I were today. What a scare. Between Alixe with her recent seizure episode and Max disappearing too, these kids have really brought forth the extreames of parenting.

All this on Mother's day, as well. This will be a day I will never forget. 

Mollie Makes visits my tea house.

I recently friended a UK based American expat named Leigh who was visiting Paris on a extended trip. We hit it off from the start. She has a cute blog and an even cuter daugheter named Lois who Maximilien took a liking to immediately. Lois doesn't speak French but that didn't keep her from making fast friends with Max. You would never believe the conversations these two had a mismash of French and English and lots of laughing and wrestling. Lois can keep up with the boys for sure. No wonder Maximilien likes her so much. Leigh approached me about doing an article for a UK based magazine she contributes to. I was happy to let her come and snap photos of the shop and ask me a few questions about L'OisiveThé. This was weeks and weeks ago and I had forgotten about the photo shoot until right before Leigh's return to London she mentioned to me that her article about L'OisiveThé would be coming out in the May edition of Mollie Makes. I had no idea what to expect so when I was shocked when I received a tweet from a friend of a friend who lives in the UK about the article. Keris was so sweet and she scanned the FOUR page article about my shop! 

Shortly after, I recieved an email from Mollie Makes with the hi res scans of the article and I'd liket o share with you now:

Thank you, Leigh for the wonderful write up and fabulous photos. The day the photos were taken it was a gray day and you would never believe it from the photos she took. Somehow she managed to get a good photo of me as well! I love all the little aspects of my shop she captured. I'm starting my fifth year owning L'OisiveThé and it's still as fun as it was the first day I opened. I love the new people I meet on a daily basis and am grateful that I am doing something I love.