Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Dou-dou

I just put Maylin down for a nap after a meltdown consisting of screaming, crying, trying to hit Mommy, throwing herself to the floor, nearly shutting herself in the bathroom, etc. She finally realized that my suggestion for taking a nap was a good idea, so she requested her "dou-dou," which is a requirement for napping and bedtime. Yes, it's pronounced "doo-doo." Sounds a little gross, but the term actually refers to her favorite stuffed animal, an ultra-soft lavendar-colored teddybear. The French come up with these funny words for kid-related items and activities. Sleeping is called "do-do," pronounced "doh-doh." I guess you could say it was derived from the verb "dormir," to sleep.

We took the metro to the 16th this morning to have a playdate and lunch with another Californian pre-preschooler! He and his family have lived in Paris for two years. Maylin had a wonderful time playing with trains, Buzz Lightyears, and farm animals. Good thing our playmate knew how to share because Maylin is just starting to figure it out.

Maylin loves our metro rides. Fortunately, she does walk most of the time, and loves to count the stairs with Mommy. When she sees our train arrive, her face lights up and she points and says, "choo-choo!" She also requires that I let her put the ticket in the machine and take it out afterwards before entering the station. She will usually hold the ticket the entire ride.

Last night, I had my first rehearsal with the orchestra and some of the singers for the concert coming up. It was great -- the orchestra sounds pretty good, the singers sound divine, and I didn't do too bad of a job myself. The last piece was the first movement of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, which is a duet between alto and soprano. The soprano didn't show up, so I decided on the spur of the moment to sing with the alto (whom I know) while playing the keyboard. I think I shocked the rest of the orchestra since they were straining to turn around to see where the soprano voice was coming from. I don't know why, but I was so exhilirated that I was slightly trembling and my voice was a little trembly, too (not good). But, boy, that was fun.

John and I will be a little bit more social than usual this weekend. Dinner here with a friend (my former French teacher), dinner at a friend's place (I'm going to learn how to make pasta from a former Italian restauranteur), and drinks with friends here. We're generally not very social people, as was definitely the case in the states (our typical Friday and/or Saturday evenings comprised of eating dinner by ourselves, while watching a video -- booooring), but since coming to Paris, I've been making many more lunches and dinners for friends. I guess it's due to the fact that I can cook better, that we're finally taking the initiative to spend a good time with people we like, and that maintaining a social network is vital when you're in a foreign country. With other expats, it's the "we're-in-this-together" mentality -- we're all trying to survive, trying to make normal lives for ourselves in this sometimes strange place. We share resources, empathize a lot, and provide emotional support.

Thanks for reading my blog. I'm having a great time sharing things with you. If you keep reading, I'll keep writing!

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