Monday, March 21, 2005

A few words before going to bed

Maylin and I had a great day today. We walked Leo on our usual route, along Blvd. Pereire, where amazingly, dogs are "allowed" to poop without much interference. You just have to watch where you step. Boulevard Pereire has a large island running down the middle of it with beautiful gardens and children's playgrounds (enclosed from the "pooping area/sidewalk"). There's even a concrete ping-pong table. Maylin's favorite play structure is the red wooden train. It has four cars on it with little seats and tables, and holes to climb in and out of. There's even a little station 10 feet in front of it. Maylin likes to play on her own or with one or two other children she knows. A favorite pastime of hers is chasing the pigeons and smelling the roses. The roses aren't here yet, but she already took me to the rose garden to check.

I set up Maylin's little blue IKEA table today for painting. I covered the entire table with white paper, taped down, and gave her four colors and four brushes. She wore her painting smock (which I had fashioned with a Winnie the Pooh face -- from a party napkin -- and lots of transparent tape) and got to work. She covered the entire workspace quite quickly. After washing our hands, she asked for something to eat. As I went into the kitchen to prepare some food, she promptly went to the painting area and started painting on the floor. I scolded her (she knows better) and of course, she threw a tantrum, which the food seemed to resolve.

I finished an acrylic painting of a yellow chick on canvas for her room. It is REALLY simple (based on the yellow chick seen in all the public playgrounds to symbolize accessibility to children age 2 and above) but Maylin was really impressed. So, I let her paint (again) on a canvas of her own. She loved that.

I also finished decoupaging my little terracotta box. I had bought some terracotta clay the other day and worked it yesterday into a box. Today it was completely dry, and I decided to decoupage instead of paint it. For those of you who don't know (and this was my first time so I actually hardly know anything about it), decoupage is a real easy process for decorating a surface. You usually use printed tissue paper (I didn't have any, so I used my origami paper -- I think it would've looked better with the tissue) and a fluid medium (I used Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish), and just use a brush to "glue" the pieces of paper onto the surface and to serve as a varnish.

So, I had a lot of fun today making things. I'm definitely a creator. I feel fulfilled when I'm making things. And this blog is pretty fulfilling, too. I've always wanted to be a published writer, and hey, here I am. And it was oh so easy. Check out if you're interested in starting your own blog.

On Wednesday night, I took Maylin to one of my opera rehearsals on the SE side of the city (we live on the NW side, near the Arc de Triomphe). She fell asleep on the way over, so I had to carry her while I sang (she hates strollers, unfortunately, and has for a long time). No problem -- I sang the First Lady, Papagena, (both from Mozart's The Magic Flute) and even sightread some of Susanna's role from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro for fun. An hour of Maylin in my arms. Then she woke up to enjoy the music. Coming back on the metro was interesting. We have to do a change of trains at the Republique station, and while we were waiting on the platform for our train to come, a good-looking young man took notice of Maylin, made this funny clucking sound that only the French can do when they're admiring or trying to amuse a child, and proceeded to the candy machine, from which he produced a candy bar for Maylin! Okay, you're not supposed to take candy from strangers, but Mommy can do it on the child's behalf -- besides, it couldn't be tainted -- it was fresh out of the machine! We still had a few minutes to wait after the "merci" for the train so we waited for the train silently. We got on the same car but were out of sight from one another. Do things like this happen in the U.S.? When we arrived at Place Pereire, where our neighborhood metro station is located, we passed several restaurants and cafes. One waiter saw us and made that same funny clucking sound which I knew was directed at Maylin. I guess it's not too unusual here, especially when complete strangers (usually little old ladies) will come up to your child and pat them on the head and say "Elle est tres mignone!" (she is very cute) or "Ma petite puce!" (my little flea -- yes, it's a term of endearment in our new country).

I've written for half and hour, and I hear Maylin coughing in her bedroom. Hopefully, she'll go back into a deep sleep. I should go rest myself. I've been suffering from allergies and a version of Maylin's cold. Bonne nuit!

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