Monday, April 04, 2005

Her room smells yummy

During the day, my daughter's room can smell like roast chicken, garlic, and occasionally, something burnt to a crisp. Maylin has the luck of living above the kitchen of a cafe-restaurant. No other room in our apartment has the same luxury of smelling like "le plat de jour" (today's special). Today, it smells really garlicky. I'm tempted to go down for lunch, but I have plenty of groceries to cook today.

Maylin has a little boyfriend. He is the eldest son of one of my friends. This past weekend, John took Maylin and our dog, Leo, to have a playdate in the Bois de Boulogne with my friend's husband and their two young sons, ages 2 1/2 and 5. The kids played with rocks and sticks, and Maylin copied everything her special friend was doing. I heard they also did a lot of hand-holding. Maybe they're a little young to be getting so involved with each other, but they were chaperoned, so I'm okay with it.

On Saturday, Maylin surprised us during a walk by saying, "Look at that doggie!" Usually, she'd say, "doggie, look," or "look, doggie," so I was a bit blown away.

She's also opening doors now which is a little dangerous since we don't have any locks on the bedroom doors. I can just imagine her coming in for a surprise visit during an intimate moment.

Ever since Maylin started going to daycare-school, I've been able to have a bit of sanity during my grocery shopping, without her. I remember the nightmares of chasing her around the store, stopping her from poking her finger into all the cheeses, and sweating profusely during her embarrassing tantrums. She's much more mature now, and I've learned to never leave home without her cup and something to eat, like a baguette.

Getting groceries in France for the first time can be a frustrating experience. First of all, you sometimes have to weigh your own produce on a scale which prints out a little sticker you put on your bagged fruit or vegetables. If you forget to do this when you're checking out, you're in trouble. If you don't know much French, then you really have no idea what's going on as the cashier loses patience with you and the people in line start fuming. Eventually, you figure it out and go back to weigh everything, or the cashier does it for you, reluctantly, thinking, "stupid Americans." After all that, you have to also bag your own groceries. I don't mind it so much now, but I just hate making people wait behind me, so I put everything in my backpack as fast as I can, put my bank card in the machine, and punch in my pin code. When I'm multi-tasking like this, I feel like an octopus with eight tentacles reaching out for my wallet, the fish, the fruit -- all at the same time. An alternative to this circus is ordering your groceries online and having them delivered. Many Parisians shop for their produce and seafood at the outdoor or covered markets, which can be very convenient, but you're not allowed to touch the food. I prefer to pick my own produce at the supermarket.

Thanks for reading!

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