Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Our house is a complete disaster zone yet again today. The dining room was all finished yesterday and Ella's room should be finished today, but the living room will remain a work in progress through tomorrow. Ugh. I had to have the sitter stay an extra hour last night because there was no way I could manage keeping both girls out of trouble and occupied while also throwing together a quick dinner. The guy doing the work is actually fantastically neat and very polite so he won't so much as move a curtain without asking my permission or instructions. The walls that he has finished painting look amazing- which is really saying something, since B is a great painter and I thought the job he did two years ago was impressive. The new built-in unit should look great when he is done. If only I didn't have to try and keep Georgia occupied in the house while all this is going on.
Good lord, is it cold out! Normally, I would just pop her in the stroller and spend two or three hours walking around Paris- good for my ass and good for entertaining Georgia. I took her with me yesterday while I ran a quick errand and the poor kid was mute with misery. Her nose was streaming, her face was bright red, she even left her hands under the fleece muff (which she NEVER does) while she pushed her head into the seat to try and stay out of the wind. Clearly, a longer walk was out of the question. I let her run around in the halls of our building for a bit yesterday and she screamed her head off, she was so thrilled, so I won't abuse the kindness of my neighbors by doing that again today. Basically, we are forced to sit in her room all day. I don't mind, and certainly she has enough toys that we don't get too bored, but she has suddenly started to obsess over her favorite books. I think I read 'Petite Singe' (Little Monkey), oh about, 800 times yesterday. And tied for second place (that is, I only had to read each of these books around 400 times over the course of the afternoon...) were 'Les Petites des Animaux', 'Animaux Sauvages', and 'Ou est Mon Chaton?'. I am trying to be zen about it and consider it as a chance to perfect some of the problems I had with gender pronouns and les accords. I wonder why my old French teacher, Catherine, never suggested that we read aloud from Ella's library? So many opportunities for instruction. And, unfortunately, so much more in line with my abilities. My French library is rather sparse (and B's is quite frankly, non-existant) so we did readings from Beigbeder's 'L'egoiste romantique' which is a bit too (porno)graphic for a french lesson and then switched to 'L'elegance du herrison' by Murial Barbary which has too many long words susceptible to mispronounciation, which made our lessons a real bore. I actually should give ole Catherine a ring so I can show off my perfect pronunciation of 'la lapine and ses lapereux!' (I'll probably save the 'boinga boinga boinga sound effect for Georgia)
Its funny that I just noticed that all her favorite books are in French. Hmm. I suppose the actual text is not that significant and since she likes the baby books with things to touch and feel, I don't have many English language ones which take up too much space in the suitcase so I end up leaving them in the States. All the same, I should probably start paying more attention to my English. Ella is so bilingual (she switches between French and English during a conversation depending on whether she is speaking to me or B.) so I don't worry too much about being strictly English-speaking. As usual, Georgia is keeping me on my toes. She is clearly understanding English, since I can give her an instruction like 'Pick it up and put it on the table, please' and, with no gestures to help explain, and she will do it. She also understands 'Yucky! Spit it out!' and 'Come here and let me wipe your nose.' Although that last one either sends her running in the opposite direction or has her doing one of her full body wags to indicate a No, with a capital N. Speaking of which, I'm sure she'll be saying her first 'no' any day now. They grow up so fast.
I know that she is probably right in line with the average development for a baby her age, but God! I just find her so genius! I don't even want to look at my 'What to Expect' book because it is so much more fun being completely amazed by her. Its really one of the joys of being a parent, seeing a child actually develope each skill. You see them struggle and struggle and then finally the lightbulb goes off and they succeed at whatever they are doing and then- the best part- they look at you with this look of proud amazement. If I had a dozen kids, I think I would still find it mesmerizing to watch them learn things like how to put small toys in a jar, how to pick up a cheerio, how to use a crayon. The other day, I watched Georgia trying to put her shoe on. It was hilarious. She knew that you had to aim the toes towards the hole but after that it was all a bit vague. So she would turn turn turn the shoe in her hand til the hole was pointing down. Then she would need two or three tries to actually get her toes in the hole. Then she would try to balance the shoe on her foot as she slowly let go and eased away. And then it would fall off and she would let out a little grunt of frustration, before trying it all again. You also realize, when watching a baby learning, just how tenacious they are. I often think about how frustrated I get with a task after two or three failures. I mean, I get really really fed up with my computer when things are disappearing or not following commands like I expect. These little tasks, which are NOTHING compared with the struggle of learning to walk, for example. It is the ultimate lesson in patience.
Its a good lesson for me, right now. I've been spending time online, doing research into going back to work. I think that I need to go back to study, atleast for a bit, before trying to get back to the career that I would like to be doing. BUT finding the right program and applying and getting financing and then sorting out babysitting for the girls while I am doing a course. Its all so complicated. And its so easy to just to just sigh, and go all Scarlett O'Hara about things. ('I'll just think about it tomorrow...') Obviously, I need to commit myself to this and not let up until I've sorted things out. Its so easy to let things slide when you know that the problem is still rather far off in the future, just a vague cloud on the horizon. The best birthday present I could give myself is not a day at the spa but a list of '40 by 40'. I think I need to get serious about getting stuff done. Starting today.