Sunday, 24 April 2011

Look out, baby about - by Theo

As I had a week off work for Semana Santa, we decided to take the opportunity to head up to France to stay with Cathy and Jean. Rosie was again a superb passenger, not complaining too much and after an early start (7am) on the Sunday we made it to Ste Croix around 6pm with quite a few stops along the way.

Usually I find it very relaxing to be at Cathy and Jean's. It's a pleasure to get out of the city into the beautiful countryside around their old farmhouse and forget about marking or lesson planning for a week. Plus Cathy is an excellent chef and I'm always amazed at how she manages to pull 5 course meals together in a matter of minutes from seemingly nothing. At least one upside of Kate not being pregnant was that she was able to join in with the booze and unpasteurized cheese.
But this trip had a slightly different feel. Jean is sadly not in the best of health and therefore wasn't his usual busy, bustling, ebullient self, which cast a slight pall over the week, although he was still able to guide me (his card partner) to a bulote whitewash over the ladies' team, and join us at a delicious barbecue lunch at Alex and Dawn's, whom we had met the previous summer. However the biggest problem when it came to Kate and I really relaxing and unwinding was our darling daughter; she's just far too mobile nowadays.
When we visited at Christmas Rosie had only just started crawling; it was easy enough to sit with her on a rug while she tentatively moved around. Now, she's on the verge of walking and, with the aid of a helpful hand or her trolley, which we discovered goes off-road, she zooms off everywhere.

Mind you, she still objects to crawling outside (which we're pleased about) so regular shouts or moans from her require Mum or Dad to pick her up and move her to her desired location, indicated by pointing and her ubiquitous new word "dyim" (meaning = there, not there, this, not this, that, not that...).
Indoors she was happy to crawl about, although low steps, uneven surfaces and easily openable cupboards meant Mum and Dad (and Nonna) had to be ever vigilant. Not that we aren't vigilant at home I hasten to add, but this was a whole new level of watchfulness, a Def Con 2 of baby minding, if you will. All this meant that by the end of the day we felt much like our darling daughter - completely exhausted.
Not that she used the holiday to enjoy luxurious lie-ins. Oh no. After lulling us into a false sense of security the first night by sleeping through, Rosie got progressively more wakeful as the week went on, until three in a bed from 4am became the norm.

Still, it was wonderfully refreshing to be out of the city for a few days and spend time with Cathy and Jean - and for Rosie to enjoy some grandparental devotion, which never goes amiss. Now we're all back home enjoying some post-vacation recovery time.

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