Pete and I decided to pop over to Paris for the weekend when Daniel was 5-months old. We had been to Paris many times and it’s one of our favourite cities.
Because we were familiar with Paris, we didn’t do much, if any, research on where to go and what to see. I was looking forward to a slower paced visit. We used to stay out all day and enjoy all Paris had to offer, and I would come back to London feeling a bit tired from the busy weekend. I have, since then, really embraced the slower ‘baby pace’.
We took the Eurostar over (Coming Soon: read about taking a baby on the Eurostar). And we arrived pretty hungry. After we checked-in at our hotel we asked our concierge for a place nearby that was baby-friendly. Unfortunately, the place he recommended could only accommodate the pram on the patio, which was full of smoking patrons.
We wandered around the neighbourhood (Saint-Germain-de-Prés) and we faced restaurant after restaurant that was not pram friendly (to be fair, we weren’t sporting an umbrella stroller, but rather a massive, ‘please-stay-away-from-our-baby’s-ideally-situated-bubble’-type pram). I also hadn’t realized how popular smoking still was in Paris.
We ended up at a nondescript, nice-looking restaurant where they found a place for us. We ordered some food, Pete ordered a lamb-special, but managed to get a chicken caesar salad as his main (we still have no idea how this happened), and just as we were finishing up, I started to breast-feed Daniel under my nursing cape.
As I was feeding him, I suddenly felt some warm liquid on my leg, like I had spilled my coffee. This is a re-enactment of what went through my head: ‘Oh no! Did I just spill coffee on Daniel?!? Is he burnt? Ok, ok, he seems fine, and he’s still feeding… Wait a minute… I’m not holding my coffee…’
It was at this point where I made the colossal mistake of putting my hand onto my leg to investigate, ‘What is that?, OMG is that…’ sniff, ‘.. gah, it’s poop’. Great; now I have poop on my fingers and my trousers.
Yup, this is how we learned that Daniel needed to go up a size in nappies, he kept exploding out of the ones he was in. And yup, that meant that he pooped on the only trousers I brought with me for the weekend. Luckily, they were black.
So there I was. Poop on my trousers and fingers, still feeding Daniel. Even though this was beyond gross, I was already 5 months into this reality, and while I can’t say I was un-phased, it wasn’t the worst I could imagine (he did managed to avoid my shirt).
Pete was great, he grabbed a muslin and some wipes for my hand. I finished feeding Daniel, Pete took Daniel (wrapped in the muslin) and got him changed while I cleaned myself up. I wiped up as much as I could with a combination of paper towels, soap and water, then I applied a copious amount of hand-sanitizer to the area, and washed my hands. I would like to say that we went directly back to the hotel to get cleaned up afterwards, but I would be lying. Satisfied with my hand-sanitizer solution, we went out and wandered around Paris, soaking up all there was to see (please check out Aux Merveilleux de Fred, we stumbled upon it and it was delicious!).
When we did get back to the hotel, I washed the trouser stain in the sink with hand-soap and left them to dry overnight. Pete ran out and picked up some wine, cheeses, meats and baguettes for dinner. Yum. It seems that Paris has perfected so many gastronomical things.
Because of this grocery-store-buffet option, Paris is a great place to visit with a baby that won’t sleep through a dinner out. Before 5-months Daniel would fall asleep in his pram while we were out and we could transfer him to his bed when we got home. Now sleep is a bit more elusive (and routine) and he seems to need more cues to fall asleep. While before the background noise of a busy restaurant was just the ticket, now that environment provides too many things that he needs to observe which rapidly breaks-down into hysterical screaming once he’s over tired.
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