Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Leaving Paris

I've accepted a position at Camp Lenox for the summer. It's very last minute, and not at all what I had planned for the rest of my time here in Paris. I'm cutting my European life short by 5 weeks, and leaving in a big rush. My host family is less than thrilled with this news, and I will certainly miss the kids, my friends here, and this wonderful city.

However, this is the best decision for me, and I'm being a little selfish and going for it full-force. I will always remember my time living in Paris, and will be so sad to leave. But I'm excited to return to good old America, to get my life going on the path it's meant to take.

I would also like to share my to-do list I made at the end of November, of things I needed/wanted to do in Paris before I left. It was 16 items long, and I hit 11 of them, which I think is pretty fair, considering I'm leaving 5 weeks early!! Here they are:

1. see live music in Paris
2. ride a motorcycle
3. use Vélib (public biking system in Paris)
4. stay up until the metro opens
5. Musée Rodin
6. walk across all the bridges on the Seine
7. Sacré Coeur
8. play pétanque with the old men in the park
9. take a boat ride
10. picnic along the Seine
11. Musée d'Orsay
12. Louvre
13. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
14. Promenade Plantée
15. go up the Eiffel Tower
16. kiss someone while the Eiffel Tower sparkles (must be in view of tower for it to count!)

The ones I missed were numbers 2, 6, 8, 14, and 16. Although I still have a few more days...

Thanks to all of you loyal readers of my blog, and here are a few photos from my birthday this past weekend to finish up on a high note.

See you soon!

my personal birthday sign at my favorite bar!

sassy on the Champs Elysées

my crew

obligatory tourist photos

the lovely ile de la cité

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Mornings; or, Why I'm Excited for School to be Over

7:00am - alarm, stumble out of bed, search around for some suitable clothes to wear in a public hallway, find shoes
7:05am - bathroom business, check weather, find clothes suitable for 25 minutes outside, get distracted by facebook, because everything happens in non-European timezones
7:10am - leave for work, don't forget phone
7:15am - arrive at family's door to find everyone else is just waking up, feel very annoyed that you are waking up before everyone else
7:16am - head upstairs to wake up the snoring 4-year-old
7:21am - he finally wakes up after several false starts and resistance to feet tickling, also he immediately starts talking about some nonsense
7:25am - get the kid downstairs, where his breakfast of something smeared with Nutella is set out, next to yogurt and milk
7:26am - kid asks for tv to be turned on, remind him that if he cannot watch AND eat then tv goes off, kid agrees, takes first bite of breakfast (usually 1 piece of toast or brioche)
7:30am - kid swallows first bite, has stopped responding to his name because of animated show about knights (current obsession)
7:31am - resort to repeating the following phrases constantly:

"Chew like a big boy/the Hungry Caterpiller!"
"Do I need to turn the tv off?"
"No food in the cheeks!"
"Chew...chew...CHEW."
"Did you swallow? Then why aren't you chewing?"
"Alright, next bite...next bite....HEY...look at me....NEXT BITE."
"Look at me. Look at me. Look at me. KEEP EATING."
"Finish the milk. Not a sip. Finish the milk. Finish. I can tell you're not drinking. Finish."

7:45am - cover kid's eyes to make sure he isn't sleeping with them open
7:46am - try not to get absorbed in French Dora (and her terrible accent when she speaks English) and/or fall asleep
7:54am - as soon as kid finishes the last bite (a half an hour after starting eating!) grab him and start undressing him while he stares unblinkingly at the tv, attempt to not get Nutella on his cashmere-blend sweater, wonder how kid moves in so many layers
7:56am - tell kid to put on his slippers so you can take him upstairs to brush teeth
7:58am - kid still hasn't put his slippers on
8:00am - brush kid's teeth, even though he can actually do it himself, because lately he's taken to running toothbrush perpendicular to front teeth, spraying your face with spit/toothpaste combo
8:02am - run a wet washcloth over the face, until kid protests
8:04am - finally get back downstairs after kid somehow loses a slipper while brushing
8:05am - kid decides he needs to comb his hair, attempts to do so while still watching tv (it's Babar now)
8:07am - wrangle kid to couch, put his velcro shoes on for him because you are late and his mother makes him wash his hands if he touches the bottom of the shoes
8:09am - someone realizes no one has put a water bottle into kid's backpack, the world comes crashing down
8:10am - kisses to everyone not walking him to school, kid corrects you when you call his cap a hat, allow parents to chat with child for several minutes NOW instead of allllll morning when you were taking care of their child, want to kill self
8:13am - walk out the door
8:14am - kid asks what the "Bob the Builders" are doing, they are fixing the road and have been for the past 3 weeks, repeat this to the child more than once because he asks more than once
8:17am - ask if it's a red man or a green man at intersection, kid answers wrong, wonder how that's possible, does he think it's funny?
8:20am - say hi to the Eiffel Tower, if it's foggy brace self for the inevitable "oh it's hiding" comment
8:24am - get to school, if kid is wearing scarf then brace self for comment about how scarves aren't allowed in the school courtyard, pretend you don't speak French
8:26am - yell at kid 3 times as he is walking to his classroom to watch where he is going, kid narrowly misses door jamb
8:27am - walk home as fast as possible, pretend you don't look like a hot mess as normal people are heading to work in nice outfits
8:33am - get home and wonder what the heck you were thinking when you thought being an au pair would be superfun

This is literally (actually literally, I mean this happened this morning) my morning 4 days a week. Enjoy!