Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 45: Baby Talk

We spent half the week in Paris taking care of Quinn. Jos is still performing almost every night at the Théâtre du Rond Point and Emily accompanied him several evenings this week to meet people and help out with social duties after the show, so we took over at their home.

Friday was April Fool's Day. Here in France the holiday is called Poisson d'Avril, the fish of April. Quinn made a fish at his daycare class on Thursday. 

On April Fool's day apparently the unsuspecting get a fish attached to their backs and they then become the April fish or, as we would say, the April fool. Emily attached Quinn's fish to his jacket back and off he went to daycare. Being uninitiated in this custom, we had no idea if this was the right approach to honoring the fish Quinn had brought home the evening before. I suspect it wasn't. But Quinn didn't seem to mind. Once he's a bit older, he'll be able to explain all these mysteries to us.

On Saturday Jos was at home. He had invited his friend Navinka, who runs a theater festival in Slovenia to come to lunch, as she was in Paris for just one day. Emily was quite sick and couldn't join the fun, Rick was off on the bicycle running errands so preparations were left to Jos, Quinn and myself. First the boys went off to the local Saturday market to stock up on supplies. The day was bright and sunny so they sported their sunglasses.

Once back home Quinn helpfully swept the patio, as lunch was planned for outside. Of course two brooms are always better than one.

Quinn unloaded the enormous pineapple from the shopping bag and brought it to daddy to prepare the fruit salad, but not before unsuccessfully attempting to take a big bite out of it.

The day was like a dream. The sky was crystal blue, the temperature was in the mid-seventies, the cherry tree in the front yard was in full and glorious bloom.

Quinn couldn't wait for our guest to arrive, so once the salads were made, he tested them out for us. There was a green salad with roquette and cherry tomatoes, a pasta salad with artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes, an endive and apple salad with walnuts, and a fruit salad. Quinn approved them all.

Jos and Navinka had a relaxing business lunch on the patio, as they are planning a show together. Meanwhile Quinn and I wandered off to look for other interesting adventures to pursue.

It's always good to find a little place to wedge into. It's especially useful if the place has lots of dirt and little pebbles. If you can find a pipe with a hole in it, all the better, because of course sticking things like dirt and grass and rocks into the hole is a great deal of fun.

This activity can be enjoyed for quite awhile. The hole seems to be bottomless. It just never fills up.

The next activity involved  finding a large crate of apples in the garage, choosing a nice big one, taking several bites and then using it as a ball. It rolls very well on the cement until it begins to break into pieces.

Nothing to worry about. The apple pieces are just the right size to shove into the spout of a watering can.

Look how many there are in there.

Why don't they pour out like water?

With enough persistence you can get them out and while you're at it, all the water that's left in the can as well.

Sitting in the water can be refreshing. You might even find a big leaf which can be very useful for scooping up dirt.

Once he was thoroughly wet and dirty, Quinn found a new activity. He pulled on the leg of the metal table and made a rhythmic drumming noise against the bench. "Music," he explained to me. With a little ingenuity, musical instruments can be found almost anywhere!

Indoor activities included changing clothes, finding mom, who was feeling a little better and reading the book Navinka brought about the littlest man in the world who made a ship out of a walnut shell with matchstick rigging and sailed away to find a whale.

Then there are the cars. The yellow one, the red one, the green one the blue one. They line up so nicely in a row. A leg can be a bridge, a knee can be a tunnel.

And then, of course, like every day, there is the special music. Quinn's favorite song, which cannot be listened to without dancing, is "Le Petit Grenouille" (The Little Frog).


It's that time of year again when the colza (safflower) begins to bloom all over the countryside. There are patches of electric yellow here and there. It never fails to delight my eye.

I may be a day late posting next week. We might be out of town for a long weekend.


  1. Oh Nancy..what a fun post. Being the Mom of two boys myself, I thoroughly enjoyed all the imaginative play your little Quinn engaged in.

    Makes me wish for those carefree days again. Just me and my guys all day playing.

    I hope Emily is herself again. Enjoy your long weekend that you have planned.

    your friend,
    Janet xox

  2. Loved the description of Quinn's "work"!!!!
    I laughed out loud!!!!

  3. Enjoyed finding you today from Janet's site Empty Nest.
    Looking forward to getting to know you and being a new follower

  4. How funny... you are such a good writer, made me laugh too.... just taking my Nancy out for a walk, it's super windy here in Mijas, we almost blew away this morning going for a walk!! :o)