11 November 2009

Hartley: Ten Months


Hartley Bear

Right this minute you are sitting up on the bed, fingering and biting your jumper instead of sleeping. I think you must know that you are toeing the line because at least you're not trying to leap off the bed, and actually, you are falling asleep in an upright position, so I guess your batteries have a small amount of juice in them yet.

Which is more than I can say for this phone, which is the only thing I have with me for posting online. We're in Paris on a much needed holiday from England, and somehow we took for granted that they'd have everything we needed for you already at the flat. I mean, it's Paris. It's just a French-speaking London, right? Except no. This apartment, this entire city, couldn't be any less accommodating to babies if tried, and sometimes it seems to give that a go too. If we have to carry you down the several steps leading to the metro and we leave plenty of room for someone else to get past us, that someone else will find a way to get stuck behind us so that they can tutt and sigh and make rude remarks about us under their breath. But they live in the country of good cheese so you have to be lenient.

This hasn't been the easiest month of your life, I have to say. It seems like your cold heads off to the cold library every week where it renews that same book about a runny nose and high temperature, which this last time around you had for four days. FOUR DAYS. That's like six months in baby years! And we took you to the emergency clinic for your tracheotemy or vasectamy or whatever would make that permanent bogey on your top lip disappear long enough for you to eat and breathe properly in your sleep. It seemed you woke with every stiffled breath, which meant bad sleeps for mummy, and also daddy while we've been sharing a bed here.

The only way we could convince you to drink your horrible banana-tasting antibiotics (which I think were given to us to make us go away, though we've started you on them now and have to finish the course) was to pour it into a shot glass and pretend like it was liquid gold. Then, even this stopped working, and currently you're taking it in the lid of a cola bottle. If you insist on a thimble by tomorrow, I'll thank my lucky stars there's only four more days of this.

I don't have much time, as we plan to watch a French film we bought earlier, as well as scarf down a wheel of Brie with the rest of those madeleines, so let me just say that in spite of how hard being sick was for you, you have been lovely and brave, and are growing in ways that take my breath away. You participate in our jokes now, and have begun to imitate small gestures, such as the one we call 'fish' and the one where you tickle your bottom lip and make a burbling sound. Your mamama and dadadas have become more pointed, and it's becoming increasingly evident that you are your own person now - one who likes to stand on the back bumper of your walker or shout at us when we do the hoovering or sit up on your own gumming baguette in a restaurant.

We love you madly, mon cherie. Don't ever change.


Anonymous said...

Hello my little French baguettes! I came upon you all by accident, looking for the link to look at Hartley's photo's again. How clever technology is. Sorry you're not having the greatest of times, but be assured by the time H is about 15 he will have a permanently dry nose (if he's anything like his Dad) that is. Perhaps you could visit Italy next time where everything is set up around children. Rude Parisiens! Try to take what you can from your short break, bring back a souveneir and don't forget Hartley. As if you could.

Friday said...

Hiya - who's this?

Anonymous said...

Hello, its your dear Maman, surely the bit about clever technology gave it away, I'm sure nobody you know would use that term. And who else would know about Bruce's runny nose, who wiped it constantly until he was just about to leave school and said he could do it himself now. Not really. Looking forward to seeing you all soon, your dear Maman xx