Thursday Oct 13, 2016
My son reminds me of the opening bass and guitar melody of Monster Man by Iggy Pop. It’s a driving punk beat, ever pulsing, grungy, a little on the loud side with a bit of whine all mixed in. I love this song and I love my son. He is the force of a hurricane wrapped up in a pre-schoolers body made of bricks with a high threshold for pain, free spirit and a heart of gold.
He is the guy who will always learn the hard way. Matthew has drive!! When he gets an idea in his head a stick of dynamite won’t change his mind. Stubborn, intense, willful, playful, loving, intelligent are words that describe him best. He has a lot of good days but his bad days are horrid. Today was an extremely tough day for him and for myself.
Sarah wanted to go shopping for clothes. Shopping isn’t Matt’s thing. We were at an impasse. We hit Luxembourg park early in the morning for a good long run and play for Matt. My strategy was to tire him out, let him play with my phone so we could shop in peace. We weren’t in the playground more than 10 minutes when when he smacked and cut his forehead on one of the play structures. He has a purple goose egg above his right eye and a mark-ed line is pronounced. The little boy who delivered the blow was very sorry and it was an accident. Still, it was a trip to the pharmacy and a discussion on the best medication to use for the headache, how the dosage works (it is different than in Canada) and these things take time in Paris. Remembering that a business is an extension of a Frenchmans home, transactions can not be hurried. Manners count. Here’s a fact a 200 ml bottle of childrens advil with the coolest dispenser ever costs 3.4€.
With medicine dispensed and all the fight gone from Matthew we made our way to Best Mountain, the place where Sarah wanted to shop. Along the way we stopped at a couple of favourite places. Henri Le Roux for caramel beurre salé (it’s incroyable the amount of salted butter he sticks in his caramels) as a gift for a good friend of Chris.
We found and stopped at Maison Larnicol located at 132 blvd Saint Germain. He is a MOF and specializes in pastry and chocolate. It is impossible not to be completely charmed by his chocolate figures and it is easy to let reason fall to the wayside and purchase more than what is needed. Georges Larnicol is a wizard with chocolate figures. This is the MOF who made a 3.5m sailboat completely out of chocolate and sugar and successfully sailed it in Brittany 2010 for one and a half hours. He also made a replica of Notre Dame de Paris out of chocolate. Chocolate is not why we stopped though. We stopped for an excellent representation of Kouign Amann a specialty of Brittany that translates roughly to butter cake. I had never heard of them prior to February when I learned to make them in Viennoiserie at Cordon Bleu Ottawa. Never having had the real deal, his kouignettes come recommended as one of the best outside of Brittany. My children and Chris go to war over Kouign Aman. A forkful told me it was good and that was all I needed, for I am a marrons, spekuloos, chocolate kinda girl.
At this point Matt was ill tempered and sore. Sarah, Emily and I all empathized and sympathized with his situation. I made a promise to Sarah and I keep my promises. We took care of his needs and carried on to Best Mountain for Sarah. As we were crossing St Michel, Matt broke the framework of his new stroller. Sarah and Emily had the presense of mind to pick up the nuts and bolts from the street so we could MacGyver it back together using my merino scarf as a foot rest so he would stop dragging his feet.
We reached Best Mountain and the ladies who run the shop were outstanding, offered my angry son a special stool to sit on. His job was to say bonjour to every lady who walked in the shop. He took his job seriously and anyone who did not respond to his “aujour” was followed and barraged with “aujour, aujour, aujour” until they did. The patrons and storekeepers giggled and found him charming…as for me I was ready to go home.
Purchases made we hit our favourite traiteur for rabbit and osso bucco on rue Buci and then Arnaud Larher another MOF for pastry.
We arrived at our apartment around 15:00, whereupon the girls got at their homework. Emily accidentally closed a door on Matts finger and cut it. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth. He settled down once I opened my travel tickle trunk for days such as these and he was happy.
After a full tummy of rabbit, carrot and potato. He hugged me and told me he loved me very much and I was his best pirate friend. I sang him to sleep while he clutched Milou tightly to his chest. I wept because at the end of the day, this is a tough trip for such a little guy so far away from home. Apartment life is hard to understand at 3 when all he knows is the freedom to run, stomp and explore.
Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully one which goes a little smoother.