France Day 12: Our Town

Day 12 Today was a pretty ordinary day. Tomorrow is our 9th wedding anniversary, so Geoff and I have been talking about what we’re going to do. I think we’ve decided on a bike ride during the day, naps and showers in the afternoon, and a nice, long, late dinner at a restaurant with a Michelin star. Despite the proprietor’s reputation, we decided to bring our kids along (because really, where would we find a babysitter?). Our babysitter is going to be the iPad. That’s our plan.

Honestly, we’ve taken them to many 5-star restaurants for 2-3 hour dinners, and they almost always behave remarkably well. The interesting food, the calm environment, they somehow pick up on the idea that they should act with decorum and respect. Take them to an Applebee’s, and all bets are off. But dress them up in their best clothes and take them to a dim place with violins playing, and it’s like a tranquilizer. I can’t really explain it. And now that we know Bittykins love brie and fois gras, she may be the one telling the restaurant what she thinks of them. You never know.

Ever since the last time we went to the lovely Christine’s in Saignon, the kids (ahem, Butterscotch) have been asking (ahem, mentioning every day, multiple times per day, sometimes right after I give him an answer) when we’re going to go back so they (he) can play with the trains. So we went again and the kids had pain au chocolat (a croissant-like pastry shaped more like a rectangle than a crescent with chunks of dark chocolate interspersed throughout), and Geoff had an AMAZING pastry that was a tiny tart with ganache-like chocolate inside and topped with a coffee icing that crusted perfectly and was topped with noix (nuts).

All was going well until Bittykins moved the toy cash register SLIGHTLY away from the train tracks where Butterscotch was playing with it and all hell broke loose. He pitched a fit about 12 times louder than would be expected for this very common occurrence of her moving “his” toys. He whined SUPER loud, hit Geoff, ran away, I got him, he hit me, and WOW. Unexpected. Of course here I am, and Geoff wants him to have a time out where no one can hear him and ruin the peaceful environment of the terrace. So I walk him in the first direction that comes to mind and we end up in someone’s garden overlooking a mile of lavender fields. As the gentle breeze blew, and the very calm owner of the stone farmhouse emerged with his morning coffee (it’s at least noon) and pastry and newspaper in his pantouffles (pan-TOO-flas - slippers) and lunettes (lun-ETTE - sunglasses), he nodded at me, as if everything were usual. (it’s Tuesday.) The bucolic scene is more beautiful than a movie set and Butterscotch screams, “I HATE THIS PLACE!” So. Funny. I mean, not at the time. But still. You cannot possibly sit there for long and not feel peaceful. I shuffled around the corner for a moment until he calmed down, where I noticed several snail shells.

No wonder the French eat escargots. The snails. Are. Everywhere.

After it was all over, we went to the grocery store, where Bittykins pitched a huge fit when I tried to get her strapped into the car. But on the bright side, we found individual cans of Dr. Pepper, something cracker-like, and peanut butter, all together in a row! Hooray! A tiny American section, at the bottom of the shelf, like they’re embarrassed to have it! But that’s OK! I’m so relieved. I love new foods and I’m an adventurous eater, but I don’t like having to be adventurous breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and definitely not when I first wake up, you know what I mean? Especially with pregnancy not being so nice to my stomach.

Once we got home, it rained heavily all afternoon and into the evening. Geoff made an amazing tarte au poireax, which may be the best meal so far, and we all watched Frozen together for the first time!

Everyone says Let It Go is catchy, but I find that Do You Wanna Build a Snowman is far more invasive.

Every thought I’ve had since then has been to that song…

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