I tried to post this yesterday

The rabbit saga wasn’t finished after all. After the dust had settled we had six babies and three adults, who were not in a state to reproduce further.

The babies have been growing quite rapidly, and today the decision was made to take four of them to the pet shop since no one had answered to the Rabbits Available signs. All the girls were in floods of tears (I don’t think Baby Girl knew why they were crying but she’s not going to be left out of a good bawling session) as they chose the two thye wanted to keep and tried, without success, to persuade their mum to keep them all. Daughter One and Mother took a wiggling bag of babies off to the pet shop while I herded the three younger girls into and out of their baths and managed to get everyone smiling again.

We were well into dinner by the time that Daughter One and Mother returned… with a wiggling bag of babies. Apparently the pet shop did not want to take all four, so they just took two and sent the other two home.

So now we have seven rabbits. I anticipate a repeat of today when we eventually get rid of the surplus babies, but hopefully one of the children’s friends will want them.

Now that you’re all up to date with the latest rabbit news, we can catch up on the week (more than a week) that’s gone by. Or rather you can read about my week, and I can look sadly at the empty comments box that greets me whenever I come to see if anyone cares.

My mum came to visit for the weekend, arriving on Friday afternoon and leaving Monday morning. I packed up everything I own and put it into the cellar, and then went to join her in the holiday flat she’d rented. We had fun and hung out and visited the touristy places, and I missed her within twenty seconds of her leaving.

Life is pottering along as usual. Spring has definitely sprung here, and today it was too hot even without a coat. Baby Girl learned how to use a slide – she’s been on them with her sisters, and a couple of times with me, and sometimes I’ve held onto her from the ground as she slid down, but today she was climbing the steps and sitting down and sliding all on her own.

It amazes me that The Mother is so laid back about missing these developmental steps. I guess she has been through it all already, four times before, so the first time on a slide is actually the fifth first time, and has lost its marvel. I feel quite honoured that I get to be a part of this.

That said, I am considering cutting my time here short. It’s for a variety of reasons but the predominant one is that I don’t actually seem to be as completely better as I had hoped. It’s more psychological issues than physical ones, or maybe emotional is more the accurate word – I don’t really have the energy to go out and make friends here, and to make the most of all the museums and monuments and all the things there are to do. If I went home, I could work at the hospital and be with my family rather than living with my employer (which is very stressful at times).

But I haven’t decided. If I do leave, it won’t be until after Easter as I’ve committed to various things before then.

Today Anne and I attempted to go to five different museums, all of which were shut. I had thought it was Monday when everything closed, but apparently it’s Tuesday. So we went up the Arc de Triomphe instead (something I’ve now done four times). It’s my favourite place in Paris.

Now I’m off to practise the music for choir on Sunday. It’s a particularly tricky piece and it’s made more complicated by the fact that I’m hoping to sing tenor, but might have to sing alto – so I have to learn both parts…

It is much later – wordpress was being stupid earlier and I remembered that if I went away without actually managing to post, I’d lose the whole thing. Then I remembered something I had wanted to write about.

I took Baby Girl to a new park today. We are working our way through all known parks in a two-tram-stop radius, so this is nothing new. However, this was the first time in my memory that there has been anyone else in the park (possibly because it is now Officially Spring, and great weather even though inexplicably almost all the kids were wearing big thick coats…).

When we go to the park, Baby Girl is unstrapped from her pushchair and allowed to roam freely. She likes to poke at the ground with sticks, brush the sand off the edge of the sandbox, pat the seat of the wobbly spring animals, attempt to climb up the slide (and fail utterly), and occasionally wander over to look at my Kindle, which I am reading. I look up every twenty seconds or so, and am aware of where she is. But I don’t follow her around. Unless she wants to swing, or sit on the wobbly animals, in which case I will lift her up and hold her stable for as long as my interest holds out.

She doesn’t need me to follow her around. She’s the youngest of five, she spends her entire life being treated like an animatronic doll by her siblings and hovered over anything between one and five adults. There is not much she can get into in the park which will harm her, and I am never more than three seconds’ run away from her.

When we arrived at the park, there were two other women there with a child each. They evidently took the same approach as I did, because they were sat chatting together while the baby sat on a lap and the toddler (who turned out to be exactly Baby Girl’s age) ran off doing his own thing. At one point he was even behind the bench, and not a single Bad Person swooped down to kidnap him.

For a while Baby Girl played with the Similarly-Aged Boy, as much as any 15 month olds play together. They took it in turns to go down the slide, which BG does without help now. The slide is the same height as her, there isn’t far to fall even if she does lose her grip. S-A B had a bit of help from his mother.

Then they left. Almost immediately a swarm of mothers appeared, one with a double-buggy seating twin boys. All the children were fifteen months or older, I’d say. They spent the whole time being trailed by their various carers, being lifted onto things and demanding adult involvement to the point of sitting on the other end of the see-saw and bouncing. One girl looked to be about pre-school age to me and her mum was still helping her on the slide.

I think that’s a shame. I do play with the children, of course I do. After this we went to pick up Daughters Two and Three, and spent half an hour in the park near to their school. There are about three dozen kids in this park when the sun is shining, so I have to be more proactive just to make sure no one gets trampled (Baby Girl has been bumped by swinging feet at least twice and still hasn’t figured out not to walk there). But the kids still get to decide what to do and how to do it. If they do something too difficult on one of the toys and fall off as a result, then that’s a learning experience. If I tell them it will be too difficult and they will fall off, that’s an imminent rebellion followed by a learning experience.

Frankly I have enough to do just keeping all of them alive. They can figure out how to play by themselves.

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