Friday, July 31, 2015

weekend at the farmhouse

For a long time now, this weekend has been reserved for Snowdrop. Not just the usual Snowdrop pop in, pop out, but for a full blown farmhouse visit, from early Friday until late Sunday.

And so I'm up very early. With only a quick glance at the flowers...

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And quite an early breakfast on the porch...

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I start my Snowdrop weekend at her place. Are you up, little girl?

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Bath time!

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And mush time! Mistake. I should have started with the messy mush.

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(can I have some of my normal food now?)

Verdict: Sweet potato is not a favorite.  And Snowdrop is back to the sink for a total body wash.

And now, finally, real food, followed by play! Camera play often comes first when I'm with her -- so that I can log in a daily photo and not worry about it if nothing else presents itself.

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Even though in the course of play, I'm often tempted to reach again for the camera.

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(going for the prize: a favorite ball)

But not so much today. It's a rare and special week-end. And the sun is out and the breeze is wonderful! It is a time to free up the mindset and give my full attention to adventuring with the little one.

Except, I do have an errand to run. A store return... I could put it off til next week... Or, I could take Snowdrop with me to the mall! I don't take my camera along for this, but I cannot resist using my iPhone for the occasional documentation. After all, she'll someday want to see a pic of her first trip to the mall, no?

She is so puzzled by it all! Her expression says -- I thought I understood my environment, but this? How does it fit in? Eventually though, something begins to make sense. And the smile comes out. A mall? Sure, okay, it's a mall!


As long as we're here, maybe we could peek into the store Baby Gap. Look Snowdrop -- a play-suit with cheepers and barns on it!


Still, I'm saving my baby shopping for fall. She has enough for now. We put it back on the rack.

And then I think about a store I would very much like her to see -- one that I rarely go to these days (it's too far!), but one I realize is actually within a modest walk of the mall.

We go out and head for La Baguette.

At this very favorite bakery, I ask Madame Carine (the co-owner) at what age French children start in on their first baguette. She studies Snowdrop.
You know, young ones like the croutons, when they're teething. How old is she? 
Almost seven months.
She is tall! I forget this about Snowdrop -- yes, she is tall.

Of course, my all-American (with an eastern European twist) granddaughter has been chomping on a frozen bagel for a while now (did you know that bagels were introduced in this country by a Pole?). But today, I have her practice just a few chomps on a delicious, fragrant, still a touch warm, crusty baguette.



I think about taking a child to the bakery -- how in so many places, she would have been a regular by now. We here are not a bakery dependent country. But I am glad Snowdrop had this visit to one today. And that she had her first encounter with, in my opinion, the bread of all breads.

We walk back to the car, past rows of cars and parking lots -- surely an experience that she's likely to repeat again and again and again in her life. Cars, I muse out loud. We are surrounded by cars...

And then we drive to the farmette.

We must do chores, sweet one!

She and I water the plants indoors and the pots outdoors and she delights in sticking her hand in the cool hose. I remember introducing her to it months ago. That time she was cautious and uneasy. Today she is happily darting her hand in and out of the stream of water.

We feed (stale) bread to the chickens and we watch them eat, with the eagerness they reserve only for bakery treats.

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Chores done, we retreat to the farmhouse, where the little girl bounces in her jumparoo in total glee! It's her most favorite right now and it reels her back into the world of the familiar. Yes, here she feels safe. Jumpa jumpa jumpa jumpa jumparoo, sing, Snowdrop, sing! Jumpa jumpa jumpa jumpa jumparoo!

Evening. Ed calls from "his" "office." He tells me -- there is a visitor to the company... I want to bring him home for dinner. I scramble and reconfigure the meal. Of course there's enough. We can always stand to eat less.

The visitor is delightful. Being a dad himself, he knows how to coax a wide grin out of a baby.

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And as before, as all day long in fact, Snowdrop reaches for her very best manners.

And now I've done the dishes and the men have retreated to talk machining talk. The little girl and I  take a walk through the gardens. It's a brilliant night: dry, with a clear sky.

If the mall was a surprise to her, well now, so is the big willow tree. She has seen it before, of course, but today it's as if she takes in the detail for the first time. The swaying branches mesmerize her -- so easy to grab and hold onto now...

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It's a fine night to be out on the farmette.

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A very fine night indeed!