Papa poule

Our weekend has been a busy one – a mad dash to Epinal for the 50th birthday of my friend Campbell which was celebrated on Saturday night. Sunday lunch we were invited to their place for a meal. We had a great time and even spent a couple of hours visiting the centre of Epinal for a walk with Rémy. Luckily we’d thought to pack the poussette cane.

In fact we’d packed everything we needed in the roof box – leaving space to bring back baby things we’d lent to Campbell & Marie-Laure for their son Lucas, who was born in April. Amazingly we brought back a couffin, landau and numerous bags and boxes of clothes and a baby bath.

We joked about how one day both Rémy and Lucas will speak English together and no doubt get up to a few bêtises too.

So we arrived home at about 9.30pm Sunday night – time to empty the car, remove the roof box and put Rémy to bed. He was a little difficult in the car coming back and poor Thumpah was understandbly tired (I was too, from dealing with Rémy but not as much as she was).

Monday I had word back from the maire adjoint about the poster for les journées du patrimoine I had left him on USB key Saturday morning. There were a few changes to make so he came round in the afternoon. I just had time to take Rémy for a walk in the park over in Mennecy before lunch. We hadn’t been there since the beginning of the Summer so I had to consider how much time it would take to walk there, do a tour whilst there, then walk back prepare Rémys lunch then have my own before Mr le maire adjoint came round.
We went straight to our favourite park bench in the shade, then I took Rémy for a walk around holding just his hand. Then decided to carry on walking with him while pushing his push chair. As I stopped to pick him up I noticed a woman walking towards us behind us who I had exchanged words with a few months ago.
As usual the park was deserted and so I was expecting her to stop and say something to me about Rémy, like she did last time. She seemed a bit excentric then but kind. So I wasn’t disappointed this time round.

She stopped said “bonjour” and suggested that I walk with Rémy on my shoulders. She said “He will be more confident in himself and will be delighted to see the trees from higher up rather than walking down on the ground”. I was a bit bemused, said thank you and “bonne journée” and she went off on her way. It was obvious she was there to walk briskley as some sort of sport.
So after she’d gone I put Rémy on my shoulders – held one of his hands and with the other pushed the push chair. Not easy but Rémy loved it. When we took another path we bumped into the woman again – she looked pleased to see Rémy up there and repeated what she’d said to me. Somehow the fact I am “père au foyer” got into the conversation, so she said “Ahhh vous êtes papa poule alors?”. To which I said yes and explained that Thumpah worked Monday to Friday while I took care of our son.
Up to now I have had weird looks from French people when I say what I do for a “living”, and her casual way of saying I was a “papa poule” was just great – I felt like I was normal and not some alien life-form. Anyway she didn’t stick around for long – we said our bonne journées and off she went again. Perhaps we’ll bump into each other another time…

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