I’m back with another A Day In The Life Of… It’s a chance for other bloggers to share what a typical day looks like for them. I’m proper nosey and I love to see what people get up to in their day. It’s also a great chance for you to find some more blogs that you might like to follow…
Today we have Kate from Five Little Stars, before we find out what a typical day looks like for Kate, lets find out a bit about her…
Hello, I’m Kate, previously an English Barrister, but currently on a career break and for 2 years have been living in the Western Paris suburbs and raising my young family. The boy, who is freshly 3, and the girl, who is 19 months, keep me busy. It can be a bit crazy, but thanks to a wonderfully supportive expat network of friends here we are always entertained.
Laura, asked me to write a piece about a typical day in our life. Whilst we have got some childcare in place to help me out (the boy goes to a bilingual Montessori pre school 2 days a week, and the girl to French creche one day a week) everyday I have company as I have either one or both of the children with me. So, about once a week I go into Paris, usually on a one child day because it’s a tricky city to navigate when encumbered with 2 toddlers. Rather than pick a random Monday when we are probably recovering from the weekend and doing a food shop, or a standard Friday when they have a Gym class then we chill, I thought I would choose a Paris Tuesday…
06.30-07.15: My husband’s alarm goes off and he potters around getting ready (like a herd of elephants!) I pop the electric blanket back on and wait for my kiss goodbye
07.15-08.00: This is my little slice of time. Sometimes I get up and ready before the kids. Usually though most of it is taken up with having a lie in and then realising I’ve not really left time to get ready…followed by a hurried 15 minutes to make myself look presentable.
09.00-10.00: I send the children into the lounge with their toothbrushes, and pop a Peppa Pig on the TV whilst I tidy up (and cross my fingers they are not making new mess in the other room whilst I sort out the kitchen!). The boy has to be at school for 9.30am. We are ALWAYS rushing and invariably slightly late. Thank goodness it’s not a French school where the gates are locked on the dot. I try to get him to put his own shoes on and be autonomous, as is encouraged at his school, but he moves at the pace of a lethargic snail so it usually results in the whole affair being frantic and my putting his shoes on anyway! The girl is not slow, she’s like a whippet, and darts into the lounge to operate the TV, or climb something, or into the utility room to empty the tumble dryer, or fill the washing machine up with shoes… I’m always grateful to get them into the car, or when it’s not too cold into the bike trailer, then deposit the boy in his classroom.
Now on our own timetable, the girl and I go and visit the school’s rabbit and then amble back to the car. The closer to 10am we set off, the quieter the Paris traffic will have become.
…off to Paris we go
10.00-11.00: We drive into the city. On this occasion we were heading to the Natural History Museum, to the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution. Traffic can vary, this is a bit of a trek away and we have to navigate an interesting route: the thrilling-multi-laned-but-no-road-markings-prioritie-a-droit-Parisienne-madness that is the Arc de Triomph roundabout, down the iconic Champs Elysee, around the grand Place de la Concorde, along the river and passing the side of the Louvre and then Notre Dame … so many beautiful and iconic landmarks. It’s quite a drive!
Normally if we are at home the girl will have her nap after lunch, at about 12.30 ish. But as a second child she has to be rather adaptable through necessity! So if she does a little nap in the car, I don’t mind a bit, as she’ll last that much longer out and about, and then usually has another little nap on the way back home.
11.00-14.00: We arrive! On this occasion it’s a mummy-daughter day, but usually I meet friends when we go exploring. This place is amazing and great for a cold, wet winter’s day. It is basically a huge space full of taxidermy (stuffed) animals over 4/5 levels, and other animal related exhibits. Because it’s so big, it is really easy with a toddler too. She was able to run lots and always stay safe and within sight. She had a blast. She could get really close to all the big animals, which she found thrilling, and they were (mostly) out of her reach (although some close supervision was required to stop her trying to pat-pat a tiger)! There are interactive computer screens all about which are really for older children than her, not that this dissuades her enthusiasm for pressing all buttons she can find. We even enjoyed a good 10 minutes riding the glass elevator up and down! There is a “Galerie des Enfants” room which looks FAB, but is for older children than my toddler.
We were ready for lunch at about 12.30 and so stopped in the cafe for me to buy something, and avail ourself of a highchair so the girl could eat her warm packed lunch (gotta love a thermos flask for keeping Spag Bol hot 👍🏻). This left us with a little more time afterwards to keep looking around, and then head outside for a quick blast of fresh air in the Jardin des Plantes (where there is so much to explore for another day, including a zoo and botanical gardens) before heading back to the car.
18.00-19.30: It’s bath and bed time. The kids play in the bath and I wash them and help them brush their teeth properly. The first story after the bath will be in the girl’s room, she chooses it (usually The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson) and the boy will either join us, or play in the tent in his room with his dinosaurs. Then after a little ritual of goodnight kisses and cuddles, the girl goes into her cot, tucking Minnie Mouse under one arm and Elsa under the other. The thumb goes in and the lights go off.
The boy then has a story in his room. Followed by “Eskimo kisses”, “butterfly kisses”, bisous and a cuddle. He will demand various teddies in bed, snuggle down, decide he needs a wee, snuggle down again, decide he wants to change his teddies, before finally snuggling down for sleep. Some days daddy makes it home in time for goodnight kisses, we always hope to hear his footsteps on the stairs.
19.30-23.00: Grown up time. On a day we have explored Paris I will rarely make plans to go out in the evening, just because it’s a tiring day. So my husband and I will eat dinner together, probably something I have previously cooked and frozen, and catch up on our days. Then we will either unwind and watch a Netflix boxset together, or I will set about blogging and scheduling for Five Little Stars, whilst half watching the box set with him. We head to bed at about 10.30, me first as I always take longer while my husband tidies up the kitchen if I’ve cooked, then he follows. We have banned gadgets from the bedroom and have found we are getting off to sleep much quicker as a result.
Bonne Nuit (goodnight), ready for the fun to start all over again tomorrow!
**KEEPING IT REAL** I have two toddlers, so in my summary above I have notably omitted tantrums and tears. If I included all toddler dramatics we would still be at 8 – 9am! Do note though, they happen daily, often hourly if we are tired and stuck indoors for too long. Didn’t want you to roll your eyes and think it’s all a bit Mary Poppins. The girl did a humongous poo when we were out too, and no I didn’t remember spare clothes… which should have been packed but earlier in the day I was distracted trying to find shoes (in the washing machine) and then persuade them on little feet to actually exit the house!!! We muddled through fine and still made some lovely memories.