After a morning full of rain, the sun finally decided to come out in the afternoon. Time for all of the grandparents to get to know their granddaughter a little bit better….
The sun decided to peek out from the clouds once again, so we decided to take advantage of the good weather and headed to St. Maxime for a walk along the seaside.
We have had really bad luck with weather — in the south of France, where the weather is always warm and dry, we’ve got rain predicted for 8 of the next 10 days. So when we saw a little bit of sunshine, the first thing we did was headed for the seaside for a walk.
Time to meet another set of grandparents! After getting a sneak preview and a little private visiting time with Juliette in Genoa, it was time for everyone to head down to the south of France. Time to finally meet all the grandparents, aunts and uncles all at once.
In order to break up the long trip to the south of France, Mom and Dad booked a hotel room at a spa hotel in Genoa. It was a good halfway point, and the hotel has a good restaurant where we figured it would be easy to have a nice dinner with the grandparents while we still kept the baby close by.
We’re learning a few things about traveling with a baby.
First, babies don’t travel light. Mom and Dad managed with a small carry-on bag each, but between the clothes, diapers, bassinet, stroller, changing pad, toys, mobile, and everything else required for our little 7kg bundle-of-joy, there was barely a spare inch in the car.
Second, it makes sense to plan ahead. We’d asked about putting a baby bed in the room, and this was waiting for us. What we didn’t ask was whether the room had a bathtub.
Sure enough, there was a beautiful, oversized rainfall shower. And no bathtub. So bathtime with Juliette was going to be a problem.
The sink was about a meter long and fairly deep, so that was plan B — except it didn’t have a drain plug that closed.
So on to plan C. Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention.
It’s hard to believe that Juliette is already three months old — the time flew by. This is a landmark day in two ways. First, it’s the day that Juliette turns three months old. But second, it’s the day that Juliette gets to finally meet her grandparents.
With the car full to the brim, we set off on the long drive to meet Juliette’s grandparents in Genoa. Like a little trooper, she slept the whole way, but was very pleased to see that Dad had reserved a nice hotel with a big bed for her to play in.
Normally, Juliette is pretty tired and mostly smiled-out by the time that Dad gets home from work. But she must have saved a few in reserve today, because Dad got quite a treat when he came home this evening.
Maybe Juliette knows that her grandparents are very excited to meet her…
Mom and Dad received a very welcome visit from Aude’s old friends, Gratiane and François, and Juliette got to meet their daughter, Inès.
We also got a chance to see how much energy a toddler has, and we got to execute with military precision a complex arrangement of playtimes, bathtimes, and dinnertimes for each age-group: babies, toddlers, and parents.
Bathtime. The twenty minutes that Dad carves out each day, without fail, to spend with Juliette. It’s the moment that marks the end of her day — bathtime, a final feed, and then off to dreamland for the next twelve hours.
We’ve come a long way. Initially, Juliette wasn’t very keen on anything about bathtime. But now she seems to like it more and more.
Daddy sings, for a start. That’s always a crowd-pleaser with the under-3-month club. And he makes funny faces. And he tickles Juliette to get her to raise her arms.
Shampoo time still isn’t a favorite, but it’s getting better. Since birth, Dad has always reminded Juliette to “tip the shampoo girl!”
Last, but not least, comes washing the face. This remains an epic battle. While Juliette loves to have her face cleaned with a cloth during the day, she absolutely hates it in the bath. So the trick is to wash her face quickly, pop in a pacifier before the cries erupt, then whip her out of the bath and into a waiting towel.
The only casualty of this whole process is Daddy’s back. No one ever warns you that you spend the first years of your child’s life constantly hunched over….