family life · parenting · travel

The French Kids

Yes, kids, not kiss. Since I’m a mummy, and even though I was on holiday without the kids, I was obviously drawn to observing kids all throughout the trip. Here are some of my thoughts and observations from this trip:

  • Paris is not a place for young kids. It’s rough, it’s crowded, and the metros are just historically full of stairs, stairs and more stairs. I can’t imagine bringing my (young) kids there for a holiday unless it’s a all-in tour where you’re on a bus all the time. Then again, I can’t imagine having to entertain my kids if they’re on a bus all the time. I saw very few couples with prams navigating the metro, and usually they’d be couples with only 1 kid.
  • The only place that we saw that would have been enjoyable for kids in Paris was at Champ de Mars, the park just below the Eiffel Tower, where they have a few cordoned areas of playgrounds.
  • There were a lot more kids in holiday towns outside of Paris, such as La Rochelle, where there were also a lot more strollers (and a really lovely aquarium!). We were in France at the peak of summer, which meant that it was quite hot, but it was also packed with tourists from all parts of France.
  • At a small sea side hole in a wall (which was part of a seafood distributor), a family with 2 preschoolers were enjoying an afternoon snack of oysters. Wow!
  • I wonder what French kids eat at home. With such a rich history in culinary (is that gramatically correct?), and such wonderful, local produce available to them, perhaps a good eating culture starting from young is the reason why French women don’t get fat.
  • There are so many kids who are far too old to be walking around with a pacifier. In fact, I think kids shouldn’t be walking around with pacifiers, period. If you need it, confine it to the bed, like we did with Mittens.
  • There are people who have a whole young brood and still travel with them. On our return flight there was a couple with 5 kids (1 of which was barely 4 months old), and all in Business Class. Happening, right. I mean, just thinking about bringing the boys to the zoo makes me furrow my eyebrows.
  • The French have lovely toys. I would have lugged back a whole suitcase of toys if they weren’t all in français, or so darn expensive. And the books in French all look super cute!
  • Still on toys and books, what I did like about the La Rochelle Aquarium‘s store was that they had a whole collection of really wonderful looking toys and books that were ocean related. Underwater World, FAIL. Seriously, someone do us a favour and give that damn place a reno already?

On a side note, I do feel like the French speak more English these days than on any of my previous trips (7 years and a couple of trips more than 10 years ago when I was in Uni), which makes it easier for travelling. Most of them will answer “A little” (with a pinching hand motion) to “Parlez vous Anglais?”. In fact, I called up a restaurant to double confirm reservations, and had a face palm moment after asking that, because of course at a Michelin star restaurant they can speak English!

My previous trips left me with hardly an inspiring memory, but this time around I left wanting more, more MORE! Perhaps until the boys are much bigger, adieu!

Apologies for the infrequent posts, the boys have been sleeping later (horrors!) and I’ve been trying to get over the jet lag, which is all thanks to SQ’s daily flight which leaves at noon Paris time and gets in 12-13 hours later at 7am Singapore time. You can imagine how much sleep one can get on a flight like that!




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