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Friday, September 16, 2005

comfortable, it's the same word in french

I'm letting my skin go pale. I'm not smiling as much. I'm walking at a fast pace, eyes staring straight ahead.

In true Parisian fashion, I walk these streets, and everyday it gets a little more comfortable.

The kids smile when they see me now, they laugh at my jokes, compliment my drawings, and the little girl asks me to sing songs from a book. She crawls up into me every chance she gets, and forces fake cries as an excuse for me to pick her up and smother her in sympathy.

They're getting to know me, and I'm giving them as much as I can. I listen attentively to stories about monster trucks and Star Wars, their eyes as big as the Eiffel tower. I run after them in the streets, playing tag, as primped French women give me dirty looks.

There are times where I think I've really got this Mary Poppins thing down, like when the parents came home to find them cuddled up in me as I read to them about space. Or when I pop a perfect roast chicken out of the oven with a Stepford Wives smile.

And then I forget my keys at the end of the night, and crawl back to their apartment late in the night to fetch them. Or the little girl runs ahead of me and gets hit by a car (luckily it just tapped her, and she acted as if nothing happened). Or I forget the boy's backpack at the Patisserie when we go to buy a baguette, his eyes burning through me as we march back from the park to fetch it.

Today I've been left a list of specific instructions for the day. It's timed by the minute and to be followed with precision, from leaving the park at 4:45 to the times the kids must take their baths and clean their rooms after dinner. This won't be easy, as I like to go with the flow, always too relaxed. I still laugh at all the things that make the parents furious.

But it's getting easier. And as of today, I have internet in my room. Outside the rain falls, and Parisians rush through the streets with serious faces, their legs declaring they have somewhere to go. So I'm sitting comfortably, having a long lazy morning, and preparing myself for a hectic afternoon.


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