The Cartier building in all its Christmas glory.
My life has been reduced to a series of to-do lists, from baby clothing to delivery-day logistics and postpartum needs. The fact that I don’t separate the significant (all of the baby’s needs) from the insignificant (a new toothbrush) means that my lists are a perfect reflection of the disorder in my head. But the point is not to be organized, but rather to empty the million-and-one thoughts from my head.
And so, before the maelstrom of life with a newborn begins, I’ve been taking pleasure in the little things and working through a list I think of as my "bucket list" before baby:
Seeing the Christmas lights one last time My mother and I walked to the Champs-Elysées to take one last look at the Christmas lights in Paris. This activity was less about mourning the end of the holidays and more about having the liberty to have an unscheduled outing. I know the baby will be driving my schedule once it arrives.
BLTs with Mom Nothing is better than having your mother prepare a meal that takes you back to your childhood. I can’t remember the last time I had a BLT, but it was made all the sweeter by the fact that I was sharing it with my mother — and I didn’t even have to make it myself.
Awards show mania My mother and I used to watch awards shows religiously, but this ritual has been tested by geography. Now that we’re finally in the same city, we were finally able to watch the Golden Globes red carpet this past Sunday.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to watch the show itself, but it was a nice way to indulge in Hollywood frivolity and to bring back an old tradition. (Even Ryan Seacrest’s inane prattling couldn’t ruin it.)
Taking long baths I’ve heard all the horror stories about how little time you’ll have to yourself post-baby. (I’ve even read tips on how to take the most economical path to washing yourself.) So right now, I’m relishing the chance to take long, hot baths and to catch up on my reading.
The joys of Skype Some of you may have read about my Internet connection woes in Abidjan, but I don’t have that problem here. Being able to Skype has made me realize how much I’ve missed talking to people face-to-face — even if their faces are on a computer screen. Napping I’m starting to feel like a part-time narcoleptic: I doze off twice a day, typically after mealtimes. But I don’t feel guilty, because napping is a necessity during pregnancy. (And I’m sure the medical community would concur.)
Going to the movies Going to the movies is not a big thing in Abidjan, but now that I’m in Paris and able to watch new releases in English, my mother and I have been making the most of it. It’s escapism at its finest (until the next bathroom break.)
Getting a haircut In Abidjan, I never really bothered with my hair, because the humidity made it look like I brushed it with an eggbeater. Now that I’m in Paris, I’m looking forward to getting a haircut that will be able to take care of itself once the baby arrives.
And I don’t want to scare the baby when we finally meet.
The ultimate excuse generator Pregnancy is like a visible “free pass." Case in point: In Paris, they allow pregnant women to skip to the front of the line at certain stores. I must admit that I don’t feel bad about taking advantage of this perk: At 8.5 months pregnant, I feel that I’ve earned the right — and I’m willing to show my belly and swollen feet to anyone who would protest.
The same goes for walking at a snail’s pace. Or napping. Or eating another cookie. Or forgetting to do a multitude of things.
Date night Even though my partner and I aren’t in the same city right now, I intend to squeeze in as much quality time as possible once he returns to Paris. I don’t have anything specific planned — it will just be nice to spend some time together.
Until the baby arrives, this list is all about leading an unscheduled — and self-indulgent — life.
What are some of the activities you fit in before your baby arrived?
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