Ce N’est Pas Des Vacances

January 27, 2008

Edited below: sock monkey hat source!

I’m not sure why I thought that chasing the hyper-toddler up and down the icy streets of Montreal was a better option than wrangling her at home, solo, while the husband was in this fair and freezing city on business, but I did.

I forget why, exactly.

I mean, is it really more interesting to holler WATCH OUT FOR THE BABY! in French, as she barrels toward francophone elderly, as opposed to shrieking it in English at anglophone elderly? Only marginally.

That said, the francophone elderly do give her candy. Although I think that’s more about the sock-monkey hat that we bought here, than it is about any greater inherent generosity on the part of old Montrealers. And, end of the day, the random pieces of maple syrup candies (which don’t exactly, you know, calm the child down or anything) don’t quite balance out the exhaustion that comes from chasing – while near-on six months pregnant – the maple-syrup-jacked creature across sheets of ice and mounds of packed snow. I am, after all, not the one being offered the candy.

That said, though…

… there is the whole business about having club sandwiches (avec frites) and a trio of creme brulees delivered to your room, whenever you want.

And a bathtub the size of a swimming pool. With a viewing window. So that you can watch the SAG Awards dubbed into French while you wash bits of syrup candy out of the child’s hair, or your husband can take pictures of you, whichever seems more amusing at the time.

And then there’s that sock-monkey hat.

Maybe this a vacation, after all. Of a sort.

Edited to add… I purchased the sock monkey hat HERE. They have an online shop. Direct source can be found HERE. Note that they do MUPPET MITTENS, too. And for Canadians: Mr. Dress-up FINNEGAN mittens. No Casey, but still: AWESOME.

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    Trenches of Mommyhood January 27, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Dying over that sock monkey hat–just too cute. And that face!

    slouching mom January 27, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    She continues to stun me with that expressive and gorgeous face. I don’t know how you can ever say no to that face.

    Oh, and that hotel room? Damn. I’d go to Montreal on the coldest day of the year if I could stay in THAT hotel.


    Karen January 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Wonderbaby is TOO MUCH. God, I love that face.

    daysgoby January 27, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Do they make those in adult sizes? Because I would rock that.

    Although not on a par at all with the gorgeous Wonderbaby.

    flutter January 27, 2008 at 11:18 pm


    OH MY GOD!!!

    Kyla January 27, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    I’m always torn about whether to haul the kids on the occasional trip for Josh’s work or just wrangle them here. I think it is 50/50 most of the time.

    Major Bedhead January 27, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    I want a hat like that.

    That grin on her is priceless.

    motherbumper January 27, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    LE CHAPEAU! LE CHAPEAU! Nous voulons le chapeau de singe.

    Really now, we all deserve a weekend like that once in a while, if not just to exercise our other national language.

    Amy January 27, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    I just *love* the top photo.

    My husband wandered by while I was reading your post and marveled at your bravery, feeding dinner to a toddler wearing a WHITE sweater. :)

    Lady M January 27, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Drenched in cuteness!

    It sounds like you’re feeling better (at least much better than those first four months). Me too, thank god.

    How’s the new house?

    Heather January 27, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    She really is yummy enough to eat you know.

    Mac and Cheese January 28, 2008 at 12:16 am

    I think I might get a “SAG” award if a photograph was taken of me in the bath.

    b*babbler January 28, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Looks like a terrific holiday – toddler chasing and all.

    Out of curiosity, what hotel were you staying in? It looks divine!

    Not Afraid to Use It January 28, 2008 at 1:06 am

    That hat is just too much. What a cutie. And I agree with Slouching Mom, get me to that hotel and tub NOW. I feel like I haven’t been warm in ages.

    SUEB0B January 28, 2008 at 1:06 am

    I would love to be somewhere Francophone, anywhere. Preferably Tahiti.

    Awesome Mom January 28, 2008 at 2:01 am

    That is a seriously awesome hat! Wonder Baby really knows how to rock that hat.

    AK January 28, 2008 at 6:27 am

    Love the photos! Wonderbaby is gorggggeous.

    Jezer January 28, 2008 at 7:57 am

    Here, winter is gray and sometimes cold and wet, nothing more. To experience a beautiful, somewhat foreign city with *real* winter, sounds fantastic. I LOVE the hat, and the smiles, and the bathtub, and the room service! Enjoy!

    Kristen January 28, 2008 at 8:50 am

    I have to say that “vacation” intuitively doesn’t involve children (in my humble opinion), but it has a lot to do with the child.


    Elizabeth January 28, 2008 at 9:22 am

    I’d ply her with candy to if I saw her hitting the streets in that hat!

    Liz January 28, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cute baby. Candy. French. French fries. Room service… blahblahblahfishcakes.

    I MUST have that hat!


    Jessica January 28, 2008 at 9:40 am

    I love the hat and the look on her face is priceless. I am sure everyone on the streets that day were very pleased you brought her out to amuse them.

    Mrs. Chicky January 28, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Do they make that sock monkey hat in my size? I suppose it’s doubtful it would be as cute on me.

    Maddy January 28, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Not such a bad idea when you put it in those terms though!

    Mir January 28, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Cutest. Hat. EVER.

    something blue January 28, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Oh sock monkey cuteness…
    But wait! Candy from strangers… good or bad? Aw heck, of course candy is good.

    Phoenix January 28, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Creme brule and a huge tub make it a vacation in my mind. Then again, I’m not the pregnant one chasing after a toddler. Oh well….enjoy the parts of it you can.

    I do love the hat though and the adorable Wonder Baby in it.

    Emily January 28, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    This is my first foray into Bad Mother land.

    I would trade our unseasonably warm Colorado weather for Montreal’s icy streets and that delectable room service!

    Mimi January 28, 2008 at 12:22 pm


    “Attention! Mille pardons …” (It’s a warning, and apology all rolled into one. And it rhymes!)

    ImpostorMom January 28, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Oh she is so cute. Love that hat and that hotel looks wonderful.

    kittenpie January 28, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    hey, do those shutters remind you of any other place you went this past year? And hey, if you’re getting tired of maple sugar candy, I’ll happily unload some from your weary hands.

    crazymumma January 28, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    you crazy woman. love it.

    Minnesota Matron January 28, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Ah, HBM. Seems like a vacation to me. Anytime I can pick up the phone and make food appear, there’s a little hint of magic in the air, hmm?

    And I think the person who deserves THE most attention in the world is a pregnant woman who already has children. Especially ones under the age of five. Period. Those are the people who should be offered candy, pampered, cooked for and catered to, attended. And I try to do that now that I’ve reached the matron phase, where those years are past.

    Her Bad Mother January 28, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    I generally wouldn’t give the WB maple-syrup candy at all, let alone permit it to be given by strangers. But elderly shopkeepers and ancient cafe denizens are hard to refuse.

    And, BB? It was Hotel le Germain. Almost unbearably hip, but very lovely, and they coped remarkably well with a sock-monkeyed toddler in their pristine hipster environment.

    And FABULOUS creme brulee

    mothergoosemouse January 28, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Her smile – oh my, her smile.

    Those sidewalks look like my driveway (on which I crashed and burned earlier today). Be careful, my friend.

    mothergoosemouse January 28, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Oh, and I want Minnesota Matron to come over and cook for/cater to me. Even if it’s just for another day or two of pregnancy.

    MommyTime January 28, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    She could be any more adorable — and the hat makes it pure perfection. Please tell me you ate some pain au chocolat for me? Not that you know me. Or knew I wanted you to. But, oh, that’s one thing I remember about Montreal… mmmm….

    MommyTime January 28, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    so sorry for the effects of too much cold medicine… she could NOT be more adorable… :)

    Redneck Mommy January 28, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    You are soooo tormenting me with cute toddler pictures and monkey sock hats.

    Damn you Albertan government for being so slow and not giving me a child to stick monkey hats and Finnegan mittens on…

    the dragonfly January 29, 2008 at 7:02 am

    What an incredible smile!!

    BaltimoreGal January 29, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Having once been an American child residing in a foreign country (albeit a number of years ago)- candy from elderly “strangers” in other countries is not at all strange and not dangerous- and it would be bordering on rude to decline unless you could explain a good reason. The parents should at least accept it on behalf of the child with much thanks.

    And from a shopkeeper? As safe as from Grandma. You did the right thing- trusting your instincts!

    Sandra January 29, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Love the hat.

    Is that Le Germain where you stayed? I used to go to Montreal once a week for work (in my past life) and it was my favourite place to stay.

    Oh – just read your comment above – it is.

    Miss you

    Hannah January 29, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Love the hat of course, that goes without saying.

    But that bathtub??? I would eat the maple candy myself, and put up with the vile Montreal winter, and parlez-vous my trés mal francais for the chance to sit in that bathtub for five freakin’ minutes.

    Mommato2 January 29, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Serious cuteness going on there….

    mrsmogul January 30, 2008 at 6:47 pm


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