Traveling With Our Toddler – PART THREE

We left Saint Cyprien today and caught the train to Bordeaux. Any wine lover must make the pilgrimage and this is one I embraced with an open heart. I am humbled to ensure all is up to standard for you wine drinkers. Someone has to do it and it’s a sacrifice I accept.

We left Saint Cyprien in sunshine – jovial with the memories we shall hold until old age, booze or something more interesting finally replaces them. I think I will miss the church bells at Saint Cyprien. They were comforting in a strange way — like the lover you hate, but must have one last time.

We also leave a few days of illness behind. I got hit by some pestilence that made me bow before the porcelain for a night. It was either a stomach virus or a curse. When I was retching “ohfukofmercywhatinhellsnameisthis”, I was convinced it was a curse, but no; somehow a little blood must have found it’s way into my alcohol stream and weakened me enough to allow a virus to coil around a strand of my DNA to enact the ensuing horror show. I spent the following day sipping tea with lemon in it. I have no idea why I did this. It seemed like the thing to do. Anyway, at least that didn’t last long and I bounced back to enjoy the holiday once more. But then! The little one came down with it a couple of days later…

The only times in my life that I have felt totally powerless, (other than several dealings with the Victoria Police in my youth and our current government) was when Constance was giving birth and the toddler being sick. The toddler being sick is very, very rare thank Christ. The poor thing was crying that she wanted to go home and it totally broke my heart. The wife was soothing her and telling her she was home as her family were around her, but I knew she wanted to be back at the apartment in Kew and started pulling my shoes on. We all know that feeling of wanting to be in our own space when illness is upon us. She has been such a trooper on this trip and she’s a positive little kid, but it shattered me when she was asking to go home and I couldn’t banish this thing from her. But, after 24 hours of feeling horrid, she finally bounced back after a big sleep and was her little talkative self again.

Yet her illness did yield a nice tale. My brother-in-law and I went to the pharmacy to find some baby paracetamol to bring down her temperature. He speaks better French than I do (but not the greatest French) so was enlisted to do the talking and I would do the standing-and-not-understanding-but-grinning-and-nodding-a-bit-more-daftly-bit like the best of comedy duos. He was meant to ask for baby paracetamol for a young girl of 21 months. Simple enough, he starts talking and I do the nodding-open-mouthed grinning idiot character while also worrying about what drugs they’re talking about giving my child. However, he manages to tell the staff in his French, as he’s finding the words to describe our ordeal, that we’re in a relationship and have a young daughter who is sick. For a remote town in Southern France, the staff were wonderfully supportive. It was beautiful.

We are now in Bordeaux. Being pragmatic, which is not a state I am programmed to, we found a hotel-type thing close to the main station to catch the train to Paris in a couple of days. Hotels located close to major train stations aren’t usually in the best of locations I have come to observe. The hotel is fine – so far – the area however reminds me of B-grade crime films of the 80’s. Dudes in flat-caps standing in doorways mouthing toothpicks amid bad signage for erotica clubs. Basically Saturday nights from my youth.

Anyway — shall update all who are interested in a few days when I’ve once again eaten my body weight in butter.

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