In France, something I get asked by Parisians, whether co-workers of my husband or the doctor who is interviewing me while I’m topless in his office for my carte de sejour is “Do you make the sport?” (Never told you all about that one, now did I?)
A few months ago, we made the journey to the 18th arrondissement to a slightly sketchy part of town for our medical exams…. the final step in order to obtain our carte de sejour (French residency card). We were fortunate enough that Papa’s company hired lawyers to do most of the dirty work on our behalf. All we had to do was take a train to the office and parade around for some doctors and nurses. Mine was parading around half-naked…. for my chest x-ray and physical examination. The later required me to sit in the doctor’s office topless, arms crossed uncomfortably while the French doctor utilized his limited English, I my limited French, to determine if I was healthy enough to be a semi-permanent resident in the country.
“So…. you make the sport?” he asked. I wanted to yell, “Geez buddy, look at me? Do I look like I make the sport?” but instead I sheepishly said, “I just started to ride a bike for exercise.”
“Making the sport is good. You should make the sport.”
End result which you all know about is that I now angrily pull myself out of bed at ungodly hours and ride my Velib around Paris. But to ride around on a Velib for 2 or 3 hours hurt my backside and my hands…. and those bikes are really heavy. And obviously I can’t bring HJ with me. So this weekend I got an upgrade everyone:
Since Sunday, we’ve gone bike riding three times, for an hour long span each time. HJ demands rides, and loves it. He sits patiently in the back seat and only gets annoyed if my sweater (you know, because it’s July in Paris) flaps in his face. We even stuff his lovey (Cute Pup) into his shirt, and I strap him in with his big boy helmet on.
Riding with a child in Paris scares the crap out of me but I also love it at the same time. On our ride to the park today, I fell really bad, all slow motion and whatnot. I’ve never seen the French move so fast to help us out. I bruised my
ego knee and bum pretty bad. My son? Laughed at his momma the entire time. But the reality of it is that we are seriously making the sport here in Paris.
*If anyone has any practical tips about riding a bike with a child, I’d appreciate it! My MIL taught me the hand gestures but I feel like of inexperienced.