This parenting shtick is all trial and error. You know what? This LIFE shtick is all trial and error. I mean, sure, there’s good advice (there are whole books full of it) but it’s hard to be sure the advice is good until you’ve tried it out to see if it errs.

So we stuck Louis in school for full days and it’s been a bit rough (mostly on Louis, but sure we all suffer with him). Getting better slowly, but still, we decided to pedal back to half days. Just for a month or two. Maybe, miraculously, he’ll master a nutritious and adventurous diet at home before we throw him back to the canteen sharks with their fantastic school menus.

Maybe, come January, he’ll still eat only bread and compote at lunch, but he’ll be happy after his nap and not missing his mum. For now, I’ll pick him up in the middle of the day and he’ll have lunch with Elena and me, à la Maison. Then, after we drop Elena at halte garderie he can nap away the afternoon.

Elena, meanwhile, is rocking nursery school. She is welcome to stay till 5.30, already! Happiest kid on the block. Envy of the world (or at least parents whose children suffer separation anxiety)…

So we’re changing up the routine again. I was reluctant to give up so soon. I’m of the wait-and-give-it-a-chance school of thought on most things. It can be hard to know when to stick at something a bit longer and when to jump ship, try a different tack.

Am I messing with metaphors again? Am I mixing boating metaphors? Blame the stupid late nights watching the stupid America’s Cup.

On the weekend we visited Musée d’Orsay in Paris. I thought it was a modern art museum but in another vein from the Pompidou centre. No psychedelic lights, pantyhose and perspex here.

sculpture outside musee d'orsaySculpture outside, on arrival at Musée d’Orsay.

Much as I love that ‘it’s art cause I say it is’ stuff, Musée d’Orsay is something else and gorgeous. It’s in an old railway station and the building itself is stunning. It houses the french version of the statue of liberty, as well as many other incredible sculputre, and numerous works by Monet and Manet, Degas and Van Gogh, Renoir and Cézanne, Gauguin and Rodin… you get the picture. Needless to say, I bought lots of postcards at the shop on the way out.

view inside musee d'orsay

Musée d’Orsay. Just, wow.

inside clock face, musee d'orsay Cool old railway station, and clock faces.

art fatigue seats

Seats for dealing to art fatigue… or climbing on.

Looking at all that beautiful art made me want to paint, to sculpt, to study the human form and teach my fingers to render it, to teach my eyes to see more, notice more…

Thing is, there’s only so much time in the week. Becoming a better writer is taking an awful lot of time, and I’m working at that every day.

I’m resisting restlessness this week. Maybe one day I’ll dedicate time and study to painting, to sculpture, to mosaics. But this day, I’ve got a novel to edit, to sculpt and render and shine, and just like those masterpieces in the galleries, it’s going to take time and dedication and sacrifice.

women statues outside musee d'orsayI bet these ladies had discipline.

On which note, back to work.