Antoine’s pushchair is difficult to steer in the shopping aisles, and I usually take care of this menial task. Romain and his mother waltz off ahead, interested in everything, while I mope along behind, flanked by an ecstatically smiling brat. I do try to concentrate and be interested in the products displayed, but all my efforts are made vain by the stifling heat, the beginnings of dizziness, and a sudden weariness caused by overuse of tranquillizers.
The baby and myself trail along like two old men, in the wake of the extravagance thrown out by my wife and my son. Of course, I could wait outside in the wind, but my opinion is required at times for the purchase of some household utensil. So I stroll along gloomily, sweating underneath my fur-lined jacket, and shooting disgusted glances at the ground-floor stalls inevitably confined to perfumes, bags and minor trinkets.
Last Saturday, little by little, I got so far left behind that I found myself alone with the pushchair on a mezzanine piled up with bathroom accessories. An insane idea then crossed my mind: what if I just disappeared, like that, without thinking it out, and melted away into the crowd, drowning in it, and never coming back to the homely nest which I had previously so much desired ? For I am a feeble, sickly sort, ever searching, like a good dog, to be vaguely stroked and thus feel the least of my days has been lit up.
So I pictured myself abandoning Antoine in front of the Estée Lauder stall, where an absent-minded redhead was running the show, and letting myself float off imperceptibly towards the exit which led out onto the Rue de Rivoli. I rejoiced in advance thinking of the panic-stricken faces of my wife and my eldest child, when they came across the youngest, abandoned like a wisp of straw on the pitiless sea of Saturday harpies.
Marc Villard, J’aurais voulu être un type bien (1995)
 I consider « sometimes » to be a little more often than is needed here.
 A good opportunity to use a modal, here characteristic « will ». http://www.diacronia.ro/ro/indexing/details/A5713/pdf One of the ways of looking at this modality is that it is the present of the « would » of habit.
 « Go shopping » is an under-translation.
 Because students are now aware that long passages in the simple present are considerably rarer in English than in French quite a few translated the whole of the first section using simple past tenses. But avoiding the simple present is only necessary when talking about past actions. That is to say a series of actions which take place as we say in French « dans une période révolue » are often expressed in the simple present in French but in the simple past in English. This passage is different. The actions happen every few weeks, in a period which is not over. So the simple present of habit is the only real option. It is the marker « Last Saturday » which tells us that the actions mentioned so far are habitual, and the ones he is about to talk about are specific to last Saturday and therefore need past tenses.
 You do not « drive » pushchairs, since they have no engine.
 « Secondary » is fine. « Subaltern » is too intellectual.
 Or « frolic on ahead » or « caper about in front ».
 Or « blissfully ».
 Seeveral students used words which were too slangy.
 Avoid « get « which is often too conversational for translating literature.
 There is nothing you can do here with « first », which, in English is much more strictly mired in a numerical series.
 The word « anxiolytics » does exist in English, but it is professional jargon. Everyday English often tries to avoid latinate or Greek vocabulary. Remember the translation for the French « ORL » is « Ear Nose and Throat doctor » !
 If you were tempted by « as too old men » revise this point urgently : this is a serious error.
 Not « appliance » which is generally for heavy items like washing machines.
 I had had the impression that « luggage » was only used for the suitcases filled and ready to travel, and not for the items you buy in the shops. One student checked this for me, and I was wrong : in London, both Selfridge’s and Harrod’s have a « luggage department », so the word « luggage » is actually correct.
 « When they would come » is a serious mistake here.
 Harpy /ˈhɑːpi/ noun plural noun: harpies 1. Greek & Roman Mythology a rapacious monster described as having a woman's head and body and a bird's wings and claws or depicted as a bird of prey with a woman's face. 2. a grasping, unpleasant woman. "clearly, he had us down as a couple of gold-digging harpies"