Tuesday, January 25, 2011

She Was Cuter When She Wasn't Able To Move So Quickly

I had just sat down to write the most amazing and witty post that has ever been written by a woman named Dig when suddenly I heard a favourite sound of mine: the smashing cadence of a bucket full of Legos being poured out all over the floor by someone under the age of 4.

I shall return after I spend a few hours digging these little suckers out of the parquet. It's amazing where Legos can hide, you know.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's That You Said?

These last couple of weeks, Rosie has started a whole new way of communicating. It's called screaming.

I vaguely remember this stage from the others but I thought I had safely blocked out all the memories by copious amounts of wine and a long runs in the woods. Amazing how the horrors can come back so quickly. I kid you not, I've gone grey. And that's just my face.

The worst part about the whole screaming thing is that I didn't realize until this morning that she was actually screaming something, a real word: "CHOCOLAT!" And then a few minutes later: "LA-BAS!" Then when she wanted her brother to let her have a look at his Lego: "DONNE-MOI!"

Silly, Dig. She's just not screaming, she's actually screaming in French! Et Voila! I understand!

And holy cats, now I'm wondering just how long this whole "I Speak French in a Loud Voice" thing has been going on. I knew she could say "mama" and "dada" but what if she's actually being saying real sentences like, "J'en ai assez de jambon" and I thought she was just babbling?!?

I've not been paying attention and my child SPEAKS! Yes, she SPEAKS! A language I still don't understand but she's speaking it, well, yelling it, and she makes sense!

I hear her now, thumping up the stairs with Stinky the dou-dou safely in her teeth, and she's singing. And would you believe it? All this time I thought she was just screaming out a mangled baby babble tune. Nope, it's actually La Marseillaise. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Tooth Racket

It was a funny week for teeth at our place. The Princess Boo pointed out to us on Sunday night that one of her bottom teeth was loose. For the first time in 7.5 years, she was finally getting to that magical point where she was going to earn some money from the mythical tooth mouse.

She wiggled that tooth, twisted it, and BAM. There is was. A little gem, white and just a little bit bloody, in her hand. Off to bed she went, happily clutching the little porcelain tooth jar we have for just said occasions.

Boy, was she psyched to see that 2 euro coin the next morning. So excited in fact, that she spent the entire day at school and all of dinner time wiggling the other bottom tooth. She wiggled it, she wrestled with it, she made a loud popping noise when she broke the roots, et VOILA! Look who got cash again Monday night!

Of course, the mouse hadn't gone to change large bills into coins so Boo scored and on Tuesday morning was beyond excited to see a nice 5 euro bill tucked into the tooth jar.

MH was pretty impressed with the quick haul of cash but just couldn't seem to get past the pain and rip out one of the two teeth that have been loose in his bouche since July. He gave it a shot but after just pushing ever so lightly on one and screaming, "AHGHGAAAAA," he's decided to wait till he can get the dentist to get them out under a general anesthetic.

Meanwhile, Princess Boo figured out that if she really wiggled one of her top teeth, she might be able to get one of those out too. So all day Tuesday and Tuesday night, she wiggled and wrestled and tugged, but alas to no avail, that top tooth stayed stubbornly in place.

Wednesday morning, she came down to breakfast and with a bottom toothless grin, informed me that she was very concerned her top tooth would fall out while she was at pony class and land in a big pile of horse poop. With that fear clearly drawn in her head, she wiggled and tugged and pulled and pop! VOILA! The first of her two top teeth was sprung from it's comfortable nesting place.

And once again, the mouse forgot to get change.

17 euros for three teeth in a four day span. Good work if you can get it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The End of Single Digits


It's MH's birthday again.


He's 9 now. I think everything I wrote about him on his birthday last year still rings true but the subtle changes in him are so deep and amazing.

He was a rock for me when the shit it the fan with The Man. The lovely boy hugged me and told me everything would be ok. He got angry for me, he took care of his brother and sisters. He made me coffee and put away his laundry. And when The Man and I reconciled, he was the first one to hug his father, nearly squeezing the life out of him.

MH makes us breakfast in bed, gets all giddy when he hears Shakira, the most beautiful woman in the world according to him, sing. He reads, he draws, he contemplates, he hates wiggling his loose teeth. He got his hernia fixed and thinks that general anesthetic isn't all that bad after all.

He sees his life ahead of him now in all it's full and rich colours.. He wants to be an Airbus 380 pilot and keeps asking me if I'll be proud of him when he's flying me around the globe. He sings all the time and I mean ALL THE TIME. It's just a shame he got my tonality.

He fights like hell with The Princess and orders Bubba around the house like Napoleon did to his troops. He chases Rosie away from his Lego and refuses to help us with the wood anymore. He's more determined, more confident, more him. I thought I was amazed at him when he was born, who could have explained to me then how amazed I'd be each and every day since.

Thank you, MH, for these wonderful 9 years with you. And yes, I'd trust you to fly me anywhere.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tonight: Hot Bath

Friday morning was a typical morning for us at the Birth Control Bed & Breakfast, which means there were the usual rounds of  "SERIOUSLY YOU NEED TO GET UP NOW" followed by "JUST GET ANY SOCKS YOU CAN FIND!" All of this means that me and the larger 3 ran out the door with only minutes to spare and luckily, and not thanks to me, everyone was weather appropriately dressed and relatively stain free.

The day passed as they do, in a rush, and The Man and I had a late meeting with our therapist. We finally left the city to head back to the sticks by about 8 pm. The two of us divided and conquered, recuperated all and sundry and took the path of least resistance and put everyone to bed dressed as they were.

Saturday morning rolled around with big plans for friends to come and have dinner with us. This of course meant that I needed to disinfect the entire house and remove any and all scary spider webs in corners and poop stains in the toilets. The day flew by, our friends arrived about 4pm, the evening quickly followed and The Man and I, in a slight red wine haze, got the kids to bed in the quickest manner possible.

It was only this morning as I pushed Bubba in the grocery store cart when I realized that he was still wearing the same outfit I had put him in on Friday morning.

"But that's good, isn't it, Mom? I didn't have to fight with you about getting dressed all weekend!"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Perhaps He Meant the One In Texas

I was helping one of the new kids at the school where I work put on his shoes when he tentatively looked up at me and asked if I was American.

"Yes," I replied. "I am."

"So that means you're from Paris."

"No," I laughed, "America is all the way over on the other side of the ocean."

"No." he said, now staring straight into my eyes. "America is in Paris."

"No, really," I said again, this time using sweeping arm gestures out towards the west to reiterate my point. "America isn't in France. It's a whole 'nother country, way over that a way, across the Atlantic ocean."

"NO," he said, expressing his true anger at my obvious neglect of world geography. "You're wrong. America IS in Paris."

And so it is as of 10:47am GMT + 1 hour on January 3, 2011.

Duly noted, young man. Duly noted.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bonne Année et Bon Santé

After the bells chime and you've given a bisous to all and sundry around you at a French New Year's Eve party, the traditional thing to say  is, bonne année, bon santé: Happy New Year and Good Health. I like that. It's nice to wish everyone a good year in the 12 months to come and to hope that they stay healthy and actually enjoy them as best as they can.

But as I said this to yet another neighbour today, something stopped me. I decided I really wanted to say something else. More along the lines of "Happy New Year and I Hope You Laugh Every Day, Even on The Really, Really, Shitty Ones."

I learned in 2010 that life is life. Things happen, the world changes, people need, people forget, people come, and people go. That's going to happen again to all of us in 2011. I only hope that when we hit one of those dark days this coming year, we try to find a reason to laugh, a reason to remember that it's all going to be ok,  no matter what "ok" ends up looking like when we finally find it. Even if that's in 2012.

We may all want a happy new year, and I so hope most of us have one. But for those of us who may have more shitty days accumulated at the end of 2011 than happy ones, I hope that at least you have good humour and good people around you to give you the strength to know that you are going to be ok at the end of this year.

Live. Laugh. Love. Tell stupid jokes. Drink fruity cocktails. Enjoy the sunrises and the silly way dogs sniff each other's tookuses. Find some humour whenever and where ever you can. Even if that means laughing at yourself.

Bonne Année et Bon Santé.