petite anglaise

August 15, 2004

tubes tied

Filed under: french touch — petiteanglaiseparis @ 9:32 pm

I am still seething.

Left the family home at approx 11.30 am with toddler, pushchair and several items of baggage to fly to Charles de Gaulle airport (where this happened).

6pm. Baggage taking an eternity to arrive on the conveyer belt. Toddler on the other end of a strap attached to wrist in vain attempt to prevent her from leaving the premises. Toddler finds it amusing to run around in anti-clockwise circles, mummifying me with the strap, so have to spin around in an anti-clockwise direction to free myself. Am feeling rather dizzy. And tired. And hot. Feel I am showing remarkable patience and good humour, all things considered.

Toddler’s hand strays for a nanosecond onto the conveyor belt before I yank sharply on the strap.

French woman behind me, to her husband: “These people, no control over their children, fancy letting the child play on the conveyor belt. I can see how these terrible accidents you read about happen now. What can she be thinking of….”

These were the same people who had watched me struggle to carry toddler and two bags off the plane, without offering assistance, then watched me bend to pick up the folded pushchair and add it to my load and haul it all onto the bus, still without offering assistance. People who, as a matter of fact, had pushed past me to get onto the bus first, thereby taking up the last available seats.

Of course they didn’t expect yours truly to understand/speak French.

Alternative endings:

  1. *petite anglaise smiles sweetly* “I know, I’m a menace to society. Don’t worry, I have an appointment booked to have my tubes tied next week so there’s no danger that I’ll be bringing any more children into the world.”

  2. *talking to toddler, loudly* “These people. Badmouthing a complete stranger when she is 30 cm away. No manners whatsoever. And very bad dress sense.”

  3. *snaps* “I’ve got everything under control, no thanks to you, you supercilious bitch.”

Of course, this being a blog, you can’t be sure that I used any of the above. I may have just seethed to myself while going rather red in the face. But you’ll never know, will you?


  1. I prefer ending 4) wherein the offending husband and wife go home, log on to read their favourite blog, find themselves being discussed, and feel suitably ashamed and chastised.

    Anything can happen in blogworld.

    Hope you’ve recovered from your stressful experience.
    Tim | 08.15.04 – 11:37 pm |

    Comment by Tim — October 8, 2004 @ 9:06 pm

  2. I think it’s the same everywhere. I remember being with my 6 month old baby at the airport, holding the stroller (with baby) and carrying a huge knapsack, and having people just push past me, regardless of how I was struggling. Cheer up.
    Colleen | 08.16.04 – 6:45 am |

    Comment by Colleen — October 8, 2004 @ 9:06 pm

  3. I love your blog – I was referred by Nellykins at the wibsite – did you know? You were her blog of the week last week!!

    I have enough “nannying in Europe” memories to totally bond with your airport experiences… I would just turn around and say in franglais “Je Suis juste le nanny … il est ne’cst pas ma fils … Of course this only works until said child turns round and says Mummy, I want a lolly!

    Oh God, sorry about the school girl french (ish) (what can I say, I learnt it in New Zealand from an expatriate English woman!!)

    Deeleea | 08.16.04 – 1:30 pm |

    Comment by Colleen — October 8, 2004 @ 9:07 pm

  4. It is wise, in such situations, to remember the important acronym WWVD: What would Vitriolica Do?

    Nigel M.| 08.17.04 – 7:29 pm |

    Comment by Nigel M — October 8, 2004 @ 9:07 pm

  5. now, THAT’s an accolade, (I think!).

    I have regularly pretty much exactly solution 2, but first taking a few long seconds looking at them right in the face as if I didn’t understand a word they were saying, disarming them with a polite english smile, then asking them a question or commenting on the weather in perfect portuguese…ooh, the bastards squirm, not knowing if I heard them or not….

    vit | 08.18.04 – 8:27 am |

    Comment by Vit — October 8, 2004 @ 9:08 pm

  6. LOL iv been reading ur blog for awhile now and this along with the handcuff story are by far my favorites
    too funny!

    Catt | 08.19.04 – 4:18 am |

    Comment by catt — October 8, 2004 @ 9:09 pm

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