petite anglaise

May 24, 2005


Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:29 pm

Tadpole has started mothering Mr Frog and I.

“Mon petit canard,” she says tenderly, while pinching both my cheeks until my eyes water. I gather that this is meant to be an affectionate gesture. Note to self: must cut her fingernails tonight after her bath.

“Allez, mange!” she orders, as I try to work up some enthusiasm for my breakfast cereal, despite it having the consistency of cardboard in my dry mouth.

“Assieds-toi là , ma puce,” she instructs in a bossy tone, before proceeding to show me the picture she has been busily scribbling on. It’s actually quite a disturbing sight, when I examine it more closely. The drawing she had begged for yesterday, with a mummy, a daddy, two little girls, a pig, a spider and an octopus, now has all the faces blackened out. I decide not to let myself dwell on any possible pseudo-psycho explanations for this and instead concentrate on complimenting the neatness of her colouring in.

I know this is just a phase that she is going through, where she is showing Mr Frog and I the same sollicitude and affection that she showers on her favourite dolly. I am told she also takes great delight in mothering the childminder’s youngest charge at the moment, helping out at bottle time, asking her what the matter is when she cries. All seemingly perfectly natural.

But at the same time, I wonder whether, despite all our efforts to put on a happy, friendly front during this awkward time while we carry on living together, until Mr Frog finds a place to live nearby, she is still picking up on the fact that something is going on. Sensing that we both need a few extra cuddes and kisses. Attuned to the emotions we are taking care to rein in when in her presence.

This morning was downright spooky. As I was about to leave for work, Mr Frog being on Tadpole dropping off duty, I bent down low to receive my goodbye kiss. Mr Frog was on his knees in the hallway, cramming things into his bag.

Tadpole grabbed both of us firmly by the arm and pulled us together.

“Donne bisou à Daddy,” she commanded, her eyes very large and serious.

I kissed him lightly on the cheek, noting that I was not the only one with tears in my eyes.


  1. I remember there being many heart-felt comments here and assurances that other’s eyes had tears in them too…this isn’t one of those comments. ;)

    I like to look up the French phrases you sprinkle in your posts to see what they mean in English. I just can’t imagine looking at anyone fondly and calling them “my little duck.” LOL

    The post was cute and sad, but it made me smile today. :)

    Comment by Bob — May 25, 2005 @ 10:45 pm

  2. Unrelated to this post : a while back you said you’d do a post on why you’d never go back to live in England. When are you going to write it ? I’ll look forward to reading it.

    Comment by smartie — May 25, 2005 @ 10:53 pm

  3. That’s it. You made me cried this morning, my throat is all tight… Endings are always so sad.

    Comment by Maurine au bout du monde — May 25, 2005 @ 11:25 pm

  4. All I can say is that I wish you all the best for your future. It is tough to know what way to take when a relationship like yours comes to an end. But you will figure it out.

    Good luck, again! Flavia

    Comment by Flavia — May 26, 2005 @ 7:46 am

  5. Once again you capture the feelings many of us have known in similar circumstances. I bet I’m not the only one near to tears either.
    Btw did you notice recently how your female fans sprang to his defence and bawled me out when I commented harshly on Mr Frog?

    Comment by Parkin Pig — May 26, 2005 @ 9:07 am

  6. Petite,
    I have read your blog for so long now.
    Never felt like something had to be added.
    Today, I leave a trace of my peeping.
    Your last posts have moved me so much I dont know what to say.
    I wish you, tadpole and mr frog all the love in the world.

    Comment by nanikilouche — May 26, 2005 @ 9:08 am

  7. It was the strength and love from our kids that has kept us both going through the very same situation. They never cease to amaze me. You both have a very special girl.

    Comment by Lochs — May 26, 2005 @ 9:08 am

  8. have to admit to tear filled eyes too

    Comment by Ellie — May 26, 2005 @ 9:09 am

  9. The only thing I can add is this…Tadpole is so little that if you separate now, she will very quickly become adjusted to the new situation. My son was 1 1/2 when I left his father, and now – at 11 – weekend visits and split schedules are generally greeted with great equanimity. After the initial adjustment, Tadpole will be able to handle things, too. Kids are amazingly resilient. And empathetic.

    Best to all three of you.

    Comment by Bad Hippie — May 26, 2005 @ 9:09 am

  10. I’ve got a lump in my throat. I feel the need for lots of quality time with my family tonight.

    Comment by Greg — May 26, 2005 @ 9:09 am

  11. Petite, Now that brought out a tear. I could feel the emotion there. Your Tadpole knows what’s going on. Yes, she will be able to get over it, but she will remember it.
    I like others, wish yourself, Mr Frog and Tadpole all the very best for this hard times.
    Take care Petite. Courage!

    Comment by Andy — May 26, 2005 @ 9:10 am

  12. Ah, that Tadpole…what a sweetie.

    Comment by sammy — May 26, 2005 @ 9:10 am

  13. Amazing that your daughter has such empathy at her age.
    I’m sure you are right that she is picking up on the family vibe. How sad, yet children are also resilient too. I suspect your feelings are very mixed right now.
    All the best.

    Comment by LukePDQ — May 26, 2005 @ 9:11 am

  14. Like others, I find myself saddened and worried for you. Will you and Tadpole have enough money to live separately from Monsieur Frog (or Mr. Toad, as I now think of him)? For better or worse, once you have a child with someone you are connected forever. I hope les grands-parents behave lovingly toward the mother of their petite-fille.

    Madame Tut | 8:26 pm

    My eyes are welling.. makes it difficult to type.. It is very sad to hear of the break up of your family. I’ve been reading you for so long I feel part of your world. I hope you find what you’re searching for best wishes and luck to you, Mr Frog and Miss Tadpole.

    Comment by Elle — May 26, 2005 @ 9:13 am

  15. Don’t worry about her remembering things. At her age she’ll be picking up something’s not right but that will be replaced by a new normality.

    Comment by satsuma — May 26, 2005 @ 9:13 am

  16. The little ones are surprisingly perceptive, and often respond to situations they sense, even if it’s something they haven’t actually heard about.

    My youngest (he’s 4) has taken to giving me random hugs and kisses throughout the day, lately. Sometimes he just comes and curls up on my lap, and puts his head on my shoulder like he used to, when he was truly a baby. He knows I’m agitated even though I do my best to function normally. I’m heading into another treatment cycle for my (highly treatable, but still a pain in the neck) cancer, and the scheduling is taking forever. All the affection he showers on me comforts the both of us.

    It is remarkable how attuned to us they are, isn’t it?

    Comment by Joan — May 26, 2005 @ 10:38 am

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