petite anglaise

June 9, 2005

joyeux anniversaire

Filed under: parting ways, Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 4:31 pm

Tadpole’s second birthday was a bittersweet celebration for Mr Frog and me.

I fetched him some lemsip, early this morning, as he was suffering with from a slightly sore throat (and was consequently at death’s door, as most men generally are when they catch a common cold). He had met a friend for dinner last night, so I enquired cautiously as to how that had gone.

I find myself permanently on edge when he goes out, paranoid that some well meaning soul will say something that will turn Mr Frog against me, shattering our cosy, friendly little bubble with a few harsh home truths. It hasn’t happened yet, probably because I am not being portrayed as the villain of the piece, and my extra-non-marital affair (if you can even call it that) is not common knowledge among his friends. He chooses not to mention it. It’s probably a matter of male pride, but whatever, the happy end result is that my good name is not tarnished as a result.

In fact, the friend was suitably floored by how calm and rational Mr Frog was – on the surface, at least – and remarked that hearing our story was like watching a slow-paced, intellectual French film. Like “La Séparation”, which Mr Frog watched on cable earlier this week. I didn’t. I couldn’t. The little I did half overhear, while in earshot of the television, was far too close to the bone. Thankfully, as Mr Frog is wont to do, he fell asleep on the sofa long before the final credits rolled. I was rather relieved, because the film mirrored our own situation a little too closely for comfort, and I really, really did not want to be told that it had all ended with the couple being tearfully reunited and admitting that the whole thing had been a mistake.

Back to this morning. We went to Tadpole’s bedroom to wake her. I stroked her cheek with the back of my finger (I wish I had skin like that) and started to sing Happy Birthday.

“Happy birthday to you”

Tadpole screwed up her face, pursed her lips and rolled over to hide her face against the bedroom wall. I noticed the beginnings of a smile playing on her lips. She was teasing.

“Happy birthday to you”

“Non!” She said, emphatically, “[Tadpole] sleeping!”

“Happy birthday dear [Tadpole], happy birthday to you”

As if by magic, she sat bolt upright and said: “Birthday presents?”

I shouldn’t be suprised, after all, this is the second of her four birthday celebrations, and she is getting used to the drill.

The living room was filled with coloured balloons, just like on her first birthday, and a blanket covered her main present, a tricycle. Later, when Mr Frog and I get home, there will be Noddy cake, candles to be blown out, wishes to be wished, and probably much enthusiastic popping of balloons.

It was lovely. But it was also Tadpole’s last birthday with mummy and daddy living under the same roof.

She has no idea. But I haven’t been able to lose that thought all day.


  1. Things will turn out for the best. And I’m amazed at how well this is going for all of you. Bon Courage!

    Comment by juliana — June 9, 2005 @ 4:43 pm

  2. I have to give you both credit for your handling of this situation. It would be very easy to degenerate into screaming and crying but your interests are obviously tuned towards Ms. Tadpole and that’s really wonderful. I hope she had a super birthday and made a huge mess with her cake. Stay strong, Petite!

    Comment by Leslie — June 9, 2005 @ 5:43 pm

  3. Good luck. I’m sorry to hear of your separation. Is it too late to work things out with the Mr.?

    Comment by cass — June 9, 2005 @ 5:45 pm

  4. Happy birthday Tadpole.

    Just stopping by petite to let you know that I have gotten the meme up.

    Comment by sammy — June 9, 2005 @ 7:05 pm

  5. I am happy to wish tadpole a happy birthday ! When I can drop by and wear the complete raindear outfit ?

    Comment by schuey — June 9, 2005 @ 8:36 pm

  6. I love reading your blog. Someone already mentioned this, but is there any hope of a reconciliation?

    What is your view on the concept of commitment? this is something that i cherish dearly. Can it be that people often separate because they no longer “feel” love and thus assume that love is gone?

    i don’t want to sound by any means like a jerk or like i am making you out to be the bad guy, but is there any way you can disentangle yourself from your emotional bonds with this other person?

    Comment by Angie — June 9, 2005 @ 9:13 pm

  7. happy birthday, tadpole.

    Comment by zed — June 9, 2005 @ 9:48 pm

  8. Happy Birthday Tadpole!

    And don’t be too sad Petite. You’ve made a choice… a decent choice. She’ll understand it when she gets old enough. In any case, children are more resilient than we give them credit for, and they respond to affection and warmth, even when the parents are separated.

    Comment by nardac — June 9, 2005 @ 10:30 pm

  9. Happy Birthday wee tadpole.

    Comment by Andy — June 9, 2005 @ 11:35 pm

  10. malgre tout….


    good luck to you and mr. frog.


    Comment by aru — June 10, 2005 @ 12:07 am

  11. I wish you all the best. Our little boy is 21 months old and I can’t imagine him being without both of us. When I was that age my parents were clearly unhappy and that is much, much worse. Keep nice with Mr Frog and she will love you for it.

    Comment by graeme — June 10, 2005 @ 12:24 am

  12. Happy Birthday, Tadpole :) And may everything work out for you, Petite, be it avec or sans Mr. Grenouille.

    Comment by Alex — June 10, 2005 @ 1:32 am

  13. Joyeux Anniversaire !!

    Comment by guillerette — June 10, 2005 @ 10:06 am

  14. Bonjour Petite

    Although this is the first time I have commented, I have been reading your blog for a while and i think it is wonderful.

    I think Mr Frog and you are dealing with the whole situation wonderfully. I wanted to say that my parents seperated when I was 3 and I ended up with two loving and close families. I grew up loving them all, and being loved by them all, equally and feeling that there was nothing out of the ordinary in being in that situation. They both moved on into happy relationships htat they are still in 24 years later, and having step parents and step siblings has just made for a larger family for me.

    I can’t imagine how much worse it could have been if they had stayed together, growing steadily more bitter – that would have been awful.

    Happy Birthday Tadpole and strength to you Petite.

    Comment by Aaron — June 10, 2005 @ 11:02 am

  15. sniff!sniff!
    i’m wiping my eyes as i read your post!
    i wonder if mr f realised this?
    anyway i sent ‘tadpole’ a cbeebies b’day card to your gmail
    hope she gets it
    happy tadpole b’day

    Comment by mary — June 10, 2005 @ 12:32 pm

  16. Brilliant, tender, perceptive and honest, revealing your true feelings though it seems that between you, you’re acting so incredibly stiff upper lipped, civilised and dispassionate (where’s the passion?) that it can’t last.
    Contrary to ‘harsh home truths’ that could turn him against you, if he ever finds time to read this post, it might finally dawn on him what a foolish frog he’s been.
    Are you still miffed that he meekly agreed to bugger off?

    Comment by Parkin Pig — June 10, 2005 @ 12:52 pm

  17. Just to add to what Aaron said, I grew up in an utterly secure and utterly miserable home with parents who made each other unhappy and bitter; it was like living for 18 years under a big black cloud, which I didn’t know was there until I went away to university and looked up one day, and there it wasn’t. I have no hesitation whatsoever in wishing they’d separated and believing I’d have had a happier childhood if they had.

    Comment by Jean — June 10, 2005 @ 1:27 pm

  18. Happy Birthday, Tadpole!

    I cannot possibly imagine how you and Mr. Frog could be handling this whole situation better…I don’t know if I’ve already made this comment, but I’ve surely been thinking it while reading all of your recent posts–I wish my parents (who are still married after 27 miserable years) would’ve done exactly this.

    Comment by Sarah — June 10, 2005 @ 1:28 pm

  19. Je viens de me réveiller… Joyeux Anniversaire petite Tadpole ! (elle arrivera à lire ce message ?)

    Comment by nathan — June 13, 2005 @ 5:04 pm

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