petite anglaise

November 2, 2005


Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 3:27 pm

I pace the apartment impatiently, already wearing my shoes and coat, noting that having adjusted the clocks on Sunday, not a single one displays the correct time, or agrees with any of the others.

Regardless of which one I choose to believe, Mr Frog is still, undeniably, late.

Finally, I hear the lift jerk to a juddering halt, and the voice of a chattering Tadpole within. Opening the front door, I crouch down to Tadpole-level, my heart catching in my throat.

I haven’t seen my daughter since Saturday morning.

Mr Frog pushes open the door of the lift, and a golden haired bundle hurtles into my outstretched arms, shouting “Maman MaMAN MAMAN!” I bury my nose in her curls, inhaling her scent, and hold her to me a little too tightly, reluctant to set her free.

So overjoyed am I to see her that I am willing to overlook the fact that she has come back all French. I resist the usual impulse to repeat her French words in English. Just this once.

There are new clothes in her bag, from mamie and papy, explains a slightly sheepish Mr Frog, and he launches into an anecdote from the weekend, but sadly there is no time to linger and chat, as I am now running late for the childminder’s.

So, in the absence of Mr Frog’s report, I try to extract some information from Tadpole on the way, as I strain to push the buggy through the soggy leaves strewn several centimetres deep across the pavement.

“So, what have you been doing at mamie and papy‘s house?” I enquire.

Tadpole turns and replies, somewhat cryptically, “Babouche! Nicolas! Noddy!”

“Nicolas? Who’s Nicholas” I wonder, as I happen to know that Babouche is a stuffed monkey and Noddy undoubtedly refers to her DVD of the new, inferior, animated version.

“It’s a baby!” Tadpole replies. I am none the wiser, as I don’t know of anyone with a son called Nicolas. I suspect it may be a doll, but can’t be certain.

I try a change of tack. “Did you ride your bike?”


“Did you draw some pictures?”


“What did you draw?”

“Tadpole… and mummy. And a car.” Sounds plausible. As long as I wasn’t driving the car.

“What did you have for your dinner?”

“Pasta!” Either Tadpole never eats anything else, or this is her stock response when she can’t remember. It’s difficult to tell.

I decide that an email to Mr Frog will probably be more effective, as my daughter is clearly still rather hazy about what the word “yesterday” means, and has the memory of a goldfish. Either that or my interrogation techniques are woefully inadequate.

So, instead, we turn our attention to spotting spiders’ webs on the park railings and singing “Incey Wincey ‘Pider”.

We are back in our little routine, where we belong, the weekend apart already forgotten.


  1. Hurrah for stock responses. My friend’s two-year-old says ‘I know’ in a very adult manner whenever he doesn’t understand what’s just been said.

    As in:

    ‘Do you like yoghurt?’

    ‘I knoo-ooo-ooow’.


    Comment by Knecht — November 2, 2005 @ 3:50 pm

  2. I wish that my answer to the question: what did you have for dinner? Was always PASTA! Alas, my hips prevent it. I’m glad Tadpole is safely home, where she belongs. :)

    Comment by Heather — November 2, 2005 @ 4:21 pm

  3. Glad you’re back too! Lovely post, as usual, Petite.

    Comment by Zinnia Cyclamen — November 2, 2005 @ 5:01 pm

  4. Tadpole sounds so cute!

    Comment by yayaempress — November 2, 2005 @ 5:46 pm

  5. Hmmm… baby Nicolas? should we read anything into that?

    Comment by Martin — November 2, 2005 @ 7:12 pm

  6. My daughter once prefaced her remarks, “We are all adults here…so.. ” She went on to say something very innocuous. But I did have to laugh. That was what I got for asking too many questions.

    Comment by Elle — November 2, 2005 @ 7:53 pm

  7. Glad you’ve got her back (I’m sure the Nicholas mystery will soon be solved…or rendered irrelevant), and I’m glad we’ve got YOU back, too.

    Elle- “We are all adults here, so” made me laugh out loud!

    Comment by Quinn — November 2, 2005 @ 9:38 pm

  8. Nice blog. I’ll be checking back.

    Comment by Maddox — November 2, 2005 @ 9:44 pm

  9. It’s always good to have your loved ones near you! Best of luck!

    Comment by Luis Alberto Barandiaran — November 2, 2005 @ 9:55 pm

  10. I had a nephew who would always say, Yes I know, the problem was, you couldn’t be sure if he did or didn’t awfully confusing.
    Glad your back, and Tadpole is with you.

    Comment by Andy — November 2, 2005 @ 11:39 pm

  11. I want to know more about Petite’s weekend…

    Comment by stephan — November 3, 2005 @ 1:51 am

  12. “So overjoyed am I to see her that I am willing to overlook the fact that she has come back all French”

    Exactly how I feel when my girls return from a few days at Papy’s house. It used to sadden me hugely when my eldest was little – she was more French than English anyway and it was hard to reinject some English into her French shell hardened by a stay with the inlaws.
    Now when they come back they speak to each other exclusively in French (it’s usually English to each other and me at home, French with Daddy and outside home) until I threaten to withdraw privileges unless I hear some English.
    Not a strategy that would work with a 2-year-old I fear.

    Comment by Susan — November 3, 2005 @ 12:29 pm

  13. don’t you get tired of talking about yourself or do you really find it so interesting?

    Comment by do — November 6, 2005 @ 2:30 am

  14. “do” – I think you may have missed the point of what a personal weblog is supposed to be.

    I enjoy writing. Whatever the subject. Clearly if you are tired of reading, that’s your prerogative.

    Comment by petite — November 6, 2005 @ 12:33 pm

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