petite anglaise

February 23, 2006

wet wet wet

Filed under: city of light, Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:07 am
well baby might be dry but where is my raincover eh

Just when the tips of the crocuses (or croci?) I planted in my windowbox at Christmas time had started to emerge, albeit tentatively, and spring seemed to be hovering tantalisingly just around the corner, Paris is now horribly cold again. Cold, and damp.

Tuesday was the nadir of this sorry week. First of all, in the mad dash to visit Tadpole’s other local maternelle with Mr Frog before work, I managed to forget my waterproofs and simply did not have time to go back for them. Instead I stoically pushed the buggy through driving sleet and rain, head bowed in resignation, all the way to the childminder’s house. Water dripped miserably from the end of my nose. My coat soaked up water like a sponge, growing steadily heavier.

“Poor mummy’s getting wet,” remarked Tadpole helpfully, from her vantage point on the dry side of the waterproof buggy cover. A puddle was forming on its top, so I tipped the pushchair over sideways, without warning, to drain the water off, much to Tadpole’s delight.

“You don’t say,” I muttered, wondering idly whether at the age of two and a half, it wasn’t about time Tadpole learned about the joys of sarcasm.

Swerving to miss a crotte, rendered liquid and even more treacherous by the rain, I wanted nothing more than to turn back towards home, languish in a hot bath and crawl back into my bed, where instead of sleeping the previous night, I had hovered in that frustrating limbo between slumber and wakefulness, unable to switch off my addled brain, too busy composing and re-composing ever more vitriolic lettres recommandées to my web hosts. In French.

Arriving at the childminder’s high rise block, our nostrils were greeted by the familiar tang of (human? canine?) urine in the lifts. The sliding doors firmly closed behind us, I pulled back the raincover and bent over the back of the pushchair to plant a kiss on Tadpole’s nose.

“Look mummy’s upside down. Like a bat!” exclaimed Tadpole, as my hair rained droplets all over her dry clothes.

I smiled a wry little smile, in spite of myself, thankful for the presence of this cheerful little person who always knows how to make everything bearable. I only have to make eye contact with Tadpole and my worries have a funny way of dissolving, instantly.

And because I’d like to end this post on a positive note, I won’t trouble you with how I skidded on the wet floor of the métro and twisted my ankle, landing unceremoniously on my buttocks.

No. Let’s stick with the first ending.


  1. Ouch! Hope you are ok Petite. I’ve landed unceremoniously on occasion too. It’s always in a crowded place – and never fun or amusing.

    I like the cute ending – kids know just how to keep life light – keep it real………

    Bless their little hearts! :)

    Comment by Kasey — February 23, 2006 @ 7:13 am

  2. I was in a restaurant close to an indoor pool the other day, got up to search for a pen in my jacket, pushed my chair back, sat down, and fell into the pool. Now that’s embarrassing. Luckily it was almost empty.

    Comment by dan — February 23, 2006 @ 8:28 am

  3. er, I take it you mean empty of people? Empty of water might have been rather nasty, no?

    Comment by petite — February 23, 2006 @ 8:47 am

  4. aw. maybe i need one of those…

    Comment by piu piu — February 23, 2006 @ 10:37 am

  5. …but Spring is just around the corner, and what a rewakening this Spring is going to be for you. Just hang on in there for now!

    Comment by fella — February 23, 2006 @ 11:00 am

  6. Human, definitely. (Sorry.) I’ve trailed behind a 27-kilo (very large for Paris) dog for 7 years, who tinkles on everything in sight, and never smelled a whiff.

    Tadpole is a delightful little peacemaker–even trying to cheer you up in the rain. I concur–bless her little heart!

    Comment by Mrs.B in Paris — February 23, 2006 @ 11:01 am

  7. Aren’t cities the worst in the rain? I always remember London in the rain, despite the fact i lived there for 7 years so it can’t have rained everyday can it? must be because they are so traumatic. hope you are ok?

    Comment by lydia — February 23, 2006 @ 11:41 am

  8. The puddle that used to form on the roof of my kid’s buggy cover used to run down the back and into my shoes unless I was quick enoug hto introduce a sudden stop and send it all shooting off the front.

    Hmmm, I used to hate walking four miles in the rain…

    Comment by greavsie — February 23, 2006 @ 1:27 pm

  9. Sorry about the ankle twisting, but the other ending sounded OK.

    But that’s why you can have it so green, all of the gloom. I’ll trade just a little of our sunshine for some water – we’ve had no water from the sky for months.

    Comment by joeinvegas — February 23, 2006 @ 4:33 pm

  10. London is the same; lots of large puddles, snow, wind and very very cold. Spring, we need you… Ps. really enjoying the site. Thanks.

    Comment by Melissa — February 23, 2006 @ 4:50 pm

  11. We’ve all had public falls.

    I was running for a bus one morning and tripped, falling headlong in a very dramatic fashion. I grazed my hands and knees quite badly and tore a hole in a brand new pair of trousers.

    I was horribly embarrassed, gutted about the trousers, and ran home to get changed, crying all the way.

    Comment by stressqueen — February 24, 2006 @ 12:26 am

  12. I so *loved* your last few paras P

    Keep it up.


    Comment by Martin — February 24, 2006 @ 12:40 am

  13. Snow, snow, snow in Morbihan today….and not the nice fluffy stuff. More of a wet flurry of soggy tissues type that is slushy, cold and doesn’t have that satisfying crunch that real snow shouls have….this stuff goes splat.
    Lik Tadpole however the children are delighted with this mucky white mess and squeal delightedly as they squelch their way through it. And meanwhile Maman trudges behind looking at wet shoes, blue tiny hands that will require warming and trouser bottoms with a rising damp tideline …’You’ll need to change those!’
    Parents – what wet rags we are…….

    Comment by Morbihan Princess — February 24, 2006 @ 9:04 am

  14. Where is this snow everyone is taking about? I’m in 56 as well, and that’s all I’ve heard about all day, but yet there isn’t a flake in sight.

    PS. Hope your ankle isn’t hurt too badly!

    Comment by Samantha — February 24, 2006 @ 8:58 pm

  15. Hi

    Been lurking for months mainly ‘cos I never succeeded in sending, but can’t resist trying again from my new address etc. Just moved to Mexico – the pacific coast to be precise and the temperature is around 30 and far above that in the sun, cool at night tho´which makes it very pleasant.

    Don’t give up hope tho’. Spring is round the corner- or before the door as they say in German. We are Brits and have spent the last ten years in La France profonde which I adored. Will miss the civilisation – at the moment it is all too American, however we’ll adjust.

    And why have we come? Because our son and his young family live here. Sofia, our grandchild, is a year younger than Tadpole and I’m very interested in how kids aquire language and especially when they are growing up bilingual. Now I have to aquire Spanish but I think I can – even if I’m more than twice Petite’s age.

    Bon courage as you struggle through the winter – it really was cold and we had real snow in the south for the first time in ten years. I know what you are going through – we saw it only eleven days ago.

    Grannie D

    Comment by Grannie D — February 25, 2006 @ 7:32 pm

  16. Not so sure about the pee being only human. I’m pretty sure dog pee gets stinky after the initial roses and hyacinths stage.

    Comment by nardac — February 26, 2006 @ 12:52 am

  17. Hello Madame,
    Yours blogs are such a joy to read being filled with wit, mirth and laughter and the experience of incongruity-the incongruity which you illustrate very well in the difference between the concepts, thoughts and ideas.
    My Mother is English too, hailing from Plymouth and oft since my childhod I have heard about the travails of the French language primarily,her efforts to educate my Sister and I in correct English usage without any sprinkling of French words and last but not the least the frequent visits to our Grandparents which was made bearable by the sumptuous breakfasts all the while answering innocuous questions about liking Plymouth or Aubagne better.
    Heartfelt WIshes and Prayers for Tadpole and yourself Madame for the Spring after the harsh Winter.

    Jean de Chalon

    Comment by Jean de Chalon — February 27, 2006 @ 8:29 am

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