petite anglaise

April 11, 2006


Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:22 pm

I hear the creak of a door, followed by a pattering of bare feet on the floorboards. Pulling the bedclothes up to my chin, I snap my eyes hastily closed, as per the usual morning ritual, to preserve Tadpole’s illusion that she is responsible for waking me.

A hand softly grazes my cheek, and I prepare myself for the habitual “WAKEYWAKEYMUMMY!”, the volume of which never ceases to amaze me. Such a loud voice from such a small pair of lungs surely goes against all the laws of physics.

Today however the ritual appears to have changed. Instead tiny fingers are exploring my face. My mouth twitches, involuntarily, but I keep my eyes firmly closed, hoping to prolong the moment for as long as I possibly can.

A finger traces the curve of my eyebrow.

“Mummy got lovely eyebrows,” a Tadpole voice mutters, softly.

There is a feather light touch on my lower lip.

“Mummy got beautiful lips,” she whispers.

I bask in the glow of her unconditional love. Even if I know she is only repeating things I say to her on a regular basis, because I simply can’t help myself and refer to her as my beautiful princess at least ten times a day, her flattery is still music to my ears.

My mouth is slightly ajar, and a digit ventures inside to probe my front teeth. I deliberate about whether to make Tadpole jump by gnawing on her finger, pretending to bite.

“Mummy have very pretty yellow teeth,” she continues.

“YELLOW?” I splutter, the spell irrevocably broken, all pretence of sleep brusquely abandoned. “NO! Mummy’s teeth are white!”

Tadpole is unconvinced. “Nooo. Not white, they yellow,” she maintains, stubbornly, “just like your hair.”

I resolve to give up tea and coffee and invest in some heavy duty whitening strips. The truth hurts. Especially, it seems, from the mouths of babes.


  1. I was just about to contribute to the Whitening Strip Fund through some Amazon shopping and can’t find the link — where’s it gone?

    Comment by Claire — April 11, 2006 @ 12:42 pm

  2. OMG Petite – I just laughed so hard…….thank you! I needed that laugh……..


    Comment by Kasey — April 11, 2006 @ 12:59 pm

  3. The “reading” links are referral links. The top one takes you to Amazon US, the bottom one to Amazon UK. Cunning, but possibly too subtle…

    Comment by petite — April 11, 2006 @ 1:18 pm

  4. ROFLMAO! I am forced to wonder what other denials about your body Tadpole has been shattering. Now if she comes to you one morning and says “Mommy smells, mommy needs shower.,” you’ll know things have gone over the edge………;-)

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — April 11, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

  5. If she starts telling me I have a big bottom, I don’t think I will be able to take it.

    Comment by petite — April 11, 2006 @ 2:09 pm

  6. I was babysitting a friends kid once when he just stopped what he was doing and just stared intently at my face. After a while it began to freak me out and I asked what was up. He then replied ‘Why have you got spiders on your eyes?’. I froze thinking there was a spider on my face or something but he soon set me straight by repeating himself whilst touching my eyelashes, which were admittedly after I inspected them in the mirror above the mantelpiece, a bit clumped with mascara.

    I vowed there and then to change my brand of mascara, which I did and I have had no more spider eyelash incidents.

    Comment by CoCo — April 11, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

  7. the best way to whiten teeth is by rubbing them with the inside [white bit] of a lemon peel – FACT

    *god did I just say that out loud?*

    Tis a fact though.

    Comment by andre — April 11, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

  8. Thanks for a good laugh! (And keep us posted on the whitening strip outcome.)

    Comment by Lonely in Brittany — April 11, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

  9. Thank you for your practical advice, André. My dentist actually told me I didn’t need whitening treatment, to my astonishment, as I thought he would be more likely to encourage me to spend lots of cash.

    But clearly Tadpole has very exacting standards.

    Comment by petite — April 11, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

  10. Harrrharrrrrrr, I just spurted yoghurt all over my computer screen! Oh well at least the cleaning ladies will have something to do tomorrow.

    Comment by BrainofBritain — April 11, 2006 @ 3:10 pm

  11. Hmmm. All that sensual face-touching — could it be that tadpole is a LIT (lesbian in training)? Just kidding, Petite.

    Comment by Lost in France — April 11, 2006 @ 3:16 pm

  12. êtes vous sur que vous êtes englaise sinon j’adore ta façon de decrir les choses ainsi car t direct j’attend 1 reponse / mail bisous quelle affirmation

    Comment by azert — April 11, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

  13. LOL

    That is so funny. . .

    Comment by Nicole — April 11, 2006 @ 3:35 pm

  14. Yellow is a wonderful color. :D

    Comment by Marco — April 11, 2006 @ 3:38 pm

  15. I have just tried to translate the french comment left by “azert” and this is the outcome “be you on you are englaise if not I adore your way of thus decrir the things bus T direct I awaits 1 answer/mall kisses which assertion ” Online translater are the best! I hate not being bi-lingual!!

    Comment by Kirsty — April 11, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

  16. bonjour, quelques petits conseils

    le brossage régulier de vos dents au dentifrice (deux foix par jours) et le lavage régulier (hebdomadaire minimum) au shampoin de vos cheveux vous aidera sans doute de vous trouver dans un etat moins lamentable au reveil le matin.


    Comment by Treveur — April 11, 2006 @ 3:53 pm

  17. well, it seems to be written in semi-literate phone text speak, so I hardly understand it myself. The gist seems to be

    “are you sure you are English, otherwise I love your way of describing things because you are direct, I await a reply/email, kisses, what assertion.”

    I am none the wiser for that? You?

    Treveur: I wake up looking like a goddess in the mornings. Anna can vouch for that.

    Comment by petite — April 11, 2006 @ 3:58 pm

  18. Awww, that was so sweet…I’m choosing to ignore the yellow teeth comment in favor of the lovely brows, beautiful lips. However, to make you feel better: when my own Tadpole was four, I happened to be bending over and braless one day in front of her. ‘Mommy!’ she cried. ‘Your boobs are shaped like peanuts!’


    Comment by JoAnne — April 11, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

  19. How lovely. Spread that unconditional and hilarious love x

    Comment by fjl — April 11, 2006 @ 4:05 pm

  20. hmmmm, toujours l’oeil sur ton “comments box”. Tu veux que je monte alors pour voir comment elle est ta tranche au petit matin, c’est ca? Quelle coquine quand même!

    Comment by Treveur — April 11, 2006 @ 4:12 pm

  21. Seems Tadpole has a wicked SOH.

    Comment by Parkin Pig — April 11, 2006 @ 4:14 pm

  22. A lady should keep a careful eye on her box at all times.

    Comment by petite — April 11, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

  23. Hee, hee, a merry note.

    Comment by Trevor — April 11, 2006 @ 4:23 pm

  24. I had an incident much like yours, but with my stepbrother and infront of my mother.

    This “incident” happened about about 6-7 years ago. He was around 6 years old and I was around 15 or 16 at the time. I had been talking to my mother one side of the room as she listened seated on the couch. My stepbrother had been lurking at my side, looking up at me as I spoke to my mom. When I finished my sentence, he broke into conversation and began to add to the story. Mid-sentence, he halted discourse, looked strangely up at me, and then to my breasts. Without hesitation, he reached up, grabbed one fiercely and asked unabashedly, “what’s this?!”

    My mother nearly fell from the couch in fits of laughter. My cheeks flushed a cherry red and my poor little brother had no idea why this situation was so comedic.

    Unfortunately, I had no way to resolve hiding or shrinking my breasts at the time. Even today, it remains monetarily impossible.

    Comment by Fixed Up Girl — April 11, 2006 @ 5:14 pm

  25. OMG – that is adorable. Children have such an innocence about them don’t they? My co-worker’s son is 4 and at the train station one morning, he went up to a man on crutches and said loudly, “What’s the matter…your legs don’t work?” At that moment, my co-worker wanted to die of embarrassment, but later she laughed and proudly told the story to everyone at the office. Thanks for sharing your story. :)

    Comment by Raquel — April 11, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

  26. The Denblan toothpaste from Darphin is fantastic!

    Comment by Holly — April 11, 2006 @ 6:28 pm

  27. Yet another hilarious Tadpole post… It makes the day look brighter, thanks for that!

    Warning: You can look forward to other comments like that, making you feel you’re really growing old… for example when she handily beats you at games like Memory.

    Comment by ontario frog — April 11, 2006 @ 6:37 pm

  28. Having spent all day in the library writing my thesis I needed that laugh. A friend of mine when aged about 10 asked her future sister-in-law why she had a moustache….

    Comment by Ellie — April 11, 2006 @ 7:37 pm

  29. Treveur, pour votre information, on ne dit pas “tranche”, mais “tronche” en argot conventionnel. Une tranche de pain, mais une tronche d’imbécile.

    Comment by Lola — April 11, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

  30. Lola,
    LA FERME!!

    Comment by Treveur — April 11, 2006 @ 8:33 pm

  31. I just laughed SO HARD and SO LOUDLY at my desk…that was HILARIOUS!! Thanks for that!

    Comment by swissmiss — April 11, 2006 @ 8:49 pm

  32. Wonderful! LOL
    My experience like that was when I was 14 and had canines that protruded over my lower lip (very vamp – if only I’d been goth). I was standing at the bus-stop with this woman aged about 50 with 1 leg 10 inches shorter than the other…SHE asked ME why I had funny teeth…would you believe I just couldn’t think of a reply at the time? :)

    Comment by Lucy-Jane — April 11, 2006 @ 9:00 pm

  33. “A lady should keep a careful eye on her box at all times.”

    I am not even going to touch that line……….

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — April 11, 2006 @ 9:24 pm

  34. This is why the woman who wishes to preserve her self-confidence(not to mention her sanity)NEVER takes a child into the dressing room with her,especially during bathing suit or underwear shopping…


    Comment by Belle — April 11, 2006 @ 9:43 pm

  35. OUCH, that hurt. Reminds me of the time when my nephew, who was 7 at the time, saw a photo of me when I was 16, looking totally cute in my band uniform (mini-skirt and white boots) and his reaction, delivered with blunt childish sincerity, was: “Wow, Aunt Lisa, you were really THIN then! How come you got fat?”

    I had to leave the room so he wouldn’t see the tears in my eyes. Then his mother sent him in to apologize and he looked so upset because I was upset. I felt bad for him; he was just being honest and of course he didn’t mean to be hurtful. But damn, the truth sure does hurt sometimes.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — April 11, 2006 @ 10:11 pm

  36. After reading some of the other stories left by commenters, I was reminded of something that happened to a friend of a friend about 15 years ago.

    She picked up her 4-yr old daughter at day care and as they were innocently standing in line at McDonald’s, out of nowhere the little girl piped up at the top of her lungs: “PENIS! PENIS! PENIS!”

    The mother, dying of embarrassment, had no idea where her daughter learned her new word. She had never taught it to the child, so maybe she learned it at day care? That is about the age they get curious about other people’s body parts. But the girl was clearly very proud of herself for pronouncing it so perfectly – and loudly!

    I wonder if that little girl grew up to be a sex therapist… or an exotic dancer?

    Comment by The Bold Soul — April 11, 2006 @ 10:24 pm

  37. Bold Soul, you made me think of a very similar story! Three-year-old daughter and I are in the local Stop & Shop. I am intently scouring the shelves and not really listening to her nonstop chatter..but gradually become aware that all passersby are giggling. Dear Daughter, who is learning body parts and is immensely fascinated with male anatomy – living in an exclusively feminine house as she does – is cataloging fellow shoppers as follows: “Penis, No Penis, No Penis, Penis…”

    Comment by JoAnne — April 11, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

  38. Tadpole discovered that little boys have “tails” in the changing rooms at the swimming baths this weekend. As long as she holds forth about it in English in front of French people, rather than talking about “zizis”, we should be okay.

    I’ll start praying now.

    Comment by petite — April 11, 2006 @ 10:50 pm

  39. Treveur, then you DO have some vague knowledge of French slang! Congratulations, dear.

    Comment by Lola — April 11, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

  40. From age of three,my seven year old has been using fingers as tiny scissors which “cut” the spare flesh (jowels)at my jawline.”Je coupe,je coupe,c,est tres mou”He also likes to scrape my fringe away to see”le Monsieur”(Ihave avery high forehead,and face looks very severe ,exposed)Funny how children can bring back complexes,long forgotten or at least long accepted.My best hope is that he turns into aCosmetic surgeon ratherthan aJack the Ripper!

    Comment by Carol Bouvet — April 11, 2006 @ 11:38 pm

  41. My daughter, aged three proclaimed to assembled family: “(Future brother-in-law) has got a big willy”.
    Sister-in-law blanched and damned near called the whole thing off, demanding to know how child had seen that, until progeny explained that her little brother has a little willy. I’m sure all mums have similar treasured memories, however nothing beats the excruciating embarrassment of same child exclaiming “oh sh*t” at breakfast in a REALLY posh hotel. There may be something to the old maxim, that children should be seen and not heard, after all.

    Comment by J — April 11, 2006 @ 11:38 pm

  42. There was a tv ad very similar to this story around on our screens within the last year or so. It was a school teacher having her junior primary students tell her she had yellow teeth.

    It’s not the sort of thing you want to hear after you’ve just been told how beautiful you are, or any time really.

    Comment by jen — April 12, 2006 @ 4:55 am

  43. Dropping Joey off at his father’s house and walking up the path to the front door he says “Daddy loves (stepmother), Daddy kisses (stepmother), Daddy sexes with (stepmother)”. Er, ok. Not really something he’d like you to tell everyone though.

    Comment by miss tickle — April 12, 2006 @ 5:21 am

  44. That was freaking hilarious! Thank goodness I was at home and not travelling b/c I was laughing so hard that I felt that I was about to pee in my pants ;). Kids are adorable.

    Comment by H. (aka NC_State_gal) — April 12, 2006 @ 5:54 am

  45. My mother-in-law was visiting and 3-year-old N went up to her and caressed her cheek. “I love you, M!”

    M, melting: “I love you, too!”

    N: “I love your soft wrinkles!”

    Comment by Sedulia — April 12, 2006 @ 6:02 am

  46. Oh my…am always amazed at childrens innocence…if only we could view life through children’s eyes, we would get on very well i think.
    i needed that….really made my day

    Comment by becky — April 12, 2006 @ 7:40 am

  47. Hey, at least she said they were PRETTY. Too funny.

    Comment by dongurigal — April 12, 2006 @ 7:56 am

  48. Very funny. Thank you.

    Comment by meredic — April 12, 2006 @ 9:13 am

  49. All the people I love most have yellowy teeth. For me, it’s a sign that they’re real and not magazines :-)

    Comment by Puplet — April 12, 2006 @ 11:23 am

  50. first time posting, but this story begs to be told
    I grew up in a very christian small town in canada and one day was shopping at the local Safeway, i was waiting in the queue to pay and a woman with her screaming 4 year old son lined up behind me, apparently he wanted her to buy him some candy and she had refused. The boy was tantruming louder and louder, garnering all the attention from all the other shoppers, and suddenly, he burst out with, ” IF YOU DON’T BUY ME X, I’LL TELL EVERYONE I SAW DADDY’S PENIS IN YOUR MOUTH!”
    that poor woman scooped up her child, left her full cart and ran as fast as she could out of the store
    tee hee

    Comment by me — April 12, 2006 @ 12:56 pm

  51. Thanks, petite! And all the comments, too – a much-needed smile. Yes, that’s definitely a part of the parent experience. I can’t remember my examples – and nor would you in a few years, if you didn’t write them down for our delectation now. So, good to see the morale is back up to some extent and you’re seeing the humo(u)r in things again. Cheers.

    Comment by Alethea — April 12, 2006 @ 1:16 pm

  52. Azert, il y d’autres peuples que les francais qui savent ecrire…

    Comment by zaf — April 12, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

  53. Yesterday Joey raced out of his classroom and declared, “You have a big bottom”. “I do not,” I say, slightly offended and casting a nervous eye at plus-size mums standing next to me. “Yes, you do. You have an ENORMOUS bottom!”. Sniggers all round from the plus-size mums at my size 10 bottom.

    Comment by miss tickle — April 13, 2006 @ 9:27 am

  54. Shamefully, it’s not even a cute child story, but I once had a male, chinese flatmate who would come up to me, poke -and sometimes rub, in fact – my tummy and say “you are so beautiful and fat, Chinese girls are too thin; they do not have nice fat tummies like you English girls…” Yes, I get the “fat” point, thank you!

    Comment by Amy — April 14, 2006 @ 5:52 am

  55. Hey man thats’ hilarious….funny funny ….
    You want that I go up then to see how it is your section in the early morning, it is Ca?

    Comment by James — April 15, 2006 @ 8:23 am

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