petite anglaise

April 16, 2006


Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 10:31 pm

I am having another identity crisis. My tenth of the day so far. At various junctures I have been required to pretend to be Big Ears, Sly the Goblin, a Gruffalo, Mrs Goggins, Tinky Winky and Sleeping Beauty.

“No!” says Tadpole, firmly, “You’re Boots and I’m Dora l’exploratrice.”

“Okaay,” I reply, “well, if I’m Boots now, and not a fairy princess, maybe I should take off my tiara?”

We have been wearing our matching hers and hers plastic tiaras for quite some time. Mine is actually quite a useful device for keeping my hair out of my face whilst doing jigsaws.

“Yes, put this on now,” Tadpole concurs, handing me more suitable headgear.

We practice our high fives, apparently something which Dora and Boots do in every episode, and I try to muster up some enthusiasm and join in with her cries of “we did it! C’est gagné!” Only the initiated will understand the power of that godforsaken cartoon and its ability to brainwash our children. Quite frankly, it scares me.

Tadpole’s attention thankfully turns to her box of books, and I slink quietly off to the kitchen to do some washing up. It’s funny how attractive housework can become when the alternative is play doh. Or fuzzy felts.

There is a drriiiing at the doorbell. I grab my purse and peep through the spyhole. It is the pizza delivery boy bearing our nutritious dinner. And I note, to my satisfaction, that they have sent the tastiest one. Handsome, but a little on the young side.

Under the circumstances, I am very impressed with pizza delivery boy’s stoic professionalism. Attempting to seem unfazed, despite my extreme discomfiture when I catch sight of myself in the hallway mirror, I hand him an extra large tip to buy his silence.


  1. very very classy.

    i think you should wear that outside, who knows what kind of wierdos you may attract :)

    how i wish i was the pizza boy or maybe if i just got to know what he was thinking…

    Comment by jenn — April 16, 2006 @ 10:39 pm

  2. hi
    been in paris for 5 years and in france for 15, kept a diary all the way through, fancy sharing links?

    Comment by charlha — April 16, 2006 @ 10:42 pm

  3. Please can we see a picture of your Gruffalo face? My nephew does a very good one.

    Comment by Andria — April 16, 2006 @ 11:51 pm

  4. Again – priceless. And I honestly laughed outloud. I expected the tiara…….but that monkey face, well it was so much more than I expected ;)

    And hooray for cute pizza boys. Even if they see us with our monkey faces on, or in my case, my flannelette pj’s and “princess” slippers. How they don’t ravish me at the door I’ll never know ;)

    It’s those nutritious pizza fumes that keep them…..stoic ;)

    Comment by Kasey — April 17, 2006 @ 12:03 am

  5. Well it’s what they’re wearing in Milan. You should wear it outside and when it catches on you can declare you were the first to sport primate headgear!

    Comment by Lee — April 17, 2006 @ 12:58 am

  6. yes thank God for the open door culture interrupting the icky French ‘act the perfect mother routine’! Gorgeous age, tadpole is hilarious… take no notice of overbearing French cartoon matrons and put her on stage, where she belongs.

    Comment by fjl — April 17, 2006 @ 1:17 am

  7. I’m sure he’s seen much more odd scenes as the door opens, night to night, neighborhood to neighborhood.

    I am with you on Dora, as well as the mention of the Wiggles, Teletubbies, and the DoodleBops.

    Comment by Gruntled — April 17, 2006 @ 4:06 am

  8. Were you wearing red boots as well? That’s part of our Boots costume!

    Comment by Kathy — April 17, 2006 @ 4:52 am

  9. Hehe the whole get-up looks very cute! Tadpole is lucky to have such an involved mother :)

    Comment by J — April 17, 2006 @ 5:51 am

  10. You are not alone. All day today I was “Swiper Momma”, and was forced to sing “backpack” “backpack” about 6,000 times while pretending to jump over a river made of blankets. Baby brother was christened Boots.

    Comment by Shelley — April 17, 2006 @ 6:44 am

  11. How tasty ;-) ?

    Comment by Maurine au bout du monde — April 17, 2006 @ 8:09 am

  12. My goodness, if I were you I would enjoy that play time with my child — sometimes it is good to forget that we are adults!

    As to the pizza delivery boy, I know what you mean ;-)

    Comment by Lost in France — April 17, 2006 @ 9:37 am

  13. The picture confirms my suspicions – you are quite cleary mad

    Comment by andre — April 17, 2006 @ 2:37 pm

  14. I mean – clearly

    *bloody french comments boxes*

    Comment by andre — April 17, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

  15. I’ll take it that you mean that in the nicest possible way.

    Comment by petite — April 17, 2006 @ 3:07 pm

  16. Petite,
    Did the new French guy dump you again?

    Comment by Uranus — April 17, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

  17. Oh, this is so funny! I can just imagine the look on the pizza boy’s face when you answered the door. Too cute!

    Comment by lapagefrancaise — April 17, 2006 @ 4:25 pm

  18. I do

    Comment by andre — April 17, 2006 @ 5:31 pm

  19. You will know next time you order a pizza what they have been saying about you. Ahh, the suspense.

    Comment by Laura — April 17, 2006 @ 5:48 pm

  20. I think it’s beneath Petite to reply to our recurring Anus.
    I suggest we take it in turns to reply on her behalf…

    Comment by Flighty — April 17, 2006 @ 5:53 pm

  21. Uranus, you certainly have a way with words…

    There wasn’t a French guy. Pay attention. There was/is an English “friend with benefits”. I don’t think one of those can dump you, actually, as it’s not a relationship in the first place.

    Oh, bum, forget I said that, and do what flighty said…

    Comment by petite — April 17, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

  22. Am experiencing ‘bad motheritis’ here – I’ve never played games like that with my daughter (7) or the two boys (3+5) either…weekends tend to consist of trying to persuade them to stay upstairs/outside while I attempt to wash up/wash the floor/do the 14 (yes, really 14!)loads of washing for the week/fold the laundry/try to grab a bit of time and sanity for me…and I always swore that when I had kids I’d play with them as much as the wanted…my little moongirl does ask for me to play from time to time but I simply can’t find the time or energy; well done you, Petite.

    Comment by Lucy-Jane — April 17, 2006 @ 8:42 pm

  23. we could reply to wanker – sorry, uranus – on behalf of petite, but wouldn’t it be easier if petite could delete his drivel disguised as comments?
    then we wouldn’t have to read his sad little mean words …

    Comment by jenn — April 17, 2006 @ 9:40 pm

  24. Sounds like fun! Do you need a child to take part in all that dressing-up fun? I also feel like I need to watch an episode of Dora the explorer to know what the fuss is about. What channel and what time?

    Comment by Paris Lights — April 17, 2006 @ 10:24 pm

  25. absolutely not. I used to, ahem, dress up as a fairy to go clubbing in my younger days…

    Comment by petite — April 17, 2006 @ 10:43 pm

  26. Hey there Petite,

    Did I miss out on the photo of this one while I was away on my own Easter weekend in Le Havre? I’m sorry to have missed it, because it sounds like such fun!

    Oh well… The photo in the post just above is so beautiful, if that’s you only 4 years ago then you definitely look younger than your years — and you are so beautiful!

    Hope you spent some nice weekend time with Tadpole,


    Comment by Always Ace — April 18, 2006 @ 5:28 pm

  27. no no, you have to click on the words at the end of the post…

    Comment by petite — April 18, 2006 @ 5:35 pm

  28. “Pay no attention to the woman with the odd headdress behind the curtain…….er, door….”

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — April 18, 2006 @ 8:16 pm

  29. Dora beats the Teletubbies by a long shot. I think every recent generation of moms has this to contend with – brainwashing, that is. My generation? it must have been the Muppets from Sesame Street (US) – for you, the Magic Roundabout? Here, Barbapapa, Casimir…?
    Believe me, the pizza guys see some weird shit; my colleague was regaling us with stories of his delivery days and you’d be surprised at how many women try to get a rise out of the delivery guys. But they’re paid by the run; in his mind, the money won out over potential trouble with clients. Or maybe it was all in his head :-)

    Comment by Alethea — April 19, 2006 @ 9:11 am

  30. I do know all about Dora and found your story exhilarating (and the photo too !)
    My daughter, who is about the same age as Tadpole, also loves Dora the explorer. Fortunately, she only has books, t-shirts, videos… but no monkey headgear ;-)

    Comment by Franny — April 19, 2006 @ 11:11 am

  31. I understand the whole, “It’s funny how attractive housework can become when the alternative is play doh. Or fuzzy felts.” I have the same attraction. Are we bad mothers? I don’t think so.

    Comment by sue — April 19, 2006 @ 7:35 pm

  32. Hi there. Grannyp linked to your telephone blog, and I followed. You go, girl! Now then: cartoons. My 5 year-old son (loved, nurtured, exposed to Good Literature and Enriching Experiences) saw an episode of Count Duckula after school one day, featuring a fruitbat which only ate chockie bickies. Result: two years as a fwootbat, and leader of small group of fwootbats from school, with secret password and solemn vow to live on chockie bickies and fwoot. Huh?! No idea. FYI fwootbat is now 18 year-old gorgeous person living independent life on well-balanced diet. It’ll be fine……….. And I’ll bet you looked great in a tiara, just like Barbie…. Don’t ask about the duck thing….

    Comment by Mama Duck — April 21, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

  33. While I love Blue’s Clues and Sponge-Bob SquarePants as much as the next six-year-old trapped in a 24-year-old’s body, I can not stand Dora or the Teletubbies. The teletubbies are insipid, but Dora strikes me as really self-righteous. “Ooh, look at me! I’m four and I’m bilingual and travel all the time and have tons of adventures!” Maybe I’m just jealous…

    Comment by Karenzicus — April 25, 2006 @ 11:38 am

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