petite anglaise

June 22, 2006

chou fleur

Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 10:54 pm

I sit with Tadpole at her Lilliputian Ikea table. From across the room, an adult-sized dining table eyes me balefully. There are many pieces of furniture in our flat that I have tended to snub since Mr Frog moved out last summer. Having two sofas in the living room seems somewhat superfluous, given that I watch TV on my computer these days, from the comfort of my bed. I tell myself that as a result, moving to a smaller place is unlikely to cause me any great hardship, even if I will miss all the “original features” and the breathtaking view.

I am a little distracted, absorbed in trying to decipher Tadpole’s latest work of art, without letting the word “fisting” enter my mind, even for a moment.

“Can I have some melon now, and some raisins?” Tadpole enquires, reaching for the fruit salad with a tentative spoon.

“No,” I say firmly. “You can have melon and grapes if you eat FOUR pieces of cauliflower first.” As usual, Tadpole has polished off her carbs – in this instance some Kiri coated pasta – and pushed the vegetables disdainfully to the side of her plate. I should have learned my lesson by now: separate courses are the key, vegetables FIRST. It probably doesn’t help that I have made myself a bowl of pasta arrabiata, which conspicuously lacks any vegetable accompaniment.

Surprisingly, the toddler doth not protest. Instead, she deliberates at length about which cauliflower floret to select. Once she has identified the smallest, she takes it delicately between a thumb and forefinger and takes the tiniest of tiny bites.

“One…” she counts.

Another fairy-bite follows, from the same floret, even tinier than the first.

“Two…” she continues, giving me that look, the one that says “Clearly you know what my game is, and I know that you know, but wouldn’t it be funnier if you just played along until I reached number four?”

I can’t help but giggle at her ingenuity. She flashes me her trademark toothy grin in return, and on the count of “four”, a hopeful recidivist hand reaches grapeward.

An overwhelming urge to throw my arms around her mischievous little frame and hug her to me tightly nearly gets the better of me.

Instead, I relent and push the fruit salad closer.

I go back to examining the picture, hoping I will find it less disturbing.


  1. There is certainly a lot going on in that drawing… Why not get Tadpole to explicate it for you?

    Comment by Loxias — June 22, 2006 @ 11:04 pm

  2. It’s definitely got something to do with the potty training…

    Comment by Mancunian Lass — June 22, 2006 @ 11:33 pm

  3. LOL! The fisting comment made me almost spit my coffee all over the screen from laughter!

    As an aside,a while ago Petite you said you were moving and getting a mortgage – did that go through and I missed it?

    Comment by Kasey — June 22, 2006 @ 11:34 pm

  4. thank god for that – fisting was the first thing I thought of when I saw her latest creation. But you spotted it too. Hurrah am not twisted person that should be shot at dawn.

    Comment by andre — June 23, 2006 @ 12:36 am

  5. Fisting? Does fisting mean fighting?

    Comment by jouf — June 23, 2006 @ 3:03 am

  6. Yep that word came up in my head before I even started to read the text. Next it will be glory holes!

    Comment by Holly — June 23, 2006 @ 5:01 am

  7. wow

    That’s great. I hope the dinner was a fun with TAdpole in the front of an adult-sized table…

    What drawing you have made that’s bit confusing!

    Comment by Linda — June 23, 2006 @ 6:38 am

  8. There are alot of daft people who don’t know what they’re doing in the picture, it’s true. Perhaps some of them don’t know the difference between life an death, or at least, whether or not to keep their heads but that’s pretty normal for children’s literature. There’s a lovely half moon. Everything will be alright, since you’ve taught her to look at the moon. You can even punch afew piggies by moonlight; no one will mind. x

    Comment by fjl — June 23, 2006 @ 10:03 am

  9. Fisting – priceless

    Comment by sp999 — June 23, 2006 @ 10:46 am

  10. That mischievious charm that children have is always a delight.
    I remember pulling the same kind of tricks when I was a kid.

    Comment by Jack Hartley — June 23, 2006 @ 11:43 am

  11. …and by tricks I mean the vegetables, not the drawings of fisting. ;-)

    Comment by Jack Hartley — June 23, 2006 @ 11:43 am

  12. OK, who is going to be the brave person who enlightens jouf?

    Or are we all going to be British and pretend noone said anything? ; )


    Comment by Francesca — June 23, 2006 @ 12:30 pm

  13. ahem

    Comment by petite — June 23, 2006 @ 12:39 pm

  14. Oh, alright. I’ll be the ugly American.

    Here you go Jouf-

    Comment by Nicole — June 23, 2006 @ 12:46 pm

  15. Please let us all know how much the word “fisting” has increased you hit counter !!!!!!

    Comment by Germain — June 23, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

  16. The picture COULD mean that the “fister” is holding a giant set of keys on one of those old large key ring things. Well…That’s what the innocent part of my mind tells me anyway :-P And yeah Germain has a point, I think petite now has an entirely new type of clientele reading her site!

    Comment by Lee — June 23, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

  17. Top five search engine referels on this post please, it will be a stonker…

    Should have given her the big hug, THEN made her go back and eat three more…

    Comment by TheBoy — June 23, 2006 @ 2:17 pm

  18. hmmm I had a queasy feeling that fisting was going to mean what it did, even though I really hoped it was a Brit word for fighting… I waited a whole 30 seconds before going to wiki link.

    Comment by magillicuddy — June 23, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

  19. Truly you do have an intelligent daughter! What will she be like when she grows up?

    Comment by Lost in France — June 23, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  20. I was wanting to know why this blog is so popular and now I do. She sounds too cute – I want one.

    Comment by Alicia — June 23, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

  21. Well you certainly do get your moneysworth on this blog.
    You go in for cauliflowers and you end up with calving gloves!
    Seriously though, haven’t you detected the clear Marc Chagall influence on Tadpole’s precocious art. This is a recogniseably transitional phase and she will assuredly go on to develop her own personal style.

    Comment by Parkin Pig — June 23, 2006 @ 6:11 pm

  22. It just won’t go away, will it? :D All roads lead there…

    Comment by rhino75 — June 23, 2006 @ 6:31 pm

  23. Sorry…but I don’t buy it. That little tadpole is either an artistic genius or someone else drew that…I have seen 3 year olds draw, I have 5 kids, they don’t draw as well as that!?

    Still love your blog though. :-)

    Comment by Kiora — June 23, 2006 @ 7:29 pm

  24. There’s just one thing I’d like to point out before my medication kicks in and I become somebody else.


    Let that be my parting shot.

    Comment by Trevor — June 23, 2006 @ 8:16 pm

  25. Genius, hmm, like the sound of that.

    Did I mention she can write her name too?

    Comment by petite — June 23, 2006 @ 8:18 pm

  26. i’m not gone yet, and stop asserting yourself throught your child, for her sake!

    Comment by Trevor — June 23, 2006 @ 8:57 pm

  27. I see a mummy, mamam, running very very fast to the right with her hat in her hand (hence swirly legs and misinterpreted fist action).

    Mamam appears to be over the moon about something, while a small child rides a tine elephant towards a slightly stern looking grandparent…

    Waddya thing Petite?

    Comment by Martin — June 23, 2006 @ 11:13 pm

  28. Sorry, tiny elephant.


    Waddya think Petite… not thing!

    Comment by Martin — June 23, 2006 @ 11:14 pm

  29. So how is Belle de Jour’s book?

    Comment by Bibil — June 23, 2006 @ 11:23 pm

  30. Just found your site through the mad hatter. Love the pic. I teach first grade and get lots of great artistic expression.

    Comment by thescrappycrafter — June 24, 2006 @ 5:51 am

  31. Oh la la! Miss Petite est quelque peu “soupe au lait”, tout comme moi d’ailleurs! Ha ha!
    Je ne cherchais pas a te vexer mais a exprimer un point de vue et egalement une certaine incredulite (j’avoue)!! :P
    Ma petite est egalement capable d’ecrire son prenom, a le meme age que la tienne mais moins de dexterite artistique…
    Bises! xoxo

    Comment by Kiora — June 24, 2006 @ 6:30 am

  32. I think in that drawing you have missed out on tadpole. Everyother thing I can locate except that Tadpole. Can you help me in finding that?

    Comment by Linda — June 24, 2006 @ 9:57 am

  33. All the curly haired figures are Tadpole, I am usually depicted with very long medusa like hair…

    Comment by petite — June 24, 2006 @ 10:49 am

  34. … and there I was innocently thinking it was someone peering around a free-standing dartboard!

    Comment by Paris Lights — June 24, 2006 @ 12:10 pm

  35. All I can see is “Un petit chou”…No cauliflowers anywhere…
    Looks like she’s got wrapped round her little finger…

    Comment by Cream — June 24, 2006 @ 1:29 pm

  36. Obviously, letting the Stripper (sorry, ex-stripper) into your house for the weekend had its impact on the Tadpole. :-)

    Comment by ellie — June 24, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

  37. First time poster, long time reader….

    Personally I think Tadpole is going to be a doctor. The woman at top center is on her back, the doctor is to the right ready to catch, the placenta and new baby directly below.

    Did you show her a video of her birth recently? :)

    Love your site……. B

    Comment by Bobette in Las Vegas — June 24, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

  38. Wait a minute, didn’t you say eat four pieces, not four bites? Or does the translation to English change things?

    Comment by joeinvegas — June 24, 2006 @ 9:12 pm

  39. You mentioned that you watch TV on your computer.
    This is very interesting, I never thought that people will use computers as a TV set. Very interesting !

    Comment by Maria loves pictures — June 24, 2006 @ 9:23 pm

  40. so… did you eventually ask Tadpole what she was drawing, just out of curiosity?

    Comment by Sophie — June 25, 2006 @ 8:03 am

  41. great drawing

    Comment by jr — June 25, 2006 @ 9:24 am

  42. ok, so according to the artist the picture is made up of:

    Two Tadpoles
    My own (severed) head
    Two adult snails and a baby snail
    A pig (being “held” by one of the Tadpoles)


    Comment by petite — June 25, 2006 @ 12:38 pm

  43. That fisting comment keeps making me laugh every time I think about it!

    Kids’ ingenuity never ceases to amaze me (re the cauliflower).

    Comment by Elizabeth — June 26, 2006 @ 9:57 am

  44. Ummmm joeinvegas… I think that was the point of the post.

    Comment by Jamila — June 26, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

  45. LOVE the fisting comment…

    Comment by kirsty — June 26, 2006 @ 9:04 pm

  46. that is hysterical… when I become a Mum… I hope to be like you!
    and you tell tadpole that she made a lovely drawing :)

    Comment by stinkerbell — June 26, 2006 @ 10:01 pm

  47. Your blog is very interesting, keep up the good works.

    Comment by freddie L. Sirmans — June 27, 2006 @ 5:40 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: