petite anglaise

October 30, 2006


Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 1:54 pm

“But I want my Auntie R to read me a story,” Tadpole cries.

I feel another of her little tantrums coming on. We seem to be going through a particularly wilful phase, and a typical exchange tends to involve me patiently explaining why something she wants can’t actually happen right now, and Tadpole replying “but I WANT TO!” approximately fifty times. It usually ends in tears and “time out”, whereby I shut her in the bedroom and keep repeating that she can come out when she’s ready to calm down and be reasonable. I thought the cycle might be broken while we were staying with my folks, but no such luck. Some holiday this is turning out to be.

The silver lining is that I’ve been able to get quite a bit of reading done while sitting outside her bedroom door, listening with one ear to make sure she is not wreaking revenge by shredding a box of tissues or writing on the wallpaper with marker pens.

Tadpole’s latest protest, however, is going to require very careful handling indeed. Auntie R, Tadpole’s favourite person in the world, was admitted to hospital while Tadpole and I were out visiting a friend of mine.

“Darling,” I begin, wanting her to understand, without being unduly traumatised. “Your Auntie R is poorly. She would love to read you a story, but she had to go to the hospital to get better.” My youngest sister, doubled up with stomach pains, has suspected gallstones and is laid up, connected to various tubes, awaiting the results of various tests and a possible operation. Luckily, she was off work at the time, staying with my parents so that she could spend time with her favourite niece during our stay in England. At least this means that she is in a hospital close to home, and my parents and I are on hand.

“But,” Tadpole replies, in the whining voice I dread, “if she’s poorly, why don’t we give her some magic pink medicine*? Then she’ll be better. And then she can read my story!”

“Well. When you are a little bit poorly, medicine helps,” I explain, anxious not to play down the miraculous (largely psychological) healing properties of magic pink medicine, as that would really be shooting myself in the foot, “but if you are very poorly, you need a doctor, and sometimes if you are very, very poorly, the doctor needs to look after you in a hospital. So Auntie R is going to sleep there tonight, and we’ll visit her tomorrow.”

“Auntie R can read me a story tomorrow in the hospital?”

“Yes, I think so. If she’s feeling up to it.”

I read the story. It is mercifully short. As I turn out the light and adjust the door so that it lets in just enough light to keep whatever nocturnal demons Tadpole now seems to fear at bay. As I inch sideways through the gap, Tadpole raises herself upright in bed, clutching dolly to her chest.



“I feel very, very poorly. I want to go to the hospital.”

* * * * * * * * *

The next day sees us sitting around Auntie R’s bed, an assortment of Mr Men books strewn across the covers, attempting to make cheerful conversation. I attempt to block out the rasping sounds of an elderly lady being violently sick behind a flowery curtain in the corner of the ward, and manage to catch Tadpole just as she attempts to yank Auntie R’s drip tube out of a machine administering fluids. Upon closer inspection, I see that the contraption bears a sticker with the reassuring words “do not use after Aug 06”.

When a nurse comes to take a blood sample, Tadpole is fascinated.

“Look mummy! It’s a piqure just like in my doctor’s bag!” she says, not phased by the sight of dark brown blood filling up a test tube, while my sister’s complexion fades even paler, competing with the starched white of the hospital sheets.

One hour and twenty chocolate buttons later, we leave the hospital with my mother, pathetically relieved to have averted several possible Tadpole meltdowns during our visiting slot.

After bath time, I hug my daughter to me more tightly than usual. Seeing my mother’s face as she sat helpless by her youngest daughter had got me thinking about how I would feel if it was Tadpole in a hospital bed, and I was powerless to make things better.

“Mummy?” says Tadpole, running little fingers through my hair. Little fingers which then encounter a knot and tug rather painfully, causing my eyes to water.


“Can we go to the hospital now and give Auntie R some magic pink medicine?”

*calpol, or doliprane – somehow, regardless of the country, paracetamol syrup always seems to be pink and taste the same.


  1. We call it the magic spoon in our house! Hope your sister is on the mend, I’ve had the op and feel so much better now.

    Comment by Jen — October 30, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

  2. Poor you – and your sister! It’s very difficult to explain illness to children isn’t it. You don’t want to frighten them but, at the same time you need to let them know, for the patient’s sake, that Auntie doesn’t feel like being jumped up and down on at present. And how right you are when you say how awful it feels when it’s your own child (of whatever age) who is sick and you can’t simply ‘kiss it better’ or make use of magic medecine. Hope all goes well and that your sister has a quick recovery.

    Comment by Sablonneuse — October 30, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

  3. sorry – medicine!

    Comment by Sablonneuse — October 30, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

  4. My sister had hers removed recently. She has felt much better since.

    Comment by Oink — October 30, 2006 @ 2:41 pm

  5. Ahhh, Calpol, whoever invented that should be knighted! Hope your sis feels better soon.

    Comment by Alastair — October 30, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

  6. I loved Calpol as a kid! One of the saddest parts of growing up was having to move onto real medicine.

    Illness is a tough one to explain to kids isn’t it? I think the key to it is the same as for a death in the family: be honest but not sufficently explicit as to scare them. That’s what my parents did with me and I don’t recall ever having difficulty understanding or accepting what I was being told.

    My best wishes to your sister. I’m sure she will be feeling better soon, inspite of “Aug 06” having somewhat passed us by. I know someone who had the same thing and recovered after the op very quickly.

    Comment by Ignorminious — October 30, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

  7. Ouch! O hope it’s not gallstones. My friend’s wife had them shortly after giving birth to one of their children. He was saying to me, on the phone, “They say they are even more painful than childbirth,” and from the background I heard a voice shout from its sick bed, “They are!”

    Comment by Damian — October 30, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

  8. I think the only thing more difficult that describing adult sickness to small children is having to explain death to them. That is going to be a tough one for you when it happens.

    Sorry to hear about your sister! I know that feeling, and it is the worst in th world. As for the “Aug 06” date on the IV bag, I do hope you said something!!!

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — October 30, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

  9. I can relate to this story – I was off work on Friday with a vicious cough and (after coughing so much I gave myself a headache), I went to the pharmacy and bought cough medicine.

    The gloopy, sweet, sticky medicine took me back to being 5 years old…

    Comment by Jonathan — October 30, 2006 @ 3:52 pm

  10. How can you cats be so non-chalant when France is in Civil War with it’s Muslim Population ?

    Comment by J. Philip — October 30, 2006 @ 4:09 pm

  11. A strange observation to make on this post, but, being a US-expat, I had never heard the term “poorly” until I babysat some wee British darlings. I found it very charming, even if it meant I was cleaning up undesirable substances while it was being uttered.

    However, it is just after reading your post that I realize that the word is indeed “poorly” and not “pauly” or something of the sort, which is how I’d always assumed it was written (I’ve never seen it on paper, only pronounced, British-like).

    A humbling moment, indeed, especially for one considering herself a writer.

    Comment by BlondebutBright — October 30, 2006 @ 4:13 pm

  12. You write so beautifully, I commend you! I am sorry to hear about your sister. I hope that with your family’s support (and some magic pink medicine!) she’ll get better soon.

    Comment by Pilar — October 30, 2006 @ 5:06 pm

  13. Poor Auntie R! Safe recovery!

    God I think from what my mum told me, it’s definitely baaaad pain…Both she and my Granddad (maternal) had to have gallstones (gallbladder?) removed. Mum laments nowadays that it means she shouldn’t drink as much red wine as she does due to the op! Her “ballon rouge” is a daily ritual and is never limited to just one. (My parents live in St. Hippolyte – chose to live there when they retired).
    Anyway, for some reason, I was thinking about gallstones just the other day and, for the life of me, have no idea why! Perhaps I’m next – wonder if there’s a familial predisposition (looks like it in my family!)
    And last but not least, I felt tears pricking at my eyes as I read this post. I could relate to the sentiment expressed about feeling helpless in the face of illness, especially one’s child and the fear of our child falling very ill. That made me well up…

    Comment by Karma — October 30, 2006 @ 5:24 pm

  14. I hope that your sister is better soon!

    Comment by Anali — October 30, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

  15. I hope your sister gets well soon.

    Additionally, from what I have read on your blog thus far, you appear to be one hell of a good mother. Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Adam — October 30, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

  16. Tous mes voeux de prompt rétablissement pour ta petite soeur.

    Comment by 4 roses — October 30, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

  17. 3-years old is a great age. All the emotional black arts (tears, tantrums, pouts, endless repetition, sullen-looks, clenched-fists, zillion decibel screams,), allied to an uncanny social awareness and perfect tragicomic timing. Viz: the Doctors surgery, “please sweetums, of course you can have …..(anything you want), as soon as this nice lady has looked in / up / down / ……”; or, the supermarket where a recent innovation is the pre-emptive caterwaul cunningly released in the aisle before the sweetie aisle thus forcing a conciliatory detour; or, “yes darling, show this nice Lady (the health visitor) how we wipe Baby Annabel’s botty with this wipe, and not like Pusskins does it….” These have to be genetic level skills, and Nature always seems to be a good furlong (not sure what that is in metres) ahead of Nurture. At least Tadpole has a natural teacher / role-model to help there. Rhino hide, and selective, almost complete deafness are my last resorts. One good bit of advice we’ve had was never to take time-out, corrective or disciplinary action into a nurturing zone. The time-out place needs to be somewhere neutral, such as sitting on the stairs, or a chair in the hallway (supermarket aisle – dammit they’re good). This prevents places for routine activity, play and rest such as the kitchen table, the sofa, the bedroom, etc, from being associated with emotional unpleasantness and distress.

    Very best wishes and get well soon to Auntie R.

    Comment by Tom — October 30, 2006 @ 6:26 pm

  18. SUPERB. Make sure you give us loads more of this. :-)

    And I hope you get through. x

    Comment by fjl — October 30, 2006 @ 6:48 pm

  19. Oh, poor Auntie R, I sympathise greatly as I had my gallbladder removed three years ago and gallstones can be very painful. The op is all done by keyhole surgery these days (unless there are complications) so is all very straight forward with the minutest scar and I’ve felt absolutely fine ever since. Have never been told to limit my intake of red wine, though, like Karma’s Mum, thank goodness!!

    Tadpole is such a sweetie, I bet you can’t stay cross with her for long, Petite.

    Comment by Susannah — October 30, 2006 @ 8:20 pm

  20. I hope your sister will get better. If the pink medicine can’t help for what she has, I’m sure reading a story to Tadpole would be a good start towards better health, though.

    To J.Philip (#10): we’re not exactly in a civil war, and the population who is concerned is not all Muslim. Your comment is so silly: Iraq has been a mess for more than 3 years, most inhabitants of New Orleans don’t have electricity, the Darfur is a mess… just to name a few. And as far as I know, people around the world are still able to sleep at night and do casual stuff while thousands kids & civilians are dying there.

    Plus I don’t think this post was “non-chalant”. At all.

    Comment by pardonmyfrench — October 30, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

  21. I had mine removed when I was twenty one. The worst part was not the surgery. It was kind of nice to be laid up for a few weeks, eat popsicles and have someone serve me hand and foot. The worst part was not knowing what was wrong with me. I had been misdiagnosed with an ulcer for two years, and in excruciating pain.

    Once your sister is on the mend, tell her that her color will improve and she’s probably end up losing a few pounds.

    As far as comment #10, yes it is important that we acknowledge what is going on in the world, but this blog is “a slice of Petite’s life”. If I wanted to be depressed by world events I’d go watch CNN.

    Comment by Sam — October 30, 2006 @ 9:31 pm

  22. This reminds me of the time, when I shut myself up in my sisters room, with key and everything and stubbornly didn’t get out until my mother, in tears after 2 hours waiting, promised that I will get my own room. I was around 3-4 then and my poor mother feared that I wouldn’t be able open the door again and because I had the key and there was no double, she fantasized about having to get the police. She didn’t have to, I did open the door with no problems, after I got my victory.

    Good luck to your siter.

    Comment by mad computer voodoo priestess — October 30, 2006 @ 9:51 pm

  23. If only healthcare were as simple in the real world as it is in a child’s mind. Got a boo-boo? Mommy can kiss it and make it all better, and top it off with a band-aid for good measure. The magic pink stuff sounds like our Pepto Bismol, if Calpol is for upset stomach (and worse).

    Comment by The Bold Soul — October 30, 2006 @ 10:50 pm

  24. Best wishes for a speedy recovery by Auntie R…. may Tadpole be happy with visiting rather than wanting to be a patient!!!

    Comment by Karen Mc Cullagh — October 31, 2006 @ 12:39 am

  25. I would say, isn’t she rather young to be getting gallstones, except my brother got gout when he was 21.
    Don’t they pulverise gallstones with ultrasound? The only good thing about these odd conditions is the even odder remedies they sometimes require. Do tell us what it is, don’t spare the grisly detail….

    That aside, best wishes to your sis for a speedy recovery. Maybe tadpole will start the patients and doctors routine with her dolls, if you get her a stethascope.

    Comment by andrew — October 31, 2006 @ 1:01 am

  26. Hey Petite

    Hope your Sister recovers soon and is able to read Tadpole a story before you return home.

    Here is New Zealand we have Pamol which is Paracetamol for childen and it is indeed Pink, luckily though we have an Orange coloured and flavoured version which makes life much easier when I’m chasing my 2yr old Daughter around with a spoon in my hand 8-)

    Comment by David Lockley — October 31, 2006 @ 1:58 am

  27. Hopefully your sister will be on the mend soon. I feel for everyone, but especially Tadpole. It’s so hard to understand at her age what’s going on and she obviously adores her Auntie.

    Comment by Diane — October 31, 2006 @ 7:31 am

  28. Truly sorry to read about your sister. It is never easy to face the feeling of helplessness when one of the dear ones is not well. My sympathies are with you and all.

    Bon courage

    Comment by .t — October 31, 2006 @ 11:03 am

  29. OMG Calpol! Also a trusted favourite here in South Africa

    Comment by Valkyrie — October 31, 2006 @ 11:05 am

  30. Tadpole does adore her auntie R – well both her aunties – and Auntie R dotes on Tadpole, so it was sad that this thing happened while we were visiting as it threw all our plans off kilter.

    But Tadpole is off visiting her French grandparents now, so I’m sure it is mostly forgotten, and we’ll just have to schedule an extra visit to England when Auntie R is feeling better, to make up for the lost time…

    Comment by petite — October 31, 2006 @ 11:18 am

  31. Since when was calpol pink? It was always orange in our (British) house.

    Comment by Loopy — October 31, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

  32. How on earth were children brought up BC (Before Calpol)?

    Wish you and yours well (and hope you enjoy yourself in Tadpole’s absence…)


    Comment by TryingTimes — October 31, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

  33. Poor Auntie R. I hope she has the op soon and gets it over with. I too had it when I was 27 and breastfeeding!! My husband in the Royal Navy was away at sea and my mother who lived 200 miles away – had to dash to my rescue and bring the baby to me for feeds. It was, as you can imagine ‘un nightmare’ but mine was preceeded by pancreatitis – I’ve had four kids but never known pain like that!
    I will be in Paris on Friday – yay, it’s come around quickly. By the way Americans: Calpol is Tylenol!!

    Comment by Welsh Cake — October 31, 2006 @ 1:27 pm

  34. Sorry, but I thought I might also add it being Hallowe’en this little tale of woe: Getting the kids off to school this morning i.e three of them and waiting for my baby neice to come for the day (first day, her mother returned to work today) my 11 year old came into the kitchen with a profoundly bleeding toddler. Screaming, I grabbed her but quickly realsied that the little madam had found her big sisters fake blood and was wringing her hands a la Lady Macbeth in it. It would be funny were it not that a new oatmeal coloured carpet is truly trahsed!!!! ANd all before 8am…

    Comment by Welsh Cake — October 31, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

  35. Great blog, heard about it ages ago, only got around to reading it recently.

    Hope your sister recovers soon. Spare a thought for your mum, (as mentioned earlier, no matter how old we are, our parents still see the child in us!), how must she be feeling?

    With Tadpole away with her grandparents it’s time for you to have some valuable self-time.


    Comment by Richard — October 31, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

  36. Welsh cake – she has pancreatitis, too, it sounded horrible. I think that has to subside before anything else can be done…

    Comment by petite — October 31, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

  37. In reply to comment# 31
    Loopy- Calpol has always been pink/purpley coloured but when you were a little bit older and more grown up, you were allowed Calpol 6+ which is indeed orange and not as nice as the real one :0(

    Hope your sister gets better soon Petite!

    Comment by Sugarplum — October 31, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

  38. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I’m a single parent too and my daughter will be turning 15 in a couple of months. Things change but she can still be difficult in a completely new and aggravating way. In the end, we love them in spite of the difficulties and they love us in spite of ours.

    Comment by Tony — October 31, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

  39. Petite,

    Not to alarm you, but pancreatits can be dangerous, if not treated properly. Are they giving her anti-biotics?

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — October 31, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

  40. I think she’s in good hands – admittedly slightly grimy, NHS ones – under close observation and I think the pancreatitis (as opposed to tits above) is mild.

    It’s times like this when you wish you didn’t live abroad…

    Comment by petite — October 31, 2006 @ 4:11 pm

  41. I hope your sister is out of the hospital soon. I think Tadpole was spot on with the magic pink medicine idea. Why can’t Auntie R have some? Pancreatitis is awful but to combine it with gallstones is horrifying. Poor dear!

    Comment by Peggy — October 31, 2006 @ 5:25 pm

  42. ever thought of saying no?

    Comment by pacwaters — October 31, 2006 @ 5:51 pm

  43. Saying “No”? I say it about a hundred times a day at many different volumes.

    I even caught myself saying “because I SAID SO!” the other day. Which I used to hate, coming from my own parents.

    Comment by petite — October 31, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

  44. Ah- I remember the first time I said “Because I told you so to my nephews.” I had to go in the other room and hide because I started laughing at myself. . .

    Comment by Nicole — October 31, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

  45. “I read the story. It is mercifully short.”

    Yep. There’s a surprisingly woeful lack of much meaningful adult engagement in most kiddie stories, certainly in comparison with the equivalent level of movies (I’m thinking Toy Story and Madagascar here).

    Have you discovered Shirley Hughes ? At least you can enjoy the pictures whilst reading.

    There’s another good one by David and Ronda Armitage called ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch’. It’s not a literary classic, but I must say it survives 1,000 readings rather better than ‘The Bears Who Went to the Seaside’ did.

    Comment by roadsofstone — October 31, 2006 @ 7:55 pm

  46. It’s times like this when you wish you didn’t live abroad…
    Isn’t it! Family things like this really make me wish I lived within ‘popping’ distance as well. This past year has seen my dad in and out of hospital and my sister give birth to my first niece. It’s just not quite the same when you have to lump all your visiting into organized ‘holidays’ and can’t simply pop around to help out with things at the drop of a hat. Harrumph.

    Hope your sister gets well soon.

    Comment by flechesbleues — October 31, 2006 @ 8:16 pm

  47. I’m glad you mentioned “patiently explaining”, Petite because in the end I’m sure that’s the only way forward, a stark “no” is worthless without an explanation and young children are just as entitled to one as us adults. If you keep on giving her valid reasons for not doing things I’m sure it will pay off.

    In answer to comment#32…Junior Disprin.

    Comment by Chartreuse — October 31, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

  48. “and I think the pancreatitis (as opposed to tits above) is mild.”

    Did I really write that? ;-) Hmm……..I’ll have to look through my medical manuals for that condition….

    Comment by Dave of the Lake — October 31, 2006 @ 9:46 pm

  49. Bizarre to read some of the coincidences….I’m an Aunty “R”, gallstones are involved, as is an adorable little child.

    Hope your sister feels better soon.

    Comment by Madame O — October 31, 2006 @ 10:49 pm

  50. I apologize , sorry to interrupt your lil party.

    Comment by J. Philip — October 31, 2006 @ 11:28 pm

  51. I can’t count the amount of times me and my twenty-something friends have reminisced about calpol, OMG it was the best! It tasted so good, it was almost as awesome as the tutty-fruity laces you used to get at Woolworths! Those were the days… I remember when I reached a certain age and calpol was no longer appropriate and we moved on to some kind of banana-essence thing…it was still good but it wasn’t calpol!!! LONG LIVE CALPOL!!!

    By the way this guy…

    how can you cats be so non-chalant when France is in Civil War with it’s Muslim Population ?

    J. Philip | 4:09 pm

    …needs to sort himself out, what in the world is the point of his comment???!!! For a start he doesn’t know how to spell nonchalant and secondly in what frame of reference does his comment pertain???!!! And for his information ‘it’s’ means IT IS!


    Comment by ellie — November 1, 2006 @ 9:18 am

  52. Comment 43. I substituted ” Because I said so” with “Because I can”… it seemed to confuse them, and then you move on before they can work it out….. ha ah!

    Comment by simon — November 1, 2006 @ 10:03 am

  53. OK slightly off topic. I second ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s lunch’ and propose ‘Click Clack Moo, Cows that type’ as a secondary option.

    That’s all, carry on…

    Comment by frogthistle — November 1, 2006 @ 12:29 pm

  54. I was taken to a hospital with suspected gallstones about four years ago. When I woke up I found out that my appendix had bust wide open and I had all the joys of really nasty peritonitis (along with flaking out, and an electrical restart.)
    And there were no blooming lights to walk towards that I remember.
    It kind of changes your perspective.
    I hope your Sister is improved.

    Comment by meredic — November 1, 2006 @ 1:44 pm

  55. P, I hope you’re fine, and your little sister too. Here’s a mercifully short story.

    When I was a kid, about 3 or 4 years older than Tad (I abandon writing the queue to shorten my story), I had to stay for a while in a parisian hospital. A big adventure to me.

    My mother could’t neither stay with me all the day long, nor nights, and I had to experience on my own this place, where a journey might become endless, and toys be rather powerless or derisory.

    For the little boy, all was resumed as a severing (weaning) problem, and quest for unity (integrity):

    Separation with my body: it could become inhospitable. Learned to deal with.

    Separation with my home. My body was discovering new affection: enveloping green sheets, but in whiteness, pipes, emerging from the wall, machines, in my room, emptiness, the mechanical bed, needles (piqûres) and sharp shining instruments, beauty of evil (a hurried nurse, not mine), monotype food (in “barquette”, little boat), clinical politeness, the waiting, ceaseless perceiving infinite open time, strange smells, corridors to the unknown, light fading though huge windows, feeling sterilised oxygen, explore disused spaces, disturbing order and hygiene, stairs, close encounters with the third kind, far-distant cry, whispers, then silence, stillness, echos and faint, sweet operation. Learned to consider reality and calm down imagination.

    Separation with my mummy, whose presence there was pure miracle, life, warm and supernatural, fear and desire, but who couldn’t stay all along. Learned to say goodbye, every single day.

    Separation with the belief in maman allmighty eternal powers, who suddenly had to be shared with careful but unsmiling frosted brains. Learned that we’re just human things indeed.

    I started to write a life diary, sacred bond with my private island, that my mother still have today: 1 page, 7 days summed up. Learned to spell a word: “électrocardiogramme” to fill time.

    At the end of my heroic holidays, hospital and nurses were all in my pocket, force of evil’d been conquered, and the hole made by the “frozen brains” into my body was perfectly filled up, thanks. However, although I was proud to possess a homeric story to be told to no matter who, and was, as Ulysses on Troy’s smoking shores, cheerful to return so magnificent, so strong, so smart, so alive, to my home sweet home kingdom, just upon leaving, in the large crowdy entrance, I couldn’t help bursting into tears… an ocean of … crying like a baby.

    Maybe I had already lost sight of the pink medicine, the “unknotable” knot that overcome the separation.

    My mummy: “I am here”.

    Always been dumbstrucked by “SILENCE – HOSPITAL” boards.

    Comment by 4 roses — November 1, 2006 @ 6:46 pm

  56. Welsh Cake – Tylenol sounds so less child friendly than Calpol don’t you think?

    I used to love Calpol and was always sad that I only got to have one spoon at a time! Just like Basset’s soft and chewy vitamins! BUT 6+ Calpol was NOT good, not when I was 6+ anyway! It was a horrible, bitter orange flavour and it took all the fun out of it – is that what it’s like in other countries?

    Comment by Grace — November 1, 2006 @ 8:37 pm

  57. I’m glad your sister is getting better. As for the “Do not use after Aug’06” warning, fear not.
    I have learned (from having many doctors and several pharmacists in the family)that medicine does not become a risk to use until many months after its posted expiration date.

    Tadpole is an exceptionally perceptive child. She senses not only your love but your fears, guilt and weaknesses quite well, Petite. This tempts her to react to you with the natural rebellion and cunning of a child of high intelligence.

    Her little heart is constantly being overwhelmed with the impulse to grab, see, smell, taste, take, run ,play, etc. which is the fascination of experiencing the world through 3 year old eyes.
    She knows & cares not of “being reasonable” and
    time is a nonexistent concept. Thereby, you negate your authority every time you negotiate with her,
    as opposed to simply disciplining her.

    If the “willful phase” is met with a firm no-drama
    approach,(i.e: she does not get to question why you have chosen a particular action, nor do you allow visible your reaction when upset, as children are masters at the art of exploiting a parents’ guilt)
    the “phase” has no chance of turning permanent,
    as Tadpole will gradually abandon any attempt which does not provide her with what she seeks.

    Here’s hoping the rest of your week brings happier things!

    Comment by Belle — November 1, 2006 @ 8:54 pm

  58. I think tadpole needs a baby brother or sister? ah ha! (just a thought petite…) Its not much extra work and there is hours of fun to be had. ;o)

    Comment by simon — November 2, 2006 @ 7:37 am

  59. Here in Australia, Calpol/Tylenol is ‘Panadol’. And, though I’m sorry to break the trend: I hated it. It made me gag. I once vomited it in the bathtub, and then had pretty-Panadol-pink bath water. Which actually made me feel a little better.

    So I’d like to know – does liquid paracetamol have that liquorice/sasparilla flavour to it all around the world, or was that just reserved for us Aussie kids?

    Comment by Milk & 2 Sugars — November 2, 2006 @ 8:30 am

  60. Sorry to hear about your sister, but it is good to have you back.

    In Tadpole’s position I probably would have taken the magic markers to the wall paper, as I once did as a child.

    Comment by Lost in France — November 2, 2006 @ 1:09 pm

  61. Hi Petite,

    Yours is the first blog I’ve read and was so impressed it has led me on to be an avid blog reader (MBIAT, Belle etc), I’m even considering starting one up myself, I just need to fix my archaic computer!

    Isn’t it funny how people feel obliged to inform parents what they are doing wrong in the rearing of their children, especially when their own experience is obtained through books, television programmes and heresay. After reading ALL of your blog, you are doing a marvellous job raising your little tadpole on your own, I have done the same, my monster is now 13 and has been abducted by aliens. I expect her back at around 18 yrs old (I live in hope!). We do our best as parents, nobody gets it right all the time, all they need to know is that we will always love them unconditionally, even when we don’t like them very much.

    Keep up the good work!


    Comment by QldDeb — November 3, 2006 @ 6:21 am

  62. Dear Petite

    Fabulous blog! It’s a great read and I love the way you talk about Tadpole.

    It’s nice to find another blog that isn’t tips or gimmicks, but more like mine a slightly humourous look at life.

    Will keep reading you!


    Comment by Sally Lomax — November 3, 2006 @ 8:52 pm

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