petite anglaise

December 20, 2006

papa noël

Filed under: Tadpole sings — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:51 am

I didn’t think to send a letter to Father Chrismas this year with Tadpole’s requests, largely because the only desire she has expressed is for a château fort avec des chevaliers, something which she saw in a window display at Galeries Lafayette after her gifts had already been purchased. Hopefully a turquoise velvet medieval style Princess dress will satisfy her instead.

At school, however, I discovered that a copy of the class photo has been stuck on the wall outside Tadpole’s classroom with an arrow pointing to each child and a little bubble saying what they would like from Père Noël.

Zino would like a bicycle.
Clara is hankering after a Barbie doll.
Natalie is dreaming of a Dora the explorer backpack.

I locate my daughter, grinning cheesily on the back row of the photo next to Jules, and follow the arrow to the corresponding bubble. I stifle a giggle. Tadpole’s dearest wish is apparently to receive un éléphant.

“Sweetie,” I say (but not in an AbFab kind of way, you understand), “I don’t think papa noël will be able to fit an elephant in his sleigh. There wouldn’t be enough room for all the other children’s presents…”

“But mummy,” replies Tadpole, “of course he can. It’s a MAGIC sleigh!”

Oh well. I tried. I should probably be grateful that it will be Mr Frog and his parents who will have to explain to her on Christmas morning (or more likely the evening of the 24th if they do it the French way) that elephants were out of stock this year.


  1. Hey, could be worse, try getting hold of a Nintendo Wii!

    Comment by Alastair — December 20, 2006 @ 11:56 am

  2. Elephants are sooo much cooler than the uncuddly Frankenstein monstrosity that is TMX Elmo… I want a giraffe though.

    Comment by Puplet — December 20, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

  3. i’ll bet they’ve got them at hamleys. getting into hamleys is another matter (it must be all those elephants)

    Comment by mad muthas — December 20, 2006 @ 12:18 pm

  4. Aww Tadpoles voice is so cute
    Love your Christmassy posts
    can never wait to read the next one

    Comment by Jo the waiter — December 20, 2006 @ 12:21 pm

  5. Mad Muthas – oh god, Hamleys last saturday was horrific! How any child can enjoy themsselves in there is beyond me – i was scared witless by a guy yelling at me with a loudspeaker for daring to use the escalator!

    Petite – good luck with the elephant!!!!

    Comment by Louisa — December 20, 2006 @ 12:22 pm

  6. For years when I was little I wanted a Cricket doll because I believed that ads a bit too much that she could really talk to you (rather than have a tape inserted into her back and say the same inane things over and over in a stupid american accent).

    Maybe in years to come Tadpole will be grateful that she didn’t get an elephant after all…

    Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Angelina — December 20, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

  7. I just love all those little audio clips you include !

    and isn’t it Harrods for elephants ?

    Comment by Lavender — December 20, 2006 @ 12:30 pm

  8. I was in FAO Schwarz and they had a hairy mammoth, about 7ft tall.

    Comment by Rachel — December 20, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

  9. In my experience they always forget what was on their list by Christmas morning. That is quite a relief really, because as they get better at lists and writing, tehy get longer and more varied according to whoever they are writing the list for!


    p.s. Will very carefully watch my spellings and grammar in future when I leave a comment on your site Petite, as one “Anonymous” visitor put a comment on my blog with a view to ONLY correcting the English that I had used on your site!

    So, many apologies to all those that I offended by accidentally writing “pressy’s” instead of “pressies”. Please do rest assured Anonymous that I will make sure that I re-read my copy of “Usage and Abusage ” every night before bed between now and New Year. Wouldn’t want to slip up now. Do make sure though that you too pay attention to those full stops and capital letters. Easy to forget in the speed of blogging….

    Comment by Sally Lomax — December 20, 2006 @ 1:29 pm

  10. Tadpole’s irrefutable logic.

    Perhaps a ‘Petit Prince’ will do the trick …

    Comment by Jt — December 20, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

  11. ohh now I want a tadpole for christmas.

    Comment by CeeCee — December 20, 2006 @ 1:33 pm

  12. Why don’t you get her a dumbo the flying elephant? It’s not a real elephant, but a good compromise.

    Comment by day in bed — December 20, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

  13. Petit Papa Noël…
    OK for that but I’m unable to understand the last words.
    Should be “elephant’s pidgin”?

    Comment by Saluki — December 20, 2006 @ 2:04 pm

  14. At least it can be explained that an elephant can’t be kept in a flat, so it was an impossible dream. Be grateful it wasn’t a request for pet rats or a snake.

    Of course, four elephants can go in a car, but I expect she hasn’t heard about that.

    Comment by Z — December 20, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

  15. That’s going to be such a great thing to remember when she’s older – the year she asked for an Elephant for Christmas :)

    Mind you – I wanted to run a hot dog van…

    Comment by Jonathan — December 20, 2006 @ 2:24 pm

  16. These things grow in size if the finances are right. She’ll soon want a stable and paddock for her horses and another house for visitors who come to stay trees and urban furnishing and other utilities, quite possibly a train. It’s human nature after all.
    Watch out or you’ll soon be in Lilliput land!

    I’ve been there.

    Comment by Carruthers — December 20, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

  17. Forget getting to Hamleys. Harrods will probably deliver it for you.

    Merry Christmas Petite.

    Comment by Damian — December 20, 2006 @ 3:01 pm

  18. Tadpole is such a good sport, singing for all of us so often! Now that my children are (almost) grown and (almost) out on their own, they ask for practical things like socks and money for utility payments. I remember with fondness the day my three year old son asked for a blue spotted gryphon that he could keep for his own. My daughter, age four at the time and brimming with the wisdom that is endowed by nursery school attendance, told him haughtily, “Silly, they don’t ever come with spots!”

    My best wishes to Petite, Tadpole and the Frog family for peaceful holiday and a prosperous New Year.

    Comment by Woodstockgurl — December 20, 2006 @ 3:17 pm

  19. even bart simpson got his elephant eventually. hang on to the dream, tadpole!

    Comment by franko — December 20, 2006 @ 3:30 pm

  20. Wait. So laicite permits Christmas wishes but not la voile? Hmmm.

    Comment by Kerry — December 20, 2006 @ 3:42 pm

  21. I requested a giant panda (and not a stuffed one) every christmas and birthday until I was about ten

    Comment by Ellie — December 20, 2006 @ 3:50 pm

  22. Our daughter wants a robot because Petit Ours Brun got one on an TV episode ,)
    ANd she’s only 25 month old …

    Comment by Thierry_J — December 20, 2006 @ 4:31 pm

  23. If she sits quietly and make no noise in front of this(after the 30sec ad), she may happen to see this in motion…

    Comment by Mardo — December 20, 2006 @ 4:49 pm

  24. i have to remember the next time i say “sweetie” to remind people it is not said in the abfab way….heheheh. so fabulous!

    Comment by Delphine — December 20, 2006 @ 4:57 pm

  25. Can I have a Tadpole for Christmas…I know I said before a polar fox…but please!

    Comment by Momo — December 20, 2006 @ 5:25 pm

  26. For 10 year old girls, the in thing this year is ‘les panoplies des Petshop’, which were commercially completely unavailable by the beginning of November: COMPLETELY SOLD OUT.

    Thank God for E-Bay: my daughter will quite possibly be the only one among her friends to get one this year.

    Comment by Antipodeesse — December 20, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

  27. Cute? Frankly, I find it all rather nauseating.

    Comment by Ken — December 20, 2006 @ 5:46 pm

  28. Un éléphant et un château fort? Sounds like she is hinting at a trip to London…

    Comment by Fibsor — December 20, 2006 @ 6:04 pm

  29. I love how Tadpole can carry a tune at such a young age. Maybe you’ve got the next great chanteuse here!

    Comment by The Bold Soul — December 20, 2006 @ 6:08 pm

  30. lol, fibsor.

    She will love these recordings when she’s a bit older… I used to have some of my own when I was five but can’t find them anymore…

    Never spent Christmas in France before but I am used to do the “festival eve rather than the day” thing: it’s the same in China! Can still remember the shock and loss I felt over the first non-existent Christmas Eve I spent in London. Not that I celebrated Christmas in China, mind.

    Comment by mifen — December 20, 2006 @ 7:34 pm

  31. Yay! Lots of Tadpole stories – I can’t get enough of that little girl. Very amusing and touching. I’m stressed, looking for a job, trying to buy presents and contend with all the Holiday stuff and your posts never fail to make me smile. Merry Christmas!

    Comment by molly — December 20, 2006 @ 7:35 pm

  32. how funny! maybe they can tell her elephants take a few years to grow (like trees)

    Comment by creative-type dad — December 20, 2006 @ 9:21 pm

  33. Lol Elephants! That reminds me of the “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” song.

    Comment by Tees My Body — December 20, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

  34. At least she didn’t ask for a dinosaur.

    Comment by clarissa — December 20, 2006 @ 10:05 pm

  35. Merry Christmas to you all. I love listening to Tadpole singing. It’s just lovely.

    Comment by Diane — December 20, 2006 @ 10:43 pm

  36. vous etes mon idole. Vous etes comme moi, un peu en mieux, car vous parlez anglais.

    continuez comme cela

    Sorry for my english (i’m french) y’ou’re my idol, you’re me in better. I’m like you in less (litte)

    happy noel


    Comment by marie c — December 20, 2006 @ 11:08 pm

  37. So cute!

    But Christmas the French way is not on the 24th! It can also be on the… 25th!

    Anyhoo that’s just a detail.

    Thanks a lot for your wonderful blog.

    Merry Christmas,


    Comment by Adrienhb — December 21, 2006 @ 12:38 am

  38. Why not a ‘magic elephant’ instead – like a goat? It would fit up those stairs. Its presence, on a leash, would pre-empt those unwanted early morning encounters. It could recycle your Xmas garbage too. Definitely a goat.

    Comment by andrew — December 21, 2006 @ 1:10 am

  39. Why don’t you get her something Babar?

    Comment by jersey girl (that's New Jersey, USA) — December 21, 2006 @ 5:28 am

  40. Ooops, sorry….. go here instead so you can choose English or French. LOL!

    Comment by jersey girl (that's New Jersey, USA) — December 21, 2006 @ 5:30 am

  41. If you do manage to purloin an elephant, can I have the droppings for my roses …. unless you need them for your window boxes? Can collect unless you are heading to central England over the next few weeks.

    Ok, so the elephant may be imaginary, but so are my roses!

    Comment by JNH — December 21, 2006 @ 10:25 am

  42. Elephant! I thought my son’s wish list was bad until I read this morning. One would like a pony, brown please Santa, another wants a space ship to fly him and four friends on a top secret mission to the moon, and the third wants all techie Apple thingeys. That one was easy, I have him a basket of Granny Smith’s!

    Happy Christmas to you and Tadpole, may all ye’re wishes come true in 2007

    Lisa x

    p.s. love the song, mine are singing it all the time and God knows I have been known to join in!

    Comment by Lisa — December 21, 2006 @ 11:15 am

  43. Watch her!
    I think she’s planning a trip over the Alps to invade Rome!
    “Des jouets par milliers!” A container from China? hahaha!

    Comment by cream — December 21, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

  44. A Tadpole CD coming out soon? I’d buy it :)

    Comment by ParisBreakfasts — December 21, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

  45. Damn, Tees, I JUST got that song out of my head this morning!

    I’m just imagining Mr. Frog trying to explain why there isn’t an elephant under the tree this year…

    Comment by quinn — December 21, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

  46. Last week I’d bought everything for my little darlings but none of the gifts included an Angelina Ballerina Tutu that my four year old was telling everyone who asked what she was getting for Christmas. Now these are over 35 quid! I missed out twice on ebay then found a dance website which had a fab tutu for £19. I went to Primark and bought a rose brooch for a pound which I pinned to the side a la Angelina. So it hasn’t got the frigging mouse on it but still….

    Comment by Welsh Cake — December 21, 2006 @ 6:16 pm

  47. At least she doesn’t want a HIPPOPATAMUS for Christmas!

    Comment by Windfall Woman — December 21, 2006 @ 7:09 pm

  48. It’s always a special time with kids at Christmas, and I guess it won’t be that easy for you whilst Tadpole is with her famille française, so I hope you enjoy your day and manage to make that time up together afterwards.

    Bonnes fêtes !

    Comment by roadsofstone — December 21, 2006 @ 7:38 pm

  49. Babar is an excellent idea. This way she would be friends with several elephants for a long time. Or a heffalump in the original – not disney.

    Grannie D

    Comment by Grannie D — December 22, 2006 @ 12:28 am

  50. I have just stumbled onto your blog after a friend in France mentioned your notoriety (in a positive way that is).

    Your blog is strangely inspirational and a lovely, calming place to be in this crazy world.

    Having lived in France years ago, immersed myself in all things Gallic and now with my own Mr Frog, your experiences are all too familiar to me. Like you I love the paradoxes of the French and French life.

    My wife and her parents will have the kids this Christmas – thank goodness nothing from the wild or a menagerie has been requested.

    Je vous souhaite un joyeux noel et bonne annee en 2007.


    Comment by odysseus — December 22, 2006 @ 2:16 am

  51. I just love Tadpole’s English/French accent.

    Joyeux Noel!

    Comment by Mad William — December 22, 2006 @ 2:23 am

  52. Hi Petite

    Just wanted to wish you and Tadpole a very merry christmas & thanks for all the entertaining reading through the year.

    My “tadpole” and I will be having a tropical chrissy on the beach, we shall think of you northeners & your white christmas as we bog into our crab & prawns.

    Have a ball!


    Comment by Debbie Barratt — December 22, 2006 @ 2:43 am

  53. That is the cutest!! Ever!
    Your blog so outstrips everything out there it’s not even funny.

    Comment by eric — December 22, 2006 @ 6:45 am

  54. Happy Christmas!


    Comment by Sally Lomax — December 22, 2006 @ 12:29 pm

  55. Been offline for a week and so have just enjoyed catching up on the posts I’d missed. Thanks for including Tadpole singing. It’s delightful.
    Hope you both have an ablolutely wonderful Christmas and that the New Year brings you everything you wish for – even an elephant!

    Comment by Sablonneuse — December 22, 2006 @ 2:04 pm

  56. To Petite, Dave of the Lake, fjl, Yaxlich, Sally Lomax, Loast in France, The Bold Soul and all the other names that have become so familiar over the past few months – a very Merry Christmas xxxx

    Comment by Welsh Cake — December 22, 2006 @ 7:59 pm

  57. How very sweet and how very wonderful – I had that one from my parents too but…it is a MAGIC sleigh!

    Best Christmas Wishes to you and Tadpole,


    Comment by solevoice — December 22, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

  58. Merry Xmas from “somewhere south”. May 2007 be your year.

    Comment by mardo — December 23, 2006 @ 12:08 am

  59. Tadpole must have seen the Renault television ad, where a baby elephant sits between two children in the back seat!

    I fondly remember when my parents gave up on convincing me that there was a Santa Claus, and handed me an FAO Schwarz catalogue, instead, so that I could pick out my presents.

    Comment by Lost in France — December 23, 2006 @ 11:00 am

  60. Avec un tout petit peu d’avance, nous vous souhaitons à toutes un Très Joyeux Noël ! Que ces jours de Fête
    soient emplis d’Amour, de Joie et évidemment entourés de tous les êtres qui vous sont chers !

    Avec nos meilleurs Voeux !
    Elle and family

    Comment by Elle — December 23, 2006 @ 1:30 pm

  61. Merry Christmas and enjoy the break.

    Comment by fjl — December 23, 2006 @ 5:19 pm

  62. Perhaps you could offer her a cat… A cat such as the one feature in “Mon chat le plus bête du monde” from Gilles Bachelet. This book is hilarious

    Here’s a link to a description of the book :

    By the way, thanks for writing. I love your style.

    Happy christmas.


    Comment by Frédéric Séraphine — December 23, 2006 @ 7:03 pm

  63. Have been redaing your blog (fab by the way) on and off for some time I just recently read the article about the dismisal and the reason why according to your employer, a bit unclear to me. I feel a great YUK building up inside me. I am absolutley for freedon of speach and am apposed to claims being made that your blog could ever be harmful (I understand a blog could be used in such a purpose) but this blog is a diary, a glimps into somones everyday life with out any intent to harm or for anyone to loose any goodwill. I am glad for the book thing. Now it will be in print too. And now what will they do?
    You go girl. Become famous, influential and faboulsy rich and important.

    Comment by Ellen — December 24, 2006 @ 7:18 am

  64. Merry Christmas to you !!!!!

    Comment by negrito — December 24, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

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