petite anglaise

April 7, 2009


Filed under: Tadpole rearing, Tadpole says — petiteanglaiseparis @ 5:33 pm

I am shelling peas in the kitchen while listening to some vintage Aphex twin when I realise that Tadpole has gone disturbingly quiet.

‘Sweetie? What are you up to?’ I call, peering over the bar, from which vantage point I can see the whole of our open-plan apartment. Save the bathroom and toilet, that is. There is no sign of Tadpole, however, and I have a sudden, irrational vision of her drawing 3D pictures on the bathroom floor with a tube of toothpaste.

‘I’m doing a poo!’ shouts Tadpole. ‘Well… Actually, I’ve finished doing my poo, and now I’m reading the book about the bunny.’

The people who designed our apartment thoughtfully built in some shelf space above the toilet, and this hosts our extensive ‘toilet book’ collection. Highlights include our Larson collection, the foreign editions of ‘petite’, several tomes by Desproges and ‘the book about the bunny’, a.k.a. The Bumper Book of Bunny Suicides. Tadpole loves poring over this, even though I hope/feel sure that she doesn’t really understand a) why a bunny would want to commit suicide, and b) how he’s planning to go about it in many of the instances illustrated.

‘You don’t have to read that on the toilet, you know,’ I tell her, when she emerges, finally, a full ten minutes later. ‘You can borrow books from the toilet library. As long as you put them back afterwards…’

Which is why this morning, I found Tadpole with her head bent over a copy of fellow blogger Andre‘s If You’re Happy and You Know It‘ at the breakfast table. Indeed, not just looking at it, but reproducing several of the doodles herself with the help of a biro she’d pilfered from my handbag.


I do hope Andre approves.


  1. Oh I love it. And feel quite proud that darling Tadpole is a doodler.

    I hope you are all well




    Comment by andre — April 7, 2009 @ 5:37 pm

  2. tadpoles like 3 or 4 right? and she’s reading the bunny book of suicides?

    she is one cool kid, i’ll tell you now. even if she doesn’t get why a bunny is going into detail about how to die.

    (have you ever wondered why the bunny doesn’t just get on with it?) x

    Comment by Poser — April 7, 2009 @ 6:41 pm

  3. She’s actually five coming on six, these days…

    Comment by petite — April 7, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

  4. Andre has a protege!

    Comment by ellie — April 7, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

  5. 1/2 my comment got cut!

    I apologised to Andre!

    I apologised to protege!

    For my ignorance of the accent on e shortcut key!

    Comment by ellie — April 7, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

  6. Reproducing someone else’s work or not, she’s very talented!

    Comment by Almost American — April 7, 2009 @ 10:19 pm

  7. That is priceless! Please tell me you keep all of Tadpole’s artistic offerings – they will delight you for many, many years to come. They also have the potential to embarrass her tremendously, making them good currency for blackmail when she is a teenager! ;)

    Comment by pinklea — April 8, 2009 @ 3:57 am

  8. Great pictures. Very talented artist! Hope you are all well.

    Comment by Googlebear — April 8, 2009 @ 8:56 am

  9. I saw that bunny book in the bookstore just the other day and couldn’t quite believe my eyes! Love Tadpole’s drawings… between her artwork and her singing, you really have a little entertainer in your midst, n’est-ce pas?

    Comment by The Bold Soul — April 8, 2009 @ 9:38 am

  10. That’s really impressive doodling!

    Comment by Ness @ Drovers Run — April 8, 2009 @ 10:35 am

  11. my mistake. jeez time moves quick. my cousin is 6 or 7 or something like that. it’s difficult to remember.

    Comment by Poser — April 8, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

  12. Absolutely – you must keep this – Pinklea is right. I too have a picture drawn by my son when he was 4 called “Super-Granddad”. The presence of bulging muscles and big red cape, cheer up my father (now 80) every time he visits and embarrass the ‘artist’, (now 19) when he glides through en route to the refrigerator. So keeping it stuck on a cupboard door is a must.
    Embarrassing a teenager is as easy as shelling peas, so you see the chores, you are stuck with for life – it’s just the fun you get from them that changes.

    Comment by La Grande Vadrouille — April 8, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

  13. Well, I just finished the entire archive…now I can get some work done! Just wish I could have found you years ago and watched the story unfold in real time. Loved everything, and cried during the Jim breakup. I had a similar thing happen 7 years ago when I left my husband of 10 years for a man who made my toes curl, only to be unceremoniously dumped like yesterdays fish a few short months afterwards. It was the worst, and the best thing that ever happened to me.

    I wish you all the best in whatever you do next, and especially with the newest Tadpole, can’t wait to see what name you decide to call him/her here on the blog!

    Comment by Big Apple Becca — April 9, 2009 @ 6:21 am

  14. How brilliant, I feel I now need to track down the bunny suicide book.

    Poser, a very interesting question, why doesn’t bunny go and see the bunny doctor for some medication or take up yoga!!

    2/3’s through your wonderful book, yes I’m a slow reader!

    Comment by missy — April 9, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

  15. wahou. She has got a future as a cartoonist !

    Comment by marie-Hélène — April 9, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

  16. Aw, lovely doodles! That book is very funny and clever.

    Comment by L.C.T. — April 9, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

  17. Tadpole is a cutie, bless her. Most intrigued by Bunny Book subject matter – pourquoi?!

    Comment by La Chat Noir — April 10, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

  18. Just finished your book, well done it was brilliant. Can’t wait for Rendezvous to come out.

    Take care and love to Paris! xx

    Comment by missy — April 11, 2009 @ 12:36 am

  19. She is so adorable, I so enjoy your stories about everyday life.

    Comment by Margarita — April 11, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  20. I wasn’t quite thinking yoga or medication. But if you’d prefer he did that that’s cool. I meant choose the most gruesome way of doing it, then proceeding with it. It’s brilliant book, I love it.

    And yes, I know I’m a morbid teenager. :D

    Comment by Poser — April 11, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

  21. I can’t believe she’s almost 6!!

    Comment by unbalanced reaction — April 12, 2009 @ 2:24 am

  22. Tadpole’s adventures really do make me smile :-)
    I received your book as a gift from my 14m old for Mother’s Day (he has great taste), and have just gobbled it up in the space of three days, what a gorgeous read. I have sporadically followed your blog since 2006, and was reminded by the book to check in, I must congratulate you on your bun-in-the-oven, very well done. I am 18 weeks pregnant myself, I daresay the Tadpole-new baby gap will be more useful than my own two little one’s age gap, my little man only started walking two days ago, whereas your little angel will understand all manner of “can you just pass mummy those wipes?” little helper requests! Wishing you lots of health and happiness in your pregnancy, and for your growing family x

    Comment by Mrs P — April 14, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

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