Posts filed under 'paris'

Mon Hérisson

Tillie’s learning curve for french has arced upwards really quickly recently.  All of a sudden, she is happy to chat in either language, and if you ask her a question in french, she answers in french, too.  I suspect that this is mostly due to the fact that, as far as I can tell, she and her friends basically sing all day at crêche. So, when she comes home, she sings the new songs she’s learned for us.  Her current favorite is mon hérisson (recorded surreptitiously while she was singing to herself in bed while “reading” one of her books):

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For those whose knowledge of the french children’s music canon is about where ours was a few months ago, here is a more traditional rendition of the same song:

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1 comment February 26th, 2009

Jack o’Tilda

Halloween isn’t so big here, but we went to a little gathering of expats at a park nearby.

Here is the little pumpkin:

At the park, processing: Halloween, pronounced “Halloween” or “Alloween”? Trick-or-Treat?  Costumes?  What is spidey doing here and that butterfly and that ghost?

Handing out candy at our designated bench:

At the playground, relieved to be back in a familiar context:

3 comments October 31st, 2008

Charlie’s day, according to T.

In case you were wondering what happens at Charlie’s new job, allow Tilda to explain:

Dada go work today.

See Paris.

Talk peoples.

Ride escalator.

Sounds suspiciously similar to her day…

Add comment August 29th, 2008

San Francisco vs. Paris

San Francisco vs. Paris, from Tillie’s perspective, an early comparison based on our first month or so here.

San Francisco Paris
Golden Gate Bridge Tour Eiffel
Friends Random children attacking at the playground
Swings (strangely absent in Paris) Carrousels (more of them anyway)
Strawberries Chocolat
Car, Trains, and Bus Trains (lots of them, some with a view of Tour Eiffel!)
Nikki and Lauren Lots of time with Mama
Somewhat able to speak the language Unable to speak the language
Beach and Ocean Boats on the River
Sea Lions Museums with animals or pictures/sculptures of animals
Woo Street Bumpy Streets
Rabbit-Turtle Rabbit-Turtle here too?
Burritos Pastries
Crib Big Girl Bed
Flax-Seed Oatmeal Croissants with Confiture
Ice Milk Ice Milk
Upstairs neighbor noises Plumbing noises
Thunder Road Sur le pont d'Avignon
Redwoods Castles

Add comment August 17th, 2008

lunch on the steps of the louvre

For now, the architecture.  We’ll save the inside for the winter months.

Add comment July 25th, 2008

“I sure do.”

For those of you wondering if your weak dollar can handle a trip to France, T would likely reply, “I sure do.” That is her standard answer to all things positive these days. I ask, “Did you turn on the light,” and she replies, “I sure do.” I ask, “Do you want some yogurt?” She replies, “I sure do.” So, if you’re wondering if T (and her parents) would like you to come visit, you know the answer.

Come soon and you too can go wading in the little pools in Luxembourg Gardens. I find the water has greatest “clarity” in the morning.

wading pool

And, you too can pick up a fetching Parisian scarf.


You sure do.

Just please, don’t inquire after C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T in her presence, because that is the one thing that seems to turn a day of “I sure do’s” into one big n’est pas. There is something incredibly awesome about hearing the barely monolingual child whine for choc… with a perfect French accent, but the novelty is not worth the price–the exchange rate of dollars to restorative serenity coupons is quite bad so take note: you’d best sneak your crepe au chocolat in while she’s sleeping in the stroller.

Add comment July 22nd, 2008


I think the fine playground sand is too much for me. I’m used to the coarse, easy to shake out of shoes, San Francisco Parks + Rec. variety. The Parisian beach sand whirls out of the sandbox with every breeze until you feel like you’re on the Great Plains, circa 193X. I have my first French sickness, a cold that I’ve held off through the late night packing, the long flights, the first days of exploration and only 2 days of stay-at-home parenting, and the sand mist is not helping.

I’ve had my nap and T is still in the midst of hers, incorporating new animal names like Yak and Vicuna into her vocabulary from this morning’s adventure. The menagerie at the Jardin des Plantes featured many animals from the Asian steppes, creatures that blurred the lines between goat, sheep, pack animal. The Yak was too loud, but this one was friendly enough.

wooly beast

T and I rode the metro to get there, our first time without Charlie.  She shook off this morning’s endless whining about who can turn which light off and which socks to wear, and walked down hundreds of stairs, through fare gates, down long corridors and waited on train platforms.  She held my hand as requested and didn’t lick any foul surfaces.  On our second train, it was standing room only and she stood, holding onto the pole like a pro.

t on metro

Above, hands sweetly folded in lap.

Below, choice of socks: orange striped.  Shoes tied (partially) all-by-self.

Add comment July 17th, 2008

T and S loose in Paris

“Dada working?” “Dada work.”

“Mama work?” “No mama work.”

And so, T and I have begun our Paris adventures, the ones where we travel to distant arrondissements and find just the thing, the pastry, the vintage fabric. As T would say, we are “learning.” Our expeditionary tactics have a lot of fine-tuning ahead. Yesterday, we barely left our quartier, let alone our arrondissement. T decided she would celebrate our first day alone together by not napping. It turns out that shoe shopping–more than say playing in the park for hours–provides the right level of exhaustion. Note her final choice below.

This morning we went back to the Luxembourg Gardens. T joined up with a troupe of 4 year olds briefly released from their summer camp until one of them toppled her. T started crying and the teacher accused the wrong child. How could I tell her it was Celeste, not Matthieu? It ended awkwardly. She let Matthieu off the hook and gave me a shrug. We moved on to another playground. When we arrived at the next sandpit further into the park, T declared, “Paris! Paris! Paris!”
Something is sinking in.

Here she is likening the grand fountain to a shower while she simultaneously pointing at a construction crane in the distance.

Add comment July 16th, 2008

Do you love France?*

I’ve held off on recounting our first gaffes, impressions, etc., because nothing has been all that surprising yet.  We knew to expect the differences in child-minding etiquette and we knew we’d get some glances for eating as we walk down the street (I’m still puzzling over the looks T gets–is it her choice of stripes on stripes, her unkempt hair, her post-airplane snot-encrusted nose, or is she truly some other species of child they have never encountered?), and so it happens and there it is, but this morning’s experience offered a small clue into daily life vs. bureaucracy.

On one of our first jet-lagged mornings, we had noticed a long line outside the police prefecture.  Who are those glum-looking souls?  Who lines up outside a police station?  Well, foreigners like us who need to register our presence and apply for residency permits.  We intended to join the line this morning, but sleep karma was on our side and we all slept in until way past 9.  We made it there close to 10.  C waited and T and I returned home for a necessary refuel of ice-milk, and then a trip to the park.  He called us when he was about 5th in line and we raced back, but didn’t arrive until he’d had to let a few people pass ahead.  You’d think that wouldn’t matter, but then we entered the next waiting room where we pulled ticket number 112.  The sign said they were on 66.  And did I mention T chose today to refuse diapers?

She smeared chocolate croissant on her face, she squirmed, she requested a visit to the bathroom (just to visit), and somewhere in all this an old Chinese lady glanced at her.  Why?  The old lady stood up–to offer a seat?  No!  She freaking gave us a number she’d taken almost two hours earlier when she’d arrived with her friend.  Her friend had a ticket and she didn’t need one.  She was just along for the ride and held onto this extra ticket until she spotted a mother with an impatient toddler and gave us the best gift ever, the gift of skipping 33 numbers, the gift of a 10 minute wait instead of several hours, the gift of our first insight into GTD the Parisian way.

*This is the first question we were asked by the passport agent upon entering.

Add comment July 11th, 2008

Tilda’s new neighborhood.

Greetings from Paris!

As promised, the airplane flew over the ocean to France and here we are.  We’re all suffering from extreme jet lag (except perhaps Izzy), and I only wish that lack of sleep could explain why I have no idea what anyone is saying.  It turns out that I really don’t speak French.  It turns out that Charlie kind of does.  As T and I left this morning for the park below, someone said something to us which I took to mean, “Isn’t she cute?” but it could also have been “Couldn’t you wipe her nose?”

So this is the little park near our house.  There’s lots of sand activity stations, and this morning there were men placing the sand, grain by grain, back into its proper receptacles.  It seemed like we shouldn’t interrupt them, so we left.

Then we went to this park, a few more blocks away, but still close. Again, no kids.  Do they all have some kind of appointment on Tuesday mornings?  Who can say?  Note requisite mansard roof in background.

Here she is, lone child in a beautiful Parisian playground, just 30 minutes from another jet lag induced nap.

The adventure continues…

Add comment July 8th, 2008


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