Thursday, December 25, 2008

Noël from Hell

Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmère’s house we go…

Actually, more like onto the jam-packed Périphérique ring road circling Paris to join the thousands of other Parisians going to their ancestral country homes for the holidays.

On one hand, I love French Christmases – they celebrate with an enourmous five-course gourmet meal on Christmas Eve and sleep it all off on the 25th. On the other hand, it’s always a bit stressful going to the famille-in-law’s house. While any self-respecting American family is vegging out in front of the Star Wars marathon, in France the holidays call for a whole lotta togetherness. Big Cheese’s parents are très old-school and I’m always worried me or my half-American kids are going to bring shame upon La Famille Fromage.

Well, this year it’s pretty much a given – I don’t have a boule de neige’s chance in hell.

The thing is, Big Fry has picked up a whole new vocabulary at his nursery school. Since September, my little angel talks like a pint-sized French trucker. Big Fry’s latest is a non-stop mantra of pipi-caca-pipi-caca. Based on the advice of all the American toddler taming books out there, I do my best to ignore it, hoping that the novelty will wear off sooner rather than later.

But wouldn’t you know that Big Fry decided to show off during the Christmas Eve cocktail hour chez Famille Fromage.

(Sidebar: No matter how long I live here, I will never get over how the French serve the best champagne money can buy with a bowlful of Bugles – you know, the kind sold in high school vending machines. Why not break out the Funyuns, too? Now that’s a real party.)

As Grandmère passed the Bugles, Big Fry sweetly said, “Merci, Madame Caca Moudin.”

“It’s caca boudin, honey,” I corrected him absentmindedly.

Grandmère shot both of us a frosty look that said “I’ll deal with you later”, but was too polite to take it further in front of the extended family.

Note to self
: Don’t correct your child’s French when he’s calling his grandma a sausage poop.


Blogging Under the Influence said...

Bugles? Really? Definitely need to add Funyons and those delicious smelling Nacho flavored Doritos!

Merry Christmas!

Pasifik said...

Merry Christmas and enjoy your stay in France...

Happy blogging,

Toddler Books

SuZ said...

Ha... ha ha ha... HA!!!

That's just made my day.

Anonymous said...

Did you get in trouble later?

Monkey Girl said...

Nothing quite like a bugle on every finger.
I am classy! Who knew?

La Mom said...

I didn't get in trouble, but I got the cold shoulder from Grandmère and Grandpère for the rest of the evening. And they quit passing me the Bugles.

Doré said...

Sausage poop?!? LMAO. I just about died laughing that you corrected him... very funny!!

Also bugles and champagne? That's awesome... in a not so awesome way. We used to always put the bugles on the tip of our fingers to have long fingernails...

Alberto Bryant IV said...

I may have mentioned this before when I was last here but since you refered to your children as big fry and small fry I figured I should probably mentioned it, french frys are actually from Belgium originally.
As for you missing american tv, you can watch most of the modern tv shows over the internet.
I don't think they sell bugles in vending machines over here anymore, but I would reccomend those little pretzles instead of funyons.
And lastly, I've been told by other people that Rome is actually the prettiest city in Europe...
p.s.I think your blog is entertaining and funny.
Happy Holidays!

Lee the MWOB Queen said...

Hilarious!! Sausage poop - love it!!

Yes the potty mouth phase will wear off - eventually.

I lived in Poland for a year and although I don't claim the Poles to be as hip as the French most likely are, they also would serve weird combos at really nice official meals. The table would be set all beautiful and formal for some formal end of the school year meal (I taught there) and there would be tons of those 2-liter soda bottles on the table - and it was usually Fanta. Fanta was a real touch of class....

Happy New Year!

Scandalous Housewife said...

How do the French eat a 5 course meal and stay so damned thin? Shit!! I mean, Sausage Poop!

La Mom said...


Good point about french fries actually being Belgian. We have some Belgians in the family and they are definitely proud of their frites!

But since the English-speaking world knows them as french fries, I will continue to use that term for the purposes of this blog -- shhh, don't tell our Belgian neighbors!


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