Monday, August 30, 2010

My Big Fat American Vacation

Three words sum up La Mom’s vacation back home in the US:


(Eat Pray Love)

For three weeks, I made sure to EAT my way through the Safeway ice cream and junk food aisles. My snacks of choice were It’s-It, ice cream sandwiches, Dib's, rocky road, Cheez-Its, Rice Crispy Treats, Eggo Waffles, Coffee Cakes, Ring Dings.

Oh la la, I am so grossed that I ate all that.

Anyway, now that I’m home, I PRAY that I can lose the weight I gained stuffing my face with junk food that I can’t find in France.

Did I mention I LOVEd my American vacation? It was beaucoup trop short.

Here are some highlights:

Big Fry: Why does everyone say “hello” in America mommy?

La Mom: Because Americans are so friendly sweetie.

(Sidebar: Big points go to my Big Fry for noticing at such a young age that Americans are friendlier than the French).

Small Fry’s first observation when we arrived at the airport and she used the restroom:

Small Fry: The toilet in America is bigger and has more water than our toilet in Paris. Why mommy?

La Mom: Super-sized diets require super-sized toilets ma puce.

Customs Agent: Welcome home La Mom! How are you today?

La Mom: (so overcome with emotion that I burst into tears) It’s so good to be home and to be welcomed with a smile. You have no idea how wonderful it is.

La Mom pleads guilty to putting her Small Fry on display and showing off un petit peu.

As we were getting ice cream, four American women tourists walked into the store. They heard the French Fries conversing in French. When I handed the ice cream to Small Fry I said, “ What do you say?,” knowing exactly what she would say and what reaction it would provoke from the women:

Small Fry: Merciiiiiii Mommy!

Women: Awww. She's adorable and so lucky to be bilingual at such a young age.

Big Fry: Mommy, why is everything so big in America?

La Mom: Like what?

Big Fry: Like trucks, cars, donuts, ice cream cones, hamburgers, houses.

La Mom: Americans like big things.

Small Fry: I want Vache Qui Rit cheese.

Big Fry: We aren't in France anymore. They don't have this cheese in America.

La Mom: Honey, you can get anything you want in America. You can be anything you want to be in America. And yes, there is Laughing Cow cheese in America too. We just have to find it.

(Sidebar: La Mom was amused that VQR can be found in Safeway's gourmet cheese section and horrified that it costs $5.89 for 8 triangles!)

And finally, our trip would have been quite boring if there wasn't any doo doo thrown in to mix things up:

Small Fry went off to watch La Mom’s BFF breastfeed in another room. Here’s what went down:

Small Fry: Where is the dou dou of baby Scott?

Foxy Mommy: The doo doo of baby Scott?

Small Fry: (louder) Where is the dou dou of baby Scott?

Foxy Mommy: Do you mean his poo-poo? Maybe he has poo-poo in his diaper.

Small Fry: (louder again) No, where is the dou dou of baby Scott?

Foxy Mommy: What's a doo doo?

Small Fry: (screaming to be understood) The dou dou of baby Scott!

Big Fry: It' something baby Scott sleeps with.

Foxy Mommy: (finally getting it) Oh, you mean a lovey?! He doesn’t have one yet.

La Mom and Big Cheese went out for a romantic dinner. The French Fries were being babysat by La Mom’s other BFF, Yummy Mummy. Suddenly, my phone rang:

Yummy Mummy: Small Fry keeps saying she wants a doo doo and doe doe. She can’t tell me what a doo doo or doe doe is in English. So I just checked if she went doo doo in her underwear. She didn't. What is she talking about? She’s crying for doo doo.

La Mom: Dou Dou is her lovey and I forgot it at home. Do-do is bedtime or night-night. Just give her any stuffed animal and tell her it’s her special dou dou for do-do tonight. She’ll be fine.

Yummy Mummy: I thought French was a beautiful language. This doo doo/doe-doe stuff sure sounds dirty.

La Mom discovered Small Fry’s dou dou was missing as we took our seats for the flight to France. Small Fry burst into tears screaming, “Dou Dou, my dou dou. I want to take dou dou to Paris.” The whole plane heard and the passengers next to us stared. La Mom was near tears because Small Fry was so sad. Then I had to laugh as I heard the man behind us say, “Great, we get to sit near the kid who cries out loud when she has a poopy diaper. It’s gonna be a long flight.”

Eat Pray Dou Dou.

Milles mercis go to everyone who commented, sent emails, and tweeted about sending La Mom copies of the July EasyJet in-flight magazine I was quoted in. I owe you all a box of macarons!


Keith Eckstein said...

So much doo doo, and so early in the day!

I'm coming over all funny!

All the best


P.S. Interesting sociological observation about the size of American toilets (vs. French ones) - I always thought it was somehow related to median bottom size.

More study of this interesting subject is required, I feel?

vicki archer said...

Sounds like a great the comparisons....and as for the 'dou dou'.....totally familiar...xv

yummy mommy said...

Hello La Mome, I always laugh so bad when I read you're articles! I just had my baby a couple of months ago, & my mom was here for the birth & since our native language is not french, I can relate to the how funny do-do & dou-dou sound off the french context. My mom just didn't understand why my husband kept hushing the baby to sleep & asking her to make do-do at the same time!!! Yo are right, baby-french sounds very hilarious sometimes.

Yummy Mommy à Paris

The Armchair Parisian said...

Take that, Julia! :-)) A scream, as always :-))

Anonymous said...

I suppose our children can embarrass us in public no matter what country we're in!! Haha Kids say the funniest things!! Love your blog!! - A Texas Mom (wishing she was in Paris at the moment)

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Sbtttttt! I am dying over the "we get to sit next to the kid with a poopy diaper!"

So glad that "y'all" had a trip home to indulge in what "home" has to offer and yet ready to get back to the life you have made in Paris.


Paris Hotel Bastille said...

Sounds great..

Julia Pimsleur Levine said...

love your account of your trip, thanks for the great dou dou story and small fry comments. precious and geniale.

Under the Influence said...

Fun times. Vacationing with kids is quite an event.

Kelli said...

Sounds like a great vacation La Mom! and I LOVE hearing all about it, the doo doo included. Kids say the darndest things.

Amy, sometimes known as Scandy said...

Too bad you didn't stop in Texas, La Mom! I would have served you up a spicy bowl of my Americana krytonite, queso, and an icy margarita with a salty rim...

nmaha said...

Hat's off for showing of so smoothly. I'm going to try that.

We say do-do too for sleep! And we live in Asia.

You are hilarious. Don't worry about the weight, I'm sure all that laughing will work it off.

shock of life said...

LOL! Seriously, I am cracking up. The last line about the man's comment on the plane sent me over the edge with laughter. I can only hope that I can trade my expat in Dubai status with an expat in Paris status so my kids too can learn the in's and out's of do do and dou dou. Thanks for making me laugh this morning.

Cecilia said...

HAHAHA!While I certainly feel sad for your little fry, I laughed so hard! Dou-dou, indeed! Too funny!

Anonymous said...

Hi La Mom ! I am French and lived in the US for a year, though I'm now back in Paris. Knowing and loving both cultures, I really enjoy reading your texts. I think you have a lot of humor and I understand completely some of the situations you are describing. I have been sometimes in situations of "choc culturel" too !!!

Anonymous said...

Loved it, made me laugh. I'm also a bilingual mum of 2 and sometimes we really enjoy teasing both Brits and French, switching from one language to the other.

Beadboard UpCountry said...

OMG I can't believe you ate all that either!!!!!!!!!How are you! So glad you enjoyed your vacation....I've been work work work... This post was hysterical!!!doo de doo de doo..Maryanne xo

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

The man behind you sounds like an ass, he really deserved to sit next to a child in a poopy diaper ;-)

Glad you had a nice time back home!

Anonymous said...

I'm an American living in Australian who just happened to find your blog while searching for information about France.

Your blog is Fabulous! Your story had laughing so hard I had to share your story with my other half.

Be well.


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