Saturday, December 25, 2010

Noël from Hell

This La Mom best-of was originally posted December 24th, 2008.
Joyeux Noël à tous!!
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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.
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Joyeux No Well


The Scene: La Mom's living room, softly lit by the glow of the sapin de Nöel

The Music: King’s College Boys Choir carols

The French Fries’ conversation:
Big Fry: Why are they saying “The first Noël”? That’s French. Why is there a French word in an English song?

Small Fry: I think it’s because they don’t feel good. That’s why they say “No well”.

Big Fry: They must feel terrible because they keep singing it! “No well, no well, no well, no well!”

Small Fry: Maybe Baby Jesus needs to vomir?

Wishing you a feel-good Christmas from Paris! 

If you need me on December 24th, I’ll be at the famille Fromage’s ancestral home eating a bowlful of Bugles with the best champagne money can buy.

Mwah, mwah,  

La Mom
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