mid July – mid August

August 12th  No tartine

         Luca, do you want a tartine? (tartine = toast of bread + butter + jam, which he gets for breakfast)

         No tartine

         You don’t want to eat a tartine?  (insists maman, very surprised that her son might not want to eat…)

         Aca no eat tartine (Aca = Luca)

         You’re sure you don’t want to eat a tartine?

         No tartine.  Sale hands  (sale = dirty).


So that’s what it was….  The little guy didn’t want to get his hands dirty with a tartine. Like father like son. In the last 3 weeks, he’s been extremely picky about dirty things.  Everything is dirty. He picks up a cloth and cleans up.  When Anand and I work out at our home made gym in Grancey, Luca sweeps the floor.  “dirty feuilles”.  He walks around, pointing at every dirty (or not so dirty) thing he encounters.


So the tartine itself had become a no no, making hands dirty.  I explained to Luca it wasn’t dirty, but he repeated “dirty hands”.   So I gave him a fork and he ate his bread…   2 maniac boys in the house, I’m doomed.  


August 11th  Vocabulaire

MamiJo marche dans les bois, tenant Luca par la main et chantant à tue tête. Padi et moi suivons et près avec Mia

– Pas mal, hein? ,  demande MamiJo après une jolie envolée de notes

– Ouais, pas mal du tout!  Je lui réponds

Elle recommence un autre chant, dans les aigüs, et Luca se tourne vers moi en disant

         Mal MamiJo, mal



August 10th   Mia sits up

Mia can sit for 5 min.  For a month she’s been trying to sit up, on and off, but we never really tried to sit her properly except for a few minutes on Claire (Alexander)’s lap. So I sat Mia in the grass, thinking I’d get a few pillows around her to start the sitting practice.  But the little girl smiled and she stayed there on her own for a good 5 min, sitting by herself, proud and happy, eating any chunk of grass and leaves within reach.  The first “steps” through independence.


August 8th Mia sleeps in, Luca plays with water

We’ve been in Grancey for 2 weeks and the kids are loving it.  Mia is sleeping like a log, although she’s definitely a much lighter sleeper than her brother.  She slept till noon, and till took a nap at 1:30pm. What is it going to be like when she’s a teenager?


As for Luca, he’s at peace when there’s water around.  Any body of water.  A river, a hose, a bucket of water, a pound. He sits in a tub outside and pours water from the tub to one of his many buckets.  He stands up and pours some water in the pebbles, brings a few pebbles back in the pool and crouches to put them in his bucket. And does it all again.


August 7th    ARRETE!

Luca learned a few things at the wedding.

– Luca, finish what you have in your plate please (asks mom)

– aRREEEEte!  (stop it)

Now, that sounds like a word he picked up from a kid.  An adult would have said “ARrete”, but he says it with the intonation of a kid giving an order to one of his kind “arREEEEte!”.  He looks at me afterwards as he’s not sure if it’s a bad, a good or a cool name.  So I explained to him

         Luca, you shouldn’t say this to maman.  “Arrete” is a word you say to other kids.

Enters MamiJo in the room, who gives him a kiss

– arRREEEEte!  he says, testing if mamijo belongs to the “kids” world. 


August 6th – Tatiana and David’s wedding

Party!  This is the first wedding we’re going to with the kids. The Bride and Groom had the wonderful idea to hire 8 baby sitters to watch our and the 45 other little monsters.  Luca headed out to the playground with the bigger kids and had a blast.  He played with his remote cousin Lise in a small pool filled with balls. After a long afternoon of games (and a nap at the hotel for Luca), the kids had dinner altogether at a long table – pasta, ham and coca-cola, the greatest wedding food ever. Luca stayed with the group and Grandpa concluded that Luca is ready to go to school.


After dinner, some of the kids played games while the younger ones ran around the room.  Luca must have been running non stop for a good hour, chasing kids and being chased himself, though I’m not sure there was any purpose other than all run together in the excitement of the moment.  Mia headed to bed at 10pm, in a room upstairs, where it was nearly as loud as being in the middle of the celebration.  But kids are not too bothered – she was exhausted and fell asleep. The bigger kids watched a movie, and Luca sat with them.  I joined him for a few minutes to check how he was doing.  He didn’t get the story at all, but he noticed all the details that interested him “Water!   Mouillé!  Cat!  Baiser!  Boat!  Court, court!  Parti cat…   Encore cat”.  I caught up with the whole story J


At midnight, the kids dressed up in costumes and ran up on stage.  Luca was the last in line, so I had time to run to the car and get his costume – a cook’s apron and hat. The adults were clapping hands at the set of 40 dressed up kids, and Luca last to get up, came to the front of the stage, looked a bit stunned and clapped his hands. A true rock star.


Till 1:15am, Luca ran between a wll and Uncle Etienne who would flip him upside down.  Luca was on a total high, hyper excited.  It took grandpa 15 min to put him to bed, laying down next to him and calming him down.


Luca woke up at 8am, walking like a drunken man. He got his bottle and fell right back asleep till 11am.


August 5th  Mia’s first solids

We drove for 4 hours from Grancey to Tours for David and Tatiana’s wedding.  We timed it to match the naps, but our kids aint sleep for 4 hours.  So I squeezed in between them and tried to keep them entertained with toys.


Once arrived at destination, Luca ran around like hyper excited bug for an hour.  He ran back and forth in the park along the 10th century abbey.  It was as if a bee had been trapped in a glass and somebody had just lifted up the glass. Luca ran to every corner of the park.  We inflated balloons that he kicked, before they exploded one by one on thorny grass.  He found wood sticks and ran them all over the place. The super-charged battery lasted for a while.


Meanwhile, Mia was playing on the ground, rolling left and right on the grass.  She ate her first solids, carrot puree indeed, and had no problem figuring out how to suck on the spoon. 


August 3rd  Luca turns 2

The birthday boy is still a bit young to understand what this all means.  But he got the vibe that this was a special day.  It started with a gift from Mamita, and he immediately recognized what something in a wrapped paper meant

“Cadeau Luca”

He tore up the wrapping paper and found a book in the shape of a tractor.  “Gros.  Gros Cractor.  Roue”.   What a day….

We lit up 2 candles for desserts, and it was a special moment for me more than for you.  It was mine and my cousins’ birthdays all over again.  My grandma had cooked the very same apple pie she had made for our birthday cakes, in the same dish.  And the candles were standing on the same colourful plastic train they had been standing on in the last 20 years…


Manali and Kedar had gotten him a camera.  Not a plastic toy, a real camera for kids…  Luca immediately found out the clicks and clacks and noises that it could make. And for the following days he proceeded in taking pictures around the house.  We laughed when we saw the world seen from Luca’s eyes.  There’s a few photos of the ground, one of the lower part of a door and the legs of a chair, and one of his grandpa seen from a 80cm kid (grandpa looks scary big).


July 25 – The love hate relationship between the 2 kiddos

Luca loves and hates Mia. He thinks she’s quite funny.  He addresses her as ‘Ma’ or ‘Mayé’.  He shows a lot of concern for her at times, brings a bib when she’s drooling (‘crache, crache’).  He stands up in front of her and tries to dance to make her laugh.  He puts his head on her legs when she’s on her baby seat (though at times it looks like he puts his head on her belly and pushes a bit too hard).


Yet there are a few times when he seems to take revenge against the little girl who’s stealing some of his mummy’s time and attention.  I made a photo album for him when we left to Serbia, with pics from him, papa, maman, mamiJo, grandpa and the nanny.  And Mia.  I put the album in his bed at night with a few other books so he reads them if he’s not sleepy. And without exception, I find the album in the morning as it was the night prior, except that he’s taken out the photo of Mia held by her father…   Then the other day, we were playing on the sofa and Luca wanted to sit on my lap where Mia was already standing. I explained he had to share, and he seemed to accept the fact that he could only get one leg.  But then he took Mia’s hand and bit one of her fingers, hard enough that she started to cry and had a mark on her index for a few minutes.


And then there are the toys.  It’s so hard to share toys….  He gets upset if I give her some of his toys.  So I decided it had to be his decision.

– Luca, can you please share one of your toys with Mia?

He always says “No” at first.

         Luca, can you please share one of your toys with Mia please?

He picks one up, puts it on Mia’s lap, and immediately takes it back, torn by the separation from HIS toy.  I’m now calling all the toys “toys” and not “your toys”, but it’s a bit too late for all those he already considers to be in his possession.  The grand kingdom of Luca, who rules over toy subjects that are totally at his mercy.   But after a few seconds, he shares with his little sis a few more toys, and a few more, and a few more, until she’s completely overwhelmed and buried under the toys….    Go figure.


As for Mia, she generally loves her brother. She finds him entertaining when he dances in front of her or kisses her feet.  She laughs when he talks to her, and she stares at him anywhere he goes.  Yet she seems very cautious when he’s very close, as if expecting that there was a slight probability he might land on her.


July 22nd   Luca is an expert in quantum physics


A bad summary of the laws of quantum physics states that there are probabilities for a particle to be in one state, and that those possibilities simultaneously occur in a multiverse composed of mostly independent parallel universes.  Therefore, a single subatomic particle can occupy numerous areas of space at one time. A cat can be dead in one world and alive in an independent, parallel world.  A ball can be here in one world, and there in an independent, parallel world.  That’s exactly the summary of Luca’s life.  Things are here, or “parti” (gone), and the kid can go back and forth between the 2 universes.  Here’s an illustration from tonight


I was looking for a little plastic pipe that’s part of the mini “vacuum cleaner” for the kids’ nose. I couldn’t find it, so we made it a game.

-Luca, where’s the plastic pipe for the nose cleaner?

-Ici, ici!!  (here, here).  

Now, the tyke has no idea what a “plastic tube” is, I’ve never taught him, so there’s no chance he finds it.  But he understood I was looking for something, and he was resolved to help out.  He ran to a room, and said “ici, ici!”  I showed up, looked around.

-I cant find it Luca.  Have you seen it? 

He’d run to the next room and scream:

-Ici, ici!

It had become a game around the house. We went around each room several times (luckily, our place is quite small), and I finally found the little pipe hanging in the bathroom. Luca took it.  I went to undress Mia before cleaning up her nose.  And I called the little guy back:

         Luca, can you please bring me the plastic pipe? 


         What do you mean, no?   I need the plastic pipe to clean up Mia’s nose?

The little guy came running to the bedroom, empty handed.

         Where is the plastic pipe?

         Parti (gone)

         What do you mean gone?   Where is the plastic pipe?

That’s when I realised my son was a quantum physics expert:  when he’s in the dining room, with the pipe in his toy box, he knows the plastic pipe is around.  When he comes to the room, the plastic pipe is no more.  It lives in a different world, passed the decision fork of whether he’d bring it to me or not.

         where is the plastic pipe?  I cant find it Luca

Luca ran to the dining room, picked up the pipe, looked at it, and put it somewhere else only he knew about.  He ran back to the bedroom, empty handed

         Luca,  I really need the pipe.  Where is it?


         Luca, please go get the pipe for Mia

He ran back, and somehow decided to reconcile his 2 parallel, not so independent universes.  The one where the pipe is “parti’, and the one where the pipe is still around.  He brought it back to me and Mia started the torture session of nose cleaning …

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