March 27th come back by train – et ca tu connais?  Tu connais? 

In the train, coming back from our ski trip.  Luca shares his Flash mcqueen book with the lady sitting across from him.  Pointing at a blue car:

–      Tu connnais? (you know this)

–      [Lady]  well, it’s a blue car

–      [Pointing at a green car] tu connais?

–      It’s a green car

Luca tries a few more and looks at me, stunned.  How can she not say that those have names like Doc Hudson, Fillmore the green van, Sally, Mac the truck, etc…  How can she be so old and not know her basics ???

 

Turns to me 30 min later

–      La dame elle a les cheveux jaunes  [the lady’s hair is yellow]. Papa il a les cheveux de quelle couleur ?  [what colour is papa’s hair]

–      Papa’s hair is brown [brown]

–      Papa pas de cheveux [papa has no hair]

 

March 25th Mia’s got 4 teeth and eats chuncks

1 year, 2 months and 4 teeth.  So she eats crackers, and crackers and crackers.  Starting on chunks but she’d much rather have some “real food” turbined into the food processor. Except for crackers and bananas

 

March 22nd they come storming out of bed (how did mia come down exactly?)

We woke up with “yayyyys” down the hallway.  We both jumped out of bed and ran to their bedroom.  Luca and mia were coming down the

 

 Marh 21th luca ziup ziup

Luca’s at ski school. We drop off the kids in the kids in teh morning, Mia in daycare and luca at ski school. We had to negotiate a bit to get him in as they usually don’t take them before 3 years old.  He’s supposed to take ski lessons through noon, then get handed over to daycare for lunch, nap and playtime.

 

He’s very cute:  red onepiece ski parka from head to toe, ski boots, sunglasses, hat, gloves, the little bundle is very excited about skiing. He cries a bit when we leave but joins the other kids to play “make a pizza”. 

 

We picked him up in the evening

–      Hey, Luca, did you have fun skiing?

–      Luca ziup ziup.

–      Waho, you skied down the slope?  How fast were you going?

–      Luca ziup ziup.  Luca tombé

–      Oh, that’s OK.  Mama falls over too when she skies.  Everybody falls when they ski.  It’s OK, you just stand right back up and you ski again

–      Luca ziup ziup.  And he shows us how he moves down the slope

 

The day after, we dopped him off at ski school again.  The ski instructor says “well, I’m not sure this is going to work out for him this year.  Yesterday, I couldn’t even put him on skis.  He’d cry every time”.

 

Now, Luca’s that’s call one of your first biggest lies….

 

March 19th  At Mathieu’s house

We’re heading to ski.  We got Luca a red overall the night before departure and it was so hard to take him off of him.  If we had let him do so, he would have slept in it.

 

We first stopped at my brother Mathieu’s place.  He’s got no sofa but a few big bags of beens. Now, that’s heaven for kids! XXXXX

 

March 17th  “What is space?”

Mia is exhausted, sleeping in bed.  Luca and I are sitting in a comfortable armchair in the salon.

–      Do you like your new house?

–      Yes

–      Do you like having more space?

–      C’est quoi space? (what is space)

–      Well, space is when it is really big

–      Ca c’est space (this is space)? He says, pointing at the enormous mirror that sits over the fireplace

–      Well, no, let me rephrase this.  Space is when a room or a place that is big enough that you can run around

–      Ca c’est space? He asks, pointing to the hall

–      Yes, sweetheart, this is spacious.

 

March 15 – new house

We’re moving in to a new place, in St Augustin, right in the heart of Paris.  Luca and Mia have been at grandma’s place for 3 days until we got at least their room in order. And here they come, elevator, 3rd floor, ring the bell.  I get to the door and I hear Luca say “c’est chez le docteur?”  He’s right, this is an old Hausmanian style building. Red carpet on the floor, large wodden doors, tiny elevator.  Just like his pediatrician’s building.

For the next hour and next few days, the kids turned into small tornadoes, running wildly from one corner of the house to another, exploring every cupboard and every fire place.  ‘C’est la nouvelle maison de Luca” (this is Luca’s new place)

 

March 9th  maman can clearly be replaced by saussisson

–      Luca, tonight, maman is going out to a show.  So Alix (the bby sitter) will be coming to take care of you. All right?

He starts looking sad

–      Look, you’re going to have a lot of fun with Alix.  She’s going to play with you.

–      Saussisson? He asks, with the “s” of children who sound half way between an s and a sh

–      And yes, she can give you some saussisson….

–      Et chocolat?

–      No, but she’ll give you some saussisson.

 

March 5th  Happy birthday maman!

What a b-day it was.  Farida, our nanny, had given me a precious gift – she’d take care of the kids Saturday morning.  So we all got up, drank breakfast bottles or tea and petit pain au chocolat, and hung out together, including a party of “faire le fou” (play crazy) on the bed where Mia and Luca get rolled and ticked on our bed and jum – hopefully not on each other.

 

Then Farida came over.  Luca was upset – he had figured out that today was Saturday, so there should be no Farida….   Anand and I headed to the gym and to a lunch together in a Parisian brasserie. Nothing fancy, but so good to be with no kids around for a little while.

 

After their naps, we headed to the meat stall to buy dinner for 10 with friends J  On the way back, we start entering our impasse morlet, Luca stops right there.

–      Luca no rentrer à la maison  (luca’s not going home).  Il est ou padi?

–      Padi will be waiting for you at the other exit sweetheart.  But we have to go home first to pick up your back

–      Luca fait dodo chez mamijo.  Il est ou padi ?  (luca is sleeping at mamijo’s place.  Where’s padi?)

–      Padi is coming with his car to pick you up. 

–      Luca pas rentrer à la maison

 

I thought that was the kind of debate we’d have when they’re in their teens?

 

March 4th

–      Luca, are you going to see Mamijo tomorrow?

–      Mamijo, he repeated wtih a beaming smile.  And Padi?

–      Yes, you’ll see padi too.

–      Luca fait dodo chez mamijo?

–      Do you want to sleep at mamijo’s place ?

He smiles, happy to be considering a night over at this grandma’s house J

 

March 2nd My kids’ obsessions

 

Luca’s obsessions

  • Carry flash McQueen around (he sleeps with the car…)
  • Wash hands as soon as he comes back home, and several times after that.  I used to limit the number of hand washes, but now that he can climb up his little stool and his own, it’s out of control
  • Tell Mia she’s done a bêtise, of course

 

Luca keeps himself busy with;..

  • Ride his truck around the house
  • Line up cars and make them bump into each other as “accidents”
  • Read stories (flashmcqueen being a favourite)

 

Mia keeps herself busy with;..

  • Puzzles (though she’s only at the stage where she can take all the pieces out and eat them)
  • Empty out the bathroom’s cabinet with my stock of shampoos, q-tips, and other more personal matters…
  • Following her brother around
  • Running under the table and zigzag between chairs
  • Play with the plugs, unplug a lamp and eat the socket

 

March 1st   We cook a cake

That was a bad idea – trying to cook a cake with 2 kids in less than 30 min. Just doesn’t work… But I’m their mom, an optimistic & energetic mis-planner whose husband gave a card that said “today: to one thing fewer”. The cake was the incentive for Luca to eat his meal.  He hasn’t eaten a dinner for 3 days, the last one was his pizza on Saturday of course. So I was trying to find an incentive to reverse behaviour.  We decided that if he ate his soup properly, we’d make a cake afterwards together.

 

First, ‘make a cake’ meant “eat a cake”.  So when the soup came, he was upset.  “Maman dit cake!” he pointed out (maman said “cake”).  We got in a bit more explanation, of which I’m not sure how much he understood, and we proceeded to eat.

 

Mia was happy with her eggplant puree and ate it fast (rare).  Luca was a lot slower… so when Mia moved on to her yogurt, Luca whined “Mia manger Luca yogurt.  Luca no yogurt….”.   I got a yogurt out of the fridge and put it in front of him, yet out of reach, as proof there was more and that Mia was not eating his meal.

 

When we got to yogurt time, he asked for a yogurt and a fruity petit Suisse, which I happily gave him.  Though it required a bit of clean up afterwards as both yogurt and petit Suisse got poured into each other’s container and mixed up.

 

Mia was done, she played around, crawled on the floor, got to a cupboard with plastic tops for glass containers.  She had played with them before – “play” just means she takes them out one by one and points to the mess with pride afterwards  “gagaga?” as if saying “have you seen this, pretty cool he?.   She stood up, grabbed the pile of glass dishes on the upper level, and dragged them to her.  4 broken dishes, and a little girl surrounded with broken glass.  Luckily, she didn’t get injured.  I grabbed her, put her back in her chair and cleaned up.  “Mia bêtise”, said Luca…

 

We played and read stories.  When I put them to bed, luca showed his little sister how to grab the bars of the bed and jump, and jump, and jump.

 

I came in a little later to check in – they were fast asleep, Mia was upside down and luca cuddled up with his stuffed chicken.  Mia was sleeping but when I opened the door she sat right up, as if ready to hear the plaid of a minister.  I put her back down and her eyes closed right away.

 

Feb 27th Maman dit non?

–      Luca pate a modeller, he aked (luca playdoh)

–      You want to play with playdoh now?

–      Maman dit non?

 

Mon papa, ne veux pas, que je dance …. which he says je veux pas

 

Feb 28th  The same, comme Luca

How a kid learns that things are the similar is fascinating – a blue car, a red car, a big black car, a small green car.  All cars, the same yet not necessarily exactly the same…

 

Luca shows me his little flash MacQueen car and brings the flash Macqueen book

–      c’est le meme?” (it’s the same)

–      Yes, they are both Flash mac Queen, there’re the same car

He brings a smaller red car

–      Ca c’est le meme?

–      That’s another red car, but it’s not flash mac queen.  It doesn’t have a racing number 95 on the door

–      C’est pas le meme?

–      It’s similar, but it’s not flash mac queen

Then he points to an orange car and the red car

–      Ca c’est le meme?

–      Well, one is a small red plastic car, the other one is the same but orange colour

 

He runs around and hurts his foot on the floor

–      Bobo maman

–      Where does it hurt?

He shows me his foot, and I give him a kiss

–      There you go, it’s a little bobo, but you’re fine

–      C’est le meme que Mamijo (“same as mamijo’s”– who broke her foot a month before)?

–      Well, mamijo had a bobo on her foot, near the ankle.  You also have a bobo, but on your toe. And you probably don’t need a cast

–      C’est le meme que mamijo

 

I vacuum the kitchen after my kids wrecked the place over dinner

–      Maman fait comme Augusta?  (maman does like Augusta – the cleaning lady)

–      Exactly, I do like augusta, I’m vacuuming the floor so it’s clean

He brings his car and puts it on top of the vaccum cleaner

–      C’est le meme?

–      Well, not really.  Both vehicles have 4 wheels, but one is a car and the other is a vacuum cleaner.  So they’re not really the same

–      C’est pas le meme?

He points to his feet

–      Luca a des pieds, he says

–      Yes, you’ve got feet

Then checking out the car

–      FlashMcQueen, pas pieds.  Roues  (Flash mc queen no feet.  Wheels)

–      You’re exactly right, flashmacqueen as wheels

–      Comme ca (just like that, pointing to the vaccumm cleaner)

 

A little later, in the living room, he’s playing on the floor and starts doing pushups

–      Luca fait comme papa.  Push ups.

–      You’re doing great!

–      Comme papa.

 

Feb 26th Mia climbs up and down the baby poang

May this be clear – the little seat which is a copy cat of our adult seats (poangs from Ikea) is Luca’s.  It’s his gift from his 2 French uncles for his 1st Xmas.  Luca loves to take his bottle in it and at times he reads a book there.

 

So when Mia decides that’s her new target, it creates some tension at first.  Luca is a sweetheart and he’s been letting Mia get away with climbing up his seat.  We made a deal – he can trade the small seat for a big one. 

 

She started to climb up the seat Friday afternoon and got it right from the get go.  Very Mia-like.  She stands by the seat, brings her leg up on it, pushes herself on the seat.  Then she stands up on it and laughs with pride.  Raaaaahhh, she roars. The way down from the chair is a little more difficult.  She sat on the seat and leaned forward to check if she could go head first.  Hum, too high she thought.  So she leaned back and moved her butt closest to the edge and let herself slide down till her feet touched the ground.  It was like a snail sliding down to the ground.  Very ingenuous.

 

But the smart little chick took another 2 rounds of climbing up and down to figure out that on the way down, she may as well flip on her belly and push herself back.  Done maman.  Took her less than 12 hours to figure it out.  I wanted to film her sliding down from the seat and didn’t even have time before she figured it out.

 

Meanwhile, Luca watches his sister.  He’s agreed to let her go on his poang.  But it’s so hard to let her get all the attention.  Look, maman, Look! He says.  And he shows me how he can climb up the big poang and come down from it so easily – both of which he’s been able to do easily for a year or so. “Luca photo!”, he asks, so I don’t just immortalize the little girl. 

 

Next thing I know, she’ll be walking on her own, just like that.  She’s not very bold, she waits till she’s ready. She never falls down.  Right now, she stands on her own, even with just a wall to lean on.  And she can release one hand free and play with the other.  She doesn’t move sideways much, and if I try to make her walk by giving her my hands (which I know she can do as she’s done it a few times), she crouches and crawls away as if saying “this is much more efficient, no?”.

 

Feb 21st Photos of India

We watched a bunch of photos that I printed out for the kids from our trip to India. They are loving it.

–      Il est où Pappu? asks Luca, looking for pappu on every picture

–      Ca c’est Sam?  (this is sam?)

–      Patti elle est à D7?  (Patti is in D7?)

–      Ca c’est luca sur moto?  Pappu motorcyle (This is Luca on a motorcyle ?   Pappu’s motorcycle)

–      Aunt Hemal.  Whaaaaa!  He tries to scare me like Hemal on the photo

–      Luca dit Namaste aux vaches  (Luca says Namaste to the cows)

–      Patti elle sourit?  (Patti is smiling?)

–      C’est froid dans rickshaw (it’s cold in the rickshaw he says, remembering his first rickshaw ride to Vassant Vihar to go to the hair dresser)

He remembers every bit of his vacation. He told Farida all the stories and it’s become our evening book

 

Mia watches her own set of photos too.  Tatta?  She says, pointing to Appa.  TATA, she repeats. I’m floored.  She can recognize Appa on every photo where he is.  Then a photo with Anand. “Papa” she says, papa.  And she kisses the photo….

 

Feb 20th    Mia is miserably sick

3 teeth in a week, that’s a lot of work.  Anand is gone for a week and just like that – she decided to have her first 3 teeth. Unfortunately, this claim to fame comes with its share of pain, running nose, annoying ear pain, rough cough. And here as in many other ways, Mia’s just like her dad – when she is sick, she looks miserable, she complains about her pain (not to me really, but to herself) and looks resigned to see the world is coming to an end. She coughs once, and then a second time, she shrugs her shoulders and bend her head and coughs some more with pitifully acceptance. She looks so unhappy…

 

She woke up at 10pm, all blocked up and coughing.  So we cleaned up her nose again and she refused to go back to bed, all alone while she’s in such a miserable mood.  So I held her through midnight.  I was trying to finish up my work (the reading of an info memo, not the most exciting thing to read up at night….), and the little girl made sure to comment every line.  Management beware, I am ready with a lot of questions!

 

Feb 19th  We go wolf hunting

–       Luca chercher loup (Luca’s looking for a wolf).

We’re walking in the Bois de Vincennes, a fairly large park right outside Paris that may look like a forest to the eyes of a kid.  It faces what used to be the kings’ castle before the Louvre and it is busy with well-dressed Parisians or joggers wearing the latest fashion athletic wear, more than bears and wolves.

–      Maman, il est où loup?  (where’s the wolf)

–      Well, woolves are usually in the mountains Luca.  And you may not want to see one – they’re quite dangerous.  They could try to bit your tasty leg if they’re hungry

–      Luca chercher bebe loup (a baby wolf)

–      OK, let’s walk around and see if we find one

–      Maman, maman,  un loup!!  He says, pointing to a dog

–      This is a dog Luca.  A wolf is like a dog but it’s all black with long teeth.

We continued walking around.  And of course, what showed up….

–      A wolf maman!!  He said, pointing to a black dog, running with his tongue down and his teeth out.  A wolf maman!!

I didn’t know what to say – black, long teeth – clearly, it was a wolf….

–      Wahooo, Luca, you’re so lucky.  You may have found a wolf.

I wasn’t sure if I was better off lying to him or telling him the truth – which may have either confused him or put me down in the category of uncool mums

–      You know, wolves live in the mountain.  So that one may have been a wolf, but most likely it was a black dog

–      No, c’est loup  (it’s a wolf)

Sigh…..

 

–      Well, should we look for something else?  What shall we look for?   A dog?

–      Un crocodile!

–      Yay, you know luca, it’s hard to find to find a crocodile in Vincennes.  They live in far away places like Brazil, Africa, Florida.

–      And Vincennes

 

We found a big wood stick and a stream.  Luca crouched and stirred the water for a while.  He threw a bunch of leaves and some grass, some rocks and some chestnuts to attract the crocodile.  But no luck – we didn’t catch one this time.  Next weekend we’ll come back – crocodiles of Vincennes, beware.

 

Feb 18th  Mia walks (with help) and shows #2 tooth

She must have been prepared this moment for a while.  I came back to my parents’ place where Mia and Luca had spent the night.  The little girl was holding her grandma’s hands and throwing one leg in front of another, walking like a champion, with a beaming smile. We had tried a few times but she wasn’t interested.  And just like that, she made not one or 2 steps – she walked the length of the living room.   She must have decided that was the moment.  It’s very Mia-like. Even though she looked quite advanced compared to her brother in terms of physical balance and ability, she turned out to be a lot less willing to walk.  Of course, her turbo-speed crawling is so efficient she probably doesn’t feel the need to walk.  But unlike Luca, she takes her time and does things well – she can easily stand up by the coffee table, but has never fallen off.  She crawls and never bumped into things.  She loves crawling under the table and zigzagging between the legs of the chairs and table, and comes out of her adventure laughing and proud.

 

Feb 17th  Mia’s first tooth !

I was feeling sorry for the little girl.  At 1 year and 1 month, she had no tooth.  Not that I cared about her teeth (there’s no 3-year old with no tooth), but everybody commented on her teeth, or rather lack thereof.   By the age of 2 months, she was drooling so much that the prediction of the common man was that she’d teeth early.

 

I really liked my little girl with no tooth.  It was a gift to maman, a way to say –I’ll stay a baby as long as I can.  But she must have been fed up with those pureed food.  She tried out a piece of ham last week, and that must have been the trigger for all sorts of wild food thoughts.

 

So here it came, one little white dot on top.  Farida told me about it, but the girl wont let me see or touch it.  I don’t insist, it’s probably a bit sensitive. Luca said “bravo Mia.  Mia une dent.  Luca beaucoup dent” (mia one tooth, luca many teeth) and he opened his mouth to show me.

 

Feb 15th A day for Luca with his grandma and for Mia with her nanny

GrandMa MamiJo picked up Luca for the day.  The little boy headed to a toy store to check out bikes, had cake for desert, lured his grandma into a tickle fight, played with her pans, negotiated several rounds of carousel, and got 150% attention all day.  He loved it.  He came back home at 8pm, exhausted

–      Good evening Luca.  How was your day?  You had fun?

–      Yes, he said with a broad smile

–      You took the train back home?

–      Luca’s train!

–      What else did you do today?

–      Luca donner pain aux canards. 

–      You fed the ducks!  Where they happy?

–      Canards crès contents

–      Was Luca happy too?

–      Oui.  Luca picrouille (pitrouille) … dans bebe flaques

–      You played with the mud in the water ponds ?

–      He laughs…. Luca PIcrouille!!  …  picrouille!

 

Meanwhile, Mia stayed all day with just her and Farida.  Girls’ day out. Farida told me she didn’t fill in the little note book which she keeps every day with menus and poos and other info for maman.  Because it was girls’ day out and it was special.  Mia looked exhausted too – she had crawled around all day, enjoyed her time, decided to skip her nap.  All was well in the world.  She ate like a champion, looked happier than ever…  and definitely didn’t miss her brother for the day.

 

 

Feb 14th Mia zooms through the hall to greet me

There’s something magic about coming back from work, opening the door and seeing my little girl out in her bedroom playing with puzzles.  Then she sees me, laughs, and zooms through the hall on turbo speed to come to me.  She’ll stop half way through, sit, look at me to check if I’m still waiting, and turbo her way to me.  I love it.  And if I try to wash my hands before I pick her up, she complains J

 

Feb 13th Luca’s first ‘bike ride’

We met Padi and Mamijo at the Lac des Minimes, a little lake near by in the forest of Vincennes.  There were a few small bikes with side wheels for rent, so we got one for Luca.  The little guy got on it, put his 2 feet on the pedals and… waited.  We tried hard to get him to push on his legs but it didn’t work.  He liked sitting on the bike seat, a blue bike mind you, and being dragged by padi or papa.  He’d barely steer….   but wouldn’t get off of it.  And the fact that it came with a candy at the end of the ride made biking THE thing to do!!

 

Feb 12th  Mia disagrees – MY cocounielle!

While Mia is quite independant and doesn’t ask for much, she easily cries for pain and to get maman’s attention when she needs it.  Luca has a truck, a red fire truck, which he’s been driving around the apartment a lot recently.  He takes is around for long rides through the apartment, with his dodo as co-passenger, and with a bunch of junk in the trunk.  He sits on it while brushing his teeths, and parks it right between his bed and Mia’s for the night.

Mia has her own ladybug (coccinelle in French,  “cocounielle” as Luca calls it). It’s the same as a little truck, but red with black dots and 2 antennas.  She grabs the arch over its head and pushes it forward, on her knees.  She looks like a religious devout on penitence…  

Luca likes to sit on his truck and at the same time push the ‘cocounielle’ on the side. Don’t know if it’s for kicks or to provoke his sister, but Mia gets pissed off every time.  She cries with an attitude that says ‘maman, cant fight for myself, I’m abandoned, come help me….’.  I get to explain to Luca every time that this is not cool, and he agrees.  So clearly, it must be some provocation!

 

Feb 10th Luca draws his first man

Farida (our nanny) is doing a training with the nanny’s association today. So Alix (our bby sitter) is taking care of the kids.

–      Luca, what are you going to do with Alix today

–      Manege (caroussel)

–      Yes, you can totally go to the manege.  Will you draw too?

–      Yes

–      What are you going to draw?

–      Bonhomme (man).  Gros bonhomme.  Gros rond (big circle)

–      Can you show me how you draw his eyes? 

Luca points to his eyes and pokes them

–      Gros bonhomme, he repeats.

He learned to draw his first man a few days ago with Farida.   I have 5-6 men glued on the fridge.  Very cute.

–      Luca and Mia, maman is going to head to work. I will see you tonight, OK?

–      Bye bye maman, says Luca.

–      You’re going to have a great time with Alix.  You’ll show her how to draw a man

–      Gros bonhomme, he repeats

I put Mia in Alix’s arms.  She started bawling

I explained – Mia, don’t cry, you’re staying with Alix and Luca and maman will be back tonight

–      Luca looked at Mia and took his hand

–      No pleurer, Mia

 

Feb 9th Pizza night with mamijo and padi

We’ve made it a habbit to go out for a pizza Friday or Saturday night, and this weekend was no exception.  It was actually an addition – grandparents joined us for the ride.  We headed to Vincennes, bot a pizza each.  Luca ate ¾ of a full size pizza, 3 balls of ice cream and was upset when I tried to whisk the mountain of whipped cream that sat on top….

 

Mia still got no teeth, but after her regular baby food (in a baby food jar, else she wont eat it as if she didn’t trust me for feeding her decent food) and yogurt, she happily ate ½ of my pizza crust, sucking it till it melted in her mouth.  She loved her ¼ of mamijo’s crème caramel.  The girl’s got good taste J

 

Feb 7th  All toys in the bathtub

Anand and I were looking for apartments – we’re moving, not sure where yet. Luca and Mia were playing next to us with the garage that Luca got for santa claus (Farida).  They stood up and went around to their bedroom to continue playing.  We could hear them laugh, and they’d do constant return trips between the bedroom and the dining room, picking up new toys every time.  Luca would carry them in pairs, one in each hand, Mia would take one at a time, in her mouth and speed-crawl her way to the bedroom.  After all the toys from the box were out there, they kept playing in the bedroom.  We could hear them laugh and play. After a while, I got up to check what they were doing. Not in the bedroom.  Not in the hall.  Not in my bedroom.  There they were, in the bathroom.  They were putting some toys in the shower. Creative, I thought.

 

After a few more return trips, Luca came back running in the living room where we were both chating

–      Papa, papa, said Luca, running to his dad in the living room. Papa, mouille (wet)

Anand didn’t quite understand why papa was wet.

–      Tout mouille leleau (all wet, water), repeated Luca.

 

Anand headed to the bathroom. I heard “Ooooohh”.  And saw Anand come back laughing so hard he couldn’t talk.  Tears were running down his cheecks. 

Man, they’re creative…. he said.

I headed out too. All the toys were piled up in the shower, including 3 dozen stuffed animals that they had poked out of their respective beds. And Luca had turned on the water…  They had also filled up the washing machine with a random assortment of toys, Mia’s blankets, clothes clean and dirty alike.

 

We took all the toys out, one by one, and put them to dry on heaters and on the floor.  We told Luca not to turn on the water again in the shower .  Nobody got scolded, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens again soon…

 

Feb 2nd  The little girl stands up

We were playing on the ground.  Luca was getting his ball and Mia was sitting next to me, her hands on my thighs.  She stood up, still holding my legs.  And out of nowhere she raised her 2 hands and stood on her own.  It lasted just 2-3 seconds max, but I was so proud of her!

 

Feb 1st  Maman pas gentile

–      What did you do at the park today Luca?

–      Maile fait bêtises (Maile – his friend-  does bad things)

–      Oh, really, Maile did bad things?  What did she do?

–      Maile ecoute pas la nounou  (she doesn’t listen to her nanny)

–      Does Luca listen to his nanny?

–      Yes

–      And do you like Farida?

–      Farida pas gentile (Farida – Luca’s nanny – not nice)

–      Why?  Why is Farida not gentile

–      Farida dit non Luca bêtise  (she says no when Luca does bad things)

 

Jan 30th Mia points “no”

She gets to the plug in the living room.  I starred at her, ready to say my traditional ‘No mia, you don’t touch the plug”.   She preceded me, pointed her index and waved it left and right – no.

 

Jan 29th Luca points to the bell

We were walking back from the pharmacy to buy powder milk for the kids’ bottle.

–      T’as vu maman? (can you see maman?)  Asks luca, pointing to a rooftop

–      What do I see luca?

–      Ding dong. Sonner cloche   (bell rings)

–      What does the bell do?

–      Ding dong

The rooftop was pointy and looked like a church’s clocher.  I was floored.

 

Jan 28th  Luca pushes his cart in the store

I went to Super U.  Luca knows the place quite well.  He picked up his own little cart and walked around.  He was very clear as to what he wanted for his survival kit – petit Suisse, crepe, saucisson. 

 

Jan 27th Mia turns 1 !

The little toothless girl turned one.  Luca sang her a happy b-day song with good heart.  They ate cookies, got gifts (Mamijo was wise enough to bring one for Luca too).  In bad parents, we didn’t get any of them anything.  But we hugged. After they fell asleep, I starred over Mia’s bed  — she looked big and I realised that the baby was gone.

 

Jan 20th   Maman stop moving….

Mia has reached that age where she wants maman to stand still next to her.  If I move around the house, she’s in total distress.  She looks like she’s abandoned behind, running on her fours.

 

Meanwhile, we tested Mia’s animals.  She can do the cow (mmmmm),  the pig (frowing her nose and breathing in and out loudly), the lion (rrrraaah) and the cat (a little whine).  

 

Jan 19th   Mia does the pig

Mia learned to mimic a pig. I have to ask in French because she learned that with Farida, in French.  She frowns her nose and breathes loud in and out.  It’s hilarious.

 

Jan 18th   Understand?

–      Le leeeeaaauuu (water), says luca, whining

–      Luca, I don’t understand when you whine.  You have to stop whining and explain what you need

–      Le leeeaaauuu

–      I don’t understand.  How do you say that

–      De l’eau, please

–      Ah, see I understand

–      Understand?

A little later

–      Dessiner (draw) asks Luca, whining again

–      I don’t understand

–      Dessssiinnner, he asks whining

–      I don’t understand

–      Dessiner, please.  He asks, with a lot of composure.  Understand?

 

 

Jan 17th  Mia plays with cars

For Xmas, Farida offered Luca a garage for cars, and it’s been the greatest idea.  He and Mia drive the cars up and down the garage, telling each others stories.  Mia doesn’t yet quite control her movements and her gestures are brutal – she smashes cars on the various floors of the garage before throwing them around the room and running on her 4s to pick them up.

Luca tries his best to play with his toy while refraining the little sis from wrecking his story.  He diligently takes the cars up and down the garage’s elevator.

 

Jan 13th My kids’ laughs   

There is something magical about kids’ laughs that makes adult happy.  And when those laughs come from my are my kids, they makes my heart pound. I love the way Mia laughs when I tickle her on the changing table and she looks forward to the next round of tickle coming.  Or when I come back from work and she sprints through the hall on her 4s with her toothless smile, turns around as soon as I see her, and burst out laughing.  I love Luca’ laughs when I eat next to him and he lowers his head to look at me from the top of his eyes. Or when I sit with him on the sofa and he hides under a bunch of pillows and I get to tickle him. Those laughs come out loud, not constrained, as a full embrace of life and an easy way to say I’m happy.

 

Jan 12th 2 secondes, j’arrive

Luca moves over to a side of the room and concentrates.  He is not smiling, not playing.

–      You’ve pooed Luca?

–      Luca no fini (Luca not done), he answered, because he doesn’t like being changed and found that excuse to postpone the diaper change.  He puts a hand over his diaper, as if holding his butt, and looks uncomfortable.

–      Let’s go change your diaper sweetheart.  I’ll tell you a story of FashMacQueen.   (the racing car from the Pixar movie is his hero and has therefore become the ultimate source of blackmail)

That’s enough to convince Luca to come to his room. But once there he changes his mind, sits on his truck and start driving back to the living room

–      Attends, 2 secondes, j’arrive (wait, 2 scds, I am coming), he says with the tone of an adult busy with an important matter, while I burst out laughing

After a little while, I call him back

–      Luca, 2 seconds is a short period of time. It’s ‘one (I wait a bit), two’.  Your 2 seconds are over.

–      2 secondes, j’arrrrrriiiiive! He responds.

It sounded just like my dad when he tells my mum to wait just a little longer J  He just returned from a day over at their place …

 

Jan 11th Canard

It’s a beautiful Sunday, and it seemed a good idea to go feed the ducks on the lake of St Mandé.  At 1pm, I told Luca that like him, the ducks were about to take a nap, and when he’d wake up we’d go feed the ducks.  When they wake up, they say “pain, pain, pain, pain”.

 

But after weeks of cold weather and children locked up inside, all parents had the same idea – take the kids to feed the ducks.  By the time we got there, with Arnaud & Philippine, the lake was covered with bread chunks, floating on the surface and slowly decomposing.  The ducks swam through them, making their way through slowly decomposing break pieces.  Luca was thoroughly disappointed.  So we headed to teh carrousel and all was good again.

 

Jan 10th Mixed Martial Arts competition on grandpa’s bed

Anand and I had dinner with Thom & Valentina and the 2 tykes were staying with their grandparents for the night. My dad woke them up at 9am and put them both on his bed where the 2 kids launched into a rolling/flipping between the blankets. Luca would roll Mia around, he would jump on the bed and do some galipettes himself with the help of Padi, hide under the blanket, spring from under and jump again, get tickled and laugh hard.  There was no winner to the MMA competition this time, both kids left exhausted and grandpa too.  

 

Jan 8th  Mia stands up

Farida, the nanny, put Mia in her bed for a few minutes while she was changing luca’s diaper.  She turned around and up was Mia, standing on her toes, grabbing the bars of the bed, smiling with pride at her newly found game. Farida asked her to do it again, and so did Mia.  Stand up straight, cash back down.

 

I came home that night and was reading a book with Luca.  Mia preferred walking around. I felt a little hand on my leg, another hand on my other leg, grabbing my pants.  By the time I lowered the book to talk to Mia she was standing up in front of me, wobbling on her toes, with a smile that showed so much pride.  My heart melted.

 

“Whaoo, bravo, Mia”, I congratulated her. Luca ran to his bedroom and the sweet big brother came running back with his camera and said “bravo mia, bravo.  Cheese Mia! Cheese Maman”.  I’m not sure if he really cheered for her or if that was his way of getting attention.  He’s been showing some resentment and internal struggle since she’s been standing up. That was a highlight moment in my life.

 

Jan 7th   Mia throws her first fit

If you asked Mia her favorite meal, she’d say “pain” (bread).  She could feed herself just bread & crackers.  When she was sick in India, that’s all she wanted. And over diner, the meal order exactly in reverse order of what she prefers:  baby food, yogurt, dinner. Damn…

The babyfood part can be quite difficult to feed. Tonight, she just wouldn’t hear about it.  She was tired, she was hungry, but that baby food would just not cut it.  She turned her head 180 degrees as soon as the spoon came close.  Left, then right.  She put her head down on the table in despare, screaming like an abandoned child.  It was heart breaking and funning at the same time, because it was the same baby food jar as the ones she had been eating before….

Thomas and Valentina knocked on the door. They were coming for diner with Ana, who’s just 3 months younger than Mia. Mia shut up, looked at Ana straight in the eye, and ate her food without any complain, as if showing her new friend how good an eater she was. 

 

 

Jan 6th   The  little frenchie Mia’s new word:  “pain”

Mia’s done with her dinner – 1 jar of baby food, 2 petits Suisse (thick yogurt), some water which she sprays around and on her more than in her mouth. 

–      Are you still hungry Mia?  Do you want some bread?

–      Pain pain pain pain  (bread), she responds

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