Jan-Feb 2012

Sunday, Feb 26th sending maman’s friends to the pediatrician

From: saleton@alumni.gsb.stanford.edu [mailto:saleton@alumni.gsb.stanford.edu] On

Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2012 3:41 PM

To: Bethany Rogers; Anand Krishnan

Subject: Re: Hello – help with Dr recommendations


Bethany –


So I’m forwarding to Anand who had a good surgeon for his knee and plenty of recommendations. I hope you’re not in pain and fix this quickly.  Luca is sitting next to me and he recommends the following “She can use my doctor. Tell her to go see Dr Varille [his pediatrician] ” 


Feb 20th Luca’s first visible nightmare

Luca is obsessed with Sharks.  He’s got books, pictures.  So today we went to the aquarium by the Eiffel Tower.  It has 13 sharks of different kinds, including the same as in the book.  Luca stayed 1h30 in front of the glass window, staring at the sharks, and attended a “conference” by a man who just talked about everything about sharks.


By midnight, I was hearing him crying in his bed.  He was sitting up, drenched in sweat. Couldn’t articulate what was wrong.  After 5 min of calin and asking questions, I had to put him in time out so he’d calm down (I feel bad about it still). We talked about what he had in mind “the shark was in the water.  He comes to the boat and…. [blank]”.  Did the shark attack the boat? “no, sharks are nice”.  It was likely his way to get the bad dreams out of his head.  I gave him a shower and shampoo (he was literally wet from head to toe), changed the pajamas and sheets and the little boy went to softer dreams.


Feb 18th Kids play

Mia, vient, says luca.  We race!

–         No says Mia.  No race

–         Viens, Mia, race!!

–         No… she replies, busy playing with her dinette

–         Viens Mia.  Je t’aimmmmme.  Je t’aimmmmee a la folie.  You want to race with me ?

–         No

–         Mais je t’aime (but I love you….)


He comes back and sticks a few stickers in her back

–         No..!!  she fights it.  It does it again and I hear again

–         No!!! Maman, luca sticker back!!!  (luca puts some stickers in my back)

And I was just thinking – a few more years and he’ll put some worms and other gooy things in her back


Having failed to convince his racing partner to run a bit, Luca sat down to draw on his Flash McQueen drawing book. He finished to colour every car in the book, a good 10 of them.  Then we challenged him to draw more carefully, slower, within bounderies.  In less than an hour, he had made tremendous progress.  He came back with a rose he had painted in red and green, and went on colouring small details of his book – a garland of balls which he painted in 6 different colours.  Every time he’d come and show us and one of us would comment and compliment him when he had done a good job “whao, that’s very well done, luca, you’ve painted this one slowly and carefully and it is beautifully done within the boundaries”.  An hour later, as the 2 of them were clearing up the table, Luca took one of Mia’s “crabouillage” (whatever results from a 2 year old painting random circles and shapes) and he exclaimed “whao, Mia, that’s very well done! Good job mia”.  And taking one of his paintint congratulated himself “whao luca, well done!  Good job luca”.


Feb 11th  Mia & Luca each reach a book to patti and thathat on the phone

Pati’s on the phone. Mia is reading out loud for Patti and Thathat the story of the Lion King.  Here’s my notes: “Bebe symba, scar mean, mufasa, run elephant, hyenas, papa dead, moon, regarde stars, papa in sky papa dead, pumba and timon dancing”


Luca’s turn, with the book of Cars “Flash Mcqueen, have an accident, have to get team, he’s going to California but he’s sleeping, the truck opens and he goes and he’s tangled up, that’s what happens, toe truck is called mater but flash has a boot so, goes to see Doc, doc says repairs road, then what happens, not so good the road, races doc and falls in the cactus tree and mater picks him up, then repairs the doc, flash Macqueen races so fast, sally guido and luigi are happy, they go and they wake up the tractors and the mean tractor goes whaooo, piston cup in doc’s garage, flash mc queen sees doc racing so far, then they go to California, chick hicks pushes the king, flsmcqueen sees and he pushes the king to finish line, then they go back to radiator spring”


Feb 8th Mia goes to the kiddy pot for the first time

–         Maman caca?

–         You want to do caca?

–         Yes

–         Ok, you have a diaper

–         No, pot

–         Ok [I put her on, mostly because I’m OK if going to the pot becomes a bit of a game

–         A book!, she asks and I bring her a book.


–         I’m done maman!  She screams across the house

And she indeed pooed for her first time on the kiddy pot.


Feb 7th Luca buys maman some flower – “maman repair?”

When he was walking back from the park, Luca saw a flower store and asked his nanny if he could “take” some flowers for maman.  She indulged and they returned with 6 red roses from Luca and 6 white roses from Mia.  As I showed Mia the flowers from close (thorns, leaves, petals, she took 2 flowers and pulled the petals away.

Oh non, Mia, you broke my flowers!

Maman repairs?

No I cant repair the flowers

Maman repair?

No, I repeated, flowers live Mia.  If you break them apart they are dead and I cant repair them

She starred at me, “Maman no repair flowers” she concluded with a mix of disappointment, incredulity and provocation.


Feb 6th – pipi in bed


De : Anand Krishnan [mailto:akrishnan@live.com]
Envoyé : lundi 6 février 2012 13:35
À : Sophie Krishnan; lakshmi_k20@rediffmail.com
Objet : When you need to go pipi…


so Luca still pees at night in his sleep but is big enough now that his diaper can’t keep up with the volume and his bed is a little wet in the morning. This is despite emptying his bladder right before sleeping. So we have a conversation about bathroom calls in the night ..


He explains to me that he can feel the pee coming, but it’s night so he lets it go in his diapers.

I say ….“but if you feel the pipi coming during the night .. you can call me and I’ll take you to the bathroom. Then it’ll go in the pot like it’s supposed to”

“But it’s night” he says waving his arms in indignation “The pipi comes at night” he repeats.

“Well … that happens to everyone” I say.

“The next time you need to go pipi at night, you stand up and you go “PaaaaaaPaaaaaaaaa” and I’ll come and get you and take you to the bathroom. Ok?”.

He doesn’t look convinced that this could work.

“What do you think happens when Papa needs to go pipi at night?” I ask , hoping an example will bring clarity

“he ….. wakes up” he proposes, looking uncertain

“Yes… Yes” I say, nodding eagerly. “And then?”

“he stands up in his bed” he adds looking more sure of himself.

Not exactly the right script but atleast he’s headed in the right direction.

“And ???” I urge. “What happens next?”


“then Papa says ……LoooooooCaaaaaaaa……


So if you’re worried about me wetting the bed. Rest assured, my son takes me to the bathroom so I can go pipi.


Feb 1st The going-to-bed routine

Like most kids, Luca doesn’t like going to bed.  It starts with a long negotiation on brushing teeth, going to the loo, putting on a diaper.  Then we choose a story to read.  It’s hard to choose a book.  We read one, Luca on one leg, mia on the other.  Another story!  Another story! I usually cave in for another one, so if Luca chose the first, Mia chooses the second or vice versa.


Mia is typically happy to go to bed, joining her “tetine doudou” (pacifier and her teddy bear) who are laying there waiting for her.  She asks for her “cabane” (actually a gigoteuse – sleeping bag-). She puts her head in the corner of the bed, and quickly turns herself in the width of the bed, legs up because the bed is too small (in its width. She’d be perfectly fine if she slept with her feet down the bottom end). “Bisou calin” (kiss & hug” she asks, I lean over, give her a kiss and a hug. Sometimes, she puts her arm around my neck and pats my back.  I do the same to her and she laughs.


Luca wants to jump in his bed. By that, he really means the following – he bends his knees and I carry him up in a fake propulsion. Lands in his bed and usually asks to come right back out because “je veux pas faire dodo. Je suis pas fatigue” (I don’t want to sleep, I am not tired). We argue, he wont have a bisou-calin unless he’s laying down in bed. So he lays down, grabs his dodo (a big stuffed chicken). I put his blanket over him and pull his “cabane”, a blanket I put over his cribb so he feels hidden in a shelter. There used to be long negociation over how big the cabane had to be. He’d prefer to cover the crib entirely and I argue that he’d suffocate inside.  We settle at a half covered crib, which I open back up after he is asleep.


I turn on the music, we sing Twinkle Twinkle little star.  Luca argues that I shouldn’t leave because he doesn’t want to go to bed. Sometimes he asks for more bisou calin or for water, requests that Mia copies immediately after. I close the door.  They talk and tell each other stories.  I hear laughs but I don’t go back in and let them fall asleep in their world. .


Feb 2nd Mia waves papa goodbye

Papa came from his home office to kiss the girl goodmorning. Instead, she walked to him, extended her arms and said “calin” (hug), which she got, gave him a kiss on the forehead (she avoids the scruby bearded cheeks), and finished it all waving her hand with a “bye papa.  Good luck.  See you tomorrow”.


Jan 26th The Calendar

Luca’s quite an organized person.  And he likes to know what’s ahead. When he goes to bed, he asks “après le dodo, Farida elle vient” (wil the nany come when I wak up?).  “Luca à l’école?” (luca goes to school?)

So on a suggestion from the nanny’s mentor, we bought a calendar.  Luca chose one with wolves. And we got a bunch of stickers to add to the calendar.  Large stickers for Birthdays, smaller ones for Luca going to the theatre on Wednesdays (dark blue), Tonton Etienne’s visits (purple), Seb’s visits (pink), Mamijo and Padi in paris (yellow), Maman travelling (orange), Papa travelling (red), no school (green).

It took us a good 2hours to clarify most of our activities.  We drew the seasons on each month – a snow man for the winter, flowers in the spring, sun and boat in the summer and orange trees for the fall (very traditional, I should have listened to the 4 seasons’ song by Grand Corps Malade for better inspiration). So months, season, days are starting to come together in his head.


It is working quite well. when tonton Etienne showed up a few days later, Luca told him in the first few minutes “you are purple”.  Tonton Etienne looked up his sweater and said “no, my sweater is grey Luca”. “no, non, sur mon calendrier tu es purple” (on my calendar you’re purple)


Jan 24th Flowers for papa

As Anand is on the phone working with his team, he hears the tippertoe tippertoe tippertoe tap of his little daughter running to his office.  “Papa, papa! flower. For you” says Mia. The little girl has prepared a flower in playdoh for papa, and Luca has done the same for Maman.

–         Papa look! Says mia

–         Shhhhhht, papa tries to silence her. 

–         Flower!  For papa!  Pretty.

–         Shhhht!! Repeats papa, before he asks his team for a brief time out so he can bring her back to the kitchen

Luckily, Farida arrives to swing mia away.  But in that battle, the flower broke down in pieces.

Half hour later, the call is over and Anand goes to her daughter

–         Hey Mia, have you prepared a flower for papa?

–         No

–         Don’t you have a flower? A red and green flower?

–         No

–         Should I go in the kitchen and see if there’s a cute flower for papa?

–         No

Topic is over.  Little girl is hurt, and refuses to believe that a work call could be more important than a flower made of playdoh…


Couple thoughts on kids and parents

On parents – The perfect father, involved in the raising of kids, makes it much more difficult for the dynamics of the couple. It does help to be several adults to raise a child, not least of all because they are helpless at first and then exhausting with their creative ideas resulting in mini disasters. However, it was probably much easier when the support for the child’s mother came from her mother / aunts, and other women who just understood… Men don’t think about children and education the same way and I think it makes couples’ lives much harder.

On kids – kids are not carefree until they live home.  They are very stressed out. They don’t understand what’s going on. What do you want for dinner tonight? No, pas manger. Well, I really didn’t mean we’d eat now…  Another example: aren’t you very happy you’ll go to school next year?  IAre there lots of kids in school?


Jan 18th Mia in the hospital

Mia has a lung infection.  She’s in the hospital, in stable condition. Doctors say it’s not anything serious and we just need to ride it out.  She’s taken care of and hopefully she’ll be out sometime this weekend. 

The poor little monkey can’t breathe without being tubed up on oxygen. She has aerosol (steroids) every 4 hours. She’s tied to a bunch of wires (oxygen measurement on her toe, oxygene pipes to her nose, electrodes to her chest).  She complains every time she sees a doctor and says “mal” (pain) when she moves.  Her cheeks and nose hurt from the pipes and the bandages they put on her face.  I explained her cheeks hurt because of the stickers, and she replied “Ya veux pas stickers” (I don’t want stickers). She’s too tired to cry and has a creepy, tiny voice. The first day, she was strong enough to fight it off “mia fachee, mia pas contente” she’d say. But now She doesn’t want to play, barely talks, just to say “mal”, “luca?” or “Ya veux Farida”, “Ya veux maison” “ya veux dodo” (pain, Luca?, I want my nanny, I want to go home, I want to sleep).  It’s heart breaking to watch. She looks exhausted and doesn’t want to eat, and when she does she pukes it all out after her long coughing series.

So we’re hanging in there, not too worried but tired. Anand has taken all nights and most of the day shifts, which basically means he hasn’t slept in 3 days.  I relayed him yesterday and he crashed in bed back home.


Let me bet she’ll be very worried upset next time she has to go to the doctor…


Jan 2nd– back to Paris

A short note from your husband and the monkey to give my wife & their mommy a boost to get through the first workday back from vacation

Mia says – I’d love to say something nice here but I’m too busy showing my nanny my new-found temper tantrums. Right now I’m not happy with the way she peeled my cle-ment-tine and I’ve told her that Maman would have done a better job. I did call my dad and give him several kisses before heading to the park. Now I’m trying to decide what other fight to pick.

Luca says – I’m just chilling mom, because my sister is busy raising the roof. Plus Farida bought me a cadeau. Plus she told me I was being so nice for not screaming my head off in parallel with Mia. Then I asked her if I could have some chocolate.

Augusta says – the power cutoff … it wasn’t me… I found it that way

Anand says – I was doing really well until I decided to attack my medical bills. Let’s do a romantic joint visit to the Osteo on Wednesday. I’ll wait until after your turn.

Cheers. Anand


Jan 1st No papa bisou

Papa is dying to get kisses from Mia

–         Can papa have a bisou?

–         No papa bisou, she replies, and turns her head away

–         Can papa have a bisou?

–         Manger fromage.  Chocolat.  Pleeeeaaaase?

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