Back when we lived in Seattle, the first sentence out of my mouth upon entering a park was not, "Oh my God, look at all the GRASS!" That would have been a strange thing to say. But times have changed, and I truly was amazed to see the large expanses of touchable grass at the Buttes Chaumont. No one blows a whistle at you, even if you pull out handfuls of grass and rub them all over your body (In our defense, we were delirious with grass freedom.)
Karin, a fellow blogger friend from An Alien Parisienne, stopped by the park for a visit. It's "her" park; she lives nearby and likes to give any visitor she knows a quick howdy-doo when they come by (that's not a euphemism for anything). She showed Lucien the grotto and told him it was Batman's batcave. Loosh was nervous until he realized a grown man dressed as a bat is someone to pity, not fear.
We had a leisurely picnic lunch next to the stream. While Coco ripped apart every sandwich we made and flung the parts in all different directions, Lucien joined in with a group of boys -- most of them making noise! -- and ran around like little boys do. They splashed through the stream, rolled down hills, talked about poop. Even with all the little boy commotion, they didn't attract a single stinkeye from the adults. Lots of grass and no stinkeyes? Quick, someone remind me why we're living in the 6th.
Coco's at a great age. Her little personality is really starting to come out and man, were we ever surprised to discover she's terrifying. She sees everything. She knows everything. She's focused and determined and not eff'g around so don't waste her time. We think she's lying in wait... patiently.... identifying weaknesses.... until the second she's ready to rise up and destroy us all.
this is the leg ima defeat you with
Coco the barbarian
I have French lessons twice a week but I don't write about them because for the first time, my French teacher isn't giving me any material. My new teacher is calm, sweet, organized, and doesn't have any strong opinions about how I'm living my life. I miss the drama of my lessons with Madame Kickymass, and the suckerpunches of Madame Suckerpunch, but it's nice this teacher is focused on teaching me French in a calm, effective way.
The downside of having an attentive teacher who's not prone to emotional outburst is she really notices all my mistakes. There's still a slew of 'em. Sometimes she has to take a moment to laugh into her cupped hands and say, "Ouf, c'est bizarre!" before composing herself and continuing. I'm taking that as a compliment for absolutely no reason other than denial.
The problem with learning French the way I am, pretty much all listening with no writing and very little reading, is I'm missing small, yet crucial, words. When spoken quickly by a Frenchie, many of those little words run together so I don't realize they're there. When I repeat what I thought I heard, I end up with people laughing in my face and saying, "Ouf! C'est bizarre!" (IT'S A COMPLIMENT!)
For instance, the way I've been saying, "I have no idea" -- I never heard the "en," so I've always said "Je n'ai aucune idée" instead of the correct, "Je n'en ai aucune idée." My version makes sense, but it's not exactly the idea I want to communicate. I'm basically telling people I don't have any thought in my head whatsoever -- literally I have NO idea.
I'm thrilled to know this is what I've said to mamas at school:
Hot Thing Two: So what are you guys doing this weekend?
Me: I'm completely devoid of thought, nothin' in the ole noggin', a real dumbass -- Ooh! Squirrel!
The more French I "learn," the more I realize I've been free entertainment for the French for over two years now. I should charge them admission to this freak show.
Alex is in Venice this weekend. That was our deal -- me solo to Rome with Robin, then Al solo to Venice with his parents -- but I'm really wishing I could have gone both times and he stay here with the kids twice. I don't think that's unreasonable.
Now Happy Mother's Day to my mama. I sure do love my mama.
I love being a mama, too, even though I have two intense children hellbent on my destruction.