Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Remember me?

Well hello there.

The Loosh is back in school and I'm blogging again.  The two things are related.

The whole family went to drop Lucien off on his first day.  He greeted the director of the school respectfully (unlike last year, holy sh*t...) and his kind, smiley teacher did not run away screaming when she saw him enter the classroom.  I admit, I expected her to because Lucien is infamous at preschool for his loudness and his Chris Farley-like physical comedy routines.

Yesterday, however, The Loosh was quiet and nervous.  That's normal behavior for him on the first day -- it's the second day through the last day of school that everything really goes to hell.

All the other parents are a deep, dark tan-ish color from their month-long vacations in the south of France.  Alex and I, however, continue to be ex-pat rebels by sporting our standard ghostly pallor.  We received a few wrinkled, confused brows when, in response to the vacation question, we said we summer vacationed in the Czech Republic and a German Kinderhotel, where we were vomited upon multiple times and hugged by a hippie.

And sacré bleu, I have sad news  -- Hot Thing One and Hot Thing Two have moved away.  My sorrow knows no limits.  Who's going to be my eye candy at the preschool now?  Oh....everybody else in the whole damn school, you say?  Yep, that's a good point...true, true...

The Loosh will not finish the year at this school, probably not even the semester, and for that I admit I'm relieved.  French school is an impressive thing.  Lucien has a nice group of friends and speaks effortless, accent-less French.  People have been kind to us and it's been our most profound cultural experience in Paris.  Still, it's not the best place for our son.  We need less rigidity, more "hey, anyone have any creative ideas about how to peel Lucien off the ceiling?"

Since my last post, we had a couple more days of crap weather so were stuck in the apartment.  We tried to play ball but it got stuck between the beams in our ceiling.  That was pretty exciting.

The gray blur is a triceratops being launched in an attempt to free the ball.  It only succeeded in knocking art off the walls.

We also went out for an overwhelmingly successful family dinner last week.  It's rare we enjoy a dinner out all together because Alex and I are usually stressed about keeping the children at the table and without forks in their eyeballs.  But this dinner was a winner, probably because Lucien was exhausted from a long outing with Alex and Virginia Dad, which Virginia Dad barely survived.  Lucien's energy can kill people, we're pretty sure.

Coco refuses to sit in a high chair at restaurants.  She prefers to stand which means one of us has to keep a hand on her at all times -- and by "one of us," I mean me.  By the end of the meal she was bored and wanted down but we weren't ready.  Alex barely said the words, "I think she's about to start throwing sh*t at you" when I felt the first piece of pineapple bounce off my head.  Several more soon followed.  Girl has crazy good aim.

I'd like to say Alex helped me fend off the pineapple attack but he was laughing too hard to be useful.  I would have been mad at him but his laugh sounds like Fozzie Bear's and I like that.

Coco and I trailed way behind the boys on our walk home because she wanted to walk all by herself.  It takes forever.  Lucien would occasionally run back to visit us, then double back to join his dad.  One time he returned to Alex and said, "Coco fell down real bad in the middle of the street with cars but it's OK -- I think she's still alive."

Coco hadn't fallen down, Lucien was just being a punk.  So I was perplexed when I saw Alex frantically pushing his way back through people towards us.  When he saw Coco marching happily without injury down the street, he turned and chased Lucien back to our apartment yelling, "LUCIEN GET BACK HERE THAT WASN'T FUNNY."  Ahhh... peaceful family Sundays all together.

On our stroll home, we passed many things, such as the guys below performing "Rockin' Robin" with all their hearts and souls.  We also passed sidewalk cafe tables full of laughing people, and people strolling arm-in-arm through the narrow streets eating ice cream, and people just staring up in awe at the buildings around them.  In that moment, as my husband chased my son to our apartment with the intent to strangle him, I felt complete Paris contentment.  As difficult and claustrophobic as it is sometimes, it was our best decision to live in the 6th, right smack in the middle of it all.

 Rockin' Robin, tweet, tweet, tweet, whatever...

Probably should have stopped on that poignant note but nope, pressing on.

We went to see Dr. Michel for Coco's vaccinations.  I got yelled at on the bus on the way there because a woman thought Coco's socks were too tight and were cutting off her circulation. Coco's socks weren't even a little bit tight, as I tried to demonstrate by easily sticking a finger down the side, but it didn't sway her -- I was a bad person and horrible mother and there was no convincing her otherwise.  She complained about me to her friend the rest of the ride.  This is also known as "just another day on the bus."

I haven't been approached by the Cold Baby Police in ages but have now encountered their super stealth unit, the Tight Sock Investigators.  Be careful out there, everybody.  

Funny what a week away from the blog does to my head; it's just full of weird crap.  I would stick around and share indefinitely but I've got to go.  I've got to go get my American boy at French school and it's Day Two.  Things probably didn't go well.  I will soothe his battered soul with nutella.

The Loosh on his first day back to school.  I said, "stand still" and got dancing.  It's gonna be a long few months at French school.

La rentrée is here, mon chou,


Duchesse said...

Oh, how I love the weird crap in your head!:)

Just came back from a very sunny ten-day holiday in Italy expecting to find a few posts from you but then I should have remembered that la rentrée française wasn't until the 5th (most of my colleagues put their kids in the French lycée here):) Mind you, my first thought was that your inlaws were in town and that you had finally gone on that romantic second honeymoon sans kids:) Have you picked a destination yet?

Re: the Tight Socks and Cold brigades, you have got to learn this one simple rhetorical question and USE it on them: De quoi j'me mêle?! Combined with a scornful, exasperated look, I promise you it'll work wonders:)

Keith Eckstein -A Taste of Garlic said...

Ah, I remember you...

You're Loosh's mum, aren't you?

Could you tell The Loosh that water pistols and/or hosepipes are the things to use to get balls that are stuck in roof beams unstuck.

All the best


P.S. You might want to mention that flower vases also work quite well?

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

i am glad your boy had a good first day at school and hope the second one was not too bad either. Only a few more weeks to go then you can start looking for his next school in Seattle. I just posted a story about French (elementary) school this morning, largely based on my memories of the place. Thought you'd enjoy looking at it through French eyes (you will see our opinions don't differ that much in the end ;-) By the way, my son, who is now 11, had a terrible time in Kindergarten at the local public school here in Seattle. He was a little bit like yours. We had to switch him to private school where he has blossomed I must say. Too bad I had to shell out all that money to give him a good education. Oh well. My point is: you might be in for some surprises in Seattle as well... Hopefully not. Have a great day MJ.Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

debbie in toronto said...

Hey MJ...great post..love Coco standing up in the restaurant with your hand on her arm and her father's just eating away at his meal...typical..haha

I guess the countdown really begins now...school has started and you know he won't finish the year there...yikes

Sept is when I'm usually lucky enough to be there too but not this year...I'm sad...I miss the 6th!!...oh well...can't complain...3 times in 4 years is pretty darn good.

I'm sure the Loosh will give you many entertaining posts in the next few months...

Labour Day weekend over here...kids went back today...yippee

MJ said...

Duchesse! Hello, and thank you for enjoying the crap in my head. We moved our anniversary trip to October and we're going to Croatia and Montenegro. Of course, this is in theory, as we haven't actually planned the thing yet. Typical.

Keith! I will not be telling Lucien any of those things, but thanks for your advice as always.

Veronique! Absolutely, we might encounter problems in Seattle schools, too. But from the teachers we know there, we've heard the strategies for dealing with "spirited" children (aka the crazies) seem vastly different than what we've encountered here.

We won't know until we get there, and can only hope we get a teacher who's a good match for the Loosh. Fingers firmly crossed. If it doesn't go too well, yippee, I'll have Seattle blog material.

Debbie! Seriously...I held onto Coco while Alex just ate and ate. I'd ordered mussels, too, so it's not like you can eat 'em with one hand. She still pegged me with pineapple. Not fair.

You've done an impressive job with your Paris travel, as I assume you will continue to do long after we've gone. Sigh. Sad face.

debbie in toronto said...

gotta love Leon's for the mussells and fries!!!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I missed you last week and glad to know that all is normal (crazy normal, but not wacked out beyond all comprehension normal).

I think that the Loosh is just a chip off of the Alex block and too bad that while Alex is getting payback that you are in the line of fire! Now, Coco? I need to know more about your childhood first - hah!

Enjoy your last few months, knowing that any of us would trade places, even with the 2 active kids!


MJ said...

Debbie, Amen, sister. How did you know it was Leon's? You're like a mussel detective!

Genie, so good to see you here again! All is normal crazy, not too crazy crazy. I was nothing but sunshine and bubbles as a baby -- just perfection, really, ask my mom -- so who knows where Coco got this feisty streak.

Oh, man, just a few months left. How can I be so ready to go, yet so devastated by the thought of leaving at the exact same time?

Bye, have good days, all

StayingPositive said...

Hope the Loosh had a good second day! I know my kids were wiped out. It was strangely wonderful to see them march happily off to bed before eight when they usually go to sleep after nine. I think I'm going to like this place.

debbie in toronto said...

I recognize that yellow colour on the walls....looks like the one on Montparnesse ...been there...done that!!!

Paris Paul said...

How can I ever forgive your absence from my life for so long? Oh wait, I know, I can overlook this slight if you and the family attend the social event of this rentrée: Karin and my wedding reception! It's this Saturday from 12 noon until around 4pm at the North Entrance to the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. (You can check out my Paris-Inspired.com blog for all the info.) Hope to see you guys there!


Ellie said...

I was delighted to see you had a new post, your Parisian adventures were missed.

I've been a lurker for quite some time, and often read your posts aloud to my French husband (and now his French friends who have recently moved to "here" California from Paris). They chuckle with fondness at your stories, and even they in the Frenchyness quite often agree.

Look forward to reading of your remaining French and Europe adventures.


laughingsalmon said...

Ahhhh...The Loosh is a force of nature...Like a tornado...Don't people get it?...Tornados are cool and exciting...If they don't kill you...

It's Just Me! said...

I'm dealing with "school" changes of my own. Little F has moved from pre-toddlers to the toddler room...and is now very wary about leaving the house in the morning. Fighting tooth and nail. Can you teach her to be more like your dancing little boy? :-)

MJ said...

Staying Positive! Seriously, the kids are zombie-like wrecks after school. That is a positive for sure.

Debbie, your Paris memory is impressive.

Paris Paul, I'm going to try to make it to the ceremony tomorrow with Coco! Don't hate me for that, but I couldn't find a sitter! I promise I'll leave if she starts being her ornery self.

Ellie, man, it makes me nervous when Frenchies read what I write about the Frenchies. If they agree, then what I write is all true. If they don't agree, it's "just satire." That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Thanks for de-lurking and saying hellooo!

Laughing Salmon, yep, it's just the "if they don't kill you" part that's tricky. But truly, he's a great kid with qualities that will make him a very interesting adult. We've just got to get him there (and us there).

C, Man, F has graduated into "real toddler" mode and I haven't even met her. We've been gone a long time, my friend.

Hope P can handle things on his own when you come visit me in ONE MONTH!!!

Bye, posse, may the force be with you.

Bec Oakley said...

MJ! I feel your school pain. I have a Loosh or two myself (the ones I'm bringing to Paris on my own in a couple of weeks, GULP). I got so sick of doing the whole "Yes he's a whirling dervish but look how fricken COOL he is!!" thing that I ended up homeschooling. For a bit. Until he drove me batshit crazy.

Bec Oakley said...


P.S. Every time I read Hot Thing One and Hot Thing Two I picture them in knee-high red stripey socks, a la Dr Seuss....

She yelled from here
She yelled from there
She yelled at Hot Things everywhere

Pirates, purple, hands, mon Dieu!
She yelled at Hot Things
One and Two

Two hands I have!
Two hands have I!
Why won't they look me in the eye...

She wondered to herself aloud
As they disappeared into the crowd
And it was then she softly vowed

That next time, NEXT TIME
she would say
things to blow their minds away.

MJ said...

Bec,my Lord,if I had to homeschool Lucien I would be certifiable. I have zero patience -- can't understand for the life of me how people homeschool without going batshit crazy.

And that Hot Thing One and Two poem was epic. Thank you for that -- cracked me right up and will give me something to remember my two favorite hotties by. So sad...


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