Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Toys Toys Toys

This afternoon I was in a toy store looking for a gift for a birthday party my son is going to attend this weekend. I am just starting to discover this uncharted territory of never ending fun. Until the last few months I felt like I haven’t really bought him any toys, either were gifts, hand me downs or just something small that I didn’t really consider a big deal to buy it for him.  But as he is getting older like all toddlers, and his abilities increasing exponentially I have the impression I have to start thinking more about “toys”. And speaking of his increasing abilities, yesterday he astonished me with how smart he is and I didn’t even know it. The puzzle we were working on or had just dumped upside down was the numbers 0 to 9. He knew them all, I would say where does the 2 go, for example, he would just grab the 2 off the floor and place it in the right spot. I had yet to notice he could recognize the shape of all the numbers. I guess this is one of those things: you learn as you go/first time parent.

Back to the toy store, as I wondered the aisles I lost track of time. Who would have thought that an adult could spend so much time looking at toys on shelves? I don’t know if it was the nostalgia of when I was child and the toys I adored or to take in all there is that a child can or could play with. All I know is that I fully enjoyed it, and that being possible because he didn’t get to come with. It is amazing how quick and at such a young age, under 2, that toddlers fall in love with toy stores. My son is usually pretty good; we have yet to have any crying fits or screaming. Although to get him to leave the store or even make it toward the checkout is quite the task! He is a lucky guy today; Mommy couldn’t make up her mind!! So when he comes home from daycare this evening, he is going to be a very happy little man!  He has to choose what to play with first a tea set (well more just plates, cups and silverware), a doctor’s kit or his new little boy size umbrella (an object he has been asking me for for a while now.)  This is what I love about having a child, you get to help them along the way of life discovery even with the simplest things. Like my rationale for purchasing the doctor’s kit was so that he will stop freaking out (yelling, “no no, not here”) when we just pull in the same parking lot the doctor’s office is in or tea set so that he can be just like Mommy and Papa. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Car Ride

Since I started this Mommy Blog I have yet to do the one thing these blogs were meant to be for and what most Mommy Bloggers are most proud of, relishing about just how great their kid(s) are. This past weekend we went to see friends with little boys just like mine which added extra excitement for my 2 ½ year old.  The car ride being about three and half hours, and not a straight freeway ride but lovely French country roads with a million roundabouts, beautiful quaint villages every 5 km (3 miles) or so with the speed limit going from 90 km/h (55 mph) to 50 km/h (30 mph). So you get the story, windy, slow down, speed up and stopping too regularly. Recently I saw a Facebook friend explaining her ritual to get her kids into the car for a car ride, and a rather easy hour and half one which I have done quite a few times myself. She practically had to pack her house up so that she could be equipped for the journey, which is understandable with kids. But my point here is that my kid is got to be the best traveler ever especially on car rides! On our way there he just was happy to be in the car on his way there, no big deal to be strapped down in his car seat. We stopped only briefly 10 minutes or so to stretch and get a snack. No problem getting back in his seat, since I have seen kids once they are out are almost impossible to get them back in without have to sit on them to attach the buckle. His toy bag I packed, almost not worth it, he looked at a couple books and that was it. He just sits there like us, us being adults, looks out the window, chatting (even though my husband and I at times had no idea what he was talking about), and listening to music. It has got to be one of the cutest things ever listening to my little guy trying to sing along to Katy Perry who is on the radio. On the ride home he slept out of pure fatigue three quarters of the way and then watched a cartoon on his portable dvd player for the rest of the way. Not once did we stop and not once did he cry or get upset or even frustrated. Then, being the usual prepared but not always Mommy I am, snacks were rather limited which didn’t even seem to faze him. My husband and I are well aware of the chance we have to have an easy traveler but sometimes I just can’t get over it, he is just so easy going. I have no horror stories I hear some other parents talk about, it almost makes me laugh, which isn’t nice but I just can’t relate!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Home Cookin'

Not long ago I had the extremely unnerving experience of getting out of the shower and finding my 2 ½ year old putting his kitchen set pots and pans on my stove top and in my oven. At least he hadn’t tried to turn the nobs, which he is totally capable of doing. I understand why he was doing it; he is my sous-chef, always right there at the counter with his stool as soon as I even look toward the kitchen. So naturally he wanted to cook, just like Mommy, the yum yum he was stirring up. To his surprise, I didn’t get mad or even yell out of fright, I just calming went over to the stove and took the pots and pans off and out of the oven and told him that is Mommy’s oven and that he shouldn’t be touching it, because as I repeat probably 100 times each time we cook near it, it’s hot! So that afternoon I accomplished one thing that wasn’t on my list to get done that day, a kid size oven. The crafter in me came out in full swing, diaper box, butcher paper, construction paper, wine cork, brads, etc… Plus who would have thought I just happen to have all these items on hand. When I was done, I was actually pretty impressed with my spur of the moment creation. Plus if you could have seen the look on the little guy’s face when he saw it, total happiness. That night my husband checking out my handy work said to me, why don’t you just make all his toys what is the point to buy them! A laugh came out. That oven took me over 2 hours. I’d like to see him “create” one of his toys and then we will talk about purchasing toys!!! Although my husband definitely had a point somewhere in there, I think my son has played more with that since I made it then almost any other toy he has received otherwise. Nothing is better than something homemade, whatever it may be!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sad Story

Well this weekend we had a very sad event occur in our house. We found our kitty stiff as a board in the neighbor’s yard. Quite a shock for us all! With no marks, cuts, scraps, blood makes you wonder how the little guy went. This being my first time to loose a furry friend, well one bigger than a hamster. Plus it was the first lesson of death for our little boy. He saw my husband carrying it back from the neighbor’s yard and had a rather confused look on his face as he has never see the cat carried that way before, usually that would be a “no no”. So as he watched the cat be laid on the grass for a quick examination before we put it in a garbage bag, I told my son to say goodbye. I let him pet him one last time and say “bye bye” with a proceeding statement that he was sick and had to go far away with the angels. My husband didn’t really understand what I was thinking when I showed our son the cat and told him to say goodbye. Now a couple days later I now see just how important that cat was to him, which I am really happy that I gave him the chance to say goodbye even if he doesn’t really understand to the full extent. He was used to the cat and its routines, like meowing louder and louder till someone let him out or coming with us when it was story time before bedtime. I heard my son this morning calling the cat’s name before I got out of bed to get him. I believe he understands what happened, or at the least that the cat is never coming back. This makes me sad though. I imagine for my son it’s hard to understand in a way since he lived with him his whole life so far, and me I lived with him for almost my entire time in France. So once the cat grieving is over the decision is, do we get another pet or do we stay petless??? This will be a hot topic another day for sure.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Don't forget the laundry...

Last night we had friends over for a casual dinner, a weekly one at that, and they mentioned that I had yet to blog about my husband. Well, ok but I have just started and I didn’t want to start my Mommy Blog with French or husband bashing…haha! No bashing today or at least not to much. My husband considers himself to be a very logical and clever guy, which he informs me of regularly and not necessarily in a bad way. Although I don’t agree with this lately, since he is a basketball coach and doesn’t have the regular facilites of gym for the moment he is required to bring home all his teenage boy’s jerseys to wash them for the next game. Have you even smelt 12 sweat soaked been in a bag since last night jerseys. Well I have and I will tell you, I honestly don’t know what is worse, getting puked on or smelling and then having to touch those suckers. I know sweaty stuff can be disgusting especially when left in a bag overnight, which my husband did very often when he was still playing basketball. Why is it so hard to remember to take them out? Why is it hard to remember them in the dryer? Or why is it so hard to not check to see if they are dry, which will avoid having to rewash them in the morning because once again they are stinky from being half dried sitting in the dryer all night? I am the right brainer in the family, so as it should be I just don’t get it!

Well “à lundi” as I am off to the eye doctor to see how well I can read my vowels aloud!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Once again...

Recently while at the pediatrician’s office for my son’s booster shot and checkup,  I had the unlucky experience of listening to the doctor explain to me why it was NOT ok for my son not to be potty trained yet. As I remember many months back she talked to me about it, which at the time I thought was good to be thinking ahead. But now that he has reached the -I would imagine most average age for becoming potty trained- it was an absolute failure on my part, most subtly added, for him to not be doing his stuff on the potty. As I have discovered toddlers are rather attached to the idea of doing their pipi caca in their diapers, or at least mine is. It doesn’t really bother me, if he feels good about it and is regular that is all that counts for me and it’s not like he is 4 or even 3 for that matter. It seems no matter where you turn there is always the indirect way the French communicate that you don’t meet the requirements, and this is not just an opposition because I am a foreigner, their compatriots get the same treatment. I don’t understand how positive reinforcement doesn’t exist in France. I know it is a very complex and confusing theory but still this is the land of intellectuals!!! I don’t really appreciate the fact that I have to sit in a hot waiting room with other mothers and their annoying screaming children for at least 30 minutes past our appointment time before it is our turn, and then to be told that I should be doing something completely different because it is wrong what I have been doing. As it goes for many other instances involving the French, you just got to keep your head up. That I will say is one of the daily cultural attributes that I miss in the US. When people ask me what I miss, I don’t always mention the positive attitudes or the way of thinking that being positive will get you farther for I don’t want to offend the person I am talking with, it’s easier to just say peanut butter. Over the years I have noticed this “façon de faire,” thinking it was just inexistent customer service, is just how they are. The French are immune to daily commentaries but not me, not yet. Maybe in the next decade, although probably not.  

Monday, September 13, 2010


Since September 1st I am slowly discovering just how smart little toddlers are, not that I ever really doubted them. Mine, who is now an active participant in a local public day care a few days a week, the reason for why I let the idea of a blog even enter my mind. This change has been a rather big one for both of us, since his birth we have been a team, me and him, him and me, all the time everywhere we go. SO this change has brought out some new traits in this little boy I love more than life it self (and am missing at his very second). Until now he has been an angel, lacking a more appropriate adjective, but in the simplest terms he is making me pay for wanting a little “me time”. Don’t get me wrong, I knew it was coming and the angel effect wouldn’t last forever, that was a given, but this flat out defiance of what I am asking or needing is a tough one (whether it is to not touch the knife on the counter or a hug in the morning). Indifference in a 2 year old, is hard on the emotions!

So to distract both of us this weekend we went to a local event with booths of all the local clubs for a least 40 or more sports. Thinking this would be a convivial activity for everyone, parents and kids alike. But to my surprise it was an incredibly annoying couple of hours and not because of a defiant 2 year old. Ok, normally I don’t want to start off so soon in the French bashing…but once again I was just shocked at how brazen the French really are even with kids. We patiently were waiting in line so that my guy could do the baby gymnastic course that was set up (which I have already signed him up for) and once again French people just cut in line. They have no shame about it, I don’t know about you, but being an American I instantly feel guilty if I even think of doing it, and to do it to a kid, unthinkable. So a few mean glares later, after almost a decade I still haven’t told a French person that I was in front of them, we finally made it to the front of the line, took our shoes off and did the course. We had the same experience at more than just that booth, and we weren’t even in line to try the sport, just to watch. Is it really that hard for the French to see another human being standing there with a little kid and obviously the little kid trying to see what is going on behind that roped off area. So you will most likely read it more than a few times that I hate the fact that the French cut.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Welcome to BlogLand

Here I go off into blogland. This being my first experience and not really having a clue to what I am doing. The internet has always been relatively, and I use that term lightly, easy for me, so keeping a blog can’t be much more difficult than other things out on the web…now only if I knew how to…understand all these terms!!!

Thanks for checking this out. My idea/goal here is to update A Tale of 2 Countries With a Boy a minimum of 3 times a week…allowing that I am not sick or my little boy sick either, or become highly in demand of some other sort of extremely interesting job. As it goes this blog has been in the making for a while now, my brother’s girlfriend, a more than internet savvy type of girl, suggested I start a Mommy Blog. Not much thought went into the decision to do it or not, what better way to write (which I love to do), be able to stay at home and make a potential few bucks!  

Now normally I know I have a vast quantity of subjects I could write about due to my life circumstances. It is going to take me some time to get into the swing of blog writing and analyzing the observations of my daily life because currently daily life just seems to flow by at an exponential speed.  For those of you who are sensitive, and well my own personal privacy I don’t plan on mentioning any names, although they may be changed if it is imperative to name a name. Check back on Monday for another post of my most recent observations!!!