Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's All in Your Perspective

I told Benjamin and Noah this morning that they could each have twenty marbles for their marble reward jars if they could not fight with each other for the entire day.

I told them they'd only get ONE chance for the twenty marbles. If I had to separate them or tell them even once to stop fighting, that was it.

"Do you understand me?" I asked them.

"Yes, Mommy," said Benjamin. "It's like we already had a lot of chances, and this is our LAST chance."

Uh. Well. I guess if it helps you to see it that way....

(And by the way, Noah lost his chance for twenty marbles before we even got to school. He didn't last an hour.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


We got MORE snow. Yay. Monday I attempted to take the boys to school, but the car started sliding when we were about 50 yards down the "cow path." I decided to back up while I still could, and tried the forest road instead. Our village had been pretty well plowed out by our municipal employee. The same could not be said for either the cow path or the forest road. I did make it to the end of the forest road, but realized I'd have a hard time turning right onto the road, since most people went left, and snow was all built up to the right. Then I got to thinking that even if I got the boys to school, I might not be able to get them at noon.

So instead, I turned left to find somewhere to turn around... had to drive all the way to town to find a spot. I called the teacher from there to let him know the boys wouldn't be coming in, and we headed back home. It was a valiant effort!

Tuesday, Frédéric told me that the roads were even icier, so I didn't even make the attempt. Bus service and cafeteria service were both cancelled, but not school. And the main roads weren't really that bad, but driving from village to village was impossible.

The boys didn't mind not going to school, and with help from the Public Works Director (aka "Daddy"), they got to build an igloo in the front yard.

Gala tried to play the part of the protester who didn't want the igloo built there, but the boys managed to fend her off long enough to finish their project.

*Parental Mythology disclaimer: You might think from these pictures that they worked together cheerfully and didn't bicker a bit. You just go right on thinking that. That's the point of these pictures.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Truth Behind the Parental Myths

Two sweet boys pose together for a picture with the absolutely amazing "pirate boat" that Benjamin made from his new building toys.

You'd never know that a few short hours after this picture, Noah went to Benjamin's room and destroyed the boat, just because he felt like it.

We didn't take a picture of that part. It will be buried in history, forever forgotten, and only this sweet memory of how they always got along will remain.

In my Parental Mythology, they never fought.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


For some reason, the boys get more excited about this than I do... but we got a light dusting of snow Tuesday. Frédéric was nice enough to wake them up half an hour or so earlier than usual so they could go out and play before school.

It is still that dark out at 8 am. Sigh. I love the long, long, long summer days. I don't like the trade-off of the short, short, short winter days. Especially since they've been so gray lately, we haven't seen the sun in about three weeks.

Gala went outside a little later in the day - she LOVED the snow, maybe even more than the boys do. At least, they weren't rolling around in it and eating it like she was. She loves to run in the yard, off leash - which is nothing if not nerve-wracking for me -- I've never had a dog and a fenced-in yard at the same time, she is a runner, and the yard surrounds the house, so you can't keep an eye on her all the time.

She looks like a rabbit or a goat when she jumps. And she jumps a lot. She is most definitely still a puppy.
Noah built a snowman after lunch (I guess playing in the snow at lunchtime counts as one of the benefits of two-hour-at-home-lunches, at least for them), but he had to fight Gala off, as she tried to attack every big snowball he made.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Very Active Imagination

This one is from Noah a few months ago, I just didn't get around to putting it up here...

Noah's been insisting that his loveys (which we call by their French name, doudous, even when we are speaking English) are the ones who talk at night or who are responsible for any sort of mischief we think he is committing.

We tell him that no, he is the one talking, or he is the one causing trouble. Or else we tell him his doudous are not allowed to talk, or *he* will get in trouble.

Noah's doudous, appropriately named Doudou and Doudou's Brother. And yes, he can tell them apart.

Noah replies: Why can't my doudous talk?
Me: Because you will lose playdoh if they talk.
Noah: But *now*, why can't they talk?
Me: Because they will distract you while you eat. You just tell them not to talk.

Noah, to his doudous: You don't talk.
Noah's doudous (in a higher pitched voice): Pourquoi ?
Me: You tell them why.
Noah, to his doudous: You will distract me while I eat.
Noah's doudous (in a higher pitched voice): Pourquoi ?
Noah, to me, in exasperation: They keep saying pourquoi!!

Oh, child. Now you know how *I* feel.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

This is what we're up against

His brain just doesn't work like ours.

Frédéric, exasperated by Noah's inability and unwillingness to stay at the table, be quiet, and eat in a reasonable amount of time, says in frustration, "I am going to tie you up in the garage and you'll have to figure out how to eat by yourself!"

Noah, unconcerned about any punishment but always interested in the practical details, asks, "Do you have some rope?"

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Since Frédéric had to be at work at 6 am on New Year's Day, we celebrated New Year's Eve with a nice, early dinner at home.

Noah thought lemons would be better alone than on his smoked salmon.