We are having such a great time in France. I wish it could be summer all year round!
Wriggly (2 years 2 months)
· You are adventurous. You climb, you slide, you run, you dive. Nothing scares you, no obstacle is too high, no pool is too deep.
· You give the sloppiest kisses. I love your enthusiasm when kissing people. It is so endearing (and quite often sticky, too)!
· You are a sleep thief. When night time comes and everyone has sleep on their mind, you have ‘mischief’ and ‘party time!’ on yours. It is exhausting, draining and driving me crazy when I hear your tiny footsteps slowing creeping down the stairs at 10 or 11 p.m. as if it were the most natural thing to do. Worse, still, when you climb into my bed at 3 or 4 a.m. requesting, “miuuuuuk!” (milk). Really? Are you going to sleep through before you turn 10?
· Oh dear! You have reached that stage where you want to take off your nappy all the time although you have no control of your bladder whatsoever. We found out you had taken your nappy off the hard way last week… A code brown on the floor when all the children are playing with toy cars is never a good thing. Enough said.
· Getting you to apologise is still a huge struggle. What a learning curve! A couple of days ago, you broke your big brother’s birthday present mid-tantrum and it took a good couple of hours to get a “sorry” from you. Towards the end, all the children kept looking at you in despair, repeating with different tones of voice, “Sorry! Pardon!” · Even your 3-year-old cousin, who does not speak English yet, kept encouraging you with “Pardon! Sorry!” being repeated like a mantra. You eventually gave in, but it took forever. Both you and me joined everyone for dinner when they were eating dessert.
Jumpy (3 years 9 months)
· You are not speaking a word of French. Not. A. Word. We are on holiday in France and you are always playing with your cousin, who is the same age as you. He thinks you talk gobbledygook to yourself. It would be so nice if you spoke some French to him, but no…
· Whenever I ask you to do something in French, you look at me, puzzled, and say, “Just speak normally, Maman!” When I speak French to you at home, you always understand me. Where does that come from?
· You made me giggle with, “Can we watch Dora the Exploder now?”
· You love swimming pools. Add in a noodle or two and you are in heaven.
· You are less and less reluctant to let me do your hair. I even managed a Dutch plait today.
Beanie (5 years 10 months)
· Since you decided to grow your hair, you have looked rather dishevelled with your locks growing rather disgracefully. I loved it so much when you had that cute angled bob and short fringe.
· When you get frustrated, I am always on the receiving end of your anger. You are only 5, but most of the time, you sound like an exasperated 15-year-old whose mother is the most irritating human being on the planet.
· As we were driving out of the Eurotunnel, you declared: “We have to speak like that now we’re in France: “Bonjour Caca! T’es un grow caca!”” (Hello Poo! You’re a big poo!)
· You have been excited at the prospect of a sleepover at your godmother’s house for weeks and you stayed there with your big brother last night after a fab family evening there all together.
· You hold the record for staying the longest in the swimming pool: 2 hours without coming out of the water. You have been diving, practising your strokes, trying to get toys from the bottom of the pool, jumping in and having the time of your life.
Crevette (8 years old)
· You are a whole eight years old, my little man. How did that happen? How can my baby have grown so much so quickly?
· You had a very informal and relaxed birthday party with 10 or so of your closest friends at home.
· And another tooth lost!
· You have enjoyed spending a lot of time in the swimming pool with your tontons (uncles).
· You mowed the lawn of your Mamie’s huge garden with your tonton Paulou on the tractor.
· With the weather warming up (some days), Crevette and Beanie have had quite a few bike rides, with Jumpy following on her scooter and me running after them with a very reluctant Wriggly in the pushchair. She would rather be running around than being strapped in the Phil & Ted’s.
· We had a great time picking strawberries.
· We were lucky enough to see Finding Dory last month.
· We were sad to wave goodbye to a whole family of friends who have moved to Budapest.
· Poppy spent a few days with us. It is beautiful to witness how close the children are to their grandad. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful beau-papa (father-in-law).
· Hubby went to Prague for a few days to get an operation on his eyes and I drove to my mum’s with the four little ones. It was my first time taking on the long drive to France on my own and we all survived. Dare I say it? We even had a nice road trip, and as all the children were asleep, I was singing to Queen, AC/DC and Blur at the top of my voice.
· We have now been in France for ten days and we have had a wonderful holiday so far, catching up with family, eating lots, playing board games, chatting, enjoying the sun, picking vegetables in my mum’s garden and watching French TV.
· The highlight of my holiday so far has been seeing my two little nephews. I love these two little men like my own and seeing baby G. for the first time since Christmas was magical.