Wednesday, August 05, 2009
One of these days I'm going to learn how to post pictures that don't come up first. Don't laugh. I really don't know how.
I'm sitting in hour new rented home away from home, which is about a three minutes walk, down to the other end of the street and on the other side, the river side, of the road, from our old home away from home. All the shutters are shut and it is delightfully, coolly cave-like in here. I suppose that is the point. The French love to build houses with all the windows on one side, leaving vast expanses of stone with no windows on the other side. So, when you enter the house, it feels like entering a cave.
With the intense heat these past few days have brought I am content to be a cave dweller.
The girls are upstairs, each with a playdate. There is a certain amount of bickering going on, as always, but generally they are content as well.
Esther is talking in her faux British accent, for the benefit of her Brit/French friend. They had a sleepover last night and I can hear Esther's fatigue coming through her voice.
Isla is giggling with her little friend. Since her little friend is one year younger than her, and learning two languages at once, she is very quiet and their fights are much more physical, and easier to break up, than those of Esther and her friend.
I'm finding parenting in France to be more challenging than parenting in America. Nothing to do with the country, everything to do with the fact that the mere foreign-ness, the daily challenge of adapting to that which is different, a new language, a new culture, taps what last reserves my children have before they are completely done.
Where once I could predict how much they could handle before they needed to be sent to their corners, think boxing, for a powwow with the coach, here I'm often blindsided by the meltdowns. Food for thought.
We spent the day up at the farmhouse yesterday and Esther and Isla played with some French kids, mostly grandchildren of the neighbors. It's so fun to see them interact, watch them communicate. Esther learned how to say, "climb a tree" in French. Isla just kept kissing this one little girl on the cheek. She fits right in here.
She's come to think many of the women in our town are named "Madame," since we say "Bonjour Madame," whenever we see them.
More TMI can be read over here.