Just Another Morning – French Parenting Style

16

March 4, 2013 by Katia

Just another lazy morning here, chez nous, with 6 Month Old waking up at 5:00 a.m., 3 Year Old at 5:30 and me coming to terms (but not really) with the fact that this is probably as good as it’s going to get, since 6 Month Old did sleep through the night. Un petit “tantruming while awaking” occurs. Not a biggie. This one is a “why is it not Saturday” tantrum. It erupted when I responded “non” to the first words out of 3 Year Old’s mouth “is it Saturday yet?”. Good morning would have been nice, but hey, I just had 6 hours of sleep and right before waking up Donnie Wahlberg promised me front row seats (yes, OK?) so what’s with the bitchy attitude, anyway?!

I come up with some reasonable explanations for “why is it not Saturday?”, including “because it’s Friday” but it doesn’t help. 3 Year Old stretches his arms, legs and vowels in bed and “STILL want(s) it to be Saaaturdaaaay!!!” so we head downstairs, but as usual he wants me to lift him up while I’m holding 6 Month Old, and I STILL haven’t figured out how to do it, so we head downstairs separately only to go back up in search of this.

Not my favourite toy.

Not my favourite toy.

His Ninjago Kai sword (or a toy baseball bat, depends who’s looking).

Great, I’m going to let him entertain himself. French parenting is all about teaching children self sufficiency and saving parents tons of time. And Sleep.

I spend the rest of the morning ducking and covering while Ninjago Kai and Ninjago Sidekick Baby (3 Year Old’s words) practice their swordsmanship. Ninjago Sidekick Baby mainly chews on his sword with great concentration but sometimes he swings it to hit me on the head or knock down an unfinished glass of warmish tea from the table. On the table, of course, there’s also cheese, wine, croissants, a baguette, macaroons and a certain je ne sais quoi which nobody cleaned since last night.

Sidekick Ninjago Baby's sword/breakfast.

Sidekick Ninjago Baby’s sword/breakfast.

This pre sunrise duck and cover drill is catching me off guard, quite honestly. The post tantrum hour was spent in a fairly civilized manner. We were reading this Russian children’s book

Mookha Tzakatookha. Rolls off your tongue, doesn't it?

Mookha Tzakatookha. Rolls off your tongue, doesn’t it?

that brings about a real sense of nostalgie for me, but then when the spider got slaughtered by the mosquito (it’s a Russian children’s book, what did you expect? I wasn’t always French, OK?) 3 Year Old had to know “did he win? did he hit the spider on the head? Did he poop?” and just like that the conversation got diverted to poop, which gave 6 Month Old the opportunity to grab the book and try to eat it. And then it was Ninjago Kai time. Names and weapons were assigned by 3 Year Old. Oh, nice to meet you, by the way, I am Eviler (Evil-er) and this is my weapon.

Eviler's sword.

Eviler’s sword.

Right after that he demanded a glass of milk with his cheerios (with milk) and drank the cheerios from his bowl.

“Mommy, I STILL want it be Saturday!”

La pause.

La fin

***********************************

* La Pause, apparently, is one of the principles that French parents practice and it can save precious time and SLEEP to parents of newborns. The article below was my first introduction to the topic:

http://www.learnvest.com/2012/03/bringing-up-bebe-do-french-moms-know-the-secret-to-better-behaved-kids/

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16 thoughts on “Just Another Morning – French Parenting Style

  1. Stephanie Sprenger says:

    I need to read more about La Pause, as I have heard so much about it. Like you, I woke up before six and realized this is probably about as good as it gets. Sigh.

    • Katia says:

      The best thing about before six is that it’s not before five.

      I haven’t read the book myself yet. I’ve been hearing about it for months, but I wanted to understand the principles and see if I agree with them before I invest in the book. There are quite a few articles about it online. The book is called Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman.

  2. Janet Dubac says:

    Thank you for sharing this very amusing post! It’s very good! I had a lot of good laughs…especially the “Sidekick Ninjago Baby’s sword/breakfast” and how he chews it with great concentration. 🙂 Your kids are really cute and very adorable. 🙂

  3. I can’t imagine that my day would be off to a great start either if I was jolted awake and away from a Wahlberg. I thought the wine and baguettes were for breakfast and said, “Wow” before I got to the clean up part. LOL! TALU

    • Katia says:

      😀 the wine, baguette and everything else on the breakfast table (except for the je ne sais quoi) was made up to fit with the French theme. The rest was real. 😛

  4. Rosey says:

    LOL at the part you made up to fit the French theme!!! My son drinks his Cheerios too. 😉

    TALU

  5. Very cute post. Loved it!

  6. Abigail says:

    So funny. I especially love that he calls the baby Ninjago Sidekick Baby. Hilarious. Good luck with the contest!

  7. Susan says:

    Definitely read the book, it’s a great read whether or not you buy into the parenting.

  8. Lol, tres magnifique! You’re alright in my book, ma’am!

  9. So funny. Ohhh, the evil Eviler ❤

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Nothing dramatic is going on in my life. Work's been extra busy with some newly added responsibilities and stress, bedtimes are still long-ish and my sleep is still often interrupted, but it's not nearly as often as before. My "me time" is limited and starts late. The emotional energy I invest in my work, the nature of my sleep and the limited time I spend on myself leave me with little energy to spare. Any energy I have left and then some is invested in my kids.

My kids, whom you all know I adore and admire, are daring, often reckless and very young and inexperienced. Sometimes I'm surprised at the extent of their lack of caution and I'm always, always disproportionately worried. I know that because I'm unlike the other mothers around me. I come from a family of worriers and anxious people. My neural pathways always lead me to a dead end - literally. I catastrophize and imagine the worst outcome. For years I've been able to rationalize and talk myself out of useless, time consuming and energy wasting internal struggles with often imagined worrisome scenarios, but now that words are burdensome and my energy is dwindled, I can't. 
I'm entering this new year happier and more optimistic than I've been in awhile. Yesterday I went to see my doctor. After a lot of internal turmoil and thoughts about cancelling my appointment I came in and blurted out: I think I'm suffering from some form of anxiety. His very calm and matter of fact-ish reaction ("like everyone else in the 21st century") wasn't dismissive, but reassuring. Self care sometimes means looking deeper. 
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