Thursday, August 30, 2012


My apologies for disappearing from the blog-o-sphere with nary a word of explanation, though perhaps you were able to figure out that since August is national vacation month in France, we were in fact en vacances for most of the month. 

We're back in Paris now, just in time for the rentree, which literally means return.  La rentree signifies both an end to the holiday season (holiday as in British for vacation - lots of British-isms around here given that the majority of English-speakers seem to be British) and the back-to-school season. 

On Tuesday, our first full day back in Paris, I was convinced that Baby Oil was a linguistic genius when he said, "Bonjour" to the check-out guy in the grocery store - "Bonjour", and not "Hi", as he had been saying in the US.  Yet the next day, at his first day back in halte garderie (nursery school, kinda), they told me that it was quite clear that he had been in an English-only environment all month and he found the French a bit overwhelming. 

On the other hand, I accidentally taught him a really useful phrase when he bumped one of the wall heating units in our apartment, and in my panic while trying to stop it from falling on him, I yelled, "Oh sh*t!"  Last night at dinner, he started exclaiming, "Oh sh*t! Oh sh*t!"  Mr. Oil looked at me with a look that said, "Is he saying what I think he's saying?"  Yup, that's right.  Linguistic genius, right here. 

Each time we have gone back to the US since we moved, I harbor a secret hope/unrealistic belief that the flight will suddenly be much easier.  Instead it seems that it gets incrementally more difficult.  Our flight to the US - which was just Baby Oil and myself - was nine hours in a cramped coach seat with my 27-pound toddler sitting on my lap.  In theory he would watch a movie, but we managed to get the one entertainment system with no sound, and due to turbulence, the seat belt sign was on for much of the flight, which curtailed our primary activity of walking up and down the aisle.  I felt my sanity slowly waning over the hours of the flight, and am just fortunate that it turns out my sanity reserves exceed nine hours.

On the flight home to Paris, Mr. Oil had the joy and privilege of joining us (I've made five transatlantic flights with Baby Oil by myself, for the record - this was Mr. Oil's first since our original flight to Paris in July 2011).  We lucked out and managed to snag the one extra seat on the plane for Baby Oil, but no matter how you cut it, the overnight flight is just fairly miserable.  Baby Oil watched the first 30 minutes of Lady and the Tramp about four times, threw a fit when we wanted to turn the TV off for night-night, and much preferred opening and closing the window shade to actually sleeping.  I'm just glad he hadn't yet learned to say "oh sh*t" because that would likely not have endeared us to the other passengers.  Though you should try not laughing when your 19 month old uses profanity in the same adorable tone in which he says, "moon", "cheese", and "monkey". 

I'm slogging my way through this jet-lagged-filled week, remembering how to speak French and feeling relieved that I remember the pin code to my French ATM card.  As we get settled back in our Parisian home, we also are trying to figure out how to live up to our resolutions that we made regarding this second year in France.   Which mostly boils down to one resolution - be more French.  Well, what better way to experience another country's culture and life than pregnancy and childbirth?  We're thrilled to announce that we are expecting a little bundle of French joy in early February.  I promise, it's not just so I have more to blog about, even though my experiences with French prenatal care will certainly be getting some attention here. 

Happy rentree!