Monday, 3 January 2011

Vacation recap

Been there, done that. It wasn't quite the vacation I had planned, but at least we managed to get the chicken pox over with.

Suzanne came home from day camp the first day of vacation saying, "Mommy, I have a bouton". Actaully she had hundreds of them, at least twice as many as Max had 2 weeks earlier. Dispite the scratching and the fever, we managed to have some fun. Suzanne and I went to see Tangled in French while Max was at the creche. What amazes me most is Suzanne is watching this movie in French, completely engrossed in the story, and then she turns to me and says things in English like, "why is the princess locked in a tower?"

We had Christmas at my in-law's. As is the tradition, my husband's grandfather dressed up as Santa to distribute the gifts to the kids. Suzanne was thrilled but had a knowing look in her eye. She turned to her grandmother and said, "where's Papou?" When Papou returned (and Santa left) she said to Papou, "where were you?" to which Papou explained he was opening oysters in the kitchen with tonton Pierre. Suzanne later said to her grandmother that it was Papou and not Santa.

Although the snow was gone in the center of Lille, the bois de boulogne (the park at the North of the city) was covered. During my Christmas day run, I saw all the snow and came home to tell J we absolutely had to bring the kids to play (Suzanne missed out during the actual storm because of the chicken pox)! We dressed the kids in their snow gear, rode our bikes to the park and let them loose. Max was most interested in touching the ice and Suzanne was dissappointed she couldn't make snow angels since the snow was so hard. But, to the delight of my New Jersey/New England heart, the kids got some actual time in the snow. Yay! Because what's winter if you can't play in the snow. Hell, what's a childhood without snow!

The second week of vacation, since the creche was closed, I tried to do as much English stuff as possible with both kids. At Max's age, Suzanne would play with English speaking friends on a regular basis; but it's so much harder to organize now that there are more kids. So luckily, Suzanne continues to speak to Max in English which is kind of like a playdate. We went to my friend A's house twice last week and Suzanne's played with her girls, while Max just followed me around, opened drawers and hopefully absorbed some adult English conversation.

I also took the kids to see the Degas exhibit at the Musée de l'art et l'industrie in Roubaix aka La Piscine. I'm fairly certain I've mentioned it before, but La Piscine is an amazing museum, kid friendly, nice although completely overpriced café. Because the museums opens at 11, I only managed to get the kids to look at the exhibit for 40 minutes before hunger took over. Max especially liked the huge lion statues that he tried to climb on and Suzanne liked La Danseuse, but was particularly taken by the various statues of half-naked people which line the old pool.

We were in Brussels for New Year's. Suzanne went on the huge ferris wheel at Place Sainte Catherine with her papa (better him than me!). The kids both enjoyed a ride on the Tim Burton-Jules Vernes-esque carrousel. They rode a slightly psychadelic fish.

And of course, they spoke English. Max has now mastered the word "Mommy?" which I'm beginning to wish he'd stop saying with such hutzpah! We've been reading Are Lemon's Blue and you can hear the interrogative in his babble. He also begun saying "thank you" spontaneously. And "me" as in "who wants some milk?" "Me!" which is accompanied by raising his hand.

And Suzanne's just amazing. Her brother wondered off in the middle of being changed. And Suzanne brought him back to me and said, "Mommy, look at your son. He's half naked".

Here's to a happy, healthy and bilingual 2011 to all!

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