Two weeks ago at the park after Super PG’s first day at pre-school:
Super PG: “Muuu-mmmy. Mama?”
Super PG: “On va jumper dans les muddy puddles mummy?”
Me: “I’m good thanks kiddo, but you go for it.”
*Splashes, extreme laughter and disapproving looks from all and sundry*
Peppa Pig has a lot to answer for in our household. Even though it isn’t nearly so popular here in France as in Blighty – I have never seen another kid wearing a George Pig T-shirt at Super PG’s school, for example – he has been Super PG’s hero for a long time. It’s true that Disney’s Cars, Puffin Rock, Daniel Tiger and Lulu Vroumette are stealing attention away of late, but it’s still going to be a George birthday cake this year. George still rules, just about.
But these are the types of conversations we often have, and where, unless you know a bit of English and a bit of French, it is impossible to understand exactly what he is saying. I guess it’s hard on Super PG, who will be three in two weeks’ time. Probably no one at school ever understands entirely what he is saying. They likely don’t watch Peppa Pig and, if they did, they would watch it in French and talk about “flaques boueuses” and that they were going to “saute” in them.
His teacher probably thinks he’s talking 50% rubbish when he says “big camion”. With a French papa and an English mummy we speak a mixture of French and English all the time, and then Super PG makes up his own words too, to further complicate the issue. We know “cassémorque” means the trailer is broken and that “encorecolate” means more chocolate. But no one else has any idea what he is talking about.
And so this blog begins, a bridge between my private world as a British woman living in the South of France (Wannabe Super Maman) – with my two beautiful children (let’s call them Super Petit Garçon, or Super PG, and Super Petite Fille, or Super PF, who is six months old), and my soul mate and French husband (he must be Super Homme, or Super H) – and my professional life as a writer.
Do you want to “faire le pont” with me? Usually this signals a holiday, when the French take off the day between a bank holiday and a weekend to “make the bridge” and gain something like a four-day break.
This blog, though, isn’t about vacations (haha, right, what are they again, exactly?), it’s about documenting how we live and what we do. Why? Because so much happens and it’s so easy to forget. We’re very lucky and live in a beautiful, calm place in the French countryside at a time where there is so much violence, discrimination and unfairness in the world.
Days and months zip by, and I haven’t found the time to capture even some of our life in words, to write down the good, the bad and the ugly, and to show appreciation. Sometimes we don’t even get a chance to talk about it, even the best bits, we just – and are so fortunate to do so – live it.
Amidst all the routine and the school permission slips and disciplining and bike rides and breastfeeding and dinner making and tidying and school runs and (messy) lunches (where you can’t finish a conversation) with friends and work and phone calls and tantrums and commuting and dog walking and deadlines and sleep deprivation and bath times and…entwined in all these things that must be done, there is both darkness and pure gold.
There are beautiful moments, inspiring ideas and a daily life that ought to be noted, at least a little, and that can only be by me.
Who am I? A British writer, living in France (for nearly ten years now, after ten years in London) who wants nothing but the best for these little Franglais children – but who often struggles with the French language, culture differences, striking a healthy work/life balance and being the Super Maman (and Super Femme for that matter) I so want to be.
You can expect posts on all kinds of subjects, such as: Franglais observations; French life in general; parenting in France; the French education system; pregnancy in France; raising babies and toddlers in France; English activities for bilingual kids in France; expat life in France; and children’s English and French books, television programmes and films.
Thanks for visiting – hope you’ll come back soon.
Wannabe Super Maman x