On Tuesday 22 September I walked into the creche to pick up Super PF and was warmly greeted not only by her incredible “yay, there’s my mummy” smile, but also a joyful, sonorous chorus from all the creche ladies, which went something like:
Creche ladies: “Votre petite fille est super!”
(Your little girl is fantastic.)
Creche Co-directrice 1 (beaming and holding Super PF like a trophy): “Elle a marché, et elle a pris un biberon de 120ml du lait aujourd’hui, elle est super!”
(She walked today and drank 120ml of milk from the bottle, she’s brilliant.)
Now, I was more inclined to believe that Super PF had walked at six months old than drank that much milk out of a bottle. Why?
Firstly, this little “coquinette” (which doesn’t directly translate into English, but is a brilliant word meaning a kind of cute, naughty little rascal), refused the bottle outright until she was about four months old. Then she took something like 20ml or 30ml very occasionally – if you were walking around with her in your arms, and if it was the right temperature, and if she felt like it.
At three-and-a-half months I started her on puree – far earlier than I had intended – because she was breastfeeding every 1.5 hours, hated being put down, and I couldn’t get anything done. There were some dark days there, let me tell you.
A “high needs” baby who wants mummy all the time, combined with an unhappy, potty-training toddler (whose world has been turned upside down) – who wants mummy too, except she seems too busy because she constantly has a new baby on her – does not a fun time make.
Secondly, she’s so big and strong now, and loves nothing more than standing up (with only a little feather-light finger support to keep her upright). We’re certain that a crazy bossy toddler is bubbling underneath, desperate to jail break the limitations of her baby body. So walking definitely seems like it could happen any minute now.
Me: “Elle a marché? Elle a vraiment bu 120ml de lait au biberon?? Incroyable, comment avez-vous fait?”
(She walked? She really drank 120ml of milk from the bottle?? That’s unbelievable, how did you manage that?)
Creche Co-directrice 2 (chuckling): “En fait, elle n’a pas marché, je vous taquine, mais elle a bien pris le biberon – deux de 60ml, l’un après l’autre.”
(She didn’t walk really, I’m just kidding, but she did do really well with the bottle – she had two of 60ml, one after the other.)
She was delighted. It has been several weeks now that the creche ladies have been trying to help us with our bottle mission, which is more pressing now than before.
There is a weekend away with girlfriends in London looming in November (part of a 40th birthday treat organised by Super H), so it is more important than ever that she can take the bottle and feed without me. When she started at creche at the beginning of September I was nervous to leave her and popped in during the day when she needed to breastfeed. Now, miraculously, just a few weeks later, she can go from 9am to 3.30pm without me. And I can go back to work, and also breathe a little.
Although she has barely accepted milk from a bottle – up until now – as she eats as much as an older baby (and has a Petit Suisse at lunchtime for her desert) she has a full tummy and is happy all day until I pick her up.
The creche ladies have known about this looming commitment and now it looks like they have succeeded. They are clever, kind and generally awesome, these creche ladies.
Creche ladies (all smiling): “On va voir demain, mais maintenant maman peut aller en Angleterre sans problème pour le weekend – c’est boonnnn!”
(Well see tomorrow, but now mummy can go to England for the weekend, no problem – that is good!)
So, Tuesday 22 September was a momentous day for Super PF.
Still in shock, I texted Super H on the way home from creche to let him know.
“120,” he wrote back, “wow, did they use a fennel?” *
Ha ha ha. Not sure they did. Sometimes our Franglais life is just too funny.
* You get it that he meant funnel, right? 😂