Paper towels

When you’ve got small kids, you learn very quickly not to turn your back on them for even a second. You learn this as you clean magic marker from the back of the sofa, or wipe make-up off the dresser, or pick a slice of pizza off the carpet.

Juliette hasn’t worked out that you need to hold the roll of toilet paper as you tear off what you need, and as a result, we occasionally find that she’s emptied the entire roll in an attempt to clean herself. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to find this on the bathroom floor, but occasionally, we find it all stuffed into the toilet. It’s amazing we don’t spend more on plumbing bills.

Papa wasn’t present to witness what lead up to this particular scene, but it seems that Alex and Juliette share the same genes…

"It was like that when I got here," said Alexandre, unconvincingly.

“It was like that when I got here,” said Alexandre, unconvincingly.

Siblings

There are few things in nature that change state in nature faster than two siblings. Lithium when exposed to oxygen is pretty impressive. But it doesn’t hold a match to the speed with which my children transform between “little angels sitting next to one another quietly watching TV” to “beating the living crap out of one another.”

The transformation between the two states took less time that it took Papa to unlock his phone.

The transformation between the two states took less time that it took Papa to unlock his phone.

Cutie

There are few things in life that make me quite as happy as coming home to my kids. And while my kids test me and exhaust me in equal measures, it’s smiles like this that make it all worthwhile.

I’m impatient for my kids to grow up to the point where they’re able to look after themselves — potty-trained, able to feed and entertain themselves, able to speak well and engage in conversation — but I’m aware that there is a trade-off. Moments of unconditional love and sheer happiness the instant you walk in the door become fewer and fewer. I have to remind myself to appreciate these moments while I can.

And if I want them forever? Well, I guess I’ll eventually have to buy a dog. 🙂

My little cutie

My little cutie

Vacances scolaires

The vacances scolaires, or school vacation, is always something of a challenge in France. Not only do the schools shut down, but everything else (camps, daycare, etc) seems to shut down at the same time. So they are a perfect time for the grandparents to come and visit.

The kids had a great week with their grandparents, visiting the zoo, a monkey park, and taking hikes in the hillsides.

Alex with her grandparents

Alex with her grandparents

The photographer obviously has given a poor briefing.  Juliette has clearly understood that this is an informal portrait, while Alexandre has interpreted it as a more formal affair.

The photographer obviously has given a poor briefing. Juliette has clearly understood that this is an informal portrait, while Alexandre has interpreted it as a more formal affair.

Juliette with her grandparents

Juliette with her grandparents

Spa day

So many things in life are just a question of perspective. This could be an anti-head-lice treatment. Or this could be a spa day. It’s all about attitude.

Impromptu spa day?

Impromptu spa day?

Artists in the house

Our kids both seem to have artistic streaks in them, experimenting in the styles of different contemporary masters. While Alex seems to draw most of his inspiration from Jackson Pollack (executed in a range of materials ranging from fingerpaint to pudding), we came home tonight to discover that Juliette has entered her Mondrian phase.

Juliette's influences come from Mondrian

Juliette’s influences come from Mondrian