Archives for the month of: October, 2012

Well, this has been a sucky 72 hours!

Life proved a point this weekend when our internet went out for 3 days. I tell you, we were crippled. No idea quite how completely reliant and addicted we are to the ‘net! Even Buddy, who shouldn’t give much of a crap, was quite put out when we told him that his digger and dump truck videos were unavailable because YouTube was ‘broken’.

Nevermind the fact that neither of us was able to do a stitch of work over the weekend (which does, admittedly, keep a nice little roof over our head), but we also couldn’t keep up with news, current events, random googling for Jack O Lantern ideas, dinner recipes, and to see how a movie ends before it’s actually started on TV. No Skype calls with family. No emails, just for fun… because I’m totally not paying a small fortune in 3G charges to do that over the iPhone.

Calls to France Telecom on Friday evening were fruitless, and it didn’t really have anything to do with language differences (although I’m sure if they spoke english I could have far more clearly expressed my frustration with them). One office advises us to call another, who via automated response, directed us to another. Ultimately we ended up with a Tuesday appointment without even having been able to speak directly to someone, and we weren’t even sure if that would solve the problem!  A visit to the local shop on Saturday morning was equally fruitless, as they directed us to call the number that we had already called the night before. And so it goes on.

Apparently, it would be working again sometime on Monday. Or maybe Tuesday. And it was. Briefly. And there was much joy and dancing in our house!  But then, as we happily enjoyed our morning coffee over Facebook and Huffington Post today… the internet went out again. Doom!  DOOM!!!

I’m sure that these are simply ‘first world problems’ and in light of the Sandy storm that’s bashing the US, our problems are small. But still… the internet is my drug. I needs it. I haves to have it. It’s my precioussssss.

Update 1 November:  Internet went down again shortly after this post… and wasn’t up and running until the 31st. Five days. No internet. Suuuuuucks.

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Let me start off by saying that buddy is already gifted in the language department (yes, I’m a gloaty mom, but seriously, he talks circles around his other little friends of the same age). I’m not saying he’s a genius… just an advanced chatterbox. Hubs thinks he gets it from me. Wha???

So teaching Buddy french is pretty important for us, and the clock is ticking. Less than a year from now he’ll be starting in french school, Mon Dieu!  They start so young over here!   In France, the kids start school at age 2 or 3 (the cut off date is December 31… if you turn 2 before the end of December, you start school the following September. If you turn 2 after January 1, you start school the following year.)  Fortunately Buddy was a February-baby, so he won’t be starting school until he’s three and a half.

So we’ve got time to ‘franglify’ him!  11 more months, to be precise.

Now my french is okay, although rife with grammatical and pronunciation errors, and a kick-ass Canadian accent, eh!  Hubster’s grasp of the french language is kind of pitiful, so needless to say we’re a completely english-speaking household!  And our friends are primarily english speaking, and his little friends are primarily english-speaking. Which is going to give Buddy a bit of a handicap when he starts school.

Sure, I know a fair amount of expats who have moved here, started their anglo kids in a french school, and every single one of them adjusted fine, and quickly surpassed mum and dad. Still… I’m already stressed enough about school starting so young, so I’d like him to feel just that little bit less lost.

We can’t budget for a private tutor or pre-school, so I’m teaching him french myself. I’ve bought some language apps for the iPad (which held his interest for short period), and I’ve tried reading him french books (which just sounds stilted and wrong).  Surprisingly, the easiest and most fun way of doing it has been the good old fashioned game of Eye Spy with my Little Eye. Except everything we spy is in French!  I spy with my eye, something that is rouge!  I spy with my little eye, something that is le soleil!

So while he may not be speaking in french yet, his vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds!!  He tosses his ‘bonjours’ and ‘au revoirs’ around like nothing!  And he loves it. And he’s starting to use the french words mixed in with the english in day-to-day life, which is tres fantastique!

Except that he sends me running for the translation dictionary pretty often. We’re working on the construction vehicles now!  Cranes, dump trucks, diggers!!  So we’re both learning!