Alien conversation

This was a conversation with the 38-year-old (the 6-year-old’s and 2-and-a-half-year-old’s dad).

“The third airport in China was shut down today because of a UFO.”

“Mmmmm.” (To be fair, I am trying to sleep at this point).

“You’re not interested are you.”

I’m not, but I feign enthusiam, “Yes, go on.”

“People think there will be a lizard attack by 2012.”

“You’re right, I’m not interested.”

The 38-year-old has been seeing his friend, who we’ll call Thomas, again. (He really is called Thomas and I don’t know how old he is).

Thomas fervently believes the aliens are coming and apparently has stockpiled enough food for six months in case of attack.

“I think we should get a gun”, says the 38-year-old.

I’m really too tired to be alarmed and am in desperate need of sleep.

“Ok”, I mutter, “I’m delegating you to be in charge in case of Alien Attack. You can make all the preparations.”

The 38-year-old seems to be actually quite pleased by this and turns over and goes to sleep.


Charity conversation

On Monday, the 6-year-old and the 2-and-a-half-year-old each had to take an apple to their rather nice Catholic school to give to Father Dominique.

(Father Dominic is not a fat monk who likes to scoff apples all day. His convent in Brussels takes care of the homeless and ‘sans-papiers’ which doesn’t translate nicely into English, but ‘irregular migrant’ might cover it. Hence the school regularly collects donations of  food for his convent).

I wondered if Noah understood what his apple was for.

“Is Père Dominique really going to eat all those apples?”

“No mummy”, he replied earnestly.

“So what’s he going to do with them?”

“Père Dominique helps people with no money. They can knock on his door and go for their ‘goûter’.” (See this sweet explanation of a goûter).

As Shakespeare said, So shines a good deed in a weary world.

Or was that Willy Wonka?

Religious conversation

Noah came back from his lovely new (Catholic) school today with a question.

“Madame says that Jésus lives in our heart, but I don’t think she’s right. I think he lives with the planets. Where do you think he lives, mummy?”

I earnestly agree that, yes, I think he lives with the planets too, but I don’t have the heart to tell him that Jews (of which Noah is one) don’t believe in Jésus or even his English-pronounced counterpart.

At least not in the messianic way.

School conversation

“Doan like musique.”

“Doan. Like. Mu. Sique.”


“DOAN. LIKE. MU. SIQQQQQUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

This is obviously not the 6-year-old, but his 2-and-a-half-year-old sister, and roughly translates as: “Mummy, I don’t want to do gymnastics at school today and am thus refusing to put my plimsolls on.”

Yes, ‘musique’ = ‘gymnastique’ (I think ‘gymnastique’ is quite a mouthful for a 2-and-a-half-year-old, especially when it’s not your native language).

And actually, ‘gymnastique’ = ‘psychomotricité’, which is such a mouthful for even adult native speakers that they don’t in fact bother, and just call it gymnastique instead.

Bathroom conversation


My son and heir is sitting on the toilet, nonchalantly peeing into the air and forming a puddle on the bathroom floor.

He looks up, seemingly surprised by my angry tone of voice, then he regains his composure and asks,

“Mummy, do you want to kill me?”

I think what gives it away is my failure to reply immediately.

“How would you like to kill me mummy?”

I decide it’s probably best to say nothing and clean the bathroom floor instead.