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?
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.
“Doan like musique.”
“Doan. Like. Mu. Sique.”
“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.
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.