I took Lily to her first French lesson today. It was a free taster session.

We were almost the only people there. Another girl, equally appalled at being dragged at the tender age of three-ish to sing songs about teddy bears dressed up as members of someone else’s family and wishing she were at her violin lesson instead (I joke not) conspired with my daughter to run races up and down the hall while the teacher, the other parent and I chatted about the merits of children being bilingual. Lily pretended to walk her imaginary dog Beaky quite a lot and did a fair bit of solitary country dancing. (Who has been teaching her country dancing? Charlie and Lola I suspect). Not a lot of French was learned, but Lily did do more of her ‘petit bebe’ act later in the day when it suited her. There’s babble and babel. I don’t know which I’d rather sit through. Pah.

Lily will be having a party in a couple of days time, and we are all very excited and rather too busy for forays into the world of language learning and blogging, but I am putting off extra cleaning and further research on The Birthday Cake. It is a rite of passage (I joke not) that I must pull off with enough amateurism to look convincing and enough eggs, flour, etc to be edible. I have been practising. No really. I had no idea what to do and my pride is at stake here. My first attempts these last weeks have been entertaining. One cake turned into Brownies at the last minute (my mistake – a square tin?!) and another wasn’t cooked enough and was later attacked by a house spider while cooling. I have however made 30 chocolate fairy cakes and a reserve sponge (vanilla) and will attempt the chocolate sponge tomorrow. This is A Big Deal and involves concentration, more advice from helpful friends, relations, strangers and cookery writers than I have even had on Parenting and an obligatory easter chick. Lily wanted a Cuckoo Clock cake.

As a direct consequence of throwing an Actual Children’s Birthday Party I have learned that not everyone knows what RSVP means, malheureusement. Interestingly, all the people we expected to be able to come (family) did respond. Most of the others did not, and one lady (bilingual, but not a French speaker) assumed it meant ‘Let us know if you are coming’ which is a good point. RSVP is just not the lingua franca these days. I think ‘please let us know either way’ or PLUKEW may have to do in future. Shame. It doesn’t have the same je ne sais quoi.


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