Monday, 25 February 2013

In the grip of la Grippe

A mini-beast art project.

Like the rest of France, apparently. La grippe being the flu. And today it feels like we are finally starting to shake it off.

I've always been pretty scornful of people that say they have the flu when all they have is a bad cold ("man flu") but this virus was/is definitely the flu. Matilda first (1 day of fever), then O (2 days of fever), then Fanf, then me, three days at 39°+ but today the fever is gone. No one has really slept properly for a week now. Fanf and I have had the shivers and aches, sore throat, runny nose and a hacking cough and I have earache and keep coughing up phlegm. There has also been quite a lot of general irascibility and uncontrollable outbursts of tears, perfectly legitimate flu symptoms. Last night O kept complaining his ears were hurting so I've booked an appointment at the doctor to check he hasn't decided to have himself a little ear infection for dessert. Greedy boy. A joke, a little joke. I'm starting to feel human again. Just the cough and the chronic fatigue for us all to look forward to now, as a little souvenir of the fun times.

And then the mini-beasts made my day with a little bit of creative ingenuity. I spotted O with the child's scissors about to start cutting practice on the DVD player wires (yikes child, enough dies around here of natural causes without you lending a helping hand!), so I suggested paper as a more sensible alternative. Matilda promptly went and found her brother some paper and they took it in turns, most harmoniously, at cutting bits of paper. Matilda then suggested they make airplanes. She selected and stuck bits together to make herself, then O, a plane (hers is naturally a good deal bigger, everything she does/has at the moment has to be bigger, better, faster than whatever O does/has...). Then they decorated. My only imput was the animal heads, which they asked me to cut out for them. I know it's only simple, but I was so impressed. They're not going to win the Turner Prize or anything but nonetheless an art project entirely conceived and (almost) entirely executed by the mini-beasts themselves. Recently a friend told me she thought my kids were parfaitement autonomes, perfectly autonomous, which, as far as I'm concerned, is about the highest compliment you could pay me as a mother.

My feeling of well-being and happiness was only increased because Matilda chose as a musical background to their creative enterprise In the Heart of the Moon by Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabate. It is so graceful and reassuring and beautiful. Listening, I just kept wanting to cuddle my mini-beasts and tell them I loved them. And I know they are rather sweet and lovable, some of the time, but I think my sudden amorous gush had more to do with Messrs. Touré and Diabate than Mbs. Canteau and Canteau.


Now please excuse me while I and the mini-beasts sit down to watch The Princess Bride. Their first time. Too early? Well I've been waiting since about 1995 to watch this film with my kids so I think I've waited long enough!


  1. Happy to read that you are on the mend!
    And also happy to read that O. didn't destroy your DVD player.

    1. Hmmm, yes. Spoke too soon. See (or don't see, I'd understand) whiney email that just crossed the interweb with your comment! Still, a good time is a good time and today there were good times, for that I am grateful. Bx


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