Monday, April 26, 2010

Griffin greets Spring!

Yes, it has snowed twice in the past three days here in Colorado, but I'm clinging fiercely to the idea that spring has arrived. We've been working in the yard, ordering seeds, taking walks, dressing in in pastel colors. Griffin is now in charge of the local Earthworm Repatriation Program--constantly on the lookout for worms, he delights in picking them up and depositing them in the garden. "Oooo da ver-terre, Maman? I need rose ver-terre!" (He likes the pinkish ones best, for some unknown reason.)

He also made a very funny inadvertent pun: while cleaning out his closet, we happened upon a long-forgotten stuffed peacock. "Paon!" he shrieked, using the correct French word and pronunciation. Then his eyes lit up even brighter, and he sang the first line or two to "Sur le pont d'Avignon"--a traditional song about dancing on a bridge. You see, "paon" and the word for bridge, "pont," are pronounced identically. [Er, make that, "I pronounced them the same"--turns out they are similar but not identical!]

We've been having fun playing inside, too--lots and lots of reading, "cooking" in his little kitchen, attending French playgroup. And as you can see from the photos, our regular playgroup has had some fun outings to the zoo and the firestation and to see some fishies. (Griffin now differentiates them as "playgroup en francais" and "playgroup with firetrucks.") Griffin and Carl still get together once a week as well--that's them coloring together above.

This morning, Griffin and I had the following awww-inspiring exchange:

Maman: Je t'aime! (I love you!)
Griffin: Je t'aime!
Maman: Je t'aime aussi! (I love you too!)
Griffin: Je t'aime aussi too!

We hope your spring is turning out fun and warm and springy and that you have lots of people to love too too.


  1. In that first picture, it looks like he's a little puppet boy doing the macarena.

    I'm allowed to say that because I'm his mother!

  2. Let the record reflect: it is now snowing for the THIRD time this week, the last week of April! Where did our Spring go?

  3. 1 -- Cute pics!
    2 -- Wow, I hadn't seen Carl in a long time. He's so big and handsome!
    3 -- I love aww-inspiring dialogue. I always try to cling onto it when it happens in my life; it feels like there's something fragile and fleeting about it.
    4 -- Re snow: That's the price you pay for being in Colorado. There are worse fates.

  4. What a paradox--that something as stubborn and sturdy as a toddler (or preschooler, in Dani's and Carl's cases) can utter such sweet nothings that melt our hearts, and that it's so easy to forget these ephemeral expressions uttered in the middle of the night when you rescue his beloved bear from where he fell. How sad that it's often easier to remember the meltdowns and the diaper blow-outs. (Or is that just me?)

    Writing this blog lets me record at least some of what he says that really strikes me. Now I just need to remember to transfer his Griffinisms to the scrapbook!

  5. Yes, recording is key. With time, both the -isms and the blowouts fade away... (thankfully, at least, because new memories are being laid down constantly)

  6. i think it is cool that you can make your oun website.i think all the pictures of Griffin are cute.

    --Isis age 11

  7. I've enjoyed reading your blog. Just a hint though: 'paon' and 'pont' are not pronounced the same at all.. One is an 'a' sound, one an 'o' sound - not even similar. I suppose you should check such words if you're not sure of them before teaching them to your child :)

    Lovely photos and keep up the good work!

  8. Hi Anonymous--Thanks for your compliments and the pronunciation correction.

    I do feel like you're being a little too harsh here--the nasal vowel in words like "pont" and "ongle" is not far off from the nasal vowel in "paon" and "champ." "Pont" is pronounced the same way as "paon," just further forward in the mouth. So I got them confused. Now I know, and I won't do that again (probably).

    The thing is, it never occured to me to check the pronounciation of "paon" before using it with Griffin, because I didn't realize that I wasn't saying it correctly! This is probably true of other less-common words that I never actually studied or taught.

    And hey, I have heard plenty of Americans mispronounce words in English--this phenonemon is not limited to those of us speaking second languages!

    Any suggestions of how to ward this off in my French are welcome....

  9. Reading back through my comment I see that you're right, I do sound far too critical considering that the difference in pronunciation isn't really so great. Sorry about that; I honestly didn't mean to speak so harshly! I think what you're doing is great.

    I hope you didn't take offence, I'm sure raising a bilingual family is difficult and something I am looking forward to doing in the future (French, German and English). From reading many posts it seems like you're doing really well, something which I imagine is quite difficult in an English speaking country in particular. :) Keep up the good work!

  10. Thanks for your response. And I need to develop a thicker skin about my non-native French speaking ability (or just buckle down and really work on improving it).

    Good luck to you with your future trilingual family--keep in touch! Where are you located?

  11. I just finished my fourth article in a series about activities for learning French outside in the garden,and it's fun to look back at this post from almost four months ago and see that Griffin and I were already working on his garden vocabulary at that point!