Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"guest post" by Griffin: on the idea of a petite soeur

Lots of people have asked me how Griffin feels about becoming a big brother, so I thought I'd try to imagine what he's thinking based on his recent actions and comments....

My maman is enceinte, which means that there's a baby growing in her belly and it's going to get bigger and come out and be a little girl. I like to put Bear under my shirt and tell people that Bear is my baby and he lives in my belly button and he'll get bigger and come out. Bear grows faster than my petite soeur so he usually gets born a minute or two after I hide him under my shirt.

She sure is taking a long time to grow. Maybe that's why Maman is so tired and cranky all the time. She sure doesn't like it when I take a Very Long Time to do something like get dressed or eat my beans. But there are always so many other interesting things to do and say and watch and play with--beans and shoes just aren't very important to me. I wish my sister would stop making Maman cry. What's a hormone?

Sometimes I put Bear back under my shirt so he can drink my lolo like my baby cousin does with Tatie Elizabeth. I'm not sure where the lolo comes from but it's apparently quite important. One day Bear went under my shirt to drink l'eau instead of lolo and Maman and Daddy laughed when I told them that Bear was getting water from the water fountain. I mean, where else do you get water from?!

People keep congratulating me when we tell them that I'm going to have a little sister. I didn't think I had anything to do with it, but maybe so? Either way, I'm starting to feel proud. I'm a big boy who can go pipi in the pot and sleep in a lit du grand garçon and have a baby. Telling people about my petite soeur makes me laugh now. People laugh when I tell them that I want to be a mommy, so now I just say that I want to be a daddy.

But I guess I have to learn how to be a grand frère first. There sure are a lot of things we have to learn!

It really made Maman laugh when we told the mommies at my playgroup. They were all staring at us and saying "Well?"and she whispered a question in my in my ear to try to get me to announce it, "Tu vas avoir un petit frère ou une petite soeur?" and I was embarassed but I said "une petite soeur" and they all shouted hooray and I heard one of the mommies say to another one, "Does soeur mean 'sister'?" and the other mommy was wrong because she said "No, it means 'brother'" and a third mommy said "Oh, okay" and then the fourth mommy and my maman told them they were wrong and that a soeur is a sister which means the baby is a girl baby and then the mommies went crazy shouting hooray and told me "good job, Griffin!"

I think my maman's friends need to learn to speak French too. Then I will tell them "bon travail."

One day when my maman was frustrée she looked at all the books on my floor and told me that my room was a désastre. Well, what does she expect? That's what happens when you read to me all the time and teach me to love books and tell me to look at books when I take my nap. I have to keep getting out of my bed to find more books and of course I'm going to throw them on the floor because I'm a little boy and I like to throw things and if I leave them on the floor long enough then someone will put them all away for me.

So Maman said that we had Too Many Books and that my petite soeur doesn't have any and shouldn't we pick out some books for her room too? Well of course she needs to have lots of books too so that she can learn to throw them on the floor and train Maman to pick them up for her.

So we looked at all my books together. Whenever we saw a book that just had one picture and one word on a page, Maman asked me if it was a baby book that we could give to the petite soeur and I said "Oui" and we made a big pile of books that are too babyish for a grand garçon like me. Except some of the baby books I wanted to keep anyway and she said that was okay too.

And then I saw Bear and decided that we could give Bear to the petite soeur so that she wouldn't have to be alone in her bed, but that made Maman cry too and she said that Bear was my best friend and he would be sad if he didn't get to sleep with me. So I put Bear under my shirt to drink my lolo and told Maman that we could give Daddy's rhinocéros to the baby instead.

She didn't know what I meant so I reminded her that Daddy bought a purple animal with a horn like a rhinocéros for the baby at the store with all the pillows and then Maman laughed and taught me the word licorne which means unicorn.

It turns out that they are calling the baby "Unicorn" right now, which sounds kind of silly to me, but my parents are Very Silly People. But I have a better name in mind. When they asked me what we should name the baby, I said "Zoo" because that is a very good place.

It will be a Very Good Name for a Very Good Baby and I will be a Very Good Grand Frère.


  1. I really like the purple rhinoceros. :)

  2. Salut !
    I've really enjoyed reading this post. I can see my son is not the only one throwing books on the floor! Take care!

  3. Ohh, tell Griffin I think "Zoo" is a fine name!

  4. Great post Sarah.

    Have you come accross the great children's book series - les histoires de Franklin"? If not, you might be interested in the edition titled "Franklin et Le Bebe" for Griffin. It's a great story about how Franklin's best friend Martin becomes a grand frere to a baby girl and how special that is. Franlink is a tortoise and Martin and his little sister are bears - very sweet story.

  5. Thank you, ladies!

    @Bonne Maman--Yes, we have a few of the Franklin books translated into French, but not the baby one. I'll look for it!

    I have also found a handful of other French toddler/preschool books about baby siblings--from series such as Caillou, Petit Ours Brun, Gaspard & Lisa, and T'choupi, plus some stand-alone books--which I wrote about in my next column for Multilingual Living (to be published next week.

  6. Wonderful story of motherhood. Every mother loves her child. It is a love for life.

  7. Thanks for sharing a great post -- and more importantly, a belated thanks for writing a great blog! I appreciate reading about how other non-native bilingual parents are passing along that gift to their children. Fantastic!