Ahhh, Friday

french-baby-names-oui

Last night I started Bringing Up Bébé, not out of anticipation of anything (or anyone) but out of curiosity. I’ve found the author makes some large generalizations (and admits as much), but overall is rather insightful. At a cafe this morning I read about The Pause, the five-to-ten minutes a French parent allows a child, including infants, to cry before they interfere. This break supposedly allows a parent to determine the child’s true needs. Instead of rushing to the crib immediately only to discover the child is simply moving between sleep cycles, most French parents, Pamela Druckerman says, let their child work out their needs and find solace and comfort in their aloneness. This, Druckerman posits, is directly counterpoint to much American parental behavior and practice–helicopter- or attachment-parenting.

While reading about this intriguing difference I was privy to, if not French, then a similar kind of hands-off approach to parenting. A father and his young daughter entered the cafe and took up at the table next to mine. He proceeded to order a tea and settle into the booth while his daughter, about eighteen-months-old, happily explored the entire cafe. She kindly waited by the front door greeting customers with a gummy smile. She visited patrons at their table, examined scarves, rested her hands on nearly every surface, and generally delighted everyone.

Her insatiable curiosity was encouraged not stifled like I so often saw back in the States. No one seemed bothered that she was given free reign, not even the servers bustling around with hot cappuccinos and the best croissants you have ever tasted. She was essentially allowed to toddle around unaccompanied, intruding on others’ quiet time with a newspaper. Equally, her father didn’t appear compelled to jump up and follow her every move, furiously apologizing for her. There seemed to be a mutual understanding that the baby was allowed to explore.

I’m not sure I would have reached the same conclusions had I not been so immersed in my book, but I found it interesting nonetheless. I’m not sure who is right and who is wrong, or that labels such as those are even worth mentioning anymore. I did find it intriguing that a little bit of observation can go quite a long way toward opening one’s eyes to new and perhaps better alternatives to parenting.

On a completely unrelated note, I am currently looking out the window to find my neighbor vacuuming his outdoor balcony. Is this a thing?

Further unrelated, a few links for the weekend:

Holiday parties are on the horizon: Thoughtful gifts for the hostess.

Bravo was my guilty pleasure in the States. His show was one of my favorites.

Speaking of slightly shameful anecdotes, I have a teal velvet scrunchie that I use on the regular. Now I can make my own! (I actually used to have a scrunchie-maker when I was younger #noshame)

I loved living by the ocean and visiting the beach every weekend, but that didn’t stop me from being irrationally afraid of these guys. This video nearly gave me a heart attack.

I loved hearing about backstage antics at The Onion. Can you imagine pitching your ideas there?! So much pressure! This article is so timely and one of my favorites.

We had shaved brussels sprouts with avocado alongside grilled chicken for dinner last night. Please do not forget to add goat cheese. And more goat cheese.

New party pants.

 

What are you up to this weekend? Tonight, my friend Nancy and I are going to an American women’s meet-up. My latest attempts to make friends have not gone so well so, despite common sense and indicating patterns, I have high hopes. The rest of the weekend looks relatively relaxed, as we’ve been pretty busy the last few. Have a good one!

 

image via. This American Life via A Cup of Jo.

6 thoughts on “Ahhh, Friday

    • It’s so good! I can’t put it down. I wonder if you experienced a lot of this since you worked for a (partly) French family. So many good ideas in there! But, also some tactics that are better left unexplored.

  1. So as a relatively new parent myself, and former baby hater, I have to say I think there’s a middle ground on the helicopter vs. hands off parenting. I think it’s disrespectful to others to allow your child to go completely unsupervised in a public place, you chose to have the kid after all, not everyone else in said venue. On the other hand if you don’t grant a little bit of freedom then the kid doesn’t know how to be independent or figure things out on their own. We do our best to do the 5-10 min thing as well, unless of course it’s the middle of the night and there’s a risk of waking the remaining brood, then you bet your ass we swoop in like a pterodactyl scooping up some nice tasty other other white meat.

    Also here’s a nice BSprout recipe I made the other day for Courtney and her girls weekend buddies, it was pretty tasty. http://www.aspicyperspective.com/2012/01/brussels-sprouts-with-bacon.html

    • Sounds like you guys have a good system going. Plus, you have three to contend with so maybe the rules are a little different 🙂 I totally hear you on the not wanting to disturb others bit. I’m usually the one on the bus screaming in my head that someone better attend to that naughty child. But perhaps they’re just taking The Pause.

      Umm, AMAZING looking recipe. I’m going to try that this week! What brand of beer did you use?

      • I think i used a Shiner Bock, or maybe a Breckenridge Brewery octoberfest, now I can’t remember. It was definitely a decent beer vs Bud light.

  2. Pingback: Rarr! | A Broad At Home

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