Phew! La Fille's cross-Channel birthday bonanza is over. The Paris party was smaller than the London one - it was the school holidays and most of her friends were away - but still fun. The pinata was a huge success as is, I imagine, any game that lets toddlers loose with a wooden stick and permission to hit something.
There was a brief moment when I felt like snatching the stick and whacking one of the French mums when I overheard her being sniffy about my home-made Pink Milk Flans (thank you Charlie & Lola). She said: "How very English." I said to her: "There's jelly later." The French just don't get jelly. They don't get Pass the Parcel or Musical Statues either, I discovered. So I had my revenge and made them join in jigging to The Grand Old Duke of York: how very English.
I knew La Fille had been watching too much Charlie & Lola when she started dancing around the cake singing: "Lucky, LUCKY me. Lucky, LUCKY me." She was indeed very lucky and ended up having two and a half parties as I took a chocolate cake into the nursery on her actual birthday and they went through the whole Joyeuse Anniversaire routine again. I told La Fille she was like the Queen, having two celebrations; one actual birthday and one state birthday. I thought: "She has no idea what I am talking about." But she ran into her sister's room, grabbed a plastic tiara-style hair clip La Belle Belle-Fille keeps next to the silver stetson (don't ask) stuck it on her head and charged around singing "Look, look. Lucky, lucky me." So much for her being a child of La Republique.
As she left party the French mum who had turned her nose up at my 'English' food asked: "Can I take one of these?" She was brandishing a Pink Milk Flan. How very French, I thought.
The move to France was only supposed to be for a couple of years, not forever. Then I met The Frenchman. Then I had La Fille. Now there's no way back. But La Fille, to whom a horse is a cheval and a frog is just pond life is still half English. So before the Gallic nation claims her for its own, sprinkles her with garlic, sautés her and swallows her up whole we make regular escapes on the Eurostar. And we have discovered the grass is various shades of green either side of the Channel.