Thursday, 4 September 2008

La Rentrée

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid. The gargantuan, omnipotent French education system has lured La Fille into its teleporter. There will be much whining, wailing, whirring of brain clogs until, some 20 years hence, it will spit her out. She will emerge half-woman, half-Republican; a Francophone who warbles to Brel, Brassens and Gainsbourg without looking up the words, thinks Carla Bruni can sing, and considers nursery rhymes like J'ai Faim ("I'm hungry. Eat your fist and save the other for tomorrow. If that's not enough, eat one of your feet and save the other for dancing") perfectly normal entertainment for toddlers.

Yes, the day I thought was too far off to worry about has arrived. La Fille went to school this morning. We managed to sidestep the French shrink, but however much we ran and hid on the Eurostar ultimately we could not avoid Freud and Sartre.

My mission, should I choose to accept it - which I do - is to stop the above happening, particularly, heaven forbid, the Bruni and Brassens bit. To this end I have vowed to:

*Pretend I do not speak or understand a word of French. But only when La Fille is speaking it.

*Force her to watch one Walt Disney classic a day.

*Hide La Belle Belle Fille's Carla Bruni CDs

*Sing Beatles songs very loudly and badly every time her father so much as hums anything resembling French music.

*Read sane and sensible English books like The Cat in the Hat.

Ha! That should do it.

7 comments:

Dumdad said...

Atta girl! And it's not Mission Impossible. God bless Uncle Walt and his Disney films - Chateau Dumdad overflowing with English videos and DVDs and books. You will succeed!

Jaywalker said...

Have you considered satellite tv?

I have just got the healing balm of Cbeebies back in my house and oh, bliss. I think they are watching the Night Garden 'au deuxième degré', but it's still making them speak English. What a pip.

Cimon said...

When she is 7, she'll learn at school the "petit cheval blanc" by Brassens and sing at the school fair in june. Get prepared, tissues out :


Le p'tit cheval dans le mauvais temps,
Qu'il avait donc du courage !
C'était un petit cheval blanc
Tous derrière, tous derrière !
C'était un petit cheval blanc
Tous derrière et lui devant !

Il n'y avait jamais de beau temps
Dans ce pauvre paysage.
Il n'y avait jamais de printemps
Ni derrière, ni derrière !
Il n'y avait jamais de printemps
Ni derrière ni devant !

Mais toujours il était content
Menant les gars du village
A travers la pluie noire des champs
Tous derrière, tous derrière !
A travers la pluie noire des champs
Tous derrière et lui devant !

Sa voiture allait poursuivant
Sa belle petite queue sauvage.
C'est alors qu'il était content
Eux derrière, eux derrière !
C'est alors qu'il était content
Eux derrière et lui devant !

Mais un jour, dans le mauvais temps
Un jour qu'il était si sage
Il est mort par un éclair blanc
Tous derrière, tous derrière !
Il est mort par un éclair blanc
Tous derrière et lui devant !

Il est mort sans voir le beau temps
Qu'il avait donc du courage !
Il est mort sans voir le printemps
Ni derrière, ni derrière !
Il est mort sans voir le printemps
Ni derrière ni devant !

Lulu LaBonne said...

Hold back on the Walt Disney and substitute Mary Poppins and Dad's Army

Sarah said...

I installed a Sky digibox a couple of years ago and breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when I could watch programmes that didn't either bore me to tears or make me squirm with embarrassment.

The boys watch CBBC too so they'll be able to muse wistfully with English mates and French one about kiddie tv they grew up with. Everyone's favourite passtime...

Sarah said...

A Freudian slip there... I meant French oneS...

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