Friday, October 03, 2008

Birthday parties à la français...

Tomorrow the littlest lady turns 4 and is having a party, or a goûter d'anniversaire as it's called here. Her friends from her class- Faustine, Margot, Ornelia, Celia, Maelys, Ava, Emma, and Léna are coming over for a two hour TinkerBell (la fée clochette) themed party.

I feel like I'm getting the hang of these kid birthday parties in France. One of my first attempts still gets the occasional giggle from one of the French mothers who said the other mothers were very amused at my crudités, pinata and organized games. Apparently here, all that's called for is a cake, a bowl of bon bons and enough space for the kids to run around in a sugar-induced frenzy.

So compared to some of the stories I hear of people in the UK (and possibly the US?) who spend shed loads of money on entertainers, food and party favors, we get off pretty lightly here. And the kids still manage to get over excited and talk of nothing else for the next week.

The hardest part this time will be the small talk with the other parents who stick around, as I don't know that many of them and will have to get through the whole 'oh-you're-foreign-I-can-barely-understand-your-French-but-tell-me-your-life-story-anyway' routine. Integration into a small French village is a never-ending process (or at least it feels like it after 8 years).

The oldest little lady's friends' parents are used to me by now. Let's just hope this new set are as cooperative, er, I mean, nice.....

3 comments:

Cara said...

Happy Birthday Littlest Lady!

Now, back that train up a bit...even after 8 (!) years you're still dealing with integration etc., etc.?! I've been annoyed it's been 3 years for us and still it continues. But 8?? I don't think I would last that long...

My little one turns 2 in 20 days, but as I will be just about ready to pop, I don't think we will be having much of a party. Last year's cupcakes sure caused a sensation with the French mothers though.

The Duchess said...

Hi Cara,
Hope your pg is going well. Not long to go now.
Integration is such a loaded word, isn't it?
The first 2 and a half years here we didn't have kids, so only met a certain part of the village population. Then when the kids came along, we gradually started meeting other factions, at the creche, the pediatrician's office, etc...
Then when they started school, we started meeting another set of kids and parents. Not sure where they've been hiding all this time, but we were obviously pg around the same time....
And this year we have alot of new arrivals to the village, so new faces at the school gates. It all just seems a little harder being a foreigner. But you know around here you are consider a foreigner if you weren't born in the village!

poppy fields said...

I still stress about these birthday parties...but my girls have fun. The less I plan, the better it goes!