NORWAY: Does Anyone Have the Original Soundtrack to Noah’s Ark?

Have you ever thought about what Noah’s Ark might have sounded like? A pair of all the animals in the world in one big boat would have been loud! If you crept into the eating quarters, would you have seen Mr. and Mrs. Duck talking to Monsieur et Madame Chien over a cup of tea? “Quack, quack.” “Ouaf, ouaf.” “Slurp, slurp?”

Well, we don’t live in a boat, and our animals are mostly in 2-D, but you can hear some pretty international animal sounds blaring from our windows lately.

I am French, and my husband’s Norwegian, and we both talk English to each other. Therefore, there are three strong languages, our mother tongues plus English, under our one roof. (more…)

NORWAY: “She’s Got the Look”

“She’s got the look.”

My baby is growing an attitude. The once sweet, bouncy baby, who was always happy to crawl, happy to sleep, happy to eat is now coming out with an opinion of her own. When did that happen?!

It’s just crazy when you have the first understandable exchanges with your child. I guess it’s also a little intimidating that this bundle of joy you’ve been carrying around is now fully able to convey resentment, love, disagreement and interest…

As a young mother, whatever your head had courageously decided was “only” confronted to books, mother-in-laws or your conscience is now passe.  There is an extra element to take into account: the child might not follow your lead!

She’s 16 months old, so how does she communicate this opinion? Of course, you’ve got the classic body language, the expected moaning and groaning…but, her ultimate weapon is her eyes: one single look tells a thousand words.

So, for you today, ladies, here is a little lexicon of the 4 most powerful looks that I have ever been thrown! I am sure you all know what I mean and will add more to the list! (more…)

NORWAY: Being a Role Model…a What?

I am a mother of one little girl of 15 months. I am in the early stages of motherhood, and among the trillion questions my new life brings, there is one that is starting to be present on a daily basis. Here it is:

Whether I “like” it or not, I am one day (please not today) going to be a role model. How does one define a role model, and how does one accept that who you are is good enough?

During this first year I concentrated on how the baby is, how my marriage was doing, and I did my best to survive the transition from two to three in the house. I wasn’t really concerned about what I did and how I did it, as long as I managed one day after the next.

But suddenly, this little ball of love is starting to walk, to express herself, to see and interpret what I am doing. Does this mean I already have to be aware of what I am doing in front of her? I sort of knew this day would come, but I DON’T KNOW IF I AM READY!

I have very basic and obvious determinations regarding bringing up my child. I want her to be polite, well-behaved, healthy, respectful of others, be a good citizen, be a good friend… All in all, be a good person.

Now, I am wondering if I have to be this person first… (more…)

NORWAY: Practical or Beautiful?: A French Mother’s Perspective

I remember walking in the street, while pregnant, looking at some young mothers pushing their prams, looking great.  They were made up and wearing cool clothes: the perfect combination of the modern mum and the urban self-confident woman.

I thought to myself ,” Right, I’ll be a pretty mummy.” (It’s funny how I never stopped to consider the other mums around, wearing sweatpants and who had given up on their brush.  Shouldn’t that have given me a hint?)

And then my beautiful baby came … nothing was (is) more important than her well-being.  Who cares what I look like?! Arguments were pouring through my mind:

1) I’m breastfeeding, so I need to be comfortable

2) I am not going to buy more clothes, I’ll just wear my training trousers until I fit into my old clothes again

3) I am getting up at night and going to bed during the day, so no real point of getting out of my PJs…

4) I never go out. Winter in Norway? Minus 18 and 2-meter snow, say no more! (more…)