Where is my mind? I am sure I put it here somewhere

I have puke down my back, there's banana smothered all over the dining table and I have just realised that I might have to be a stay at home mom for the next 3 years, which totally freaks me out, though I try to be cool and all-embracing about it!

After 4 years in France my spoken French is still quite abstract (to put it mildly), making it difficult to find a job within my field of expertise (events, communication, marketing). I am instead going the entrepreneur way, but with a 2½ year old, a newborn, no public daycare and a partner that works far away from home - time and sanity is a scarce resource.

Coming out of a weekend with a collective household meltdown, including a trip to doctor because the better half performed a Laurel & Hardy skit, knocking himself out, ending up with an open wound just above the eye and a possible concussion (not good when your dayjob includes treeclimbing with chainsaws) and me almost poisoning the toddler by feeding him essential oils, I've decided to give a go at writing a blog. To have an outlet. To keep sane. And, if lucky, in a month or two, I might look back and find useful info written down and then forgotten all about.

x ditte

Yes indeed, an odd bit of synchronicity; wot dus it orl meen? Here's the link to a Youtube clip of what I was watching on TV:


@ Kent - that is too funny! (Did you not also add a link ... where did it go? I want to know what you where hearing!)

@ Kerry: Oh no Kerry ... don't say that!

@ Susan. Do it. Do it. Go to cooking school, and then come and teach me how to cook!

@ Charlotte: I live in Les Landes, down south on the coast. If you can send a couple of hours of free sleep this way it would be nice. Ha, joking. But thanks for the thoughts.

@ Brian - wauw! That sounds like a tough period you're going through. All my thoughts to you.

@ Nick - I second the feeling of having to be closer to an airport ... Well - we did that move. For us the next move must be to closer to an airport from where you can fly direct to our home countries.

@ Patrick - ha, it clears up only to get a bit foggy again in the 70s and 80s... or what?

@ Sarah - good idea. I am in one every Wednesday … more about that another time. :slight_smile:

@ Pamela - well, my parents enjoy being grandparents (they have a whole bunch closer to them than we are) ... but they do admittedly get tired if we leave them alone with the whole bunch for too long ... But do you know what ... so did I when I was 22 and childless!

@ Suzanne - I luckily had a CDD working, while pregnant, for Quiksilver this year - convincing me that my brain is NOT yet one big mush of baby-porridge … But a house renovation, now that’s what I call a full time job!

@ Annette - thank god for Leclerc Drive, Leader Drive, Intermarche Drive etc. Makes shopping with two kids soooo much easier! :)

I was reading this with "Warehouse 13" on in the background - and the Claudia character got up on a stage and started singing "Where is my mind"

! ! ! ! ! SPOOKY ! ! ! ! ! !

Oh how I can relate to what you're going through! My life in France started over twenty years ago when I gave up my wild independent life in the US for the dream of an even more exciting life here. The fact that my only words of French were "merci" and "s'il vous plait" and that I had a five month old baby didn't seem like a handicap to me back then. That was before I hit the reality wall. I ended up living in a roach infested apartement on the bad side of town with a toaster oven, an electric burner and a French husband whose biggest interest in life was playing ping pong with his table tennis club. I didn't even know that ping pong was a sport. The only bright thing about my situation was that I had my daughter to share my days with. I remember spending hours and hours walking around town with her in her stroller. I did manage to sign up and take her to a haute garderie one morning for a couple of hours but When I picked her up a woman was wiping all of the toddlers snotty faces with the same wash cloth. That was my last visit. I also spent many an hour watching mindless game shows in French because it was a cheap way of learning how to speak. The local library was one of our favorite outings too. I'd check out simple books in French like Tin Tin and Lucky Luke or one of the few English books that they had. That was pre-kindle. All that to say that living in France is a huge challange especially if you have young children but it does get better. Twenty years later and both of my children have passed their Bac and are studying away from home and I can finally breath some....and I miss all of that. At least now I have time to work on my written French which is a disaster and dream of maybe going to a cooking school. My kids and friends have been telling me for years that I should open a tea salon. Who knows? Hang in there Ditte!

Wow, where do you live, how can we help and can't wait to read the blog - in that order! (might pass on the puke down the back if you don't mind awfully...) Very best of luck with it all!

A year and a half ago I was still a fit healthy person. One day I woke up with a broken shoulder! The hospital messed it up more. I had a misdiagnosis of epilepsy as the cause. In fact I have extremely severe sleep apnoea. It has finally been properly diagnosed by the SD card in my respirator showing that the three 'seizures' I had to weeks ago were apnoeas. A cardiologist, neurologist and sleep specialist have now agreed that this is complicated by hyxpoxia (also known as hypoxiation) that in April caused me to have a heart attack (whilst in hospital on the wrong medication with my respirator mistakenly not switched on...) Now what has that got to do with my missing mind? A year an a half ago I spoke several perfectly fluent languages. Now I have gaps in my English, let alone my French or Spanish, although for some reason my German has remained intact. I forget people's names, even if I have known them 40 or 50 years, I forget what I am doing and where I am going on some occasions. Even writing this I began to forget what I was writing at one stage. As I have been told both apnoea and hypoxia do damage to the brain and language usually suffers first. I am taking eight pills (plus some homoeopathic ones), one solvent and some drops for my heart and nervous system. My shoulder is almost permanently in pain at present. So imagine my total amazement when after the bisou in a shop this morning a French friend remarked on how well I am looking and hoped that I had not been ill again recently! So basically my message is live with it, what Patrick says about 50s and 60s might be good in theory but as soon as the rot sets in... We also have young children who are very demanding, especially given that one is a special needs child in early puberty and the other is showing the first signs of it, plus both have those quirks that set in at that point in their lives. My message, make sure you have a few reliable and patient friends. I am not allowed but assuming most of you are for medicinal reasons consume at least half a bottle of decent wine every evening!

It's lovely to have our grandchildren to stay, or us to go and babysit for a few days BUT by the end of the short stay we're knackered and happy to hand them back ! When they're your own and you're in your 20s/30s it seems relatively easy to be a full time parent but not so easy when you're having to work as well. At least we're retired, reasonably healthy and can devote some quality time to our grand children without cracking up - at the moment! PS Another load arrives at the airport (2 hours drive away) this afternoon - at least they're coming with their parents ! PPS Our next house (if we ever sell here) must be much closer to an airport .

Seen on a car bumper sticker, long ago:

Brain damage is hereditary - You get it from your children.

It seems to clear up when you're in your 50's and 60's - although, in my mother's case, never.

How about setting up a mother and baby/toddler group where you are (put an ad in the boulangerie) and meet other mushy-minded mums and improve your French too. :)