Weekend mornings.
December 05, 2011

TOTALLY UNRELATED, BUT: we are trying to find good-quality children’s books in French and ship them to California without paying an arm and a leg.  They can be used or new and we’re especially interested in fairy tale treasuries (Perrault, Grimm, Andersen, Pere Castor, etc), fictional picture books, classics like Babar, and series such as Mon Premier Larousse.  If you know where I should be looking or someone I should talk to or title suggestions I should keep in mind, please let me know!

There is something about weekday mornings that always feels a little broken.  A few weeks ago, Charlotte asked where Donald was going when she saw him tying his shoes.

“I’m going to work, baby,” he said.

“NO!” she exclaimed.  “Why do you, why do you go to work?  No, you do NOT go to work!  You need to stay here!  Yeah!  WITH ME!”

“I need to go to work,” he explained, “so that I can make money to buy food for the baby.”

“No, Daddy,” she said without skipping a beat.  “I already have plenty of food to eat.”

All day long, she asks about him.  When is he coming home?  Does he have enough food in his lunch?  Maybe she should go visit him to make sure.  Did he remember his jacket?  Is his truck fixed now, so is it safe?  When he comes home, can she share string cheese with him?  Will he come to the park with us next time?

On the weekend, though, she wakes up beside him.  She puts her hands on his cheeks and kisses him and tells him she loves him.  She sings songs to wake him up sweetly.  She follows him around like a puppy, asking him to read her stories or to let her help make breakfast.

I think that as long as Charlotte is her Daddy’s little girl, there will always be something magical to her about weekends.  And I really can’t blame her because there’s something magical about my daughter being attached to her father’s hip on weekends to me too.

It’s called sleeping in.


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  1. By Carolina Baker on December 05, 2011

    I don’t know if this is helpful…BUT, I live in England now and if you direct me to a bookstore or anywhere, I’m willing to pick up some Children Books in French. I’m scheduled to fly home from December 21-December 28th (new york) and I can ship them to CA from New York. Email me if I can help in anyway, more than willing, as second languages are so important for children to learn.

  2. By on December 05, 2011

    i would very gladly send you books, as many as you want. check your email !!

    Alice’s definition of weekends is “daddy is in bed !!!“
    he’s always gone when she wakes up on week days and i think poking his eyes and tickling his cheeks to wake him up are one of her favourite weekend activities…

  3. By on December 05, 2011

    I just quickly looked on Amazon.com and they seem to have some of the titles and authors you have listed! They sell them both new and used…might be worth looking at!

  4. By on December 05, 2011

    Not sure they will have the books your looking for, but everytime i place a bid for a lot of books from them, i always think to tell you, and i did just this on vintage golden books for my daughter and nephew for christmas… Shopgoodwill.com great site. with so many books for children and adults from across the country, its like “ebay” but not.. you bid like ebay. but everything is from a goodwill. love it, i hate the thought of books being thrown away and toys, so we get a lot from there! shipping is usually fairly resonable, especailly since i bought arianna, a lot of 10 books for 5.00, i think shipping ran around 8? didnt care… ill pay that for 10 books any day lol

  5. By Kate on December 05, 2011

    I am also happy to send you books. I’m always buying them for my (part-time) 5 year old ‘godson’ (who I became a ‘marraine’ to via an association called Parrains Par Mille, too complicated a story and beautiful a relationship to explain here in comments) and as an avid reader myself, I like nothing better than browsing bookstores and picking up things, used, new, whatever for us both. It would be a pleasure to add another reader to my list to buy for. There’s a store opposite my work which sells new and used and has a great selection, especially for children. I walk past it every day. Noé and I were reading Père Castor stories this weekend in fact!

    Also, Noé, though French, is of Congolese origin, and with my own interest in Africa too, we also read lots of stories from different French-speaking African countries. I remember you mentioning ‘Mama Panya’s Pancakes’ (which we read in English and which I love) in a post and if you’d be interested in any French-language African stories (or indeed other English-language ones…I have many…) I could pass along some of those too.

    Send me an email if I can be of any help!

  6. By Alicia S. on December 05, 2011

    Since my husband’s motorcycle accident, he’s been home from work recovering from his brain surgery for three months. We have no idea when the doctor will tell him he’s ready to go back to work, but I’m genuinely worried about the effect it’ll have on the kids—especially the baby, who since her stay in the hospital a few months before his accident has been even more attached at the hip to him then she ever was before.

    Amd omg, I laughed out loud at the sleeping in part, because seriously. I’m worried about myself for that reason, lol.

  7. By Lisa on December 05, 2011

    I buy used French books for kids quite often. I intend on giving them to my nephews but they usually stay at my house on a shelf.
    I was going to suggest Abe Books to find a Canadian retailer with French books. I did a quick search, though, and I couldn’t find any.  You may have better luck.
    Annick Press, with whom you’ve worked before, publishes books in French.

  8. By on December 05, 2011

    The past few months, Jude had been particularly aware of the days that Ryan (my husband) is not home. Like your story, if Jude wakes up when Ryan is on his way out the door, it’s the end ofthe world. Our dog barks whenever someone is around our house and now, Jude has associated that sound with Ryan coming home. I feel so bad when he runs to the door in the late mornin or early afternoon only to find out daddy’s not home, it’s just the guy down the street going for a run…

  9. By Jessika on December 05, 2011

    Love those pictures!

    I just did a quick search, and there are a lot of children’s books in French on ebay! Looks like many are here in the US, so that’d save on overseas shipping.

  10. By Shauna on December 05, 2011

    It sounds like you have lots of French book avenues now, but you could try out Gabriella at http://www.designmom.com/.
    She is a fellow book lover, and her family currently lives in France…
    Just a thought.  I love the fact that you have lived French with your daughter, and that she’s picking it up (and the peacock translation last week was HILARIOIUS!).  Thank you for sharing your days with us.

  11. By Meg @ Moments Like This on December 05, 2011

    Was there a time when Charlotte didn’t like being around her Daddy?

    We are expeciencing that now with Bean. She screams when he comes near or when he picks her up. All she wants is me. Which is fine but it really does break my husbands heart.

    I’m hoping soon, for his sake, that things change.

  12. By Sarah Christensen on December 05, 2011

    Meg - YES!  Yes, for a few months earlier this year Charlotte went through a phase where she only wanted me and did not want to spend time with Donald.  He would come home and she would say “NO DADDY! NO! NO KISSES!“ and things like that.  It was heartbreaking.  He kept at it, though, and in time she grew out of it.  I also began to really hype him up.  I printed out a few pictures of him to show her during the day and I told her stories about things he did with her and tried to make his homecoming sound super-exciting.  I don’t know if it helped or not, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt.

    Thanks for the book help, guys!  If you have more ideas, please keep them up because I want to look at everything.  Also, a few of you keep your eyes peeled for e-mails!! =)

  13. By on December 05, 2011

    I always get my books from http://www.bookdepository.co.uk  They have free shipping to all countries (and their prices are usually cheaper that what I can buy them for here) and I have just checked and they have books by the authors you listed…

  14. By on December 05, 2011

    Have you tried any Canadian websites? Amazon.ca, or Chapters or Indigo? Shipping might be expensive but it is worth a try, Not sure if you can access the Canadian sites from the U.S….
    If nothing else works, let me know….I am from California living in Montreal. I make the trip to SoCal once or twice a year. I could bring a book or two from Quebec in exchange for a book that Charlotte is bored with.(My daughter is 14 months and learning French/English also).

  15. By A.E. on December 06, 2011

    That is so cute!

  16. By on December 06, 2011

    I don’t have any experience buying French books in the States, but I wanted to mention a really great French dictionary for when/if you decide to get more formal with the French learning. I used it while learning French in Paris, and it’s called the Dictionnaire Hachette junior (ISBN 2.01.280525-6). It’s not an English-French dictionary, but rather a “true” French dictionary aimed at 8-11 year olds. The cool part for a non-native speaker using the book is that every word that is used in the definitions is also defined in the dictionary, so you can “trace back” any unfamiliar new words. Helpful and satisfying to use!


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