Monday, April 12, 2010

Black Wednesday: The Rise of The Crumb-Snatchers.

I don’t leave my house on Wednesday.

My friend Mr. Taylor once called Wednesday “children’s day”. I on the other hand prefer to refer to it as Black Wednesday. Those of you who live outside France probably don’t know this, but in France there is no school on Wednesday. This means that every Wednesday all public places in France become jungle gyms. There are children frickin’ everywhere. How many children? Need I remind you that France is one of the only countries in Europe that is actually experiencing population growth?


The reasoning behind the no school on Wednesday business is that this is the one day that children do extra-curricular activities such as sports or music. And by sports I mean head butting people and objects, and by music I mean the sound of them screaming in restaurants and shopping centers. If you want to see the French “Just Good Enough” parenting philosophy in action, Wednesday is the perfect day for it.

Below you will find my personal top 3 list of places in France that should absolutely be avoided like the plague on Wednesdays and why:

1. Doctor’s Offices- Mommy + 3 children under the age of 5, all 4 have been waiting 3 hours to see the doctor, all 4 have runny noses and a slight fever. If you weren’t sick when your ass entered that waiting room, you sure the hell will be by the time you leave.


2. Museums- I am convinced that all of France’s major museums double their security on Wednesdays to insure that some priceless national treasure doesn’t meet its demise at the hands of a rambunctious 7 year old. (p.s. Your snack from the cafe has been laced with Ritalin for insurance purposes. Enjoy!)

3. The Grocery Store- By all means feel free to shop on Wednesday if you enjoy a full-on obstacle course of 5 year olds having temper tantrums on the filthy floor. Oh, beware of that slippery spot in aisle 4 where Johnny lauched a jar of pickles at Mommy's head like a frickin' vinegar grenade. Stuff you should bring with you on your adventure: recyclable shopping bags, sensible shoes and or combat attire, earplugs or ipod for mental/ear protection, and a copy of War and Peace for the 45 minute wait at the check-out counter. Good luck with that.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like kids. Just not other peoples’ bad ass kids. Also, I am sick of getting hip-checked by some breeder's SUV sized baby stroller. Riddle me this: How the hell does an infant need a hummer? All you moms out there reading this- Please forgive my ignorance and learn me something. What the hell do you keep in those “diaper bags” that are twice the size of a Samsonite weekender? Just admit it: That's where you hide the wet-bar right?


Photo courtesy of Enfant Terrible kids clothing which makes the cutest kid t-shirts ever. No hipster off-spring should be without one! Buy one for your crumb-snatcher now.

13 comments:

legrandezombie said...

Tell me about it. Considering how refined the French supposedly are I was shocked to find little brats running around unfettered from parental supervision. Particularly as the parents are often actively ignoring their kids' transgressions.

It's a coddled nation.

Penny said...

Really? I find french children much better behaved than the australian or american version! At least, french parents don't go in for all that "how do you think little Johnny felt when you took away his toy car" crap. I actually find them much stricter and more direct instead of all touchy/feely/positive reinforcement.

Cherise said...

I hate those SUV strollers too! Although I like the idea of a diaper bag with a hidden wet bar.

Xenos said...

The difference may have to do with upper middle class children in their parents' presence, who can be very prim an proper, and children when out free and feral like.

My kids are pretty feral regardless of context. May they would improve in France, but I doubt it.

the fly in the web said...

I know the neighbour's daughter in law starts getting gloomy on Tuesday afternoon at the thought of the joy in store for her looking after her own kids on Wednesday.

'Drea said...

I was actually teasing one of my colleagues today because she had two giant bags (one contained a breast pump & the other a laptop) and her purse was the size of an envelope.

I wish that Wednesday was adult's day...

Monica said...

Ha! I love children, as long as I gave birth to them. The rest of them are HORRIBLE!

Shanster said...

Kids is just bein' kids... but that doesn't mean I want to be around them en masse! I'd be livin' in a fox hole on Wednesdays in France!

I'm so glad the states don't have Wednesdays like that...

Wait, what am I sayin'? I'm stuck in a cubicle! What do I care if the little linoleum lizards are out in force during the week? grin.

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

*snort* at "Crimb Snatchers." :D

Spot ON, chick! I love this post. :) Actually, my best American friend who lives in the south of France has two kids and she as a MOM hates Black Wednesdays, hahaha! Not only for the reasons you post here, but because it has taken her years to get into the swing of having her *own* kids off in the middle of the week, too. LOL.

sprite said...

Not to mention the "get out of my way, I'm pushing a stroller" expression some Mums have. As if having a child confers a special status or perks such as having the entire pavement (sidewalk) to onself. *rolls eyes*. Anyways as a Mum of two kids I can confirm the diaper bags carry all type of stuff designed to save *your* life when the going gets tough...

Aaron Grunwald said...

You forgot to mention that half of the bureaucracy and businesses grind to a halt on Wednesdays... because of course one of the parents has to take the day off to take of the kids. Also, children have school Saturday mornings (or is that just around here?), which provides some sort of compensation.

Cupcake said...

First thought: Frida Kahlo.
Then that got me to thinking about how sad that is on so many levels. One, that I personally can't identify more female artists, and two that nobody else can either. That's just so shocking to me, to realize how few famous women artists there are to begin with, and how heavy the saturation of testosterone is in the art community. Can't believe I never really thought about it before. Talk about a thought provoking post!

paige said...

I love everything about this post and I'm going to visit your blog constantly. I hate other people's kids (I don't have any yet but probably will and I plan not to hate my own). I'm with you on the strollers. And bags. I guess I'm just not in the club. I'm an American ex-pat, too, in England. Love the blog!