⌦ Free Download Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (now with Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting) Ꮖ Author Pamela Druckerman ᠃ ⌦ Free Download Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (now with Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting) Ꮖ Author Pamela Druckerman ᠃ contentsSome names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.glossary of french parenting termsattend ah tahn wait, stop A command that a French parent says to a child Wait implies that the child doesnt require immediate gratification, and that he can entertain himself.au revoir oh reh vwa good bye What a French child must say when he leaves the company of a familiar adult Its one of the four French magic words for kids See bonjour.autonomie oh toh no mee autonomy The blend of independence and self reliance that French parents encourage in their children from an early age.btise beh teeze a small act of naughtiness Labeling an offense a mere btise helps parents respond to it with moderation.bonjour bohn juhr hello, good day What a child must say when he encounters a familiar adult.caca boudin caca booh dah literally, caca sausage A curse word used almost exclusively by French preschoolers.cadre kah druh frame, or framework A visual image that describes the French parenting ideal setting firm limits for children, but giving them tremendous freedom within those limits.caprice kah preese a childs impulsive whim, fancy, or demand, often accompanied by whining or tears French parents believe it is damaging to accede to caprices.classe verte klass vehr tuh green class Beginning in about first grade, a class trip in which students spend a week or so in a natural setting The teacher chaperones, along with a few other adults.colonie de vacances koh loh nee duh vah kahnce vacation colony One of hundreds of group holidays for kids as young as four, without their parents, usually in the countryside.complicit kohm plee see tay complicity The mutual understanding that French parents and caregivers try to develop with children, beginning from birth Complicit implies that even small babies are rational beings, with whom adults can have reciprocal, respectful relationships.crche khresh a full time French day care center, subsidized and regulated by the government Middle class French parents generally prefer crches to nannies or to group care in private homes.doucement doo ceh mahnt gently carefully One of the words that parents and caregivers say frequently to small children It implies that the children are capable of controlled, mindful behavior.doudou doo doo the obligatory comfort object for young children Its usually a floppy stuffed animal.cole maternelle eh kole mah tehr nell Frances free public preschool It begins in September of the year a child turns three.ducation eh doo cah see ohn upbringing The way that French parents raise their kids.enfant roi an fahnt rwa child king An excessively demanding child who is constantly the center of his parents attention and who cant cope with frustration.quilibre eh key lee bruh balance Not letting any one part of lifeincluding being a parentoverwhelm the other parts.veill e eh vay yay awakened, alert, stimulated This is one of the ideals for French children The other is for them to be sage.gourmand e goohre mahn someone who eats too quickly, too much of one thing, or too much of everything.goter gew tay the afternoon snack for kids, eaten at about four thirty P.M The goter is the only snack of the day It can also be a verb Did you already goter les gros yeux leh grohz yuh the big eyes The look of admonishment that French adults give children, signaling them to stop doing a btise.maman taxi mah mo tax ee taxi mother A woman who spends much of her free time shuttling her child to extra curricular activities This is not quilibre.nimporte quoi nemporta kwa whatever anything you like A child who does nimporte quoi acts without limits or regard for others.non noh no absolutely not.profiter proh feeh teh to enjoy the moment and take advantage of it.punir pew near to punish To be punipunishedis serious and important.rapporter ra poor tay to tell on someone to tattle French children and adults believe that its very bad to do this.sage sah je wise and calm This describes a child who is in control of himself or absorbed in an activity Instead of saying be good, French parents say be sage.ttine teh teen pacifier Its not uncommon to see these in the mouths of French three or four year olds. bringing up bb french children dont throw foodWhen my daughter is eighteen months old, my husband and I decide to take her on a little summer holiday We pick a coastal town thats a few hours by train from Paris, where weve been living Im American, hes British , and we book a hotel room with a crib Shes our only child at this point, so forgive us for thinking How hard could it be We have breakfast at the hotel But we have to eat lunch and dinner at the little seafood restaurants around the old port We quickly discover that two restaurant meals a day, with a toddler, deserve to be their own circle of hell Bean is briefly interested in food a piece of bread or anything fried But within a few minutes she starts spilling salt shakers and tearing apart sugar packets Then she demands to be sprung from her high chair so she can dash around the restaurant and bolt dangerously toward the docks.Our strategy is to finish the meal quickly We order while were being seated, then we beg the server to rush out some bread and bring us all our food, appetizers and main courses, simultaneously While my husband has a few bites of fish, I make sure that Bean doesnt get kicked by a waiter or lost at sea Then we switch We leave enormous, apologetic tips to compensate for the arc of torn napkins and calamari around our table.On the walk back to our hotel we swear off travel, joy, and ever having kids This holiday seals the fact that life as we knew it eighteen months earlier has officially vanished Im not sure why were even surprised.After a few restaurant meals, I notice that the French families all around us dont look like theyre in hell Weirdly, they look like theyre on vacation French children the same age as Bean are sitting contentedly in their high chairs, waiting for their food, or eating fish and even vegetables Theres no shrieking or whining Everyone is having one course at a time And theres no debris around their tables.Though Ive lived in France for a few years, I cant explain this In Paris, kids dont eat in restaurants much And anyway, I hadnt been watching them Before I had a child, I never paid attention to anyone elses And now I mostly just look at my own In our current misery, however, I cant help but notice that there seems to be another way But what exactly is it Are French kids just genetically calmer than ours Have they been bribed or threatened into submission Are they on the receiving end of an old fashioned seen but not heard parenting philosophy It doesnt seem like it The French children all around us dont look cowed Theyre cheerful, chatty, and curious Their parents are affectionate and attentive There just seems to be an invisible, civilizing force at their tablesand Im starting to suspect, in their livesthats absent from ours.Once I start thinking about French parenting, I realize its not just mealtime thats different I suddenly have lots of questions Why is it, for example, that in the hundreds of hours Ive clocked at French playgrounds, Ive never seen a child except my own throw a temper tantrum Why dont my French friends ever need to rush off the phone because their kids are demanding something Why havent their living rooms been taken over by teepees and toy kitchens, the way ours has And theres Why is it that so many of the American kids I meet are on mono diets of pasta or white rice, or eat only a narrow menu of kids foods, whereas most of my daughters French friends eat fish, vegetables, and practically everything else And how is it that, except for a specific time in the afternoon, French kids dont snack I hadnt thought I was supposed to admire French parenting It isnt a thing, like French fashion or French cheese No one visits Paris to soak up the local views on parental authority and guilt management Quite the contrary the American mothers I know in Paris are horrified that French mothers barely breastfeed and let their four year olds walk around with pacifiers.So how come they never point out that so many French babies start sleeping through the night at two or three months old And why dont they mention that French kids dont require constant attention from adults, and that they seem capable of hearing the word no without collapsing No one is making a fuss about all this But its increasingly clear to me that, quietly and en masse, French parents are achieving outcomes that create a whole different atmosphere for family life When American families visit our home, the parents usually spend much of the visit refereeing their kids spats, helping their toddlers do laps around the kitchen island, or getting down on the floor to build LEGO villages There are always a few rounds of crying and consoling When French friends visit, however, we grown ups have coffee and the children play happily by themselves.French parents are very concerned about their kids.1 They know about pedophiles, allergies, and choking hazards They take reasonable precautions But they arent panicked about their childrens well being This calmer outlook makes them better at both establishing boundaries and giving their kids some autonomy.Im hardly the first to point out that middle class America has a parenting problem In hundreds of books and articles this problem has been painstakingly diagnosed, critiqued, and named overparenting, hyperparenting, helicopter parenting, and, my personal favorite, the kindergarchy One writer defines the problem as simply paying attention to the upbringing of children than can possibly be good for them.2 Another, Judith Warner, calls it the culture of total motherhood In fact, she realized this was a problem after returning from France Nobody seems to like the relentless, unhappy pace of American parenting, least of all parents themselves.So why do we do it Why does this American way of parenting seem to be hardwired into our generation, even iflike meyouve left the country First, in the 1990s, there was a mass of data and public rhetoric saying that poor kids fall behind in school because they dont get enough stimulation, especially in the early years Middle class parents took this to mean that their own kids would benefit from stimulation, too.3Around the same period, the gap between rich and poor Americans began getting much wider Suddenly, it seemed that parents needed to groom their children to join the new elite Exposing kids to the right stuff early onand perhaps ahead of other children the same agestarted to seem urgent.Alongside this competitive parenting was a growing belief that kids are psychologically fragile Todays young parents are part of the most psychoanalyzed generation ever and have absorbed the idea that every choice we make could damage our kids We also came of age during the divorce boom in the 1980s, and were determined to act selflessly than we believe our own parents did.And although the rate of violent crime in the United States has plunged since its peak in the early 1990s,4 news reports create the impression that children are at greater physical risk than ever We feel that were parenting in a very dangerous world, and that we must be perpetually vigilant.The result of all this is a parenting style thats stressful and exhausting But now, in France, Ive glimpsed another way A blend of journalistic curiosity and maternal desperation kicks in By the end of our ruined beach holiday, Ive decided to figure out what French parents are doing differently It will be a work of investigative parenting Why dont French children throw food And why arent their parents shouting What is the invisible, civilizing force that the French have harnessed Can I change my wiring and apply it to my own offspring I realize Im on to something when I discover a research study5 led by an economist at Princeton, in which mothers in Columbus, Ohio, said child care was than twice as unpleasant as comparable mothers in the city of Rennes, France, did This bears out my own observations in Paris and on trips back home to the United States theres something about the way the French parent that makes it less of a grind and of a pleasure.Im convinced that the secrets of French parenting are hiding in plain sight Its just that nobody has looked for them before I start stashing a notebook in my diaper bag Every doctors visit, dinner party, playdate, and puppet show becomes a chance to observe French parents in action, and to figure out what unspoken rules theyre following.At first its hard to tell French parents seem to vacillate between being extremely strict and shockingly permissive Interrogating them isnt much help either Most parents I speak to insist that theyre not doing anything special To the contrary, theyre convinced that France is beset by a child king syndrome in which parents have lost their authority To which I respond, You dont know from child kings Please visit New York For several years, and through the birth of two children in Paris, I keep uncovering clues I discover, for instance, that theres a Dr Spock of France, whos a household name around the country, but who doesnt have a single English language book in print I read this womans books, along with many others I interview dozens of parents and experts And I eavesdrop shamelessly during school drop offs and trips to the supermarket Finally, I think Ive discovered what French parents do differently.When I say French parents Im generalizing of course Everyones different Most of the parents I meet live in Paris and its suburbs Most have university degrees and professional jobs and earn above the French average They arent the superrich or the media elites Theyre the educated middle and upper middle classes So are the American parents I compare them to.Still, when I travel around France I see that middle class Parisians basic views on how to raise kids would sound familiar to a working class mother in the French provinces Indeed, Im struck that while French parents may not know exactly what they do, they all seem to be doing or less the same things Well off lawyers, caregivers in French day care centers, public school teachers, and old ladies who chastise me in the park all spout the same basic principles So does practically every French baby book and parenting magazine I read It quickly becomes clear that having a child in France doesnt require choosing a parenting philosophy Everyone takes the basic rules for granted That fact alone makes the mood less anxious.Why France I certainly dont suffer from a pro France bias Au contraire, Im not even sure that I like living here I certainly dont want my kids growing up into sniffy Parisians But for all its problems, France is the perfect foil for the current problems in American parenting On the one hand, middle class French parents have values that look very familiar to me Parisian parents are zealous about talking to their kids, showing them nature, and reading them lots of books They take them to tennis lessons, painting classes, and interactive science museums.Yet the French have managed to be involved without becoming obsessive They assume that even good parents arent at the constant service of their children, and that theres no need to feel guilty about this For me, the evenings are for the parents, one Parisian mother tells me My daughter can be with us if she wants, but its adult time French parents want their kids to be stimulated, but not all the time While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids areby designoften just toddling around by themselves.And the French are doing a lot of parenting While its neighbors are suffering from population declines, France is having a baby boom In the European Union, only the Irish have a higher birth rate.6The French have all kinds of public services that surely help make having kids appealing and less stressful Parents dont have to pay for preschool, worry about health insurance, or save for college Many get monthly cash allotmentswired directly into their bank accountsjust for having kids.But these public services dont explain all the differences I see The French seem to have a whole different framework for raising kids When I ask French parents how they discipline their children, it takes them a few beats just to understand what I mean Ah, you mean how do we educate them they ask Discipline, I soon realize, is a narrow, seldom used category that deals with punishment Whereas educating which has nothing to do with school is something they imagine themselves to be doing all the time.For years now, headlines have been declaring the demise of the current style of American child rearing There are dozens of books offering Americans helpful theories on how to parent differently.I havent got a theory What I do have, spread out in front of me, is a fully functioning society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents Im starting with that outcome and working backward to figure out how the French got there It turns out that to be a different kind of parent, you dont just need a different parenting philosophy You need a very different view of what a child actually is.Chapter 1are you waiting for a child Its ten in the morning when the managing editor summons me to his office and tells me to get my teeth cleaned He says my dental plan will end on my last day at the newspaper That will be in five weeks, he says.More than two hundred of us are laid off that day The news briefly boosts our parent companys stock price I own some shares and consider selling themfor irony rather than profitto cash in on my own dismissal.Instead, I walk around lower Manhattan in a stupor Fittingly, its raining I stand under a ledge and call the man Im supposed to see that night.Ive just been laid off, I say.Arent you devastated he asks Do you still want to have dinner In fact, Im relieved Im finally free of a job thatafter nearly six yearsI hadnt had the guts to quit I was a reporter for the foreign desk in New York, covering elections and financial crises in Latin America Id often be dispatched on a few hours notice, then spend weeks living out of hotels For a while, my bosses were expecting great things from me They talked about future editorships They paid for me to learn Portuguese.Only suddenly they arent expecting anything And strangely, Im okay with that I really liked movies about foreign correspondents But actually being one was different Usually I was all alone, shackled to an unending story, fielding calls from editors who just wanted The men working the same beat as me managed to pick up Costa Rican and Colombian wives, who traveled around with them At least they had dinner on the table when they finally slogged home The men I went out with were less portable And anyway, I rarely stayed in a city long enough to reach the third date.Although Im relieved to be leaving the paper, Im unprepared to become socially toxic In the week or so after the layoffs, when I still come into the office, colleagues treat me like Im contagious People Ive worked with for years say nothing or avoid my desk One workmate takes me out for a farewell lunch, then wont walk back into the building with me Long after I clear out my desk, my editorwho was out of town when the ax fellinsists that I return to the office for a humiliating debriefing, in which he suggests that I apply for a lower ranking job, then rushes off to lunch.Im suddenly clear about two things I dont want to write about politics or money any And I want a boyfriend Im standing in my three foot wide kitchen, wondering what to do with the rest of my life, when Simon calls We met six months earlier at a bar in Buenos Aires, when a mutual friend brought him to a foreign correspondents night out Hes a British journalist who was in Argentina for a few days to write a story about soccer Id been sent to cover the countrys economic collapse Apparently, we were on the same flight from New York He remembered me as the lady whod held up boarding when, already on the gangway, I realized that Id left my duty free purchase in the departure lounge and insisted on going back to fetch it I did most of my shopping in airports Simon was exactly my type swarthy, stocky, and smart Though hes of average height, he later adds short to this list, since he grew up in Holland among blond giants Within a few hours of meeting him, I realized that love at first sight just means feeling immediately and extremely calm with someone Though all I said at the time was, We definitely must not sleep together.I was smitten, but wary Simon had just fled the London real estate market to buy a cheap apartment in Paris I was commuting between South America and New York A long distance relationship with someone on a third continent seemed a stretch After that meeting in Argentina, we exchanged occasional e mails But I didnt let myself take him too seriously I hoped that there were swarthy, smart men in my time zone.Fast forward seven months When Simon calls out of the blue and I tell him that Ive just been sacked, he doesnt emote or treat me like damaged goods To the contrary, he seems pleased that I suddenly have some free time He says he feels that we have unfinished business, and that hed like to come to New York.Thats a terrible idea, I say Whats the point He cant move to America because he writes about European soccer I dont speak French, and Ive never considered living in Paris Though Im suddenly quite portable myself, Im wary of being pulled into someone elses orbit before I have one of my own again.Simon arrives in New York wearing the same beat up leather jacket he wore in Argentina and carrying the bagel and smoked salmon that hed picked up at the deli near my apartment A month later I meet his parents in London Six months later I sell most of my possessions and ship the rest to France My friends all tell me that Im being rash I ignore them and walk out of my rent stabilized studio apartment in New York with three giant suitcases and a box of stray South American coins, which I give to the Pakistani driver who takes me to the airport.And poof, Im a Parisian I move into Simons two room bachelor pad in a former carpentry district in eastern Paris With my unemployment checks still arriving, I ditch financial journalism and begin researching a book Simon and I each work in one of the rooms during the day.The shine comes off our new romance almost immediately, mostly because of interior design issues I once read in a book about feng shui that having piles of stuff on the floor is a sign of depression For Simon, it just seems to signal an aversion to shelves He has cleverly invested in an enormous unfinished wooden table that fills most of the living room, and a primitive gas heating system, which ensures that theres no reliable hot water Im especially irked by his habit of letting spare change from his pockets spill onto the floor, where it somehow gathers in the corners of each room Get rid of the money, I plead.I dont find much comfort outside our apartment either Despite being in the gastronomic capital of the world, I cant figure out what to eat Like most American women, I arrive in Paris with extreme food preferences Im an Atkins leaning vegetarian Walking around, I feel besieged by all the bakeries and meat heavy restaurant menus For a while I subsist almost entirely on omelets and goat cheese salads When I ask waiters for dressing on the side, they look at me like Im nuts I dont understand why French supermarkets stock every American cereal except my personal favorite, Grape Nuts, and why cafs dont serve fat free milk.I know it sounds ungrateful not to swoon for Paris Maybe I find it shallow to fall for a city just because its so good looking The cities Ive had love affairs with in the past were all a bit, well, swarthier So Paulo, Mexico City, New York They didnt sit back and wait to be admired.Our part of Paris isnt even that beautiful And daily life is filled with small disappointments No one mentions that springtime in Paris is so celebrated because the preceding seven months are overcast and freezing I arrive, conveniently, at the beginning of this seven month stretch And while Im convinced that I remember my eighth grade French, Parisians have another name for what Im speaking to them Spanish.There are many appealing things about Paris I like it that the doors of the metro open a few seconds before the train actually stops, suggesting that the city treats its citizens like adults I also like that, within six months of my arrival, practically everyone I know in America comes to visit, including people Id later learn to categorize as Facebook friends Simon and I eventually develop a strict admissions policy and rating system for houseguests Hint If you stay a week, leave a gift Im not bothered by the famous Parisian rudeness At least thats interactive What gets me is the indifference No one but Simon seems to care that Im here And hes often off nursing his own Parisian fantasy, which is so uncomplicated it has managed to endure As far as I can tell, Simon has never visited a museum But he describes reading the newspaper in a caf as an almost transcendent experience One night at a neighborhood restaurant, he swoons when the waiter sets down a cheese plate in front of him.This is why I live in Paris he declares I realize that, by the transitive property of love and cheese, I must live in Paris for that smelly plate of cheese, too.To be fair, Im starting to think that its not Paris, its me New York likes its women a bit neurotic Theyre encouraged to create a brainy, adorable, conflicted bustle around themselves la Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally or Diane Keaton in Annie Hall Despite having nothing serious than boy troubles, many of my friends in New York were spending on therapy than on rent.That persona doesnt fly in Paris The French do like Woody Allens movies But in real life, the ideal Parisian woman is calm, discreet, a bit remote, and extremely decisive She orders from the menu She doesnt blather on about her childhood or her diet If New York is about the woman whos ruminating about her past screwups and fumbling to find herself, Paris is about the one whoat least outwardlyregrets nothing In France neurotic isnt a self deprecating half boast its a clinical condition.Even Simon, whos merely British, is perplexed by my self doubt and my frequent need to discuss our relationship.What are you thinking about I ask him periodically, usually when hes reading a newspaper.Dutch football, he invariably says.I cant tell if hes serious Ive realized that Simon is in a state of perpetual irony He says everything, including I love you, with a little smirk And yet he almost never actually laughs, even when Im attempting a joke Some close friends dont know that he has dimples Simon insists that not smiling is a British habit But Im sure Ive seen Englishmen laugh And anyway, its demoralizing that when I finally get to speak English with someone, he doesnt seem to be listening.The not laughing also points to a wider cultural gulf between us As an American, I need things to be spelled out On the train back to Paris after a weekend with Simons parents, I ask him whether they liked me.Of course they liked you, couldnt you tell he asks.But did they say they liked me I demand to know.In search of other company, I trek across town on a series of friend blind dates, with friends of friends from back home Most are expatriates, too None seem thrilled to hear from a clueless new arrival Quite a few seem to have made living in Paris a kind of job in itself, and an all purpose answer to the question What do you do Many show up late, as if to prove that theyve gone native I later learn that French people are typically on time for one on one meetings Theyre only fashionably late for group events, including childrens birthdays My initial attempts to make French friends are even less successful At a party, I hit it off reasonably well with an art historian whos about my age and who speaks excellent English But when we meet again for tea at her house, its clear that we observe vastly different female bonding rituals Im prepared to follow the American model of confession and mirroring, with lots of comforting me toos She pokes daintily at her pastry and discusses theories of art I leave hungry, and not even knowing whether she has a boyfriend.The only mirroring I get is in a book by Edmund White, the American writer who lived in France in the 1980s Hes the first person who affirms that feeling depressed and adrift is a perfectly rational response to living in Paris Imagine dying and being grateful youd gone to heaven, until one day or one century it dawned on you that your main mood was melancholy, although you were constantly convinced that happiness lay just around the next corner Thats something like living in Paris for years, even decades Its a mild hell so comfortable that it resembles heaven.Despite my doubts about Paris, Im still pretty sure about Simon Ive become resigned to the fact that swarthy inevitably comes with messy And Ive gotten better at reading his micro expressions A flicker of a smile means that hes gotten the joke The rare full smile suggests high praise He even occasionally says that was funny in a monotone.Im also encouraged by the fact that, for a curmudgeon, Simon has dozens of devoted, longtime friends Perhaps its that, behind the layers of irony, he is charmingly helpless He cant drive a car, blow up a balloon, or fold clothes without using his teeth He fills our refrigerator with unopened canned goods For expediencys sake, he cooks everything at the highest temperature College friends later tell me he was known at school for serving drumsticks that were charred on the outside and still frozen on the inside When I show him how to make salad dressing using oil and vinegar, he writes down the recipe and still pulls it out years later whenever he makes dinner.Also to Simons credit, nothing about France ever bothers him Hes in his element being a foreigner His parents are anthropologists who raised him all over the world and trained him from birth to delight in local customs Hed lived in six countries including a year in the United States by the time he was ten He acquires languages the way I acquire shoes.I decide that, for Simons sake, Ill give France a real go We get married outside Paris at a thirteenth century chteau, which is surrounded by a moat I ignore the symbolism In the name of marital harmony, we rent a larger apartment I order bookshelves from IKEA and position spare change bowls in every room I try to channel my inner pragmatist instead of my inner neurotic In restaurants, I start ordering straight from the menu and nibbling at the occasional hunk of foie gras My French starts to sound less like excellent Spanish and like very bad French Before long Im almost settled I have a home office, a book deadline, and even a few new friends.Simon and I have talked about babies We both want one Id like three, in fact And I like the idea of having them in Paris, where theyll be effortlessly bilingual and authentically international Even if they grow up to be geeks, they can mention growing up in Paris and be instantly cool.Im worried about getting pregnant Ive spent much of my adult life trying, very successfully, not to, so I have no idea whether Im any good at the reverse This turns out to be as whirlwind as our courtship One day Im Googling How to get pregnant The next, it seems, Im looking at two pink lines on a French pregnancy test.Im ecstatic But alongside my surge of joy comes a surge of anxiety My resolve to become less Carrie Bradshaw and Catherine Deneuve immediately collapses This doesnt seem like the moment to go native Im possessed by the idea that Ive got to oversee my pregnancy and do it exactly right Hours after telling Simon the good news, I go online to scour American pregnancy Web sites and rush to buy some pregnancy guides at an English language bookstore near the Louvre I want to know, in plain English, exactly what to worry about.Within days Im on prenatal vitamins and addicted to BabyCenters online Is It Safe column Is it safe to eat nonorganic produce while pregnant Is it safe to be around computers all day Is it safe to wear high heels, binge on Halloween candy, or vacation at high altitudes What makes Is It Safe so compulsive is that it creates new anxieties Is it safe to make photocopies Is it safe to swallow semen but then refuses to allay them with a simple yes or no Instead, expert respondents disagree with one another and equivocate Is it safe to get a manicure while Im pregnant Well, yes, but chronic exposure to the solvents used in salons isnt good for you Is it safe to go bowling Well, yes and no.The Americans I know also believe that pregnancyand then motherhoodcomes with homework The first assignment is choosing from among myriad parenting styles Everyone I speak to swears by different books I buy many of them But instead of making me feel prepared, having so much conflicting advice makes babies themselves seem enigmatic and unknowable Who they are, and what they need, seems to depend on which book you read.We also become experts in everything that can go wrong A pregnant New Yorker whos visiting Paris declares, over lunch, that theres a five in one thousand chance her baby will be stillborn She says she knows that saying this is gruesome and pointless, but she cant help herself Another friend, who unfortunately has a doctorate in public health, spends much of her first trimester cataloging the babys risks of contracting every possible malady.I realize this anxiety is in the British ether, too, when we visit Simons family in London Ive decided to believe that his parents adore me Im sitting in a caf when a well dressed woman interrupts me to describe a new study showing that consuming a lot of caffeine increases the risk of miscarriage To emphasize how credible she is, she says that shes married to a doctor I couldnt care less who her husband is Im just irritated by her assumption that I havent read that study Of course I have Im trying to enjoy my one cup a week.With so much studying and worrying to do, being pregnant increasingly feels like a full time job I spend less and less time working on my book, which Im supposed to hand in before the baby comes Instead, I commune with other pregnant Americans in due date cohort chat rooms Like me, these women are used to customizing their environments, even if its just to get soy milk in their coffee And like me, they find the primitive, mammalian event happening inside their bodies to be uncomfortably out of their control Worryinglike clutching the armrest during airplane turbulenceat least makes us feel like its not.The American pregnancy press, which I can easily access from Paris, seems to be lying in wait to channel this anxiety It focuses on the one thing that pregnant women can definitely control food As you raise fork to mouth, consider Is this a bite that will benefit my baby If it is, chew away , explain the authors of What to Expect When Youre Expecting, the famously worryingand bestsellingAmerican pregnancy manual.Im aware that the prohibitions in my books arent all equally important Cigarettes and alcohol are definitely bad, whereas shellfish, cold cuts, raw eggs, and unpasteurized cheese are dangerous only if theyve been contaminated with something rare like listeria or salmonella To be safe, I take every prohibition literally Its easy enough to avoid oysters and foie gras Butsince Im in FranceIm panicked about cheese Is the Parmesan on my pasta pasteurized I ask flabbergasted waiters Simon bears the brunt of my angst Did he scrub the cutting board after chopping that raw chicken Does he really love our unborn child What to Expect contains something called the Pregnancy Diet, which its creators claim can improve fetal brain development, reduce the risk of certain birth defects, and may even make it likely that your child will grow to be a healthier adult Every morsel seems to represent potential SAT points Never mind hunger if I find myself short a protein portion at the end of the day, the Pregnancy Diet says I should cram in a final serving of egg salad before bedtime.They had me at diet After years of dieting to slim down, its thrilling to be dieting to gain weight It feels like a reward for having spent years thin enough to nab a husband My online forums are filled with women whove put on forty or fifty pounds over the recommended limits Of course wed all rather resemble those compactly pregnant celebrities in designer gowns or the models on the cover of FitPregnancy A few women I know actually do But a competing American message says that we should give ourselves a free pass Go ahead and EAT, says the chummy author of The Best Friends Guide to Pregnancy, which Ive been cuddling up with in bed What other joys are there for pregnant women Tellingly, the Pregnancy Diet says that I can cheat with the occasional fast food cheeseburger or glazed donut In fact, American pregnancy can seem like one big cheat Lists of pregnancy cravings seem like a catalog of foods that women have been denying themselves since adolescence cheesecake, milkshakes, macaroni and cheese, and Carvel ice cream cake I crave lemon on everything, and entire loaves of bread.Someone tells me that Jane Birkin, the British actress and model who built a career in Paris and married the legendary French singer Serge Gainsbourg, could never remember whether it was un baguette or une baguette, so she would just order deux baguettes two baguettes I cant find the quote But whenever I go to the bakery, I follow this strategy Thensurely unlike the twiggy BirkinI eat them both.Im not just losing my figure Im also losing a sense of myself as someone who once went on dinner dates and worried about the Palestinians I now spend my free time studying late model strollers and memorizing the possible causes of colic This evolution from woman to mom feels inevitable A fashion spread in an American pregnancy magazine, which I pick up on a trip back home, shows big bellied women in floppy shirts and mens pajama bottoms, and says that these outfits are worthy of wearing all day Perhaps to get out of ever finishing my book, I fantasize about ditching journalism and training as a midwife.Actual sex is the final, symbolic domino to fall Although its technically permitted, books like What to Expect presume that sex during pregnancy is inherently fraught What got you into this situation in the first place may now have become one of your biggest problems, the authors warn They go on to describe eighteen factors that may inhibit your sex life, including fear that the introduction of the penis into the vagina will cause infection If a woman does find herself having sex, they recommend a new low in multitasking using the moment to do Kegel exercises, which tone your birth canal in preparation for childbirth.Im not sure that anyone follows all this advice Like me, they probably just absorb a certain worried tone and state of mind Even from abroad, its contagious Given how susceptible I am, its probably better that Im far from the source Maybe the distance will give me some perspective on parenting.Im already starting to suspect that raising a child will be quite different in France When I sit in cafs in Paris, with my belly pushing up against the table, no one jumps in to warn me about the hazards of caffeine To the contrary, they light cigarettes right next to me The only question strangers ask when they notice my belly is, Are you waiting for a child It takes me a while to realize that they dont think I have a lunch date with a truant six year old Its French for Are you pregnant I am waiting for a child Its probably the most important thing Ive ever done Despite my qualms about Paris, theres something nice about being pregnant in a place where Im practically immune to other peoples judgments Though Paris is one of the most cosmopolitan cities on earth, I feel like Im off the grid In French I dont understand name dropping, school histories, and other little hints that, to a French person, signal someones social rank and importance And since Im a foreigner, they dont know my status either.When I packed up and moved to Paris, I never imagined that the move would be permanent Now Im starting to worry that Simon likes being a foreigner a bit too much After living in all those countries growing up, its his natural state He confesses that he feels connected to lots of people and cities and doesnt need one place to be his official home He calls this style semidetached, like a London town house.Already, several of our Anglophone friends have left France, usually when their jobs changed But our jobs dont require us to be here The cheese plate aside, were really here for no reason And no reasonplus a babyis starting to look like the strongest reason of all.Chapter 2paris is burpingOur new apartment isnt in the Paris of postcards Its off a narrow sidewalk in a Chinese garment district, where were constantly jostled by men hauling trash bags full of clothes Theres no sign that were in the same city as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, or the elegantly winding river Seine.Yet somehow this new neighborhood works for us Simon and I each stake out our respective cafs nearby and retreat each morning for some convivial solitude Here, too, socializing follows unfamiliar rules Its okay to banter with the servers, but generally not with the other patrons unless theyre at the bar and talking to the server, too Though Im off the grid, I do need human contact One morning I try to strike up a conversation with another regulara man Ive seen every day for months I tell him, honestly, that he looks like an American I know.Who, George Clooney he asks snidely We never speak again.I make headway with our new neighbors The crowded sidewalk outside our house opens onto a cobblestone courtyard, where low slung houses and apartments face one another The residents are a mix of artists, young professionals, mysteriously underemployed people, and elderly women who hobble precariously on the uneven stones We all live so close together that they have to acknowledge our presence, though a few still manage not to.It helps that my next door neighbor, an architect named Anne, is due a few months before me Though Im caught up in my Anglophone whirlwind of eating and worrying, I cant help but notice that Anne and the other pregnant Frenchwomen I come to know handle their pregnancies very differently.For starters, they dont treat pregnancy like an independent research project There are plenty of French parenting books, magazines, and Web sites But these arent required reading, and nobody seems to consume them in bulk Certainly no one I meet is comparison shopping for a parenting philosophy or can refer to different techniques by name Theres no new, must read book, nor do the experts have quite the same hold on parents.These books can be useful to people who lack confidence, but I dont think you can raise a child while reading a book You have to go with your feeling, one Parisian mother says.The Frenchwomen I meet arent at all blas about motherhood, or about their babies well being Theyre awed, concerned, and aware of the immense life transformation that theyre about to undergo But they signal this differently American women typically demonstrate our commitment by worrying and by showing how much were willing to sacrifice, even while pregnant, whereas Frenchwomen signal their commitment by projecting calm and flaunting the fact that they havent renounced pleasure.A photo spread in Neuf Mois Nine Months magazine shows a heavily pregnant brunette in lacy ensembles, biting into pastries and licking jam off her finger During pregnancy, its important to pamper your inner woman, another article says Above all, resist the urge to borrow your partners shirts A list of aphrodisiacs for moms to be includes chocolate, ginger, cinnamon, andthis being Francemustard.I realize that ordinary Frenchwomen take these calls to arms seriously when Samia, a mother who lives in my neighborhood, offers me a tour of her apartment Shes the daughter of Algerian immigrants and grew up in Chartres Im admiring her soaring ceilings and chandeliers, when she picks up a stack of photographs from the mantel.In this one I was pregnant, and here I was pregnant Et voil, the big belly she says, handing me several pictures Its true, shes extremely pregnant in the photographs Shes also extremely topless.Im shocked, first of all because weve been using the formal vous with each other, and now shes casually handed me naked pictures of herself But Im also surprised that the pictures are so glamorous Samia looks like one of those lingerie models from the magazines, sans most of the lingerie.Granted, Samia is always a bit dramatic Most days she drops off her two year old at day care looking like she just stepped out of a film noir a beige trench coat cinched tightly at the waist, black eyeliner, and a fresh coat of shiny red lipstick Shes the only French person I know who actually wears a beret.Nevertheless, Samia has merely embraced the conventional French wisdom that the forty week metamorphosis into mother shouldnt make you any less of a woman French pregnancy magazines dont just say that pregnant women can have sex they explain exactly how to do it Neuf Mois maps out ten different sexual positions, includinghorseback rider, reverse horseback rider, the greyhound which it calls un grand classique , and the chair The oarsman has six steps, concluding with, In rocking her torso back and forth, Madame provokes delicious frictions.Neuf Mois also weighs in on the merits of various sex toys for pregnant women yes to geisha balls, no to vibrators and anything electric Dont hesitate Everyone wins, even the baby During an orgasm, he feels the Jacuzzi effect as if he were massaged in the water, the text explains A father in Paris warns my husband not to stand at the business end during the birth, to preserve my feminine mystique.French parents to be arent just calmer about sex Theyre also calmer about food Samia makes a conversation with her obstetrician sound like a vaudeville routine I said, Doctor, Im pregnant, but I adore oysters What do I do He said, Eat oysters she recalls He explained to me, You seem like a fairly reasonable person Wash things well If you eat sushi, eat it in a good place.The stereotype that Frenchwomen smoke and drink through their pregnancies is very outdated Most women I meet say that they had either the occasional glass of champagne or no alcohol at all I see a pregnant woman smoking exactly once, on the street It could have been her once a month cigarette.The point in France isnt that anything goes Its that women should be calm and sensible Unlike me, the French mothers I meet distinguish between the things that are almost definitely damaging and those that are dangerous only if theyre contaminated Another woman I meet in the neighborhood is Caroline, a physical therapist whos seven months pregnant She says her doctor never mentioned any food restrictions, and she never asked Its better not to know she says She tells me that she eats steak tartare, and of course joined the family for foie gras over Christmas She just makes sure to eat it in good restaurants or at home Her one concession is that when she eats unpasteurized cheese, she cuts off the rind.I dont actually witness any pregnant women eating oysters If I did, I might have to throw my enormous body over the table to stop them Theyd certainly be surprised Its clear why French waiters are baffled when I interrogate them about the ingredients in each dish Frenchwomen generally dont make a fuss about this.The French pregnancy press doesnt dwell on unlikely worst case scenarios Au contraire, it suggests that what mothers to be need most is serenity 9 Months of Spa is the headline in one French magazine The Guide for New Mothers, a free booklet prepared with support from the French health ministry, says its eating guidelines favor the babys harmonious growth, and that women should find inspiration from different flavors Pregnancy should be a time of great happiness it declares.Is all this safe It sure seems like it France trumps the United States on nearly every measure of maternal and infant health The infant mortality rate is 57 percent lower in France than it is in America According to UNICEF, about 6.6 percent of French babies have a low birth weight, compared with about 8 percent of American babies An American womans risk of dying during pregnancy or delivery is 1 in 4,800 in France its 1 in 6,900.1What really drives home the French message that pregnancy should be savored isnt the statistics or the pregnant women I meet, its the pregnant cat Shes a slender, gray eyed cat who lives in our courtyard and is about to deliver Her owner, a pretty painter in her forties, tells me that she plans to have the cat spayed after the kittens are born But she couldnt bear to do it before the cat had gone through a pregnancy I wanted her to have that experience, she says.Of course French mothers to be arent just calmer than we are Like the cat, theyre also skinnier Some pregnant Frenchwomen do get fat In general, body fat ratios seem to increase the farther you get from central Paris But the middle class Parisians I see all around me look alarmingly like those American celebrities on the red carpet They have basketball sized baby bumps pasted onto skinny legs, arms, and hips Viewed from the back, you usually cant tell theyre expecting.Enough pregnant women have these proportions that I stop gawking when I pass one on the sidewalk or in the supermarket This French norm is strictly codified American pregnancy calculators tell me that with my height and build I should gain up to thirty five pounds during my pregnancy But French calculators tell me to gain no than twenty six and a half pounds By the time I see this, its too late How do Frenchwomen stay within these limits Social pressure helps Friends, sisters, and mothers in law openly transmit the message that pregnancy isnt a free pass to gorge Im spared the worst of this because I dont have French in laws Audrey, a French journalist with three kids, tells me that she confronted her German sister in law, who had started out tall and svelte.The moment she got pregnant she became enormous And I saw her and I found it monstrous She told me, No, its fine, Im entitled to relax Im entitled to get fat Its no big deal, et cetera For us, the French, its horrible to say that We would never say that She adds a jab disguised as sociology I think the Americans and the Northern Europeans are a lot relaxed than us, when it comes to aesthetics.Everyone takes for granted that pregnant women should battle to keep their figures intact While my podiatrist is working on my feet, she suddenly announces that I should rub sweet almond oil on my belly to avoid stretch marks I do this dutifully, and get none Parenting magazines run long features on how to minimize the damage that pregnancy does to your breasts Dont gain too much weight, and take a daily jet of cold water to the chest French doctors treat the weight gain limits like holy edicts Anglophones in Paris are routinely shocked when their obstetricians scold them for going even slightly over Its just the French men trying to keep their women slim, a British woman married to a Frenchman huffed, recalling her prenatal appointments in Paris Pediatricians feel free to comment on a mothers postpregnancy belly when she brings her baby for a checkup Mine will just cast a worried glance The main reason that pregnant Frenchwomen dont get fat is that they are very careful not to eat too much In French pregnancy guides, there are no late night heapings of egg salad or instructions to eat way past hunger in order to nourish the fetus Women who are waiting for a child are supposed to eat the same balanced meals as any healthy adult One guide says that if a woman is still hungry, she should add an afternoon snack consisting of, for instance, a sixth of a baguette, a piece of cheese, and a glass of water.In the French view, a pregnant womans food cravings are a nuisance to be vanquished Frenchwomen dont let themselves believeas Ive heard American women claimthat the fetus wants cheese cake The Guidebook for Mothers to Be, a French pregnancy book, says that instead of caving in to cravings, women should distract their bodies by eating an apple or a raw carrot.This isnt all as austere as it sounds Frenchwomen dont see pregnancy as a free pass to overeat, in part because they havent been denying themselves the foods they loveor secretly binging on those foodsfor most of their adult lives Too often, American women eat on the sly, and the result is much guilt than pleasure, Mireille Guiliano explains in her intelligent book French Women Dont Get Fat Pretending such pleasures dont exist, or trying to eliminate them from your diet for an extended time, will probably lead to weight gain.About halfway through my pregnancy, I find out that theres a support group in Paris for English speaking parents I immediately recognize that these are my people Members of the group, called Message, can tell you where to find an English speaking therapist, buy a car with an automatic transmission, or locate a butcher wholl roast a whole turkey for Thanksgiving The birds dont fit in most French ovens Wondering how to bring cases of Kraft macaroni and cheese back from a trip to America You ditch the elbow noodles, which you can buy in France, and put the cheese packets in your suitcase.Marvelous Like Julia Child, who translated the secrets of French cuisine, Druckerman has investigated and distilled the essentials of French child rearing Druckerman provides fascinating details about French sleep training, feeding schedules and family rituals But her book s real pleasures spring from her funny, self deprecating stories Like the principles she examines, Druckerman isn t doctrinaire NPR Bringing Up Bb is a must read for parents who would like their children to eat than white pasta and chicken fingers. Fox NewsOn questions of how to live, the French never disappoint Maybe it all starts with childhood That is the conclusion that readers may draw from Bringing Up Bb. The Wall Street JournalFrench women don t have little bags of emergency Cheerios spilling all over their Louis Vuitton handbags They also, Druckerman notes, wear skinny jeans instead of sweatpants.The world arguably needs kids who don t throw food. Chicago TribuneIve been a parent now for than eight years, andconfessionIve never actually made it all the way through a parenting book But I found Bringing Up Bb to be irresistible. Slate US Code Bringing in and harboring certain knowing or reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, remains United States violation law, conceals, harbors, shields from detection, attempts to conceal, harbor, shield such any place, including building means transportation Bringing it up tips for Mental Health Fitness Recent Posts Warning Signs Eating Disorders Proven Treatments Help Are You at Risk Dead Butt Syndrome True Blood Actor s Death Spotlights Danger Alcohol Withdrawal State Alabama Openabama Transparency accountability state government Mouse over icons above descriptions Corporate News BN INC View recent archived press releases, key media contacts sign e news Barnes Noble, Inc Program bringing high schoolers Israel blames demise on Program apathy, Birthright Umbrella group Lapid Israel, which failed garner enough donations support, says longer trips younger ages are Accessibility Kindle Devices Blind Visually Impaired visually impaired customers can 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chain We enable our participate wide range Reading Leeds Festival Reading one do want go Vietnam War Through Pictures NOT CENSORED A South Vietnamese Marine, severely wounded Viet Cong ambush, comforted by comrade sugar cane field Duc Hoa, miles Saigon, Aug Watch Baby Prime Video IMDb min NR Subtitles Closed Captions Legendary Academy Award winner Cary Grant Katharine Hepburn star this screwball comedy classic madcap heiress upsets staid existence rigid zoology professor IMDb videoI saw first time just under month ago, since rewatched five times Not only does stand repeated viewings, seems almost require them there no way absorb everything Wikipedia American film directed Hawks, starring Grant, released RKO Radio tells story paleontologist number predicaments involving scatterbrained Bb One Mother Discovers Wisdom Bebe been popping my various radar screens weeks, ve wit end newly minted three year old lately, so especially love read Americans perceive French life suppose example me living vicariously through book choices Bates Season Episode YouTube Jan Full HD Episodes Bring Definition Bring Merriam Webster b computers cause something, as file picture appear computer make displays into wallpaper right clicking arrow art box Set choice definition Dictionary Define synonyms, translation, dictionary trv brought brings To carry, convey, lead, along another place money Bobby Video Title Want share rating your own site Use HTML below Bates Family Blog Updates Gil Allie Webster turns four years April, ramp homeschooling Today day K For those unfamiliar, rear last behind Other Words Synonyms More Example Sentences Learn Keep scrolling bringer noun stylized Brning reality television show TVIt centered around Kelly Jo children got married December when he she MSN Outlook, Office, Skype, Bing, Breaking News, Join Rewards earn points explore search MSN Sign Facebook Check feed See notifications messages Confirm friend requests Like msn Couple describes Closs ended house CNN Man arrested after dog walking dispute leads death Daily Mail Live Is Josie Engaged UPtv Videos Preview Next New Wedding Dress Un Veiling Fore Score Mind Your Golf Manners BOOKS Pamela Druckerman Visit post PAMELA DRUCKERMAN BOOKS THERE ARE GROWN UPS BRINGING UP BB DAY BY Pamela Druckerman writer journalist Paris, FranceIn fall became contributing opinion York Times International Edition Times Nov Ms Druckerman, pamela druckerman pameladruck Twitter Tweets pamela Descendent refugees write books pieces, mostly while eating paris, france So now re middle aged walk scared say Photograph Dmitry Kostyukov Despite writing candidly having threesome husband, giving birth being treated Home Facebook France likes author There No Grown Ups Midlife Coming Age Story NPR NPR coverage interviews, critics picks HuffPost Bebe, investigates difference between raising child vs According these Top differences former staff reporter Wall Street Journal, where covered foreign affairsShe also written Times, Washington Post, Claire, appeared Show Morning EditionHer previous Lust Translation, translated eight languagesShe master degree international affairs Columbia Threesome Planning Menage Trois Claire When husband asked his th birthday, reluctantly agreed, condition pick other woman Author Bb Penguin Press UK version same Children Throw Food Doubleday Books Goodreads ratings most Random House Parenting, twenty Results Book Depository Discover Depository huge selection online delivery worldwide French Women Get Fat Lucky Feb FRENCHWOMEN D UN CERTAIN AGE Lucky Druckerman empik Ksi ka W Pary u dzieci nie grymasz autorstwa dost pna w Sklepie EMPIK cenie Przeczytaj recenzj Zamw dostaw dowolnego salonu i zap przy odbiorze Spoiled Rotten Yorker With exception imperial offspring Ming dynasty dauphins pre Revolutionary France, contemporary kids may represent indulged young people News Jennifer L Scott upcoming events ELLE Magazine tries out Ten item Wardrobe concept guest Nippon TV Most Useful School World featured BBC article called, Meet People Almost Nothing Their Closets Celebrate article, Everyday Elegance Madame Chic Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (now with Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting)

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