s'amuser comme un fou folle
Madame Chilla (my high school French teacher) would piquer une crise (freak out) at my incorrect conjugation and messy French vocabulary here but I think the italicized phrase loosely translates into
HAVING THE TIME OF ONE'S LIFE!
That's just exactly what Chloe did this weekend and her imaginative spirit and fun personality made Friday's Daddy/Daughter Dance into a lifetime memory for the whole family.
Chloe decided a few weeks ago that she wanted to be a "little French girl" for the dance so we went on a hunt to find the perfect ensemble. Fate was on my side when she spotted this darling navy and white striped boat neck top at Kohl's. Lucky for me, there were little culottes to match. The only things we still needed were accessories and the one thing Chloe wanted more than anything was a little red French beret. She even pulled out one of her Strawberry Shortcake books to show me the exact kind of hat she wanted
(I knew what she was talking about but I guess showing me the visual made her feel better).
The most important part to her:
that the beret have the little sticky-up thing in the middle mom!
We hit the mall Thursday afternoon and after going to every store imaginable, we came up empty-handed. No red beret in sight. We settled for a cute little Madeline-esque hat from The Children's Place and Chloe tried her best to get visions of the beret out of her head. With sponge rollers in her hair before bed and staring at the Eiffel Tower charm necklace we found at Claire's she seemed okay with no beret.
Friday morning, I headed out for some grocery shopping for the ensuing French dinner and decided to drop into a local party store to see if I could find a French flag or a little Eiffel Tower to adorn the cafe table with. The kind-hearted store clerk took me to the little spot of French themed goodies, handed me a flag and as I turned to walk away she said, "oh and we have little berets down there too." I looked down at the bottom of the shelf and in a little box not easily visible, sure enough sat 3 little red berets. I was so excited I could barely stand it. I hadn't even thought of asking for a hat in a decoration store. So glad the lady mentioned them to me or I would have walked out with one French flag in hand and rien d'autre (nothing else).
You should have seen (and heard) Chloe when she walked into the house after school on Friday. I'd hung the beret from the banister right by the front door. Brad spotted the hat first and he was so excited for his sister he said, "Chloe look what Mom found!" Then the screaming and jumping began and a smile never left her face for the rest of the evening. Well....except for when we posed for a few silly pictures involving the French serveur ^ continually trying to sneak kisses from the unsuspecting rosière.
Sean and Brad were so great at making the night really special. I just asked them if they'd help serve dinner and they totally went all out on their own getting dressed up and making themselves into some pretty impressive les garçons. Sean helped me burn a cd from some French ditties I downloaded from iTunes. Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier serenaded Rob and Chloe during dinner and made our little cafe feel like it was located on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
The boys hammed it up by using accents and speaking as many French phrases as we could muster up. Being the linguist that he is, Rob congratulated the boys on their proper pronunciation and laughed when they'd purposely stub their toe and yelp out Zut Alors!
I tried to keep the menu of French delights to ones that I knew Chloe would enjoy. Since I was certain she wouldn't go for duck liver paté or most any of the French cheeses, I went for the simple fares you can get at nearly any cafe in Paris. The crème brûlée was her favorite. It was my first time making it and I have to say...almost as good
as the version I had in Paris 8 years ago...almost!
Look at Brad flaring his nostrils ^ and raising his eyebrow while stealing a kiss from the restaurant patron. The whole night was such a great time as a family. Chloe and Rob enjoyed their special time together. The boys were a riot. The music made me nostalgic. The food was yummy. And most of all, I am so grateful to have a husband who understands the importance of being around and making the absolute most of important things like the daddy/daughter dance. I love my little family and I loved spending a night en Paris en Ohio with them this weekend.
All reports from the actual dance were that it was a red beret-tipping, heel-tapping good time. The boys and I grabbed the latest Indy movie from Redbox and settled into comfy blankets for a movie night with the treats of their choice (Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips for Brad and Cheddar Sour Cream for Sean) Weirdos! I would have chosen chocolate
but les garçons were in charge ;)