Saturday, February 25, 2012

French vs. American

I can't help but react to the article that pops up about everywhere in the Internet world. A big controversy that raised an eyebrow of countless American mothers, even though it was written by one. Pamela Druckerman has been living in Paris for many years with her husband and 3 children. While raising her daughter there, she started to realize that French kids behave a bit differently, that they have better manners than her own child, they don't throw tantrums in public places, sit quietly through dinner in a restaurant and play independently without even bothering their own mothers. She currently published her book "Bringing up bebe", where she describes all the fun stuff American moms are apparently missing.
As a European living in US, I think I have some fair share to express my opinion. I wouldn't necessary call it the French thing. There is no secret that kids in Europe are much calmer, more relaxed. Most of the things she says are in fact true. But, with every praise, there is also a downside.
I think the biggest problem of moms in US is that they focus their energy on reading too much material about how to raise their child. I did it too and stopped right after I moved over the pond. And boy, let me tell you, it made my life much easier. Media persistently put pressure on how to educate your child and make him smarter, but forget to add tips about how to let him be a kid.
Another problem is the constant supervision. Always making sure he or she is doing it the right way. After watching an intriguing document about babies from all over the world, I could just see how kids from different continents play and discover the difficulties on their own whilst still being watched by mothers, minus their nervousness.
And last thing is food. Unfortunately, we are not that lucky as French people and finding a real baguette might be a mission impossible, but the truth is, you can always try to do better. I cannot figure out the snack system though, my child would declare hunger strike without having them. But I keep trying every day and hopefully, one day there's going to be only an orange at 4pm.
Now, let's go back to Europe. Don't kid yourself, they are plenty of bratty kids over there as well, yet they do seem to have more peacefulness and most importantly, they act adequate to their ages. But I would also like to point out one thing European kids are missing. And that is a confidence. And I am not talking about the overconfidence effect most kids in US could give away, I am talking about the self-esteem parents in Europe don't support as much as it is needed. That leads to another problem, which is thinking outside the box. Children are not taught to go in different directions. American kids have a huge advantage since they've been learning this skill since their tiny age. That said, it really doesn't matter if your are French or not, being a good parent is about listening your own intuition, chill and have fun. Don't let your child being the boss but show him the right path he should follow. We are all in this together, so cheers to a universal child!

Picture above found here

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I am obsessed with..

Morrocan style. I swear, If I could, I would decorate my whole house in this design. Maybe it might have something to do with my ongoing love affair with Middle East (on that later) or it might be the mystical feel that draws me back to the fairy tale land. Either that, the aesthetics of carved arch doorways, leather poufs and metal lanterns capture the imagination of a place, once remembered as holly, like a magical garden of secrets.
In Morroco, traditional house is called Riad, which in arabic means "garden". Riad is built on a base of a courtyard that usually includes few trees and a fountain. It also has an opened corridor which cools the house down when the weather is hot. They usually served as a residential places for wealthy families and you can find many of them today being turned into small hotels.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Alyssa Monks

This extremely talented artist from New Jersey, 35 year old Alyssa Monks, is known for her remarkable photorealistic paintings. The detail of them is indistinguishable from photographs, which makes her work rare and unique. Her chase after realism became her obsession and turned her passion into creatively stunning work that let you think and wonder.

“I am exploring the possibility and potential where representational painting and abstraction meet - if both can coexist in the same moment."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Valentine's day knock knock knock

February is here and for those, who actually celebrate this heart-shaped holiday, I have something little extra, in case some help is needed. My husband and I don't actually keep the tradition of Valentine's day anymore, but I still remember the first one we celebrated together. It was very amore.

For husbands:
you can start his day with making those,
then leave little trails so he won't forget he's the one,
take him to see his favorite movie you were trying to avoid last 6 months,
check your local Groupon for Valentine specials,
give him some relaxing time,
or finish the day with two glasses of his favorite wine.

For wives:
who says jewelry can hurt someone?
something something sexy
making the effort with home made card always counts,
send her some love,
and don't forget the chocolate.

And for the little ones:
something they'll always appreciate!

Did you know, that the Chinese Valentine's day is on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar?

The picture above is from here

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I write no americano


It's pretty difficult for a foreigner to express himself in a different language. I've been dealing with it for a long time. I can speak, I can have a clever conversation (when I am lucky), but when it comes to writing, I am lost. Well, that being said, please excuse any of my typos, grammar mistakes and blurts (no wait, that is just me).
But what surprised me the most is that I am actually forgetting how to express myself in my own native language. Something only immigrants can relate to. So for all of you out there, living in a different country, do you experience something similar? And how do you deal with that?

(oil painting "Vacation Promenade" by Brent Jensen)