Pascaline: Born in Greece, I grew up in a bilingual French / Greek environment. I lived between Greece, Africa and France. My husband, I, French of Lebanese & Syrian origin is also multilingual: French/English/Arabic, and has lived in France, Africa and Canada. We are both what some people call “Third culture kids,” our parents being expats for most of our childhood. In 2008 when we decided to move to China we became expats ourselves.
In January 2011, I gave birth to a baby girl, N.
(I received the following in an email from Pascaline, a few days after she agreed to guest post on my blog. She agreed to let me publish it as her first contribution.)
I Won’t Be Able To Write For Your Blog
Yesterday, after we talked about your blog, I was thinking about the stories I could share: my decision to give birth in china, the differences between Chinese and Western paediatricians, and the choice of languages to speak with our 8 month old baby. French? Greek? English? Should we speak Chinese too?
Anyway, as soon as the baby went to sleep, I jumped on my computer to put down my thoughts. You know how it is, when you have tones of stuff on your mind, you just want to put them down randomly so as not to forget anything. And then later you try to put them in order.
Well, there I was, writing in any language. The words were coming up in French, English and even Greek because especially for feelings Greek comes naturally (maybe I should investigate that). Anyway, I had maybe a minute or two of focusing on my computer and then it started…
I: What are we having for dinner?
Me: It’s in the oven; go ahead, I’ll eat when I’m done with this.
A few minutes later (…)
I: Where is my charger?
Me: Don’t know.
I: Why is the baby’s bottle on the table?
Me: I’m going to put it away later. Please, I’m doing something. I need to focus. Don’t ask me stuff.
I: What are you writiiiiiiiing?
I: How much time do you need? I want to watch 2 and ½ men in bed.
Me: Please. The baby is sleeping. It’s MY time. Give me some space.
I: Ah, OK. But WHY am I the one to be punished?
(I didn’t answer)
A few seconds later…
I reading something on his Ipad: Oh, you’ve got to hear this…
Me, now pissed: NO, I don’t want to hear anything. I’m trying to do something here and you are interrupting me all the time.
My husband says something mean…
Staring at my screen, I realised that with all these interruptions, I had forgotten everything I wanted to write. I managed to write only a few words. I closed my computer. Sighed. Frustrated, I told my husband: “Ok, let’s go watch the stupid series.”
He jumped off the couch, smiling.
So, I just wanted to tell you that I would be very happy to write for your blog, but please be patient with me. When the baby sleeps, I have another kid to take care of!