Sunday, 21 June 2015

Answer Me This: The Father's Day Edition

1. What's the best thing about your Dad?

Many things. Of course. 

Dancing with 4-year old me.
The fact that he started the whole "I need two pieces [of chewing gum or candy], because one would be all lonely in my mouth" is pretty great (and useful, people put you down as "disarmingly charming" instead of "shamelessly greedy").

But I suppose the best thing about him is how incredibly principled he is and remains, despite all the difficulties he encountered, especially in his professional life. The way he is still fighting for the Public Hospital in France, giving up his time, sanity and rest for it is quite remarkable. He is a good man. In the best sense of the term.

See?! Doing everybody else's job! (he's an anaesthetist, not a surgeon)

Also, he loves toddlers. Genuinely. Loves them. Has lots of time for them.

Best Grandad (Papounet) ever.

2. What's the best thing about your kids' Dad?

He is the most attentive Dad I know. 

My favourite thing in the whole universe is when we hear the key turn in the lock, and I say: "Jude! Look! Who is it?" And Patapon just lights up, squeals and wiggles until his Daddy takes him and throws him about (at which point I have to close my eyes). It's the sweetest thing.

3. What's the best advice your Dad ever gave you?

I struggled with bullying when I was little, and I remember a letter my Dad sent me when I was at Scouts Camp (I was 11 at the time). I still have his letter, so I am just going to translate the bit I mean (and try not to cry too much, blasted pregnancy hormones!)

" I hope you are not withdrawing into your books too much and do participate in the life of your patrol. (...) Don't hesitate to try and perform as many acts of service as you can, and help others; good deeds are always what makes us happiest. Know that if someone is making you suffer, it's always because they are even unhappier than you. If you can understand this, you will see that things are a lot simpler than they seem. (...)

Your Papa who loves you."

4. What's something you have in common with your Dad?

Without hesitation: history! I got the bug from him. He had all the great encyclopedias, all the great biographies, and all the beautiful books (he is a bibliophile, they are BEAUTIFUL books). 
He started me with good historical fiction he loved as a kid, and then we would talk about the time period, and then I would read up about it all.

We still lose everybody at dinner-time in the summer, debating the morals of Talleyrand, the francophobia of Bismark or the relevance of Gambetta. 

He was the saddest when I said I was stopping my PhD (sorry Papa!).

5. What's the manliest thing you can do?

I had to ask Simon. And he reminded me that I love putting furniture together. I do. Especially Ikea Billys I can use for yet more books. I can build you one in record time these days.

6. Who is your favourite fictional Dad?

Dr Gibson in Wives and Daughters is pretty great, attentive and loving. The BBC adaptation shows it really well, too. Also Arthur Weasley. Obviously.

It's really hard though! So much of literature seem to require a terrible-dad plot device! (looking at you Jane Austen.)

See Kendra for more AMT fun.


  1. Hahaha, I love that two pieces of gum/candy thing! That's just great! Wow, the photo of your husband throwing your little one into the air is a fantastic shot! Ooooh, if you love Billy bookcases that much (and for all those great books), then I bet we'd get along just swell! (We've got more of those bookcases than I can count, in our house)

    1. Hahah, indeed! And you've got to picture all his 6 ft 2 of seriousness, shamelessly demanding more!
      Thanks a lot (it was a lucky shot, I am an extremely mediocre photographer).
      Maybe we should start a Billy-appreciation society of some kind?! ;-) I need some new ones, ran out of space (again!).

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  3. Super ce billet rempli d'émotion et quel super Papa ce Nicolas. J'ai dû me retenir pour ne pas verser ma petite larme au point n°3, j'en prends bonne note pour ma fille Marion qui va rentrer aux scouts en septembre :)

    1. Merci! Je suis bien d'accord, c'est un super papa!
      ooh, commencer les louvettes!!!!! (ou jeannettes?) Je suis sure qu'elle va adorer!

    2. Alors...comment dire... Louvettes... ca fait 11 ans quand meme! Ceci dit Marion aurait pu etre Farfadette avant d'etre Jeannette :)

    3. De mon temps, on commencait les Louvettes a huit ans (ou sept ans dans mon cas)... Apres, peut-etre que les sudistes font les choses a leur sauce... ;-)

    4. Je n'ai pas dit que ca commencait a 11 ans (a cet age la ce sont les Scouts/Guides), j'ai dit que ca fait 11 ans que les louvettes n'existent plus :p. En 2004 les Scouts de France et les Guides de France ce sont reunis en un mouvement unique mixte, Scouts et Guides de France
      Les Louveteaux/Jeannettes commencent effectivement a 8ans et maintenant on a aussi les farfadets/farfadettes a 6-7ans avec les parents.
      Et non les sudistes bien qu'inventeurs du mouvement Scout en France ne font rien a leur sauce c'est un mouvement national :)

  4. You know what, knowing my favorite Godfather, his being sad about you dropping out PhD as little to do with your shared love for History...

  5. I picked Arthur Weasley, too!!