"Il était un petit navire. . . il était un petit navire. . . qui n'avait ja- ja- jamais navigué, qui n'avait ja- ja- jamais navigué, o-hé, o-hé !"
I don't think I actually sang out loud, but I'm not certain I didn't hum the song stuck in an endless loop in my head this morning at the office.
You see, recently le Petit has been absorbed by his book of comptines, or French children's songs, that my husband bought for him when he was less than a month old. Although he likes to flip through the pages and study the pictures by himself, he's happiest when someone sings to him from it. He loves to bring the book over and clamber onto our laps for a private music lesson.
Alas, I'm at a significant disadvantage, since other than Frère Jacques, none of the songs were familiar to me before I had a French child. Now I've more or less memorized Petit Navire (a song about a boat), Promenons-nous dans le bois (a song about a forest and a wolf), Malbrough (about an Englishman who met an unfortunate end in battle in France), and le bon roi Dagobert (about a king with his pants on backwards) to cite just a few of my favorites.
I sing poorly, I get the tune wrong, and my verb conjugation is all over the map. My husband often has to step in and correct me. Le Petit, on the other hand, is an appreciative and patient audience. His attention span is impressive and he seems to be learning a lot. He even chimes in with "Ding Dang Dong!" when he sees the page with Frère Jacques and his brother monks.
Yet I feel like a bit of a fraud. I'm happy to say that help is on the way. My father is on a quest for an American songbook.
In the meantime, if someone can explain to me how exactly a green mouse is supposed to turn into a nice and warm escargot when dropped in oil and water, I would be grateful.
Just for my culture générale, you know.