Archive for the ‘France’ Category
I was skimming through Facebook earlier today when a discussion on Christmas cards caught my attention, and it got me thinking, in this day and age is there still a place for Christmas cards? How many people actually still send physical paper Christmas cards?
So the gist of the discussion was this: on the one hand, a lovely lady I know was saying she loves writing personal messages, in fountain pen, on the Christmas cards she sends out; on the other hand another lady said she preferred e-cards as they saved time, the environment and could be really nice too. A third person said she’d given up on Christmas cards and so donated the money she used to spend on them to a charity.
What is your take on this? Is it bah humbug to abandon traditional Christmas cards? Is an e-card an acceptable substitute? Do you give money to charity instead of spending it on cards?
I have to say that I gave up on Christmas cards a loooonnnngg time ago, way before e-cards came on the scene. As some of you know, I moved to France in 1998 when I was 22, well the first year I religiously (no pun intended!) brought a whole load of Christmas cards back from the UK, which I then wrote and posted back to the UK. My French boyfriend at the time thought I was absolutely crazy; I had just graduated, so was still in a student frame of mind, and had never really got into a Christmas card sending mentality, so I just thought it was easier to abandon it, and I’ve never looked back since. I just don’t get the whole Christmas card hype, but that’s maybe 12 years of living in France that’s done that for me.
For my French readers who may be wondering what the big deal is – writing Christmas cards is major in the UK, there is even an expression “to cross someone off your Christmas card list” if someone has upset you and you no longer consider them to be a friend! For my readers in the UK who are wondering what the French do – some people send cards to wish friends, family and corporate contacts “Bonne Année” (happy new year), but in general, and certainly for my generation, the French don’t really have any equivalent of sending Christmas cards these days (Hubs’ parents’ and grandparents’ generations used to send happy new year cards).
So where do I stand on this argument?
Charity – seeing as I don’t send Christmas cards, if you prefer to spend your money on a charity instead of a card and a stamp for me, by all means, go for it!
e-cards – I have only seen one Christmas e-card that I liked which was photos of my sister, brother-in-law and nephew on elves heads (or something festive like that), bopping around a Christmas-decorated house to music, which made me laugh. Most other e-cards I’ve seen have been nothing special.
Traditional Christmas cards – I love getting a Christmas card with a personal message or even a sum-up letter of the year, however I don’t “get” people sending Christmas cards out that say “To XYZ, Merry Christmas, Love XYZ” and nothing more, especially when they are from people I haven’t heard from since Christmas the previous year. I just wonder what the point is….maybe I’m missing something? So if you enjoy sending Christmas cards, go for it! But if you’re fulfilling a chore and are just changing who is in the “to” box each time, is it worth it?
On a final note – if you don’t get a Christmas card, an e-card or a message about a charitable contribution from me, don’t take it personally, as nobody gets this from me. However you may well get an email round-up of what’s happening with our family, as Christmas seems to be a good time to sum up the past year and share our news.
Whatever you choose to do, enjoy it and Merry Christmas one and all!
For those of you who don’t know, the girls and I were recently filmed for a Channel 4 programme called Health Freaks as I was talking about using amber beads to ease the pain of teething for my daughters. If you missed it you can watch the episode here: http://healthfreaks.channel4.com/
Since this aired last night my social media feeds have been going crazy with a mix of reactions; mostly positive with own personal experiences of amber working, but a few sceptical, negative and generally ignorant. So I thought I would take to my little corner of the internet here and set some things straight.
Does amber work to ease the pain of teething in babies?
Unfortunately I can’t give a yes/no answer to this question, but I can give you my experience.
L was the most chilled baby in the world, never gave us a sleepless night, literally from the get-go. Then at 6 months she started teething and our chilled world came crashing to the ground, suddenly sleepless nights became standard, and nothing was helping. We were in France and she would be fully dosed up on Doliprane (the Calpol equivalent), Advil (the Nurofen equivalent), Camilia (teething homeopathic medicine), we gave her teething rings to gnaw on, chopped up vegetables kept cold in the fridge, but nothing worked. She was a screaming baby about 20 hours out of 24.
I kept being asked whyI wouldn’t put an amber necklace on her, as if I was some kind of wicked mother, out to torture my baby by depriving her of this pain relief. I kept refusing to get one as I justified to myself that I would rather have a teething baby than a strangled baby. Then one day I was told that the amber necklace doesn’t need to be worn around the neck, it can put on a wrist or an ankle, as long as it is against the skin.
So I got one for L and we put it on her wrist. I was totally sceptical, but I was at my wits’ end and was prepared to try almost anything (within reason!). Hubs didn’t believe it for a second but it wasn’t very expensive and we couldn’t see any danger, so we went for it.
Within a week the screaming baby had been replaced by our chilled out baby again. And no, as someone on Twitter stated, it was not because she had finished teething, she wasn’t even 8 months old when we got the amber necklace for her. She then went on to teeth, getting 2-4 teeth at a time, with no discomfort at all. In fact she got 4 molars at once which we barely noticed. Even Hubs who called it witchcraft and wizardry had to admit something was working.
C started drooling and munching on her fist at around 4 months old, and as I couldn’t handle sleepless nights after having yet another chilled baby (I know how lucky I am!), I put an amber necklace on her at around 5 months old. She now has 8 teeth, and they have all come through with us barely noticing their appearance. C wears her amber necklace under a sock and this summer when it was glorious it was too hot for her to wear socks, so I took them, and the amber necklace off and forgot about it, then a couple of weeks later she was really grizzly, and I couldn’t seem to pull her out of it. I noticed she was displaying quite a few signs of teething so thought I’d put the amber necklace back on and see what happened. A day later the grizzles went and a week later two more teeth popped out.
Interestingly when we were filmed for Health Freaks she was teething, and a couple of days later she got two more teeth, so you can see how she is when she’s in full teething mode!
So whilst this is far from any kind of scientific proof, something about it works for me and numerous friends too. I’d say that about 80% of my friends/acquaintances in France use(d) amber necklaces for teething and found they helped. Up to you to draw your own opinion.
Is it safe?
Now, this is the big question. I can’t guarantee its safety for you, but I can tell you what risk assessment I did before using it:
- I would NEVER use it as a necklace and I don’t condone this. The strangulation risk is too high and babies are more likely to fiddle with it here.
- I put C’s necklace on her ankle (wrapped round twice) and worn under a sock, this way she is not really aware of it and leaves it alone.
- Only get amber necklaces/bracelets/anklets where each bead is knotted on individually. This means that should it break only one bead will come off, so any risk is minimised.
- What happens if a bead comes off? Well, considering the size of the beads I’m not too worried – judging by the contents of C’s nappies she swallows blueberries and sweetcorn that are far larger than the amber beads. I am also a paediatric first aider and C’s primary carer, so I know what to do in a choking situation should the worst happen.
Is the amber itself safe?
This is a tough one. If the amber is rubbing against the skin and sending something into the baby’s skin/blood, how safe is that? My answer is – I don’t know. But equally I don’t know how harmful a lot of the things I give my children are; how harmful is giving them Calpol, Nurofen, vaccinations, certain readymade baby foods? L wore hers for nearly 2 years, she is nearly 7 now and I can’t say I’ve noticed any side effects. Again I decided that the risk was minimal and I was happy to use this on my daughters.
I can’t tell you what to do, and I certainly wouldn’t want to either. But it works for me. I’ve weighed up the pros and cons and I think the risks are worth taking, I can’t (and wouldn’t want to) wrap my kids up in cotton wool.
Over to you now – do your own research, decide what’s best for you and go for it. Your life, your babies, you decide.
A while back I talked about being filmed for a Channel 4 documentary on home remedies where I would be talking about my experiences with amber beads for teething. Well the time has come for that programme to air! The first snippet is now online and can be viewed here.
The show starts on Monday 21st October and I’m in the first episode with L and C. It’s on Channel 4 at 8.30pm and is called Health Freaks. So if you want to see what I have to say about amber necklaces and teething, or you want to see what I sound like/what the three of us really look like (outside of just photos on this blog) then tune in.
Disclaimer: If I look like an idiot then it’s all down to poor editing
This post may affect those with a sensitive disposition as it is about bums, and putting things up them. And no, not in a kinky way. People often ask me about the differences between France and the UK, and whilst the countries are not the same there’s not necessarily a lot that makes separates them. However, when it comes to medicine, and more precisely, suppositories, then they’re a world away.
I first lived in France from October 1996 to February 1997, I was at Nice university as part of my degree in French and Spanish, and towards the second part of my stay I had my first French boyfriend. I noticed huge differences along with lots of little ones, in comparison to my English boyfriends (why do so many French men insist on wearing jumpers over their shoulders?!?). But the biggest shocker was when I was in his apartment one day, and I saw on the table, bold as brass, a packet of suppositories. I was 20, and I was shocked! Was he some kind of sexual deviant?
Fast forward 10 years to 2006 when I had moved to France, married a (different) Frenchman, become mum to a half French half English baby girl, and this Brit no longer batted an eyelid at putting things in bums! When L was born we were taught by the French hospital to take her temperature daily (!) after the bath, using a rectal thermometer. Calpol doesn’t exist in France, instead they give paracetamol under the name “Doliprane” which comes either as a syrup, given via a syringe based on weight rather than age, or as suppositories.
And, I have a confession to make. I LOVE suppositories (for babies). They’re not messy syrups. They are lightweight and take no space, so are easy to carry around in a changing bag, or to take on nights or weekends away. They’re easy to administer during a nappy change. They’re incredibly quick to take effect. Better still, if your child has a high temperature, yet is throwing up, you pop in a suppository, the temperature comes down and there’s no issue of them vomiting it back. How on earth can you do this in the UK where you can’t get suppositories for babies?
I once mentioned at work in the UK that I gave my daughter suppositories when she was ill, and my colleagues (who are parents) were aghast. I’ve only needed to give C paracetamol in the UK a handful of times, but each time it’s been a suppository, so when I had to give Calpol to the baby I childmind the other day it was a real eye-opener.
Seriously, Calpol? I’m supposed to attempt to pour your syrupy medicine onto a spoon, and get a poorly baby, with a high temperature, to swallow it? What a bloody nightmare! So this is my Friday’s rant for the week. Why do Brits have such an issue with suppositories? They are valid medicine, why are they so hard to get in the UK? I even use them myself sometimes – there’s a fantastic sore throat cure that comes in suppository form in France that works ridiculously quickly. Why wouldn’t you, if it’s going to make you better, faster?
Oh well, until things change in the UK I’ll be stocking up in French pharmacies for the foreseeable.
I am linking up with Mummy Barrow’s Ranty Friday for this post. Click on the badge below to see what others are ranting about today, or join in with your own rant.
I’ve heard lots of mums talking about sterilising in various online places recently which has prompted this blog post. I had my eldest daughter, L, when we were living in France and when I talked about sterilising there I was met with two schools of thought:
School of thought 1
You must sterilise to protect your baby from the nasties that are everywhere, especially on baby bottles.
School of thought 2
Sterilising means that babies don’t develop their own immunity against the nasties that are everywhere, therefore you shouldn’t sterilise.
Now I would love to say that I sat down and weighed up the pros and cons of the two arguments, researched them, analysed them and so forth before making my decision. But that would be a big, fat lie. I’m all about making my life easier wherever possible (although I can’t be that lazy, as I use cloth nappies which I wash myself), so it was pretty much a foregone conclusion. If the medical professionals couldn’t decide which was best then I was going for the easy option. No sterilising.
That’s right. I did not sterilise one single thing of L’s, and C has just turned 10 months and has had nothing sterilised either. However, most baby bottles get washed in the dishwasher at around 50 or 60° so my thinking is that should kill a whole host of nasties.
I don’t preach this to others, I just state what I did (or rather didn’t do), as each to his/her own and all that.
What result did this not sterilising have in my children?
L had breast milk exclusively for 6 months, but from 3 months onwards half her feeds came in a bottle as she was at a childminder’s, from 6-12 months she was on about 50-50 breast milk/formula.
C had 80% breast milk/20% formula for her first 6 months. Then for the last 4 months she’s been more or less 70% breast milk/30% formula.
Both children have grown up around a dog and at least one cat, and a house that is not overly sterilised.
L had one minor cold when she was 9 months old (we were living in the south of France though!) and was ill for the first time, with a 24 hour gastric bug, when she was nearly a year old. In general now (aged nearly 7) she seems to be a lot less ill than a lot of her friends.
C has had a couple of minor colds and a minor viral rash just recently, but other than that is mostly well. I’ve had to give her Calpol a couple of times in the last 10 months, but I’d say on the whole she’s a pretty healthy baby.
L was exposed to other children from aged 3 months (including school age children), C was exposed to other children from the age of 2 days when she came on the school run with me (and L’s friends do love to smother her in kisses and strokes with their oh so clean hands!).
Is the lack of sterilisation linked to their general health? Or is that down to breastfeeding? Or some other unknown factor?
Do/did you sterilise your baby’s bottles? Their toys? Do you think I’m an unfit mother because I don’t/didn’t? I’d also be interested to know whether any French mums reading this sterilised their baby’s bottles, as I think all my British mum friends did.
I recently read a very interesting blog post by Stressy Mummy which talked about testing and ranking school children, and on separating children into sets, and it got me thinking about the differences between the French and the British education systems for secondary schooling.
In the UK children are generally separated into different sets per subject depending on ability in that area, which is usually based on tests or exams taken.
In France there is no such separation – you stay with your class through every subject, no matter what level you, or the others in your class, are. So what happens to those who are not as able? Simple. If you don’t get the “average” grade – in French schools everything is marked out of 20, so they call the average 10/20 – then they have to repeat the year (redoubler).
Now that wouldn’t too bad if they were given extra help second time round, or if it were acknowledged where they went wrong the first time round, but all that happens is they repeat the exact same curriculum for a second year running, but with a different set of classmates, who are a year younger than them. I personally couldn’t think of anything worse.
Another thing to bear in mind is that this average is across all subjects, so they might have got 19/20 in English, but 1/20 in Maths which then drags their overall average down. Hubs and I have long debates over the two systems, and whilst, as a bright child, he faired well in the French system, I think it would have been a disaster for me, and I did pretty well in school over here.
I went to a very so-so primary school where I was in the top few of my year, I then went to an ex-grammar secondary school where the children came from far better primary schools and I suddenly dropped down. I was average across several subjects, poor in maths and sciences and only excelled in French.
At the end of the first year we were put in sets for English and Maths – I went into the top set for English and the bottom set for Maths. I was devastated and embarrassed about being put in the bottom set for Maths until the second year rolled round; in this class I could ask questions, things were explained to me and I started to improve (something that hadn’t happened in the first year when all abilities were mixed up). When it came to exams at the end of the second year I did so well that I got moved into set 2 out of 5 sets for maths. As for the sciences I was in set 3 out of 5 sets, and again I was in a group of those with a similar ability, and again I progressed.
My strengths were English and languages, and I found myself in set 1 for English, French and German, meaning I was pushed to the maximum of my ability. This set separation worked out brilliantly for me as I went on to get 2 As at GCSE (for French and German), 3 Bs including a B in Maths, and 4 Cs including in the sciences. I am convinced that had I not been put in classes with pupils of my level I would have got far lower grades at GCSE.
I also believe that had I been in the French system I would have had to repeat at least one year, which must mess with your head, seeing all your friends moving on and knowing you’ll never be with them in class again, instead finding yourself in a class with those a year younger than you.
It is such a regular thing in France to repeat a year that recently we skyped my MiL, L’s French gran, and we told her that we had L’s end of Year 1 report and she’d done really well. To which my MiL replied, “so is she going into Year 2 then?”!! Can you imagine repeating a year, aged 6, based on your ability?!?
This obviously gets worse the further you go through school as the work gets harder; Hubs talks about doing his “Bac” (A level equivalent) with 19, 20 and even 21 year olds, some of whom were attempting it for the 3rd time! Talk about demoralising.
So, whilst I don’t think testing children in order to rank them in the top or bottom 10% countrywide is a good thing, I do think that ranking them per subject, per school, so they can be put in classes of similarly abled children is an excellent idea.
If only schools and the government could enforce decent hairstyles and school uniforms on children too:
In 1998 I bought a return ticket to Nice, France – leaving London on the 1st July 1998 and returning to the UK on the 10th September 1998. I’d just finished my university finals and my aim was to have a summer of partying on the French Riviera with two friends (a fellow Brit and a Danish/American) I’d met there the previous summer. I fully intended to move back to the UK afterwards to become a grown up, i.e. get a real job, save money, get a mortgage etc.
Then I got to Nice and my days went something like this:
6pm – 3am: Work as a waitress in a bar/restaurant in the old town of Nice
3 – 7am: Go out to a late club with other bar workers, and party until the sun comes up.
7am – 1pm: Sleep (pass out)
1 – 5pm: Go to the beach with my fellow bar worker friends.
5 – 6pm: Go home, get showered and go to work.
Repeat. 6 days a week. On the 7th day I’d get a day off which would mean I could stay at the beach longer, go out for dinner and then go drinking while I waited for my friends to finish their work and join me at the late club.
We worked hard, but we partied hard too and lazed on the beach during the day. It was heaven for a 22 year old. Within a week my two friends and I decided to postpone our departure “for a bit”. I used my return flight in the September to collect my winter clothes from the UK, and headed back to Nice with a cheshire cat grin on my face. Who wanted to go back to rainy England when you could have sunshine, blue skies, warmth and the beach?
That “for a bit” became “a year or so” and then we stopped putting a date on it….. I finally moved back to the UK on 19th July 2010, 12 years later, with a French husband, a 3 and a half year old daughter, a French dog and a French cat. My British friend then moved back to England in 2011, and my Danish/American friend is still there. So much for going there just for the summer.
Funnily enough after I moved out there my mum confessed that she always knew I would live there, and an ex-boyfriend once told me that I would only be happy with a Frenchman. Well I have the French husband now, even if I am living back in rainy Blighty now.
So why on earth did I move back to England? I’ll save that story for another day and another post…
This post is dedicated to the two lovely ladies in the photo above. What an amazing 12 years it was girls Miss you xxx
When I had my first daughter, L, in France in 2006 this is the type of comment I would hear. There are some French women and medical professionals who are totally pro breastfeeding but they are few and far between, which means if you do want to breastfeed you have to really fight your corner.
Whilst I was pregnant I was asked by a medical professional if I intended to breastfeed, when I replied that I would certainly try to, she looked at me, aghast, and told me in no uncertain terms that it would ruin my chest.
And, age 37, with two children, I can tell you now, these boobs ain’t what they were when I was 16! I remember a (male) friend at school asking me if I had some kind of scaffolding on my boobs back then as they were so pert. I can’t find any decent photos, but to give you an idea here I am as a 16 year old on holiday:
So, was I upset at the idea of ruining my boobs? Of course I was. But I was also realistic, I was 30 and they were no longer what they once were anyway. I also thought to myself, if they really go to the dogs, I can always get a boob job afterwards.
Then I had L, my milk came in, I ballooned to a G cup and I had these rock solid, porn star boobs for a while! I breastfed her for 11 months and gradually they got softer, and floppier, and smaller, returning to my usual – but albeit far saggier – D cup. It was pretty depressing and I said to Hubs, and various close friends and family members, that when I had finished having children I’d have a boob job. And that’s what I really thought would happen.
Then L stopped being a baby, and turned into a little girl. A girl who turns to me to be her female role model as she develops in this crazy old world. And I started to wonder what kind of message I wanted to pass to this impressionable young girl, who is already surrounded by the media telling her you have to be pretty and skinny, and who is already obsessed with aesthetics. Did I really want to tell my daughter that if you’re not happy with a body part then you have major surgery, putting yourself at risk by going under anaesthetic, to “fix” it?
Gradually I realised that I couldn’t do it. I might not be happy with my boobs as they are now, and it’s taken a long time to come to terms with this as my boobs were always my thing – I’m not tall and I have short, stumpy legs, but my boobs, oh my boobs, they always looked good. Sigh.
Thinking back to that medical professional in France, 7 years ago, I have since discovered that it’s not breastfeeding that ruins your boobs, it’s a combination of genes, pregnancy and age. I’ve got friends my age who’ve never had kids who have saggy boobs and friends who’ve had kids but never breastfed whose breasts are wrecked. So the risk of ruining your chest is not a reason not to breastfeed.
So where am I at today? I have two daughters, I am on the fast track to 40, gravity is having its wicked way with my body all over and I’m sure when I finish breastfeeding C that I’m going to need some pretty impressive engineering in a bra to push those puppies back up. But I will not go under the knife and I will not have a boob job to try and recover the pert breasts I had at 16. I will be fine, and my girls will hopefully grow up loving themselves as they are.
Just pass me the wine please as I come to terms with it all.
Back in 2006, just before my 30th birthday, whilst I was stressing over the thought of leaving my 20s and worrying about wrinkles and grey hairs, my usually clear skin flared up into an almighty mess of redness, particularly over my nose and cheeks. I felt so ugly, I hid in my office at work, letting my fair fall over my face to try and hide this awful, red acne. I was devastated that as I was beginning to get wrinkles I was getting teenage spots too!
After a disastrous appointment with our local GP in France who diagnosed me with psoriasis (!), I went to see a dermatologist who correctly identified rosacea (you can find out more about rosacea here), as we were trying for a baby (I conceived L that month) I couldn’t have any strong medication so she prescribed me lots of topical treatment to try and calm it down.
This photo was taken at my 30th birthday party (a 70s themed party – I don’t normally go out like this!), and gives an idea of the redness, though this was it looking pretty good:
One of the amazing things that she prescribed for me was something called “Bioderma Solution Micellaire”, which I couldn’t work out, it was neither a cleanser nor a toner, but was a transparent liquid which cleaned my skin without any tightness or stinging. Whilst it didn’t sort the rosacea out it did ease it.
I’ve been using this wonderful product ever since, and I have yet to find anything that even comes close to how good it is. So it was with great delight that I discovered I’m leading the way (for the first time in my life) as it has been written up in Red magazine as beauty’s next big thing!
As you can see from this recent photo of me, my skin is far better now (can’t say much about the wrinkles though!):
I can totally recommend this product, but the only thing I will say is that it’s still very expensive in the UK whilst it only costs about £5 from any French pharmacy, so if you’re on holiday there, stock up on it!
Disclosure: I have nothing to do with Red magazine or Bioderma, I have not been paid to write this post or offered any products for free, I’m just sharing the information with you as I think it’s an amazing product which I love! I’m not the only one either as the wonderful LibertyLondonGirl is a fellow rosacea sufferer and fan of Bioderma, and talks about it here.
C is 7 months old today and I haven’t seen any medical person with her (apart from to get her jabs done by a nurse) since she was 8 weeks old. Whereas by 7 months old L had seen the paediatrician in France 8 times for routine check-ups. I have had no phone calls, letters or enquiries from anyone in the NHS as to how C is doing.
Fortunately C is in perfect health, she feeds well, sleeps well and is generally a very happy and contented baby. I weighed her at a friend’s house today (she has proper baby scales) and C is slap bang in the middle between the 25th and 50th centile, so I’d say there’s nothing to worry about there. As for me, I’m doing really well too, and I’m definitely in a much better place now than I was when L was the same age.
I’m very lucky in that I have a great support network in Hubs, family and friends. I also did the NCT refresher course and met a great bunch of mums who I still meet up with weekly, on top of that in our street alone there are at least 6 babies aged 3-7 months, so I’m far from alone.
However I do wonder what happens to the mothers whose babies are not thriving, who are not sleeping, or where the mothers are suffering through lack of sleep, lack of support or various forms of depression. Do they pass through the net or does the NHS somehow pick up on them? I chatted to my baby mum friends about this and none of them have been contacted by doctors, health visitors or anyone “medical”, and most of them have not seen a health visitor or doctor since their babies were around 8 weeks old. They are all second mums, and their babies, and they themselves, are doing well. But how does the NHS know who is doing well and who is struggling?
When I think back to L’s first year in France it couldn’t be more different, she had a paediatrician who we had a check-up with every month. She would be weighed and measured each month and this information would be entered into her “Carnet de Santé” (equivalent of our red book), she got her jabs there, the arrival of teeth were noted at these appointments as was her food intake, from the early months of just milk, through to what foods she’d been introduced to each month (although I did have to lie about doing baby led weaning!). Whilst that is possibly overkill it did at least give the French health service an overview of mothers and their babies and possibly a heads up if things were going badly.
Whilst I’m on the subject I don’t find the red book overly helpful and I often refer to L’s Carnet de Santé as it is far more complete. In fact I based a lot of my weaning (introduction of solids) for C on the information in L’s Carnet de Santé as I couldn’t find much useful information on it over here.
What do you think? Did you find you got enough support from the NHS? Is the French system too much?
Personally I’m happy with the system in the UK as I have very few questions about C as she’s so easy, and with her being my second I feel a lot more laid back too. But I know that my French family and friends are utterly shocked to hear that no one has examined C since she had a quick check over at 8 weeks old. Oh well, I doubt it’s the last time one of our family’s culture gets shocked by the other cohabiting culture!