The Epic Tale of the Open House at Naudin-Ferrand

For a while there we actually thought we weren’t going to make it to the annual Open House at the Domaine Naudin-Ferrand in neighbouring Magny-les-Villers.

The reason wasn’t the stonemasons who are currently tearing up our front yard (although they are), or the fact my eldest daughter was thrown from a galloping pony this weekend (although she was).

The reason can be summed up in one evocative word: constipation.

Just for the record, I have already weighed in on my blog that that particular word sounds ever so much more elegant when pronounced with a French accent cahn-stee-pah-see-ahn.”

I think I should start a campaign (or maybe a strike, seeing as I have a French passport) for the french prononciation of “constipation” during my free time. But, I digress…

It just so happened that Clem was very constipated on Saturday, and her howls of pain grew into a mighty crescendo by 5:00pm. We were all so miserable that we were forced to conclude we just weren’t up to going to Claire’s Open House. In a last ditch attempt to help Clem and her constipation Franck hot-footed it down the la pharmacie in Ladoix-Serrigny to buy some glycerin suppositories.

When he came back with his little plastic bag I could see he was hopping mad. However, as Clem’s crying had gotten so bad since he had left that I was seriously beginning to contemplate selling her to the nearest pack of gypsies, first things first. I administered the suppository to my screaming daughter.

Only then did I ask my livid husband, “What happened?”

“Idiotic pharmacienne,” he growled.

“What did she do?”

“She didn’t want to sell me the suppositories.”


“She gave me this whole song and dance about how it isn’t good to give suppositories to babies, and how it makes them addicted to them so they can’t poo on their own.”

“So what did you say?” I said, reattaching Clem’s diaper.

“I asked her how many children she had.”


“She said one, a boy eighteen months old. So I told her I have not one, but three constipated daughters, and that I knew what I was doing, and that if she wasn’t going to sell me the suppositories to just tell me so so she could stop wasting my time and I could go and buy them at another pharmacie.”

So I guess we won’t be going back to that pharmacie again.”


And then it came, a sound of salvation from Clem’s diaper region, and all thanks to the suppositories. Clem was instantly transformed into a glowing, smiling, beatific child.

After wrapping up the diaper containing the mighty poo in the most hermetic as possible package, Franck plucked it out of my fingers.

“What are you going to do with that?”

“Take it to the pharmacienne.”

“No you’re not,” I grabbed it and chucked it in the garbage can. Sometimes my Canadian good sense has to prevail over Franck’s latin hot-bloodedness. “But we are going to Claire’s,” I added. “So get ready.”

Next time – Photos from the Open House…