Le bébé est éveillé comme une potée de souris.
luh bay-bay ay tay-vay-yay kum uh puh-taid soo-REE. Click below to hear this.*
The baby is wide-awake and squirmy.
This is one sentence parents don’t want to hear from the babysitter! You’d rather come home to hear that he is sleeping like…well, like a baby.
Except that we all know that babies don’t always sleep soundly. So picture this: What today’s expression really says is The baby is (wide)-awake like a potful of mice. It can even mean like mouse stew, a frightening thought.
And Quiet as a mouse is another lie. We had mice once. They were pets. Trouble is, we accidentally got a male and a female. Before you knew it, they were swarming all over each other. Two turned into dozens, and they spent all night squeaking and rustling. We also had accidental mice in our first house. They chewed, knocked things over, crackled the cookie wrappers, and dragged the mousetraps under the bathtub and clanked all night.
So if this is how your baby sleeps, I send you my sympathy, and my hope that he or she grows out of it before you lose your sanity.
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file: