A view from above, looking down on a child's hands holding a yellow pencil and coloring in christmas scenes.
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La Rentrée 2018

It’s that time of year for the second time in our lives as parents. Yesterday we watched our DD, now nearly 5, skipping down the road to go off to her school. She loves it there and was so happy to be back. I don’t think we’ve bored her silly over the holiday but at the same time she hasn’t been entertained 24-7 and I think she needs the interaction with other kids – and she likes to learn.

This year she moves up to the la grande section (GS), which is the final part of maternelle before the more formal learning starts in CP1. Two years ago she was nervous and shy and spoke not a word of French. She spent 8 months in la petite section (PS), last year in la moyenne section (MS), and now she’s the same age and in the same section as the “big ones” who she remembers being kind and looking after her when she started. She’s doing great and it’s remarkable just how much she’s grown over the summer: her language, her mannerisms, her demeanour. Everything different yet everything the same.

Because it’s a small village school “moving up” doesn’t mean moving to a new classroom though: they have a single room for the whole maternelle (kindergarten) so she’s in the same room as la petite and la moyenne sections. Usually the next class, le cours préparatoire (CP1), are in the same room too but it turns out that as well as having a new teacher there are a few other changes this year. Instead of CP1, CE1 are in with the maternelle and CP1 are in the with primaire group. We’re not entirely sure of the rationale for this but the maîtresse seems to know what she’s doing so I’m sure there is a good reason, which may be to do with numbers (this way the classes are more balanced – 15 in one and 17 in another) and also to do with having a more self-directed class in with the little ones, who can be quite hard to manage, it seems.

Unfortunatley the back-to-work, time alone, getting-stuff-done rentrée that I’ve been waiting patiently for wasn’t possible until today thanks to DS picking up his first bug in I don’t know how long and starting with a temperature of 38.5 on Sunday night. By midnight he was up to 39 and when I checked again about half an hour later (he was still tossing and turning) pushing 40. I medicated him and not long after he cooled down and settled down to sleep but woke up hot again. So no crèche. Bummer. I had considered medicating him and sending him anyway (we were getting four hours out of a dose and he’s only there for three and a half) but he wasn’t right and was asleep by the time James got back from dropping DD off.

He’s better today. Tired, perhaps, and not quite as enthusiastic about being at crèche once he actually got there (the last two weeks he’s been demanding we turn the car around when leaving the town where it is!) but no tears, no drama, and no phonecalls and only 40 minutes to go ’til pickup.

And here I am. A slow start – I’m unlikely to properly organised and focussed until next week as this week will be catching up on all the little admin jobs and tidying up so I can think straight, but we’re getting there. Then it’s work, work, work. We had a great holiday but we definitely need to get focussed on our businesses here. And then there’s next year’s summer holiday to plan 🙂


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


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