Monday, October 04, 2004

Bon matin with a cafe creme

Dropped the kids off at school and got invited out for a coffee. Most people I know love to have a coffee at a sidewalk cafe in Paris. Although I liked catching up with my friend, I really hate spending 5 euro that way. But today it was an Indian Summer day and it was wonderful to just relax and have a coffee with a friend.
At the French schools, at least the one I go to, my children go to school every day from 9am until 4:30pm, except Wednesdays, when school ends at noon. The kids have an hour and half for lunch and many parents pick up their children every day (add it up -- up to 4 round trips to the school every day). My son does not want to get picked up. He likes playing with all his friends. My daughter refuses to go to the 'cantine' for lunch. She thinks it's too loud and busy. She's right, but it makes my life a lot more complicated picking her up everyday. It really limits what I might be able to accomplish on a daily basis. Since I have to do it anyway, I invited two of her French friends over today. After dealing with boys and boy play dates for years, it really is a pleasure to have girls over. They played nicely and listened to what I said. Of course, with my bad French, there was a lot of "qu est-ce que elle dit?" What is she saying? My daughter had to translate a lot. The only fight was over who got the pink Barbie glass. Such problems I can deal with.
Tonight we had a parent teacher meeting. If I thought I could ever understand French, I was humbled tonight when the parents started getting going. At one point, there were about 6 conversations going at once. There were only 30 people in a small room, so I pretty much got very little out of the meeting. I think it's ok because the only issues they discussed were: the computers are too old, the children's directory didn't include cell phone numbers, classes are too large, and school books and supplies are too expensive. I could have been at any school anywhere... nothing was resolved.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
8:41 PM



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