A morning spent at primary school here in Fontenay-le-Vicomte

Considering that Thumpah has had the last two weeks off, Rémy took the fact that Maman had to leave for work  this morning quite well. He cried a little bit because she went to the car to get something without saying goodbye. Seems thats the way it is. Its OK to go as long as you say “bye” to me… When she came back Thumpah had to explain that she wasn’t going just yet!

He watched TV for 10 minutes then I went into panic mode to get him dressed and ready so we could leave the house for his morning at school at 9.15am. I had to come back twice to get his cap and a bottle of water, having only remembered to take the lingettes (wet wipes) which made us a bit later. We arrived at the school gate bang on time at 9.30am.

When we arrived the class was getting ready for a lesson outside, some of the other mothers were there that I had seen at the open day the other week. They didn’t say a lot so I turned round to say a “Bonjour” as the kids got ready for their lesson. Got a murmered Bonjour back. The Directrice with two of her instits (teachers) got out some tricycles-come-scooters – with the rear wheels closer together than on a normal tricycle. I thought they were great – a good way of teaching balance for sure. Rémy got into the thick of it, getting involved. Towards the end of the lesson he was with another lad and his bike and they both pretended to fall off them and roll on the ground. Through that he made a friend, because the two of them seemed to get along for the rest of the morning.

After the lesson, it was playtime, when all the other kids came out for their break. Organised mayhem I suppose. Rémy was in the middle of it and although got involved with a couple of lads who were less than friendly, one pushed him over although I didn’t see that and another nicked his ball, he soon bounced back. A little girl came up to me to tell me that someone had taken the ball Rémy had been playing with. So I said – “Well what can be done? Thats the way it is”. So she found another ball and took it over to Rémy. Which was really nice. She came back a few more times to chat and I said that she had been really kind. She seemed to like that.

A little later two little girls came up to ask if I knew Amélie (Amélie is my niece and the daughter of Thumpahs brother), so I said I’m her Uncle. They seemed really chuffed about that and said that she was their best friend. 🙂

All through this there was just one other maman with her daughter who was to be in the same class as Rémy next year. I think that she was as shy as I was because we’d exchange the odd word but no real conversation. Starting with her asking if “Rémy was 3 yet”. Then me saying “its getting a bit hot now” as we were in the playground (and it was). Then later as we went back into the class I said to her “We don’t know where to put ourselves”… which was true because we were there as observers, not to get involved too much with what was going on. The idea was to see how the Directrice and the other teachers behaved with the kids and the activities they were involved with. Also how our kids behaved with the others.

So back into class… where all the kids were given a beaker of water to drink followed by pee-pee time. Rémy had slightly wet himself, but one of the teachers dealing with them all happily dealt with him and was quite relieved when I told her that I’d bought a change of clothes for him. She was really very nice about it all – even though Rémy spent a lot longer then everyone else on the “throne”.

The first activity was threading beads onto string. The older kids had to alternate colours specified by the Directrice. Rémy and the little girl who will be in his class next year, just concentrated on learning to thread the beads irrespective of colour. 🙂

Rémy did quite well really – but then started trying to show off a little.

The class was divided into three with the “grands” in front near the black board. Then the young ones in two different groups at the back of the class.

After playing with the beads, the other Maman decided to leave – when the Directrice asked me if I wanted to go I said I had another 10 minutes or so. Mindful of getting Rémy his lunch then ready for his sieste. So in the end I stayed on for a story they had read to them about a Big Daddy – all 3 groups of kids gathered around. Then it was time for the canteen and time for me and Rémy to go. One little lad looked up at me and asked me how old I was. That took me aback, so I said with a big smile – “You aren’t supposed to asked grown ups questions like that”. So he shot back “My Dad is 50”. 🙂 Well… at least I’m younger than that.

All in all a good morning. Rémy seems to be able to cope with the other kids very well… he is definately a mixer and takes the less nice kids in his stride. I feel a lot better about this school malarky now – I really shouldn’t base Rémys schooling on my own experiences as a child.

The Directrice was super-sympa, as were the other two teachers. After saying “merci” and “au revoir” I overheard a Maman talking in Dutch to her daughter as we passed the school gates. That made me feel better too… but the main thing is that Rémy is happy about school. So much so, that he didn’t want us to leave!

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