22 August 2007
Tomorrow is la rentrée here, at least for the schools that only go four days a week. And since our local maternelle, located in the very next village, falls in that category, Muppet will be taking the next Big Step in life. He’s heading to school.

He received a letter from la maîtresse a few weeks ago detailing what is going to happen now that he’s a grand garçon and what he needs to bring along with him. That letter was a magic charm and has given us such leverage when trying to get him to do things that I almost regret we’ll no longer be able to use it. He is so excited about going to school, so thrilled that he’ll be going on the bus with the other children, and that too has given us a lot of leverage. We’ve been able to motivate him to move on from certain things (like the end of the breakfast and goûter bottles which have been replaced with cereal! In a bowl! and a glass of chocolate milk respectively) by evilly threatening the possibility that he may not be quite old enough to go to school should he not do what we want. And we’ve actually gotten him to keep his slippers on in the house because that’s what they do at school, and well, school is The Schnizzle, ya know?

Tomorrow Marc and I will both take him in—and the idea of that makes me so happy I end up leaking tears constantly. Mémé is keeping the girls for us and Marc’s taking precious time out of his day for the event—something I didn’t even have to ask him to do because I think this moment is just as important for him as it is for me (that and he thinks Muppet’s teacher is kind of cute, but hell, motivation is motivation, right?). After the morning session he’ll come home on the bus for lunch, and take the bus back in the afternoon.

“Mama,” he says to me, “Je vais à l’école…en bus…et je ne reviens plus!”* This breaks my heart. I’m putting him out in the world, loosening my control of what influences him, giving him wings. It’s frightening. It’s hard. It’s heavenly! Yes, a bit of calm in my day is going to be just fine.

He’s had a hard time getting to sleep tonight. I think he’s nervous and excited about tomorrow. He’s got more emotion about going to school than he’s ever had for Christmas (although I imagine that will change this year, now that the idea of just what gifts are has sunk into his marble coated head). I’m excited for him.

His school bag is packed and ready. He clothes are all laid out. The alarm is set. I’m turning my baby out into the world. Please be gentle.

* “Mama, I’m going to school…on the bus…and I’m not coming back!”

posted by Doc at 22:51 | Permalink |


  • At 00:03, Anonymous pat

    Good luck to the little guy and you too!! I cried for 2 weeks when Nezar first started school. :-)

  • At 06:35, Anonymous Anonymous

    He takes the bus home for lunch and then takes it back to school after? Is that usual for French schools? Hope Moppet has a great first day of school and has many new adventures to tell. A photo of the kiddo with his backpack on first day would be nice to post-hint hint.

  • At 07:43, Blogger Linda

    I remember when I took my third child to school and as I came out I raised my hands to heaven and said, "I'm free!" I was looked at by another mother like I was evil but it was so nice to have a few hours to myself every day.

  • At 15:29, Blogger jchevais

    I hope that he has regaled you with many many stories of how awesome school is.

    And yes, I can remember being so pleased and yet... dying a little with my baby out in the world...

  • At 19:11, Blogger Samantha

    Awww, that was really cute. Hope we get to hear how the first day went!