Friday, May 07, 2010

L'école

Life -- in the form of head colds and deadlines and surprise visits from the Big Boss -- has been keeping me from the blog, plus we're off once again on vacation next week, but one thing needs needs to be briefly recorded for posterity.

Today was our first visit to Le Petit's new nursery school. Just thinking about it too much makes me cry, in a good way. In September, my no-longer-so-little guy will be off to the école maternelle.

Upstairs, rows of hooks with construction-paper name tags. A classroom with puzzles and toys and a play kitchen, complete, to my delight, with realistic plastic cheese, both camembert and chèvre. Rows of cots on the floor of the nap room; the director's reassurance that yes, they did know how to deal with the occasional child who (ahem) won't nap. Downstairs, the physical activity room with mats to tumble on and ropes to climb, and a cafeteria with neatly arranged toddler-sized tables and chairs. Le Petit explored it all with enthusiasm, and a little more energetically than most of his lovey-clutching peers. I was glad we'd come as a family, for there was no way I could have chased after him and listened to the director at the same time.

I'm excited. I'm not sure why, but I'm sure le Petit will love going to school from the beginning. Our only hurdle remains (sigh) potty training. The director reminded us that children are expected to be "propre," although accidents, of course, do happen. He told us that in all his years teaching "les petits," he'd only seen one student fail to potty train before the September deadline (and that was due to a stressful move and resolved itself quickly). "Summer is a great time to train," he assured us, "And they all learn. With school comes a new status, and new expectations." Right now, I'll just assume he's right.