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Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Mercredi (read GOOOOOO!!!)

In France Wednesdays are off, no school. Cool, huh? Well for the kids, yes. You see, schools here do not have extracurricular programs (music, sports, etc.) integrated into the school week. Which means Wednesday is often the most hectic day of the week as parents all over the nation are shuffling their own and sometimes their friend's children from activity to activity. If you do not have children, Wednesday is not the day to go to McDonald's, the library, or the pool.

In August-September towns do a Forum des Associations. All the town's clubs are present with their schedules, fees and forms and parents have a 1-2 week window to create a livable activity schedule for the little cherubim. If you only have one child it is feasible to do a music class in the morning and a dance class right after lunch. If you have more than one, though . . . .

The clubs are at the mercy of the various sports complexes and available rooms in the town which means that sometimes you can start the day with a 9 am class for one child and finish the day with a 7 pm karate class for the other child.  Not to mention that teachers figure Wednesday is a good day to give extra homework so somewhere between taking their bath and brushing their teeth you sit on the toilet seat helping them recite : t-u . . .tu, Ki-ma-mi-la, and l-u . . .lu.

I, for instance, am part of a network of 4 families. Each of us depends on the other to pick up, drop off, feed and entertain all of our children so that others in the group can enjoy their Wednesday  work. I pick up a friend's daughter for our children's music class so that her husband can watch the boy of the third friend until karate class at which point the fourth friend will pick up half of the boys and take them to judo, while I then return the daughter to the mother who has now come back (dad went to work) and I can sink into the couch with a glass of red at the end of the day. Well yes, that is one of the perks!!