Predicting a child's reaction to some event or circumstance, I've decided, is a pointless endeavor. Who would think that precisely where I stand to pitch a baseball would be of any consequence? Or that a particular color of cup would cause such anxiety?
And then there was this morning's Rentrée, the first day of school. We were braced for tears and wailing, nervous tummies, little hands clinging to our legs. So what happened? All three kids were dropped off without a hitch. Bijou was greeted by her teacher with a double kiss and quickly joined a group of girls to get acquainted. Eero and Wilder displayed only excitement as they played with the toys at their maternelle (preschool), and when it came time for us to leave, it was hug and kiss, see you later.
The feelings had changed a bit by the time school was over. Here is a recap...
Wilder sobbing (age 3): "Mommy I was lost!!! I went to the gate when we went outside and called for you but you didn't come!"
Eero (age 3): "I was a good boy. I didn't cry."
Bijou (almost 8): "I love my school! Can we stay here forever? I wish I had school tomorrow." (no school on Wednesdays in France)
In exchange for longer school days, 9:00 to 4:30, there is no school on Wednesdays. On the plus side of the ledger, all three kids were pretty happy with the free lunch at school - cantaloupe, chicken, green beans, and compote (apple sauce).
The flawless drop off notwithstanding, Wilder's lack of enthusiasm for round two hardly qualifies as a setback. Just imagine being thrust into a new school, with new kids, teachers, and routines. And the cherry on top is the secret code everyone uses to communicate. His reticence to return is well-earned. But return he will, and sooner or later Project Immersion will be running smoothly.