LIZ HARROD

An Unexpected Visit from an Old Pastime

In Au Pair, France on September 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Ah – wednesday….

For most of the working world, Wednesday means hump day – halfway through the week, over the hump, and well on your way to the weekend.  Though it most certainly still means that for me, Wednesday has another important significance to au pairs in france, especially those with kids in primary school.  Wednesday is their day off.

Now, I love kids, but a full day of activity can be daunting – especially with a language barrier involved.  Even if I could explain some of the games I know how to play, many of them don’t make sense in French.

So it was with a little reservation this morning, that I started my day.  We did a bit of homework, which finally seems to be moving along swimmingly (Thanks google translate for teaching me geography in French) and had a bit of reading time.

Then came the lull.

One of my main obstacles at this point is getting them off the Wii.  I mean, I love Mario Kart as much as the next 90s child, but spending an entire day in front of the Wii is simply not acceptable.  So I set out in search of alternatives.

First of all, lunch was a smash hit with what was, apparently, the debut of grilled cheese sandwiches.  Seriously, you’d think a country so obsessed with cheese would be all over this, but no, it was their first, and they had me make them seconds. So I’m taking that as a good sign.

After lunch we had a little review of homework, and then came the moment of truth.  I was prepared for protests.  I was prepared for arguments.  So I said it carefully.  “No Wii until 3:30pm.”

It took about 30 minutes of them testing me out, not doing anything, pretty much just sitting there.  Then the boredom outweighed the want for the Wii and they caved, heading to the garage to find something to do.

So what did they come up with?

Of all things, pottery! And not just little modeling clay.  They brought out proper clay with a little plastic battery powered wheel.

I channeled every bit of knowledge from my days at the pottery in Montreat, North Carolina, and with my help, my little 9 year old boy threw his very first pot – admittedly a little off center, but pretty good for a tiny little plastic wheel.  The older boy embraced his own creativity, hand building a little vase.

Just goes to show what happens when you leave Mario and Luigi to play with themselves for the afternoon.

Anyway, off to make a bit of dinner now.  Countering our very American lunch with a little steak tartare aller retour.

Bises. xx

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