(photo - the dinner table on a Wednesday)
In case you didn’t know there’s no school in France on Wednesdays, well to be precise there’s no infants and juniors, secondary school finishes at lunchtime. Just in case you are thinking that, what with the humungous summer holidays (July & August) French kids never get any schoolwork done, I’d like to remind you that the school day is 8.30 to 4.30 from the age of 3, and 8 ‘til 5 after the age of 11.
So Wednesday is traditionally the part-time mum’s day “off”, I mean that relatively. On a typical Wednesday I’m out running with the dog by 8.30, then off to get a birthday present for one of the kid’s friends,, new trainers as my son’s have had holes in them for at least a week, and loo roll as we’ve been living off kitchen paper since the shops shut on Sunday. The kids think beans on toast are a special mid-week treat, they’re not, they’re the quickest thing that I can make while preparing the promised cake for this afternoon.
As school days are quite long most extra-curricular activities and clubs are on a Wednesday, so the rest of the day is spent taxi-ing kids from one sports hall to another, not forgetting to drop of the neighbour’s son who was at footy with mine before taking my daughter to dance. It’s also the choice spot for birthday parties and appointments at the doctor’s or dentist’s for example. Add an association meeting or two and you’re looking at a rather busy day. And I only have two kids, who do a couple of activities each; we’re not exactly the Von Trapp’s you know.
That’s not to say it’s all doom and gloom, or should I say rush and mush. I have a small pocket of wonderful between 1.50 and 3pm when both kids are out, and if I get the floor cleaned quick enough I can sit down for a cup of tea. This year is positively slow motion compared to last year, when various activities meant I was never in the house for more than 50 minutes in a row between 10am and 5pm.
It’s quite a sociable day, you get to see your friends, either dashing round “toys R ridiculously expensive” looking for the same pokemon as you, or for 10 minutes waiting outside the ballet class before someone has to dash off to tae kwon do, it’s a bit like speed dating really.
What it’s not like is a day off, I know of one mother who refused Wednesday as her day off, and asked for Thursday instead.
That is why, if I get to sit down before I fall asleep, Wednesday evening is a date with a gin and tonic.
It's funny but I always enjoy going to work on Thursday, to relax.