by Simone ’16
Today I started the day by waking up at the usual time of 6:20 a.m. and ate a breakfast of a “Pitch” snack cake, which is the equivalent of a French hot dog bun sprinkled with chocolate chips inside. We then walked about fifteen minutes to the bus stop, and then had to wait about twenty more minutes in the cold air for the bus to come. (I was regretting bringing my Northface and not my heavier coat!) After about a twenty minute bus ride, I met up with the rest of the GS group to walk to the “Jardin d’Enfant,” the day-care/preschool where we work. I was placed with the older group of the youngest children, aged 1-2 years. They did not talk much, for which I was rather thankful, because I did not have to struggle to understand them as much! (When I worked Monday with the 4-5 year olds, they looked at me weirdly a lot when I said the wrong thing and they called me out when I said “oui” to questions that were not yes or no.)
Today I felt a bit more appreciated by the children because they smiled and laughed at me more, rather than blankly looking at me as if to say “Why is this giant in my playpen?” I even made a friend who frequently liked to give me his rag doll (which was concerningly moist) and sit on my lap. Some of them liked to play a game where they would walk behind my back and surprise me when they came out on my other side, after which I made weird faces to try to make them giggle. When I first arrived, I was a bit surprised that parents were leaving their children at daycare at such a young age because when I was that young, my mom stopped working for a while to take care of me as well as my brother. But at the same time, I understand that people have to work to support their families, just as my parents do now.
We took a quick break from work when we went to the high school for lunch, during which I was pleasantly surprised by a chocolate mousse dessert. But then it was back to work, which is not really work because playing with children is really not that difficult. I had a very small amount of manual labor consisting of cutting bunnies out of paper (hand cramps!) and spreading jam on bread during snack time. But despite all of the mucus, spit up, and misplaced food, it felt good at the end of the day to know that I was helping the staff at least a little.
PS: Hi, Mom and Dad, I love you!