Rentrée Countdown – Final Instalment

Nearly there!

R (rentrée day) minus 5: bedtime. It’s time to start getting the kids to bed at a slightly more sensible hour. We’ve slipped a lot this month. Rors isn’t going to bed till gone 9, and not getting up till twelve hours later. That won’t do come Monday! We have to be out of the house by 8.05 on our bikes to get him to Nouzerines for his bus. And as for Caiti … it’ll be 5.50 am for her. And me. Groan. So, if you’re like me and need to take bedtime action, I suggest doing it in stages. I’m aiming for bedtime 10 minutes earlier each night, ditto for getting up in the morning. That’s not too contentious and will mean no horribly tired kids at the beginning of term, which is a Good Thing.

R-4: pencil case. First of all, make sure you’ve got one. (There are loads of easy patterns on the Net for making them if you’re a crafty person – Caiti has rustled herself up a super one this year.) Then check you’ve got the required contents – pens, pencils, rubber, tippex, glue, pencil sharpener, ruler, scissors, felt tips and crayons. That’s usually what we have to provide, but teachers have their own peculiarities so check your liste.

R-3: naming day. Name everything – books (easy enough), pens and pencils (I cut up address labels very small and use those), rucksack, any clothes that get taken off and forgotten about (coat, jumpers, hats, scarves, gloves etc), child.

R-2: packing day. Get everything into the rucksack that’s needed for the first day. This is often a scary amount, so I spread the load by providing one or two named carrier bags to be used as well. No point overloading the rucksack or your child’s back on day one!

R-1: have fun, or panic if you prefer! The hols are over. It’s back to school tomorrow …

Our eldest son has his first rentrée at University this year. He’s going to Limoges. We went today to sign him up officially. We also discovered that Benj hadn’t read the bit of his letter from Crous telling him to send a deposit to secure his flat on campus. So suddenly we found he was homeless. The maternal temper was lost, I have to confess, as said son had been repeatedly asked if anything had to be done concerning his accommodation, and Chris and I also suggested about once a week during the summer that he  give Crous a ring to make sure we hadn’t missed anything, this being the first time anyone in our family had gone to Uni in France and so we didn’t know the system. But did he listen? Did he do anything? Anyway, very very fortunately we were able to find him a room on another University residence, 3.6 km away from his fac. Still, it’s more expensive which leaves him less money to live on each month, and he’s got the journey each way to deal with six days a week. It’s not in such a nice setting either. All very frustrating and avoidable. Eye roll and shoulder shrug. Gnashing of teeth and no x-box for Benj for a while.

So do learn from this mistake. We certainly have.

0 Replies to “Rentrée Countdown – Final Instalment”

  1. Oh I can so relate to your last paragraph. You want to treat them as responsible human beings, but….I guess at the end of the day it’s Benj who is further away and will have less money to live on as a result. Maybe learning the hard way is the only way sometimes. Did he accept responsibility or did he claim it was really all your fault (that’s what mine would have done!)? Good luck to him in his new start anyway!!!

    1. It was my fault at various times, and his dad’s! It’s sinking in today though. However, it’s not the end of the world and he’ll still have a good time at Uni. Simply frustrating because it could have been even better and was there for the taking. Kids!!!

  2. I have to say, kids around the world must be the same. And then I think about us. Were we like that? I don’t think so. We seemed more responsible than our own kids, or is that only part of me that wants to believe that. Glad you found a room at the last minute. My cousin’s son was too late and now has to commute 35 miles each way daily from home. Stephanie, I’d love it if you came over to my blog as I was asked to give tips for college bound kids by General Motors. I am so excited that they published it on the GM blog. What do you think of my tips?

    1. Your blog was very interesting, Sonia. You covered every angle. It’s very true about it being a big adjustment. For us it’ll be easier since the teens have been boarding Monday to Friday at lycee already. However, we’ll certainly miss Benj at the weekends.

  3. I hope he gets on well at uni despite the inauspicious start. I don’t have children but have 3 nephews and a niece and although mostly grown-up, their parents still have to run around after them making sure they’ve done what they need to.

    1. It’s exasperating. Young people want to be independent and grown up but don’t want the responsibilities that go with it. Our Benj is a bit too laid back at the moment but I think Uni will sort him out.. We won’t be on the spot to help him so he’ll have to sort things out for himself. Finally!

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