petite anglaise

December 18, 2006

playground love

Filed under: Tadpole rearing — bipolarinparis @ 9:21 am

We arrive at school, breathless as usual. French maternelles have a ten minute drop-off window in the mornings, ours being between 8.20 and 8.30. Latecomers must brave the Paddington stare of the stern looking directrice and the tut-tutting of her faithful assistant, so I do everything in my power not to incur their wrath. Not always easy when your toddler is capable of ripping off her own clothes at 8.15 if she suddenly decides that they are neither pink nor flowery enough.

We hang Tadpole’s coat on the hook bearing her picture (it trails on the floor, surely she isn’t that tall?) and I glance at the noticeboard. My turn to take in yoghurts for the morning snack tomorrow. And in January, there is a class trip to the cinema for which parent volunteers are required. Mr Frog mentioned at the weekend the possibility of participating. I smile to myself. Clearly he didn’t notice that the trip is scheduled from 8.30 to 12.30. Suffice to say he is not exactly a morning person.

I weigh up the pros and cons of helping out myself. Obviously I choose my own working hours, so that isn’t a problem. And it would be nice to have an opportunity to cosy up to the teachers a little and show willing. On the minus side, I can think of little more nerve-wracking than accompanying 25 under 4’s on the métro. I take the felt tip pen which is stuck to the wall with a ball of blu-tack (a misnomer, French blu-tack is yellow) and add my name to the list. I stop short of adding Mr Frog’s, but I won’t say I didn’t consider it.

As we enter the classroom, I see one of the parents handing the teacher an envelope. I freeze. Suddenly the whole thorny subject of étrennes – which I had thought would be less complicated this year as I no longer employ a childminder – rears its ugly head. Am I supposed to give the teacher a card? A present, even? I have no idea if special treatment is frowned upon in the egalitarian paradise of French state schools, or whether, like in other spheres of the French civil service, bribery and corruption are the done thing. I have four days to find out. Advice welcome.

Tadpole takes her name card from the door and places it on the board between those of her two current best friends, Hannah and Luce to signal that she is present. Her friendships change every single day. The laws of the playground apparently change little, regardless of the passage of time or the country you live in.

Mélusine, elle m’a dit qu’elle n’est plus ma copine!” she told me as we left school on Friday afternoon. She didn’t sound particularly traumatised by the fact, I have to say.

“She’s not your friend any more? Why?”

“Because Luce is my friend now.”

You can’t beat three year old logic.

“And what about boys? Do you have any friends who are boys,” I enquired mischievously. It hasn’t escaped my attention that a very attractive young blond boy with a twinkle in his eye always prances up to Tadpole when we arrive in the morning and takes her by the hand to the reading corner. His name is Jules. It is one of the names I had picked out for Tadpole, had she been a boy.

“No, I don’t like boys,” said Tadpole emphatically.

This morning, as usual, Jules approaches with a smile. Once Tadpole has given me my quota of four kisses and two cuddles I turn to the teacher for a quick chat.

When I turn to wave goodbye, I see two blond heads bent over a book.

68 Comments

  1. Well ….

    I don’t remember my parent’s ever giving envelopes to the teacher’s ….
    Maybe i never noticed and next year when my daughter will be @maternelle too she’ll be punished because of me not paying enough the maitresse mafioso-style? ;)

    Early junuary is the moment to “inscrire” our own tadPole to school at the mairie… 8 January 9am .. I took my day and i’ll arive @8… but in that case maybe an envelope could help ? ;)

    La France … quel beau pays

    Comment by Thierry_J — December 18, 2006 @ 10:53 am

  2. Maybe Jules is a honorary girl, or tadpole is being a little disingenuous?

    Comment by AussieGil — December 18, 2006 @ 11:09 am

  3. As Spaniard “expatrié” in Bretagne, I ask myself the same question about giving envelopes to the teacher’s. Last year I didn’t do it, and I think that it was a “gaffe”, but teacher forgave my due to my “strangeriness”.

    This year, I’ve already begun to see parents giving envelopes, and I don’t know what I should do. I asked myself the question this morning, so seeing your post was very fitting…

    Comment by LostInBrittany — December 18, 2006 @ 11:45 am

  4. I have 2 in maternelle, in two different classes, with two different maîtresses and two different lots of peer pressure to grapple with as to who will bring the nicest gift. Last year, I let my 3-year old and my 4½ year-old pick out the gifts from a carefully selected, moderately priced range. They both picked a decoration for the Christmas tree and were proud to announce that they had chosen it themselves. Nothing to do with me…!

    Comment by Amanda — December 18, 2006 @ 11:50 am

  5. I don’t remember my parents giving teachers presents at Christmas (sometimes teachers gave chocolates or sweets to us kids, that was nice). We did get together and bought a camera for our teacher at the end of the school year when I was 10, but that was because we liked him a lot. There were only 9 of us in the class and we had had him for 2 years.

    Comment by Amélie — December 18, 2006 @ 11:54 am

  6. awwww – young love. gotta watch out for headlice, though! no advice on french teacher gifts, but it the uk, it’s become increasingly competitive – like everything else to do with parenting and kids, bien sur. never slow to pick up on a new marketing opportunity, supermarkets now sell special teacher cards and ready packaged gifts. maximum spend, minimum thought. whatever happened to good old apples?

    Comment by mad muthas — December 18, 2006 @ 12:18 pm

  7. My friend is a kindergarten headmistress in the UK and she gets the most lavish gifts. At last count she got 6 bottles of Champagne, several Jo Malone & Molton Brown packages with assorted luxuries, lots of chocolate, and once she even got an Anya Hindmarch bag! I am from the Netherlands and am sure the prudent Dutch don’t give their teacher presents like that! But no idea what it is like in France.

    Comment by CeeCee — December 18, 2006 @ 12:36 pm

  8. Petite, when my two were at maternelle I used to give their teacher a small gift basket with home-made treats (shortbread, fudge, a few mince pies and a miniature bottle of whisky) but only because I was an at home mum and it pleased me to do so.

    Since then I’ve become too busy to make stuff myself and as I’m not always solvent enough to buy them a present, most years I give nothing at all and have not ever felt looked down upon, or that my children have suffered as a result. We are out in the sticks though, perhaps it’s very different in town…

    Comment by Antipo Déesse — December 18, 2006 @ 12:50 pm

  9. I did the parent accompagnant thing last week, for a trip to the Cirque Bouiglione (sp?). We also did the trip on the metro which was quite an experience! I was allocated 4 kids – 2 boys (one mine, and predictably the only other English speaking child in the class), and two sweet fillettes all of whom had my eagle eye on them for the afternoon. I got an envelope with metro tickets and we were off…it was actually good fun, I recommend it. Shows your ‘participation’ too…

    Comment by suziboo — December 18, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

  10. I always give the teacher a little present, chosen by Lucas(aged 5).
    I don’t know what’s the done thing but I think that the poor woman has 25 little cherubs all day (incl. 15 boys!) and has found the time and funds to get them all a gift so it’s the least I can do.
    Is this “guilty mother complex” which is rearing its ugly head? who knows..

    Comment by Flighty — December 18, 2006 @ 1:34 pm

  11. The teachers get gifts for the children? Oh lord. I wonder if I could get away with bringing something back from the UK in time for the New Year rentrée?

    Comment by petite — December 18, 2006 @ 1:36 pm

  12. You may also go for the always welcome bunch of flowers…

    A friend of mine treat his kid’s teacher weekly with this small present, He hasn’t had any difficulties with the local schoolarly mafia.

    :D

    Comment by Xav — December 18, 2006 @ 1:42 pm

  13. Blu-tack is white in Iceland, but they don’t call it blue, so that’s okay. They just call it “Teacher’s Chewing Gum”.

    You could bring back a packet of genuine Blu-tack for Tadpole’s teacher, I’m sure she’d love that.

    Comment by Annie Rhiannon — December 18, 2006 @ 1:44 pm

  14. Ick – envolpes with étrennes sounds well dodgy. We club together and get somthing, usually gift vouchers, from all the class, therefore no competition and teacher doesn’t get 27 boxes of cheap chocolates. We put a limit of 5 Euros per kids to avoid pressure, and no lower limit. Works well but needs someone dedicated enough to collar everyone.

    Comment by j — December 18, 2006 @ 1:46 pm

  15. It was different with me. I didn’t use to like girls. :)

    And it’s not that different when we grow old… Some people still feel threatened as we expand our circle of friends and cut us off of theirs. Sad, really.

    Comment by Lolla Moon — December 18, 2006 @ 2:02 pm

  16. You are a gossip, reading too much into it. :-)

    Comment by fjl — December 18, 2006 @ 2:12 pm

  17. I live in the Netherlands and we do give gifts at Christmas to the teachers. It’s not something everyone does, but like Flighty commented above, they get to look after my monsters all day ;) This year the teachers getting a bag of home made English fudge and a 10 euro gift voucher to the Bijenkorf. Each child has two teachers!

    Some schools in Holland have a custom of celebrating ‘Juffen & Meesterdag’ (Misses and Masters Day), where all the teachers celebrate their birthdays on one pre-organised day. There are games, competitions, cakes, ice cream and on that day one is supposed to take gifts for the teacher, within a reasonable financial limit – I think its about 10 euros. I spend more than 10 euro at this one (usually around 25), but that’s probably just guilt.

    Oh, and for CeeCee – there are some very imprudent Dutch – it all depends on how rich your school/area is.

    Comment by Ash — December 18, 2006 @ 2:30 pm

  18. And there was me thinking this sort of thing only happened in Eastern Europe! I always used to give my friends something small, western and nice, knowing full well it would be taken to the doctor or the teacher, to make sure of better service.

    Comment by varske — December 18, 2006 @ 2:35 pm

  19. Just write une carte de bonne annee. And a box of chocolate! That is how is done!

    Comment by diane from gibraltar — December 18, 2006 @ 2:50 pm

  20. My mom and her sis have been teachers in maternelle for 26 and 18 years, and I don’t recall them receiving gifts from parents at the end of the year. I guess it varies from school to school, or even class to class, mostly depending on the parents : if one starts to give presents, the others will think it’s a faux-pas not to do, unless an honest teacher prevents such behaviour. If nobody does, everything’s just fine. School is publicly financed, teachers have half a year of holidays, and bribes shouldn’t be accepted.

    Comment by JBL — December 18, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

  21. It’s funny that you wrote about young love today, as this morning I too wrote about my 8 year old’s romance…

    It’s still very cute, even five years on from Tadpole…

    Sally

    Comment by Sally Lomax — December 18, 2006 @ 3:43 pm

  22. Hello Petite,
    I teach teens in America. It is the lucky (?) high school teacher who receives anything at Christmas time. Just today I got a gift basket of hand cream and stuff from Bath and Bodyworks. The student who gave it is a bit slow and was in a car accident. Because I visited her in the hospital, she and her family have been nicely pleased with me. Her Grandmother is on the school board and is, in effect, my boss; not that that has anything to do with it. ;)

    My aunt, who taught 5 year olds, used to make a show of loving everything the kids gave her, then she would call me and my brother to her house to divide the spoils. I keep an apple pencil holder from them/her on my desk to this day.

    Money is always good although Americans are shy about being seen giving cash.

    Comment by Wren — December 18, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

  23. I know there are lots of families living way below the breadline in my daughters’ maternelle and I am loathe to give anything in case it is seen as “comfortably-off bobo parent trying to score points in her child’s favour” (because there are also some families like that in our school).

    Instead, I participate in as many school activities as possible, bake cakes for cake sales, buy things at the jumble sale and give cash to the school “cooperative” when the envelope comes round (says she, smugly).

    (And I shamelessly suck up to one of the teachers (who is computer illiterate) by typing and printing stuff for her. So I’m teacher’s pet anyway.)

    I would say a small home-made gift is OK, or even a drawing from the kiddie in question. But I would definitely draw the line at cash.

    Comment by Mancunian Lass — December 18, 2006 @ 4:34 pm

  24. I agree with Amanda. Let Tadpole pick a little present. Slipping the teacher a cheque in an envelope just doesn’t sit right.

    Love the Miffy photo by the way.

    Comment by Izzy — December 18, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

  25. I bet Tadpole will love to read these entries when she’s older. So sweet. Pre-school became college so suddenly and I have loved every stage of being a parent. You seem to be savoring it, Petite. Well done, Mama. :)

    Comment by Sophmom — December 18, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

  26. Hi,

    I discovered your blog I’m not too sure how last week and after a somewhat compulsive marathon week of reading the archives, I’m finally up to speed!
    Congratulations on your writing and on dealing with this year events so gracefully. I am hooked!

    Just a couple more comments now!

    First, French blu-tack is rather cunningly called patafix, so can be any colour!

    On the subject of the maternelle-Christmas-bribing- scheme, my mum has been a maternelle assistant for over 20 years and does not get money – she would not accept it anyway! But she tends to get small presents such as chocolates, perfume, candles, etc. Not all kids/parents give as some cannot afford it but there never was any favouritism towards the ones who do (especially since, in our school years, we were the kids who could not afford to give!).
    Maybe you could give the teacher and the assistant one of the “Tadpole with antlers” Christmas Card?

    Comment by Little Miss No Name — December 18, 2006 @ 5:45 pm

  27. So what do they call blu-tak in France? Tacque jaune?

    Comment by Hywel Mallett — December 18, 2006 @ 6:11 pm

  28. As far as I can remember when I was at “maternelle” and then at “école primaire”(10 years ago…time goes on…), my mom never gave anything to my teachers, except two or three times when it was a great “maîtresse”, and each time with the help of the other mothers. But it really depends on the school, so, if everybody give an envelope to the teacher, maybe it’s time to think about a little present ;)

    Comment by Flop — December 18, 2006 @ 6:33 pm

  29. In the UK it’s standard to give your child’s primary school teacher a small present at Christmas, as well as a present at the end of the school year in July. My four year old son, who started school in September, has two job-share teachers and a full-time classroom assistant so unfortunately that meant buying three presents (which my boy wrapped up with great enthusiasm and large amounts of sticky tape this evening in readiness for the last day of term tomorrow). It’s better than the idea of giving money, though, that would be weird! At secondary school, thankfully, the gifts for teachers thing seems to stop.

    Comment by Helen — December 18, 2006 @ 7:46 pm

  30. I don’t think the envelope I saw contained money, necessarily, probably a card. We made one this evening, which will have to do for now. And if I feel horribly guilty, they can have something English in the New Year, I think.

    Comment by petite — December 18, 2006 @ 7:52 pm

  31. Here I come – late to the party once more (although more timely than I have been of late).

    You write wonderfully about the various adventures of Tadpole’s life. It often feels like we are being handed privileged “fly on the wall” status for a few moments.

    The question about the passing of envelopes to the teachers reminded me of the famous quote from a television play about the government years ago – “You might think that… I couldn’t possibly comment”.

    Comment by Jonathan — December 18, 2006 @ 8:28 pm

  32. No need to feel guilty, Petite. I was a primary school teacher here in Canada for many years, and the gifts I appreciated most were ones the children made for me themselves; the cards, crafts and drawings. Ten years on I still keep some of them with my Christmas decorations, and put them proudly on the tree along with my own children’s handiwork.

    The little clothes-peg angel with her shimmering wrapping-paper wings and the hand-drawn ‘best teacher’ card still bring tears to my eyes as I think about those children, long since grown.

    Comment by canuck — December 18, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

  33. I teach (once a week) and I would want to get a check!
    But in reality, I would feel really, really weird about it. Something just isn’t right about that. It’s like a mafia bribe or something

    Comment by creative-type dad — December 18, 2006 @ 8:54 pm

  34. My son got out of Maternelle in Paris 17th arrondissement three years ago, and I never gave étrennes to any maîtresse. Never heard of it, either. That would feel very strange, if you ask me.

    Comment by Yogi — December 18, 2006 @ 9:04 pm

  35. very nice blog… :)

    Comment by LeCrapo — December 18, 2006 @ 9:53 pm

  36. I’m sure the card will be just as good, I think the gesture is most important. I’m thinking chocolates for ours because even if she is quite mean to parents, the children seem to love her.

    PS having Christmas in Paris for the first time in years, can anyone tell me where to find parsnips ?

    Comment by Kate — December 18, 2006 @ 10:58 pm

  37. Something english for new year? Iced carrot cake will do better than kidney puddding :)

    Comment by Mardo — December 18, 2006 @ 11:13 pm

  38. No – definitely not money. We gave our 4 year-old daughter’s teacher a little present – two jolly inscribed (in English) mugs in a box. Cost about four euros at Leclerc but she seemed pleased.

    Comment by Barry — December 18, 2006 @ 11:19 pm

  39. If étrennes are giving to teachers then that is one thing that I don’t have to worry about. I much prefer the firemen coming by with their calendars!

    Comment by Lost in France — December 18, 2006 @ 11:36 pm

  40. When there are this many comments, do you have time to read them?

    My xgf had her son in a school in Scotland, a ‘Monty’ school if you follow me, and not only did she not give the teachers any gifts, she wouldn’t even pay the fees! Her little boy didn’t suffer any fallout and benefited enormously from the one-to-one that the school provided.

    So, don’t worry too much – schools and teachers are mostly about the students (not the apples).

    I was horrified, but then she’s the xgf so what do you expect!

    xxx
    B-)

    Comment by Martin — December 19, 2006 @ 12:18 am

  41. I’m French and I don’t think my parents have any cash to any elementary school teacher, and I think it would really sound weird and the teacher might be embarrassed. My grandmothers and one of my aunts were/ are elementary school teachers, they got small gifts from parents from time to time, especially if there were some special circumstances (e.g. a kid was sick and the teacher visited him/her to help him/her work). It seems to me that the most appreciated gifts were either hand-made things (drawings, cards…) by the children, or edible things- well, there also were some rather ugly things, like for example a really bad framed picture of cats and dogs, or a sort of pink lamp with fake roses which would turn and make some music (probably chosen by the child herself…)

    Comment by ES — December 19, 2006 @ 1:25 am

  42. Lol, that Tadpole sounds like quite the character.

    Comment by Kingcob Bob IV — December 19, 2006 @ 1:43 am

  43. In Denmark they call blu-tack monkey snot!

    Lilleelse

    Comment by Lilleelse — December 19, 2006 @ 9:12 am

  44. The mother of my children (more than grown up by now) was a teacher.
    She never got a tip from parents and for sure would have considered this as a misleading gesture.
    Instead she got a lot of nice “Bonne Année” or “Merci, Madame” hand crafted postcards.
    And she loved that.

    Comment by Saluki — December 19, 2006 @ 10:08 am

  45. SURELY no teacher of any integrity would actively favour a child whose parent gave a gift?? If so that’s terrible!

    Slightly off the point here, but in the posts about Tadpole your dialogues usually seem to go like this:

    T: [something in French]
    P: [replies in English]
    T: [replies in English]

    Is that what really happens, or have you just translated your French dialogue for the benefit of blog readers? In other words, do you always speak to her in English (and everyone else around her in French)? I’m intrigued by how this bilingual thing works!

    Comment by old school friend — December 19, 2006 @ 10:29 am

  46. When I was in “CM2”, my English father decided to give my “Maitre” a hand made wooden bowl for Christmas. The teacher seemed really pleased, if a little surprised, but I have never forgotten the embarrassment of being the only child in the class of French kids to give their teacher a present at Christmas.

    Comment by Hannah Banana — December 19, 2006 @ 11:52 am

  47. Tadpole stories always grab me..
    Especially when I’m waiting for paint to dry..
    You paint her so vividly.
    I bet we all know what she looks like..in our heads.

    Comment by ParisBreakfasts — December 19, 2006 @ 1:06 pm

  48. I don’t know about living in France, but as a mother of children aged between 6 and 16 years, I have seen few end of terms in my time (now I’m sounding like my parents) and I am sure that France cannot be very different to England and Northern Ireland. That being the case, you will get a mixture of parents, and you will yourself vary your stance according to your own personal circumastances over the years. Last year I gave the teachers and the teaching asistants in my youngest two’s primary school a present each. This year, finances are tighter, so I sent mine in this morning with cards, for the teachers, the teaching assistants and for good measure the secretaty and the headteacher. No money – our own children need that right now – and no pressy’s. I personally run a stage school, and if I am honest, once the Christmas season is over and I have thanked all concerned, it goes out of my mind as to who gave me a box of choccies etc. No-one gives it a second thought really.

    I think that if you particularly want to give something to T’s teacher, and you can, then do. If not, then a card with a nice thank you on will possibly be more appreciated. Kind words at the end of the day do often mean more really than a Terry’s Chocolate Orange. (Although I do like Terry’s Chocolate Oranges!)

    Sally

    Comment by Sally Lomax — December 19, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

  49. Any proposal for Tadpole yet ? Marriage is a hot topic in my daughter’s class (age 5) at the moment…

    About gifts to teachers: Money, or anything of serious value, is not a good idea in a French school, I think. The card will do fine, especially if Tadpole contributes a cute drawing.

    Comment by ontario frog — December 19, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

  50. “I don’t like boys.”

    And thus a great love of reading is born.

    Damian

    Comment by Damian — December 19, 2006 @ 4:41 pm

  51. Petite,

    We are baking holiday cookies for our son’s preschool teachers. So far there has been no established rules about what to give. But then our preschool is a parent run co-op type organization. Its wonderful, and very anti-establishment.

    Our son is four, and has friends who are boys, and who are girls. His long time best friend has been a little girl from India. Its kind of sad to think that soon there will be a clique of boys and a clique of girls.

    C’est la vie.

    Comment by Kurt — December 19, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

  52. It’s Christmas and we are tearing our hair out trying to decide whether and what to give to our bosses, colleagues, secretaries, business associates for the season. Is champagne too much? Is chocolate too little? Are slippers appropriate?

    (Sorry I was reading your earlier post “Searching” and I have to point out that “WHO HAS A COUPLE OF FRIENDS WHO ARE GP’S” should be “GPs”. Sorry!!…)

    Comment by mifen — December 19, 2006 @ 5:47 pm

  53. hello petite
    this is the first time i have read your blog have just landed from the moon i was reading the daily mirror on the tube coming home from work “yes every one was fast a sleep “every one frozen, blue nose , coughing,the nutter sitting in front of you stareing with out blinking for a full hour ,its ture i tell you would i lie , well back to the mirrior there was an article about your blog , i thought i would give it a try , glad i did , by the way are mars bars bigger over there?, i have the war of worlds on my ipod just in case you were wondering what i was playing on the tube,

    Comment by danny — December 19, 2006 @ 6:21 pm

  54. OH DON’T EVEN GO THERE ! No no no. Maybe in June when the class mother in charge of her class thinks about a small token of appreciation, but come on. Give them a copy of your book half-price when it comes out !

    Comment by magillicuddy — December 19, 2006 @ 6:38 pm

  55. Your blog is very nice

    Comment by Acide-Lyrique — December 19, 2006 @ 7:45 pm

  56. Teachers are not “domestiques”, that’s the point.

    Comment by Yogi — December 19, 2006 @ 7:53 pm

  57. “You can’t beat three year old logic!”
    I don’t think age has anything to do with it but the gender does! Must be innate! It’s a compliment, btw.

    Comment by cream — December 19, 2006 @ 8:27 pm

  58. La plupart des maîtres(ses)indiquent aux enfants qu’il(elle)s ne veulent pas de cadeaux.
    Les enfants n’aiment pas non plus que l’on fasse des cadeaux à leur institut(eur)rice.
    Ca leur fait honte.
    En tous cas ne rien donner qui n’ait une valeur extrêmement symbolique (chocolats…). Ce serait très mal vu de faire un “vrai” cadeau.
    Ne jamais donner d’argent à un instituteur ou à n’importe quelle catégorie de fonctionaire français.
    Les calendriers/étrennes des postiers,pompiers et éboueurs font exception.
    La France ce n’est pas l’Italie.

    Comment by glop-glop — December 19, 2006 @ 9:17 pm

  59. Can I say something? I promise not to offend anyone.

    Comment by Trevor — December 19, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

  60. You will find that protocol differs from school to school. In our department almost without exception people give a small present be it chocolates, wine or whatever. It would be considered very british except we are the only Brits at the school.

    Go with the flow and dont worry about it.

    Comment by Billyboy — December 19, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

  61. [off topic] did you start taking benefits of your new “writing room”?

    Comment by Mardo — December 19, 2006 @ 9:34 pm

  62. YES, I remember my parents were giving envelopes to my teachers as a Christmas present. With us, that time, was so normal that now I can barely understand your wonder.

    Comment by Momo — December 19, 2006 @ 10:31 pm

  63. I’m American, but I think it would be a little weird to give money. People always love a nice homemade confection. Cookies, cake, candy, chocolate anything!
    Beautiful flowers or a gift card would be nice too!

    Happy Holidays Petite!!

    Comment by Anali — December 20, 2006 @ 12:19 am

  64. Hi Petite
    My tadpole is 4, in her first year at school and changes her best friend every week!
    Regarding Xmas gifts for teachers, Miss B has picked a small token gift for each of her teachers!
    Oh, and I’m sure you know by now, but you were in the Mirror again yesterday, in an article about – suprise suprise – Blogging. I have to admit I got rather excited, telling the other half – “ooooh I read her blog!!”

    Comment by Sam — December 20, 2006 @ 8:57 am

  65. I can’t understand why you are still putting so much craft into a free blog. It’s mindboggling you haven’t been asked to write a column at a couple of hundred pounds a pop, or something. I know, I’m mercenary, but then I”m a journalist.

    Comment by Dan — December 20, 2006 @ 9:57 am

  66. Well Dan, the book(s) are my bread and butter, but the blog is my own little playground. I enjoy it. And I don’t want to turn my back on the thing which got me where I am.

    Comment by petite — December 20, 2006 @ 11:21 am

  67. My cousin is a maternelle teacher one year she received a box of tea and was delighted with it.Chocolates are appreciated too.

    Comment by Carole — December 21, 2006 @ 5:45 pm

  68. About the etrennes post that you had a link to: A couple of years ago my mum got given a calendar featuring (i kid you not)12 rather hairy farmers in various states of undress. Farmers. With sheepdogs and everything. I myself did not see the appeal, but that calendar stayed in her kitchen (of all places) for about a year and a half. Lets just say i was very thankful for the discreetly placed cabbage in july…

    Comment by Whisper — December 23, 2006 @ 5:49 pm


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