Monday, May 24, 2010

An Evening on the Town with the Boys

I've not often taken my boys out to town with a destination in mind that is far more adult than child-oriented. In the old days either the kids stayed with the aupairs, or we simply didn't go out (far more the latter). And in recent years I went out with JP, but rarely during the week with the boys. Or, dropped them off at a film while we went dancing, or set them up with a film at home, or sent them to a friend's house, or...

If I took them out, it was to the local pizzeria that they love, or to a film for them, or to a friend's house with kids. But, have them tag along to an event that interests me and not themselves particularly? No, I've rarely done that. And, so, I pay the price.

They're not accustomed to being "trimbalés" (sp?) all over the place. They're not easy. They don't make do with grace, tolerance and patience. They make their boredom known.

But, I would not back down. If not before, than from this moment forth, they need to learn (particularly Leo) that not every minute of the day is orchestrated for his benefit. Sometimes, you do something to please another. Sometimes you go along and make the best of it because someone else wants to do this. Sometimes, you just keep your mouth shut and be. Yes, I did get a wee bit spiritual and discussed living in the present, the now, where you're at when you're there... But hey, the words of Eckhart Tolle are in my head.

The evening wasn't a total loss. The small trio in the Rue des Teinturiers was excellent. We enjoyed 'un verre' each (a glass of rosé for me, orangina for them), sat on the wall and watched the world walk by. However, the moments spent at the Guingette of the Bal des Teinturiers were painful for me (due to their complaints) and them (they're not fans of Serge Gainsburg covered by a local band with the requisite accordion player).

Perhaps the next outing will go better?


Vagabonde said...

Your post was thought provoking. I had two daughters (well I still have them but they are adults now.) I took them everywhere. When I could afford to take one or the other with me to France to see my mother, their grand-mother, they would go on each errand I needed to do for my mum (who had Parkinson’s Disease and was not able to walk.) Now I have two grandsons, and they are in another state. I think the boys are harder to take along because of their interests. It is very good that you take them with you and keep doing it, to as many different activities as available in your town.

Airelle said...

is this a difference between boys and girls or between French vs other "occidental" kids? my daughter has allways been more Finnish than French, though born and partly raised here and I think most of the French kids go along with their parents and socialise with people they meet better than my girl. or at least I find the French kids usually integrate better adult situation than for ex. Finnish do. what do you think?
in other, maybe non-latin (?) countries we indeed tend to orchestrate life around our children and in latin countries they tend to more just hang along with their parents.
both ways seem good and bad. it's good to give all those "childish" activities to our children but it is bad to let them think that there is a world separate for them and they never need to get involved with the "boring" things in adult life. I never have been able to find the good balance between the two, so now she just has to find out for herself (living alone in Finland at present) how to integrate and be sociable in adult world.
(I think it's trimbalé?)

Madeleine Vedel said...

Vagabonde and Airelle, it does come back to cultural values and traditions. Back in the US, I don't think we take kids all over the place and expect them to behave as is common here. I'm impressed with the good graces of many a young child here, and thus doubly frustrated that I rather missed the boat. But, yes, they'll have their time to adjust too.