I’m a teacher at heart, so of course I try to grab the teachable moments when they come but Luuk has a real talent for it. He will have a job he wants to do and he includes Louis beautifully. They wash the dishes together most mornings, and if a toy needs fixing then here come team Paulussen.

Luuk and Louis fixing the red toy car.

Louis refused to put on a nappy yesterday morning and so, for the first, time, he went to halte garderie in undies. I tried to explain to his teacher (in french) that he would probably say ‘poopoo’ or ‘potty’ when he felt the urge, rather than the french ‘pipi’ or ‘caca’. Perhaps he was busy and didn’t speak up, or perhaps he was misunderstood, but he came home in his extra change of clothes…

And then wet them through on the walk home.

So I’ve learned some things: Mondays, take the double pushchair and pick up the bread before french lesson so that I’m not late to pick up Louis, and so that we can go directly home (do not pass the boulangerie, do not create more dirty laundry…)

And from now on Louis will be in undies unless he’s sleeping. It is on.

Yesterday morning at french lesson I conjugated ‘decider’, to decide, in four different tenses. And I have decided – to commit to this potty training buisness.

J’ai decidé!

I also conjugated ‘devoir’ which means ‘to must’ or ‘to have to’, ie. I must do my homework. Confusingly, the word for homework is also ‘devoir’ – because you must do it.

Je dois faire mes devoirs.

Forgive me for educating. I used to do it for a job. At teachers college they talked about ‘teachable moments’ – perfect opportunities to teach someone something, often in an unexpected way.

Yesterday Elena got taught about playing roll/pass the ball. Unfortunately she got a few headers in. Fortunately the ball wasn’t going too fast. We sat on the rug for a happy half hour, Elena between my legs and Louis at the far end, and passed the ball (several of them actually) back and forth.

Which brings me to yesterday’s small stone:

bouncy orb of air
giving disproportionate
joy just by rolling 

And then there are the non-teachable moments. This morning Louis and I baked shortbread. He hates trying new foods but I though butter and sugar mixture a sure thing – I mean who doesn’t love butter and sugar??

So I forced it into his mouth.

And I was wrong: this was not a teachable moment. I’d be surprised if he eats one of the biscuits this afternoon at play group, but we’ll see (he didn’t, just picked off the lemon icing). I’m hosting, which is good because the weather is rubbish. But then again, rubbish weather might keep everyone home and it’ll be a long afternoon with too many bickies if no one shows up. (Loads of people came and there are just enough bickies left for dessert.)

lemon iced shortbread cookies

Speaking of Louis and stories and teachable moments – and in honour of yesterday being the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice:

And just to keep things even, here’s a gorgeous video of Elena getting to know her mirror-self.

She’s really moving and screeching now!

With or without the teachable moments the kids are constantly learning and growing. Which takes the pressure off because I do miss the teachable moments sometimes.