Sunday, June 04, 2006

La cantine

Maylin's cantine (cafeteria) at school has cultivated in her a remarkable taste for cheese. The other day, I bought some Camembert (which can be runny and stinky) and she nearly inhaled half of this round of cheese (about five inches in diameter and an inch thick). This was a milder version from the supermarket and straight out of the fridge, but maybe next time, she can surprise me with a mouthful of the runny stuff.

At the beginning of the school year, Maylin's report of what she ate at school comprised of just "baguette and water." Gradually, it expanded to cheese. And now, she's eating fish every Friday (this is a country that still embraces its old Catholic ways of fish Fridays and days off for numerous high points of the liturgical year -- two for the month of May including Ascension and Pentecost), "orange soup," and cooked carrots!

Evidently, she's warming up to their menu, but seems to find the whole experience still rather traumatic because everyday, sometimes when she first wakes up in the morning, she will say in a pitiful way, "I don't want to go to the cantine." She even says it at night. And will say it in French and English. Her roleplaying also seems to be consumed by it with myself put in the teacher's role and Maylin as one of her classmates crying in the cantine because her mom isn't there.

So, I'm having second thoughts about signing her up for the cantine next year, even for just two days a week, but then it makes things a lot less practical for me. I wouldn't be able to take a dance class or voice lessons, or stray too far from the neighborhood for too long. In fact, it would be quite restrictive come to think of it. Perhaps she'll grow out of the fear next year.

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