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Playing truant

This is likely the last year I’ll get to dodge the back-to-school rush. While everyone else was wrapped up in the “vuelta al cole” in September, I dawdled in the near-empty park with my two little ones, and enjoyed the peace of the library on weekdays. People are curious about why my three-year old isn’t in school, even though, like in most European countries, the mandatary age for schooling is six. Notwithstanding our disregard of popular opinion on the subject, it has been a very interesting phase in terms of learning. Some snippets from the past few months show that plenty of learning (including academic knowledge) takes place when kids are just getting on with life.

So how is Spain?

“So how is Spain?” our friends in Paris asked us all summer. And I didn’t really know what to tell them. To be brutally frank, changing nappies in Spain is quite a lot like changing nappies in Beirut or in Paris. This year will not be the year of discovering Andalucia’s charms. In fact, we did far more of that in just a fortnight, pre-kids, than we have in the ten months we’ve been living here. Hopefully we’ll be freer to do more soon. But apart from this being that awkward stage of family life where naps and bibs and accidents make staying out all day long more trouble than it’s worth, there’s another reason I find that question hard to answer.