1:31 PM

I hate answering the phone in France when I don't recognize the number. But after missing a call a few weeks ago from the school, I know now to answer it and deal with whoever it is. After all, it is usually either my friend J who is always changing her number or my husband calling from a land line at work.

But sometimes it is the school.

Last month it was because Queenie had vomited at the lunch table. I understood that and went right away to get her.

Today though, I wasn't too sure what the girl was talking about. It didn't help that she was talking fast, probably trying to get out the details before I could get nervous in order to say, "Mais, elle va bien, ne vous inquitez pas." (Don't worry, she is fine.)

I heard the words "fall down", "not broken", "all better" and "doigt" (which I took to mean finger). There was no crying in the background and when I asked the teacher aide if I should pick her up, she stuttered a bit and reassured me that Queenie was right next to her and fine now. I asked if she was crying. She said no. So I said to let her go to music class and I would pick her up at the end of school. She said okay, sounding a bit relieved and hung up. I wondered what the big deal was with the finger.

Turns out Queenie didn't fall on her finger. She fell on her HEAD! The teacher aide didn't say "doigt" she said "droit" which is not very different sounding to foreign ears (although a French person would claim that just can't be true!) and she wasn't talking about the finger not being broken, she was talking about her NOSE not being broken. That is was "droit" (straight).

Seriously. Being a mom in a foreign country is crazy sometimes. I didn't even understand the full story until Queenie suddenly found interest in telling me about all the blood that came out of her nose today. Which she was reminded of when looking at her creamy burrito casserole with tomato sauce on top.

Good thing I start French classes again tomorrow! Maybe next time they call I will actually understand them!

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