Foreigner Follies ~ Scolded by the preschool teacher

Lately, I have been feeling much more settled. Munchkin is in school. I have some me time. I am meeting people. I have a sence of being part of the community.

Feeling more at home doesn’t mean you aren’t still a stupid foreigner.

Preschool has presented some new challenges. (I like to think of them as learning opportunities.) I am abysmal at the day-to-day knowledge of preschool norms. Culture shock slaps me in the face a lot in this new adventure.

My little monkey is usually happy to go to preschool, but some kids are not. There is one little boy who cries every morning. Two days in a row, we sat beside this little one while taking off the coat and changing into slippers.

The first day, I tried a little distraction. The English language is a curious thing to a Serb tyke! So, I talked to him in English and then translated in Serbian. He was confounded and forgot about crying for a few minutes at least.

Munchkin went to her class happily. From the doorway, I coached her a bit to find a seat (in English.) The gorgeous little tots stared at me with fascination. One little girl was so astonished, she got up from her seat and started walking towards me. I think, maybe she thought closer proximity would solve problem and she would understand?

Rabbit trail…..

It is funny how our brains work when it comes to foreign language. Just last week a friend and I went to a little store to get something and the sales lady tried to “help” me understand by yelling in Serbia.   Sadly, it didn’t help. 😉 We left the store and shared a good laugh.

Back to the story at hand.

Enter the second day of the little boy crying without stop. There is no distraction possible. As I relieve my munchkin of her coat, gloves, shoes and change her footwear to the appropriate slippers. It is all very Mr. Rogers, minus being at home.

The sobbing boy’s  distress became too much. Munchkin began to cry as well. Crap.

Thinking of being helpful and distracting my sorrowful little one, I take her to the loo to wash her hands. She stands at the sink and as I start to help the tall beautiful teacher comes in talking so fast. It startles me, and it takes me a few seconds to understand that I am not supposed to come into the bathroom with outdoor shoes on… Yes, this is a bit like China.

I am taken aback and don’t really know what to say. She is a new teacher and I think she may not know I am a foreigner with limited language skills. In Serbian, I say, “I am an American. I don’t understand. and I didn’t know”. Well beyond overwhelmed by the abrupt admonishment, I leave the bathroom as not to offend anymore. I keep walking down the stairs and out of the building.

My brain is mush with embarrassment, anger, and the puppy dog hanging its head with shame feeling. The anger is with myself for not knowing, and with the scolding.

Of course, I give it more thought than I should that day.

The next morning the hall is empty as I ready my girl for school, the teacher rounds the corner and makes a bee line for me. She immediately in English says she is sorry. I interrupt with my own rambling apology. All is made right.

Poor Munchkin will probably suffer through this a million more times…

And then I will write about it!

 

 

 

 

Munckin Monday 10-13-2014

Good Morning Monday.

I am doing a little catch up. Here are some pics of the Munchkin. She LOVES kitties.
We found two tiny kittens beside a dumpster. Eyes still closed meowing like crazy. She insisted we take them. I insisted we take a walk and see if the Mommy Kitty came back.

We went for a walk and they were still there when we came back. Both were cold, stinky and hungry. We took them home, gave them a bath and fed them with a medicine dropper.

FYI, Baby shampoo and dish detergent is a great flea bath! It rendered them flea less!

One one managed to live two days, but the other one was strong and I was able to give him meds from a vet. I named him Fork.

After three weeks, he also passed away. I was devastated. This was the first time, I had to explain death to the munchkin. She doesn’t really get it yet. And I never let her see them after they passed. She still asked a few times where “Sister” was. She called them both “Sister”.

I think at this age it is easier just to say, Kitty went away.

Munchkin is doing well, and I know we will have more kitties to save in the future. 🙂

At the moment, Munchkin and I are nursing colds. Who knew we would be struck down so soon after starting preschool. The sound of dueling nose blowing abounds. A few coughs thrown in for good measure.

On a positive note, I have had time for studying Serbian thanks to Preschool! Hooray!

Dobar Dan Y’all!