bilingual, English, Hebrew, language issues, moms, parenthood

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Last night as I was bringing something to the car, I tripped on the curb and watched, in slow motion, as my ankle twisted completely around. I knew it was bad as soon as I did it, and I collapsed into the car. Josh was out with our oldest so I yelled to one of the little guys to get Yehuda. He was terrific, asking what he could do and trying to get me into the house; but the kids got to watch, instead, as mom passed out from pain on the cold, hard sidewalk.

Sometimes life is grand.

When I felt like I would be able to get to the couch in the house, I had Yehuda help me up and we made it inside. Falling onto the couch, I said to the younger boys, “I need ice. Right now. Someone get ice for my ankle.”

And then the fun began. Even when you’re in pain and trying not to throw up, it’s nice to have a sense of humor. Now, keep in mind that my kids are completely bilingual, but there are always gaps in the words they know in each language.

“Vat’s an ankle?” I hear from my 7 year old.

“Just get the ice!”

My 11 year old heads to the freezer and as he collects the ice I hear, again, “Which one is the ankle? Is that this?” he says pointing to his elbow.

“No! Just get the ice.”

“Is it this?” he continues as he points to his knee.

“For the love of Gd, would you please just…get…me…ice.”

The 5 year old comes over with the ice and places it on my knee. 

“No,” I say, trying to stay calm and vacillating between pain and laughter, “My ankle. My ankle.”

And then the 9 year old joins in, “What’s an ankle?”

Finally, my 14 year old has had enough. “Guys! This is an ankle! An ankle! Would you just be quiet and give mommy the ice already??”

“Oh!” they all say almost simultaneously, pointing to their feet. 

“Dat’s the ankle. Right.”

“The ice! The ice!” I’m still yelling. “Give me the ice!”

And that folks, is a glimpse into our house with the life of an injured mom raising six mostly-bilingual kids, four of whom learned the word “ankle” in English for the first time last night.

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

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