Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our Growing Collection

Poux and coqueluche are two words you don't want to need in any language. Respectively, they're lice and whooping cough.

I first learned poux (pronounced "poo") a few years ago. There was a sign on Ellie's three-year-old class' door that said something like: ψείρα" έχουν poux φθάσει στα σχολικά μας and had a picture of a menacing insect. I gestured to the image to another mom, then scratched my head. She nodded, confirming what I feared. Soon after, the mountain chain of laundry began. (No matter how clean you are, you can still get these buggers, so I was forced to learn...)

Now the kids are in elementary school (primaire) and this time when the note came home in their parent/teacher communication books, I could thankfully (?) read the words myself. I immediately checked the kids over. A week later, the mountain chain of laundry reappeared, and a certain little girl got a much, much shorter haircut. They don't accept the kids at the coiffure with lice, so I --horror-- had to chop it myself.

Around this same time, I learned the word coqueluche. (Though at first I kept saying Coluche, a deceased 80's comedian, who could perhaps be called France's George Carlin.) Alex was the first victim. I kept him home a week from school; no one slept. Next, it was Ellie's turn, and now Bernard's.

If my turn comes along, I know the path to the pharmacy all too well. And if that happens, I'll just have to console myself regularly...there's a bakery across the street.

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