He arrived today, our bundle of joy. I’m talking about A’s French exchange student. He’s here with us this week and part of next and then she will stay at his house in Versailles the following week. When she first brought the paperwork home for the exchange program she told me she would have a better chance of getting into the program if we said a boy or a girl would be fine instead of just a girl. Reluctantly I wrote down “doesn’t matter” on the form. Soon after we found out that a boy would be staying with us. I wrinkled up my nose and acted disappointed. I think I commented on it a few times before A said to me, “Gosh mom, what’s wrong with you? You have nephews! You act like you don’t like boys!” Was I worried about the balance of power in our household evening out for once for H? Was I worried she might fall in love with him? Maybe all of the above.
So far he seems very sweet and terribly nervous. He looks so much younger than A even though he’s only about six months younger. He came bearing gifts, some chocolates, a book on Paris, and a book of French cartoons. I have to pack him a lunch every day so I was trying to find out what he likes and what he does not like. Because his English is not so good I said to A, I’m going to ask him what he likes for lunch, is that voulez-vous manger pour le dejeuner? A’s response was, “You could just ask him what he wants for lunch, he is supposed to be practicing his English”. She didn’t say this to be cruel to him, she was trying to cut me off from continually embarrassing her with my smattering of French. I am sure next week she’ll be happy if one of the parents breaks out a little anglais every now and then, even when he is cringing in the corner.
The two of them and one of her friends and her exchange student went to see Alice in Wonderland tonight. I’m not good with awkward silences and as we drove to her friend’s house I wanted to ask him some questions just to be polite. I held off because I was thinking of a story that A told me recently. Her friend R was getting a ride home alone with another parent. R grabbed an extra muffin at lunch and when someone asked her about it she said something like “I’m hoping if I’m eating this on the way home K’s mom won’t ask me questions”. I laughed until I realized I should no longer be relating to the teenager in that story. I’m the dreaded mom!