Crazy Chinese Mother has returned to bring more drama! So much for her daughter being in another class and not having to deal with her.
So, Thursday morning she came to the school to drop off her daughter as always. I was going about my morning duties as usual when one of the Japanese staff came up to me and said CCM wanted to talk to me about something that happened yesterday.
Seriously? Again??? was all I could think.
So, she told me about how her daughter had said that yesterday, in the morning during their free playtime she had fallen, and that I went over and pulled her to her feet and said to her, "何やってんの?" (Nani yattenno? A kind of rude/slang way of saying "What are you doing?")
Oh, the ridiculousness of it! I don't think I've ever spoken a word of Japanese to any of the students. I rarely even speak Japanese to any of the Japanese staff because it's an English school and we try to avoid using Japanese in front of the students and parents if at all possible.
The Japanese staff lady who CCM was using as a kind of go-between, bless her heart, stood her ground and stood up for me and insisted that none of the English teachers speak Japanese to the students, and that she's never heard me speak Japanese either. CCM hmmm'ed and haaa'ed and rambled and insisted she didn't think her daughter would lie, and finally just told me to "Use my smell to the children."
I just kind of went, "Ohh.. kay." I thought perhaps she meant something about some 'sense' or something, I have no idea.
"You understand what I say?"
"Umm, not really... use my smell?"
"Yes, use your smell with the children."
I looked at Nice Japanese Staff Lady for help.
"におい?" NJSL asked for confirmation using the word for smell in Japanese.
"No no," and she pointed to her cheek and made as much of a smile as her permanently angry-looking face could muster.
"Oh, smile!" NJSL explaimed.
"Yes, smell." CCM continued.
I just nodded, saying, "Okay, okay."
She finally left.
Other teacher, who has CCM's daughter, came to me later and said there was a note for me in the renrakuchou. And what a note it was! An angry, scathing note questioning why I would say such a thing to her daughter when she fell down, didn't I know what I was saying?, and that I should say sorry to them, "because you should be!"
I wrote as polite of a reply as I could, explaining that her daughter did not in fact fall, but that she and another girl were goofing off during our morning activities and that I had asked them to stop playing and stand up, and that I never use Japanese in front of any of the students.
Friday came, and so did her reply in the notebook: I hope what you said is true.
So, again, I wrote another politely-worded but firm reply, that yes it is true, that I have no need to use Japanese at the school as my job is to teach English, which is my first language and what I use naturally anyway, and that I didn't think her daughter was purposely telling lies but that children that young don't always understand everything around them, especially if it's in a new language to them, sometimes they just make mistakes.
There was a lot more that I went on about, but that's the gist of it.
All my Japanese coworkers have been very supportive of me, which has been nice. "Don't let her bother you!" "I know you didn't say that, don't worry!"
Even one of the higher-ups came in on Friday before classes let out, to tell me that she knew I wouldn't say that and that she was going to talk to CCM and explain to her that her daughter had probably picked up that phrase from other kids in the class.
CCM was cordial to me that day when she came to pick up her daughter, but I left shortly after so I don't know what happened after the higher-up spoke to her or after she read my last reply. We'll see what comes of it on Tuesday I guess. Monday is a national holiday... definitely a much-needed 3-day weekend as I have also had this really persistent cough all week that I just can't seem to kick! Did a really thorough cleaning today, which was also much-needed, so the next couple days I can just enjoy and relax.
So, in parting I'll leave you with the lovely view I had from my kitchen window today.