It was always going to be a difficult conversation. Sensitive negotiation would be vital. Careful preparation would have been nice but when he rang out of the blue on a Saturday afternoon he put R on the spot.
Unsurprisingly, R fumbled the first contact. It took a moment to figure out who the Spanish speaking caller was but then the penny dropped and the importance of the call made his heart lurch to the pit of his stomach. ‘Perdón, perdón,’ he stumbled, gushing his apologies for his lack of immediate recognition. (Or at least so he thought.)
It was at precisely this sensitive point in the proceedings that the toddler decided to pitch in. Loudly. ‘Papá, Papá,’ he yelled. ‘You just said trumpy-fart! Trumpy-fart, trumpy-fart, TRUMPY-FART!!!’
As I hurriedly ushered the (bi-lingual smartypants) toddler away from the range of the telephone microphone I was given pause to reflect on the importance of pronouncing your Rs. Because the toddler was right. Instead of excusing himself to his caller R had actually just repeated the word ‘pedón’ at him. Literal translation: big fart.