Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Words They Use

My daughters have used a lot, words which, when they've uttered them, have taken me by surprise, shocking me into laughter, or dismay, or complete incredulity. I think this is something all parents go through, but I feel particularly sensitive to this because of my love for words.

This evening, it was my four-year-old's turn to surprise me into hysterical laughter.

She's different from her Atsi*, my four-year-old. Where my eldest is a bit of a rough-and-tumble type, whose favorite color is blue, who prefers pants to skirts and action-cartoons to cutesy shows, my second daughter adores the color pink, likes to wear clips, beads, bracelets, necklaces and make-up, and wants to spend her TV time watching Barbie Fairytopia. Where Atsi has thought of becoming a fireman, a policeman, a doctor, a lawyer, an architect, etc., Sho-be** has been very clear, adamant even, that she wants to grow up to become a ballerina (displaying a pirouette with each announcement).

I spent the early evening doing a bit of arts-and-crafts with my four-year old while my eight-year old studied for an exam. She was engrossed in her work, cutting some paper into a shape that only she could make sense of, coloring it with crayons and pentel pens, dabbing pink glitter-glue all over it, while I "assisted" her by handing her the implements as she asked for them, like a nurse helping a surgeon in the operating room.

"It's done!" she announced when she was finished.

"Wonderful!" I said. "Um, what is it, dear?"

"It's a cat!" She held it up to me.

"It's beautiful! It's excellent! It's terrific!"

"No it's not Daddy," she said, and I believe I heard derision in her voice at all my adjectives. "It's FABULOUS!"

I paused for a few seconds before collapsing on the floor in a heap, and it was all my eldest could do to get me to stop laughing so she could concentrate on her schoolwork.

"Hellooo! I'm trying to study here!" she raised her voice at me. "Could you please keep it down?"

Of course, I couldn't.

*Atsi - Hokkien word for eldest sister, Ate in Filipino.
**Sho-be - Hokkien word for youngest sister.


Blogger Dominique said...

I see an ambush makeover in your future.

8:14 AM  
Blogger pgenrestories said...

Yikes. I hope not. Both kids will have to deal with the fact that their father's a slob...and proud of it.

9:51 AM  

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