Monday, April 7, 2008

The undeniable allure of Old World vocabulary

When E doesn't recognize a word or saying, she asks "huh?" over and over, forcing you to repeat yourself or explain yourself in another way until she understands and remembers the phrase. It sounds annoying, and even can be annoying, but if it is it's in an endearing way because she's not (in this instance) trying to be annoying - she's asking for clarification or reinforcement of a new concept.

Ms. Bandari, the lead teacher in the 3-5s room at E's daycare, often draws smiley faces on the kids' hands. I don't love this practice, but the kids do. Most of them, anyway. E has always been a little fearful of Ms. Bandari, who is very warm, also but loud and large. So when E came home today with a smiley face on each hand I was actually a little excited about it, because that means she's overcome her apprehension about Ms. Bandari, which is a great accomplishment for her.

But. Ms. Bandari's artwork is usually in ballpoint pen, and today on E's hands and those of her friends were caricatures in some sort of thick black marker. And E had managed to transfer much of the ink of her left hand's smiley onto her left jaw bone. So when she was brushing her teeth, I told her that even though I know she doesn't like it, I need to take the washcloth and scrub her face a little bit.

You're all schmutzy, love!
Huh?
You're schmutzy! We need to get Ms. Bandari's marker off of your cheek!
Huh?
Schmutzy - messy. You got schmutz on you, and we need to wash it off.
Oh! Wash this hand, too! (Holds up left hand.)

I scrub the ink off of her left hand and off of her left jaw, and I reach across her with the washcloth to go at her right hand.

No, Mama!
Honey, we need to wash this hand, too.
Not YET!
When should we wash it?
Tomorrow! (Presses right hand to right cheek.) After I SCHMUTZ it on THIS face! Pin It