May 21st, 2009

Oh That? She’s Been Doing That For-ev-er


The hubby and I like a good laugh, especially at someone else’s expense.  

Spicy Girl has been a bit of a peanut since we brought her home from China.  We’ve been asked several times if she was premature.  “Don’t know, she was left with no information at an Orphanage in rural China.”  What did her mother tell you about her?  “Don’t know, she was left with no information at an Orphanage in rural China.”  What was her birth weight? “Don’t know … “  OK, you get the drill. 

Suffice it to say, she is little.  She’s wearing clothing that are a bit behind where she should be according to American growth charts—but she’s healthy so we don’t worry. On the flip side, she is sharp as a tack.  She has great diction, she is very curious, and her fine and gross motor skills are excellent.   

The fact of having a particularly small child with above average cognitive skills (notice I’m not saying ADVANCED) makes for some great opportunities to screw with people.  

Our victims are usually totally unaware of their fate.  Typically we are in a park or at the indoor play space in the mall where there are many children running around in their natural habitat.  The unsuspecting parent will say something like, “How OLD is she?”  

Then, the fun begins.  

“She’s older than she looks,” we reply.  

“Oh, well, she’s so articulate and using her words so well.”  The prying parent (typically a mother) will say.

“Yes, she’s really picking up on English.  We’re very fortunate being that Chinese was her first language.”  

“She speaks Chinese?”  

“Yes. Very well.”  

“Wow, um and she’s on her second language?”

“Well, I guess technically, yes.”  

This is a good time to take a swig of some high-end bottled water. I usually keep a bottle in my diaper bag that we refill from the tap.


“We’re also teaching her Italian, and she’s picking up on that faster than the English,” I’ll say. Then I’ll turn to Spicy Girl and shout  “Fantastico! Continuare a giocare!”  Please note, that I don’t speak a lick of Italian other than the names of assorted pastas and cured meats—but I’ve learned one phrase (”Wonderful! Keep playing!”), just to make this more fun. 

In reply, Spicy Girl shouts “Strega Nona!”—which is the name of a favorite pop-up book and means nothing in the context of what I shouted to her. But it’s a great little gimmick. 

“And, how OLD did you say she was?”  The stranger asks as she rummages through her diaper bag for a juice box.

“16 months.”  Crossing my fingers behind my back since she’s really two and a half.


“We’re blessed.”  

“Yeah, I bet.”  She sighs. “I need to get my son out of the sandbox.  He’s eating dirt.”

“Zai Jian!”  I shout good-bye in Mandarin.

I’ll go to confession tomorrow.

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This Weeks Tip

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