“Rahul is a sweetheart! He let Leila have the train,” I declare proudly as he hands back her toy upon request.
“Thanks Rahul.” I continue.
“Afu BOY,” he quickly corrects me, worried. (He calls himself Afu; the Sichuanese version of his Chinese name.)
“Yes. Afu boy.” I confirm, without going into how he can also be a sweetheart!
“Leila girl,” he double-checks.
“Yes. Leila girl.”
He looks up, eyes shining, up to something. “Afu GIRL!”
“Afu girl? Nnnnnno, Afu boy!” I reply with a chuckle.
He bursts out laughing.
The 4 of us are downstairs, L on her train, R on his duck-car, ayi (meaning aunt, what he calls their nanny) and me.
He continues with some powerful declarations of identity: “Afu zizi.” (A cute way for children to say penis in French.)
“Leila kiki.” (A cute way for children to say vagina in French.)
“Yes honey, you’re right. You have a zizi, and Leila has a kiki.”
Then he goes wild: “Papa zizi. Mama kiki. Ayi kiki. Shu shu zizi.” (Shu shu is uncle in Mandarin, what the children call any young man they need to address.)
Our uncontrollable, loud laughter attracts some attention.
“It’s a good thing the Chinese people don’t understand him,” ayi says between squeals of laughter; her face red as a tomato.