To explain where stories come from, we helped Leila and Rahul make their own mini-books. I transcribed their stories.
Natasha Visits Dr. Leila
Doctor Leila goes for a walk.She goes to the nurse’s house.
The nurse goes to Dr. Leila’s house.
They do a blood test for Natasha.
They check Natasha’s heart. (L and R both demand I draw a heart on this page!)
They heard dook dook, dook dook, dook dook.
Then they checked her lungs.
Dr. Leila and the nurse sent Natasha home.
Natasha became better.
The Dragon and the Princess
Once upon a time there was a princess who was stuck in the dragons cave.
And one dragon said, “Who is here?
The dragons blow fire at her.
She called the prince. He faught the dragons with his sword.
The dragons threw fire on the prince as well.
The dragons left the cave.
Once upon a time there was a dragon and a princess.
The dragon blew fire on the prince and princess.
Then suddenly, the nice fairy appears and fights with the dragon.
And the dragon flew away.
Nemo the Shark
Nemo the shark bites everyone. But he is scared of the dragon.
One day Nemo met the dragon in his house! (R: Mama put an excamashun mark)
The dragon blew fire on Nemo. It hurt a lot. (R: draw a dragon here. Blowing fire. – I managed a dragon
brontosaurus dog with whiskers blowing a sock.)
“Maaaamaaa. Waaaah. Mama.”
Me, slipping in between the children, “What’s up Rahul?”
“Where’s my book?” he asked, as he frantically felt around the mattress and floor.
Me: Which book, this one?
“NO. The one with rabbits and the balloons.”
Me: Uhhh….rabbits and balloons, is it this one then?
Even more agitated, Rahul: Not that one. With rabbits and balloons.
He’s either dreamt about floating rabbits, or it’s something from school.
Me: Ok, come over here my love. Try to sleep again.
Me: What do you feel like doing Rahul?
Rahul: I want to go to the slides.
Me: But it’s raining outside now. The slides and monkey bars are all wet and slippery.
Rahul: Where’s Leila? And papa?
Me: Leila’s gone to Decathlon with papa. Today it’s me and you, together!
Rahul: I want to go to the box place.
Me: What box place?
Rahul: The BOX shop, where we went yesterday.
Me: Hmmmm. What did we do there?
Getting frustrated, Rahul: We played with boxes and stickers.
Think fast. Think fast.
A few days ago we bought stickers for the kids and then hung out in a section with cube-like furniture at…
“OK, let’s go get stickers from the shop next to Star BUCKS, and then we can share a hot chocolate.”
“OK. Let’s go!”
“Mum look kshhhhh, looook, kshhhh doing kshhhhh up kshhhhh down.” That’s what I heard this morning. Rahul was trying to tell me something. Something BIG of course.
I was focused on staying out of his and Leila’s hyper-excited way, working hard at Facebook.
I look at him as he’s throwing a toy into the air, about to move on to another game. I might still be able to listen this time. “What’s up love?”
“Look mum, when I throw it up, it falls down.”
“Yeah! Amazing isn’t it.”
I tell Maher about it when he walks into the room.
Leila is a keen listener and vibe picker-upper. Half an hour later she tells me when she throws her doll up, it falls down. She looks me in the eye. She knows I caught her out. We smile.
The only requirement for preschool – which starts middle of next week – is that they’re potty-trained, well other than that they’re 3-years-old by November 1st. Now I don’t know how early Newton figured all that stuff out, we’re still working on it. Baby Leila’s pretty much got it. Our baby Newton might need a little longer.
This one’s for my Z school friends-
Me: Do you guys want to try these crackers?
Leila: Wat dat cracker mum?
Me: They’re like Nayla’s. They’re yummy.
Rahul (South African accent): Lakka lakka like a fire cracker.
“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.
1pm yesterday afternoon. Calgary Court House.
Maher tells Rahul, “Au jourd’hui on va a la ceremonie. Nanu devient avocat.”
Rahul says “cado.”
7 pm this evening. Nanu’s apartment.
Maher to Rahul : “Tu veux manger un avocat?”
Maher asks L and R: “Qui veux un peu plus d’avocat?”