Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pret-a-Porter Potty

As you know, it's vacation for Bambina till summer camp starts next week. Last week was an interesting experience watching her relax into a vacation routine just like any adult. The first day she slept till 9am, a heretofore unprecedented event. Then she didn't get dressed the entire day; just wanted to hang out and draw pictures and watch The Traveling Wilburys DVD. The entire week was one of decompression.

This week, by contrast, is all about doing, going and moving. We got new air conditioners, so Bambina decided to use the boxes for fun. The large one she made into a house for Tinkerbell. She had the BBDD use pipe cleaners to make one end a door latch, she set it up with couch cushions and then drew pictures on the inside to decorate. She was very proud of her accomplishment, which kept her busy for a couple of hours. She then got busy working on the smaller A/C box. When I asked her about her activity she said, "You will find out what it is soon." When she pronounced it finished I asked her to tell me all about it (knowing that you never ask a kid "what is it?" in case what it is is supposed to be mind-numbingly self-evident). Her answer? "It's a port-a-potty!" She put a plastic bag in the box, hooked it over a small couch cushion, and told me I could use it if I needed to pee pee. I quite literally could not stop laughing for perhaps a good 6 minutes. Everyone who came in the door all week was directed by her to the Port a Potty just in case they had to pee.

We have also spent a good amount of time in the bathtub, if you can believe it. Bambina got a mini pool for her birthday but the weather hasn't really been pool-friendly, so instead we have been hanging out in the tub in her swimsuit while she pretends she's either Tinkerbell or Snow White making espressos from the bath bubbles. Every day I have to pull her out of the tub after about 90 minutes, to much kiddie chagrin.

It is all good fun. The only issue is when each thread of her imaginative play comes together to form, if you will, a whole that is rather more disturbing than its parts. Consider that while in the bath being Tinkerbell, Bambina informed me that The Wilburys were also coming over. And not only were The Wilburys coming over, but they were jumping into the bath too With All Their Clothes On!! "Even Jim the drummer." I said something cautious like, "Well, that's pretty silly to jump into the bath with their clothes on." To which she replied, "Yeah! The Wilburys should take their clothes off!" How do you respond?!! She has no concept of nudity as a sexual thing, no sense that the image of 5 rather hirsute men from the 80's naked in my kid's bath gives me the willies, no sense other than We're Having a Bath Party! Thank God the BBDD yelled from the other room (through laughter at my predicament), "I hope they brought their swim suits!" Thank God. Yes. Swimsuits. Still, Bob Dylan in a speedo in my tub isn't exactly my idea of preschool fun. But if you've got a guitar-obsessed 4 year-old there's only so much you can do.

In other news we went and signed up for Chinese school. Starting in the fall, the whole family will be going to weekly Chinese classes. The school is a good mix of Chinese-American families and families with children from China. While Bambina is in her beginner class, the BBDD and I will be in our beginner class, all of which is designed with the purpose of us supporting her language learning in the home. I'm really excited about it, especially getting beyond our current colors/numbers/quick phrases stage of Chinese knowledge. Not to mention making friends with other families, both Caucasian and Asian, and building a community for ourselves. I know I can't give Bambina her birthparents or her birth culture; both huge losses that can't be replaced. But what I can give her is a solid sense of self, of the many aspects of her hybrid cultural identity: American, Chinese by birth, Jewish, raised by white parents. Chinese language is a non-negotiable aspect of that in my opinion.

So, anyway. We're off to the Science Museum. Have a great day! Zai Jian!

1 comment:

Utah Savage said...

A peek into normalcy or normality. Happy family life, supportive parents, a happy child. I live, some days, vicariously through you.