My Real Family!!
However the conversation we had this week took the cake! I was driving home with the kids a couple nights ago. Cheeky and I were talking about hair styles and bangs. Cheeky was telling me why bangs were not a good idea and how he was glad Tootsie grew hers out. While confused little Tootsie kept chiming in from the back "And you know I looked like Dracula with my bangs"... 4 yrs old and we get f and b confused! But we are not fazed by the fact that we had fangs!!
Finally we revealed to her that bangs had to do with hair and not teeth. So then she says "Yeah my real family really liked bangs so they gave me some". That stopped our conversation in its tracks.
"Real Family?" I asked
"Yes my real family who had me till I was 2 years old" Tootsie says with a straight face
We were still very confused, so Cheeky asks her "Who is your real family?"
"You know my English Mom, English Dad and English Brother".
Cheeky and I were speechless, we exchanged puzzled looks. Tootsie took this opportunity to educate us
"And now because I live with my Indian family I am learning Tamil" and she went on to say "Amma thanni kudu" (Mom give me some water) very calmly like this was all very normal.
So then we asked her "If your English family gave you to us, do we need to give you back to them?". She says "yeah, I will need to go back."
By then I had figured out why we were having this conversation, so I asked "Are you saying this because we talk Tamil and you don't?"
"Yes my English family only knew English, but my Indian family knows Tamil so I am learning" She says with an exaggerated sigh!
Will teach M to try teach her Tamil.. M is guilty of trying to get her to talk with her grand mom in Tamil this past weekend.
So this went on for 2 days when she described her family. Asked for names she said "I was too little, I didn't know the name of my mom, I just called her "Mom"". We of course narrated this preposterous story to my sister and she quizzed her about the English family as well.
Last night my sister in law sent us pictures of Kanu Pidi, a south Indian tradition that we do for Pongal (Harvest Festival). I was carrying Tootise and Cheeky stood next to me as I showed them the video and pictures. So the kids asked what that was about. So I said "They are praying to God that like a flock of crows, the family should stay together forever". Cheeky then told Tootsie "Oh but we dont need to pray for you, your English family will do that"
Tootsie hugged me and said "But mommy I want to stay with you forever. I am not going to go back to my English family"
Finally last night I guess Cheeky wore her down, she came to me and said
"You know I was with my English family before I came to your tummy" and later "Mommy I was just pretending about the English family"
What clued me in. Earlier that day I was working from home and on a conference call. Tootsie came up to me making gestures and mouthing something to me. M watching this asked her what she wanted and what she was trying to do. So Tootsie clarifies "When Mommy is talking to English people, she doesn't like them to hear me. So I was whispering!". And of course the fact that she frets over not being able to talk in Tamil. She keeps repeating the 4 words she knows in Tamil telling us "I am talking in Tamil now"
But well in all these that's the first time she has accepted her pretense. I am amazed at how well this kid can fabricate tales and stick with it all keeping a straight face. Like Cheeky says "Maybe we have a future writer?" Or I think Conman?