Just like when Bitti was learning colours and liked to ‘tend (pretend) she didn’t know them in front of me, she is now pretending lots of other things for reasons best known to herself. She does this in lots of ways but it started with colours. She pointed at a book page and said ‘that’s red’, when it was plainly yellow. Her eyes slid sideways to watch my reaction. When I responded with, ‘it’s definitely purple!’, she was very happy. We can play this game.
Now she extends this deliberate wrong to other objects and animals too. I feel like this is the beginning of an advanced course in sarcasm and irony for Bitti. That she is showing early promise is good, because I’m not sure what I would do with a child who took everything I said at face value.
There were a few months there when everyone was sad. We regularly read a story about an elephant who gets knocked on the head with a coconut and all her friends try to cheer her up, but she’s still sad. After that, she became a pro at pointing out misery in such a delighted way that it was almost too irreverent even for me. But now she can point out a more diverse range of emotions as depicted in drawings, and has been trying them on her own face too.
Crocodile tears are nothing new for those in the under-five bracket, but Bitti takes it to another dimension. She has this menacing stare that triggers memories of Japanese horror films that I watched before I effected a self-imposed ban on the watching of that entire genre in order to preserve all future nights’ sleep. Seriously, brush her hair forward and put her in a dimly lit room and I defy anyone not to summon an exorcist.
Although terrifying, a natural power like that demands nurturing, so I have been training her to whip out the expression at a moment’s notice. It’s a perilous task but someone has to do it. And after all, providing those around you with an easy gauge of your current mood is a community service that too often goes unrecognised. Plus, letting someone know they’ve crossed a line without speaking is a pinnacle of efficiency in communication surpassed by no other. You can all thank me later.
Once we have this one under control, I figure we should move on to the polite smile, just to balance things out a bit, but without abandoning the pretending theme. And, you know, so she can be either a politician or an actor one day (porque no los dos, aye Arnie?). I can only hope that Bitti will have the good fortune to flash her epic stink eye upon someone as truly deserving as Hillary Clinton.
BTW, did you see how I found a picture of a tiger giving stink eye? Did you see that? Did ya?