FIX ‘ER UP
One day, when the pain from my skin infections was especially high, Isadora commented to her mom, “I wish I had brought my doctor kit to fix Miss Paulette.”
LOOKING UGLY ISN’T SO BAD
On another occasion, her pity and compassion levels must have lower than normal because she glanced at my fingers and legs and told me, “You look ugly.” Lorena exclaimed, “Isadora!” who defended herself to me, “I didn’t say you ARE ugly. You just LOOK ugly.” Hahaha. I’ve never met a three-year-old capable of offending me (their cuteness always surpasses their bluntness or even their violent rage). Besides, in this case, Isadora was partially correct. Both my fingers and legs were beyond ugly; they were hideously infected and disgusting. So I told her that right now, they were ugly, but hopefully they wouldn’t be that way forever.
MEXICANS IN THE VILLAGE?
This story requires translation, but hopefully it will still be funny.
We were sitting around the table eating a bedtime snack, when Isadora, who was peeling her tangerine (MEX-E-RI-CA), suddenly almost dropped it and exclaimed, “My Mexican almost fell!” (In Portuguese, the word for Mexican is MEX-I-CA-NA, so it’s a reasonable mistake for a three-year-old. Nonetheless, Juliana and I burst out laughing at the idea of Isadora’s Mexican falling on the floor.
Lorena, who also had no clue what a Mexican is, chimed in, “Speaking of Mexicans, we still haven’t eaten the sugar cane the villagers gave us.”
Mexican – MEX-I-CA-NA
Sugar cane – CA-NA
So you can see why one word would remind her of the other.
After Juliana and I finally finished laughing, we gave the girls a brief lesson in geography, social studies, and ethnic groups. Hopefully now they know the difference between Mexicans, tangerines, and sugar cane so they can go through life without getting them confused.
One day, when I returned to the house, Lorena was armed with a homemade bow and arrow (made of string and thin sticks, with a pencil stub as an arrow), a determined look on her face. Apparently she had been hunting butterflies, which was a surprising switch after her endeavors earlier in the week, to catch butterflies and take care of them.
Normally, Lorena is extremely sensitive and compassionate. She has been known to cry and get upset with her parents for killing “poor tarantulas” which invaded the house. So it was quite shocking that a couple days could transform butterflies from friends to hunting targets.
Fortunately for the butterflies, Lorena’s aim wasn’t that great. Tired of constantly missing the targets, she moved on to bigger and better game…the village chickens.
After 15 minutes or so, she reported, with a gleam in her eye, “I almost killed a chicken.” “Really?” I replied, trying not to laugh at the idea of a pencil stub being that deadly. “Yes, I hit it and it ran away fast. I think it was hurt bad,” she boasted. Living among the Neno, their hunting culture must be rubbing off on this child. Although later when I asked Lorena where our supper was, she just looked at me and giggled as if that were a crazy question.