Friday, July 25, 2008

Role playing

I walk into home, dead beat after a really nasty day at work. 'Mother me, Nino,' I say. It's a role he loves to play: 'I've two-two babies' is his constant refrain when he's playing with Nino's Dad and me. I want to put my head in someone's lap and have my hair stroked.
Me: 'Mama do nini (sleep) in your lap?'
Nino: 'Yes.' 'Mama come.'
I lie down carefully in the tiny lap he has made from his crossed legs. He begins to stroke my hair the way I stroke his.
Nino: 'Mama?'
I'm thinking he's going to tell me he loves me, the way I do everytime he tumbles into my lap. I can feel that glow of motherly love coming.
Nino: 'Mama hair dirty. Sweaty. Chalo, come, I'll do shampoo.'


A few nights later Nino and I were colouring with crayons when he suddenly looked up and said, 'Mama, I'm Vincent and you're Theo.' Nino's dad looked up, surprised, 'Does he have new playmates at school?' Sigh. If only the in-laws hadn't sent him to St.Xavier's Loyola Hall.

I bought Vincent Van Gogh's Colors from the Met Museum in New York for Nino this summer. The preface talks about how the celebrated artist used to write letters to his brother Theo describing and depicting through sketches all that he saw during his travels. Nino loves the book, but we hadn't read it in a while, so I was surprised he remembered. It's a beautiful book - a great way to show some beautiful art and the words (by Van Gogh himself) are simple, with a music to themselves. Just a sentence per page - and so much fun to read aloud.

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