Oh Boy!

“Rahul is a sweetheart! He let Leila have the train,” I declare proudly as he hands back her toy upon request.

“Thanks Rahul.” I continue.

“Afu BOY,” he quickly corrects me, worried. (He calls himself Afu; the Sichuanese version of his Chinese name.)

“Yes. Afu boy.” I confirm, without going into how he can also be a sweetheart!

“Leila girl,” he double-checks.

“Yes. Leila girl.”

He looks up, eyes shining, up to something. “Afu GIRL!”

“Afu girl? Nnnnnno, Afu boy!” I reply with a chuckle.

He bursts out laughing.

The 4 of us are downstairs, L on her train, R on his duck-car, ayi (meaning aunt, what he calls their nanny) and me.

He continues with some powerful declarations of identity: “Afu zizi.” (A cute way for children to say penis in French.)

“Leila kiki.” (A cute way for children to say vagina in French.)

“Yes honey, you’re right. You have a zizi, and Leila has a kiki.”

Then he goes wild: “Papa zizi. Mama kiki. Ayi kiki. Shu shu zizi.” (Shu shu is uncle in Mandarin, what the children call any young man they need to address.)

Our uncontrollable, loud laughter attracts some attention.

“It’s a good thing the Chinese people don’t understand him,” ayi says between squeals of laughter; her face red as a tomato.

8 thoughts on “Oh Boy!

  1. Love it! It reminds me of my daughter at R’s age – everything was hilarious to her, and it was impossible not to laugh at her sweet little voice piping “penis” and “vulva” at people walking down the street outside our front window. For my son, this whole gender thing was a very serious matter (most things are very serious to him), which made it even more hilarious, in a way. Awesome post!


    1. Thanks Desi,
      It’s interesting how your two kids reflect on the same topic so differently.
      We are laughing about their gender assertions too, it’s a big deal these days – who is a boy and who is a girl. And I am surprised by how such young children can already joke with the people around them.


  2. Natasha. This post is hilarious. I love how Afu says Nnnnno. I remember being one of the instigators of that, when we were in Calgary and Montreal 🙂 Kids are so perceptive and intelligent its amazing how they can pickup things we take for granted in our daily lives. The mixture of Mandarin and French in their words is also nice to see.

    I remember how Leila also looks at you for assurance after doing things. She is always attentive to all thats going on around her.

    Great work sis. Looking forward to more of your experiences with L and R and hearing about new adventures with them.


    1. Thanks for the comment D2,
      Nice to hear from you!
      L and R say “NO!” all the time. It’s hilarious. Yeah, they are using all three languages. It’s cool to see and hear. L is certainly very perceptive, she reads emotions like a book.


  3. Hahaha!!! Hilarous post! Amazing how he can tell gender difference at such a young age, I’ve never thought about that before.


    1. Yeah Saloni. It’s interesting about them understanding gender differences. Over the last few weeks, they assert their gender regularly, and don’t like to be called something they think isn’t either boy or girl.They still mix up if their playmates are girls or boys though.


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