I apologize for the lack of pictures… I had 2 pictures I was going to show, but every time i try to download a picture, wordpress says “error”. Any ideas?
Quick recap: I’ve been writing about missionary toddlers here in Thailand and how cute they are and how their lives are a bit different than toddlers who can grow up in the country of their nationality. If you want, you can read about Simba and Spiderman in my most recent posts…though the post directly before this was about fainting goats and some of my stranger characteristics, not about missionary kids at all. ANYWAY, without further explanation….
Cinderella is a shy, 3 year old with a snow-white complexion and a cute button nose. Her long, tight, golden curls have led the Thai staff to call her Botee (the name of a cheese curl snack). Though she has only been in Thailand for 1 year, she already understands quite a bit of Thai from the childcare workers. At childcare, she watches cartoons in Thai, and for her meals, she eats rice and stir-fries and tropical fruit instead of chicken nuggets or spaghetti…not typical for an American kid. Cinderella gets along well with the Thai childcare workers, and it is a joy to see them laughing together or sitting together during a movie. At church, Cinderella seems to be quite popular with the Thai women. Two weeks ago, from my place two rows behind her family, I could see Cinderella occasionally get impatient in her seat. At that point, one of the Thai women in the church would approach her with candy, or a sweet yogurt drink, or a tiara for her to play with. This little girl will never be in need here because the Thai people love her!
Cinderella’s best friend seems to be little Simba. I think this is because she has such a caring personality, and she sees the 2 year old little boy like a baby that needs cared for. Though Simba is an independent little kid who loves to run around and play on his own, Cinderella likes to ensure that he has lots of hugs and kisses, sometimes even calling him “honey”, and occasionally tackling him with a spontaneous fit of the cuddles.
Cinderella has made friends with the little Thai boy who lives next door to their house, and she also attends Sunday school each week with several other Thai children. While she is happy to play with other children, Cinderella does seem quite timid around adults. Of course, this is not surprising since a common reaction of Thai women upon seeing a foreign child is to crowd them and ask them questions in Thai and touch their skin and feel their hair, etc. (Having spent my early years in Thailand as well, I remember being quite cautious when in a setting with many Thai woman so that I might avoid this kind of attention.)
When Cinderella is in her element, she is curious…looking in cupboards, copying motions, and asking questions. Sometimes, she can be quite mischievous in her curiosity. Once she climbed up my dresser after noticing there was a tube of lipbalm on top. I think if she were allowed, Cinderella would wear makeup every day, applying generously every 5 minutes.
Cinderella’s mother has told me that they hope to try a homeschooling curriculum once she reaches school age.
I wonder these things about Cinderella… How much of her life will she spend in Thailand? Will she continue to develop her Thai language and make Thai friends? What will happen if she discovers mascara? How will Cinderella react to being in America again? What will her friendships look like as she grows older? I wonder if her attitude of caring will be helpful in getting to know and love the people of Thailand.
On a side note: The other day, Cinderella told me that when she grows up, she wants to have 3 cats, 3 dogs, and she wants a nice big car so she can live in her car with her cats. Remember, not all princesses want to live in castles!