I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blonde ballerina

Up in my niece’s bedroom, both she and I are sitting on the floor reading a book. The pages are filled mostly with simple images of common objects, colours, numbers, etc. As I turn a page, I point to an object and see how she answers. If she doesn’t know, I say the name and see if she can repeat it after me.

When we come to a page with people, she immediately points to a woman and says, “Mama.”

“Good,” I say.

She points to a male figure and says, “Daddy.”

“Yes, daddy.” I smooth her hair to the side.

Then, she points to an image of a blonde ballerina and says, “Uncle.”

“No, B. That’s not Uncle,” I say as I search for a more appropriate image.

“Uncle,” says my niece as she points to the ballerina, again.

“No, that’s not Uncle. Here,” I point to a picture of a young male, “that’s Uncle.”

She nods her head in disagreement. “Uncle,” she points to the ballerina again.

Can it be that she thinks of me as a blonde ballerina?

Later on in the day, my sister is cleaning up her office and I approach her, the ballerina thing is still on my mind.

“In that picture book, why is it that she points to the ballerina when she’s describing me?” I ask her about my niece.

“You know, I’ve noticed that, too.”

“I mean, I don’t look like a blonde ballerina,” I say as I move my hands up and down my torso. Also, I don’t walk around in tights and anything made of crinoline.

“But, she also points to a few other images and says they’re you. So, I guess she thinks all young people are the same as you.”

That’s a relief. Sort of.

As her cognitive thought develops, she’ll understand that people come in all shapes, sizes and colours. No one can embody all of those descriptions. No can one can be everything for everybody; man, woman, or child. Ballerina, or no ballerina.

And, just to avoid any further confusion, I’ll stay far away from anything made of tulle for the near future.