Monday, December 5, 2011

Backfire Story of the Day

Thumper’s new favourite question to ask (instead of what’s that?) is what’s your name? It started innocently enough; one day when another child approached Thumper at the library, I could tell Thumper was about to unleash her paranoid fury on the kid for infringing on her toy territory, so I encouraged her to ask the child his name, and then tell him hers, and then they’d be friends and could play together. It worked at the time, and quickly, it became her signature line. Except that instead of asking other kids, she asks Dawson and I. All. The. Time. And there’s only so many times we can answer honestly, so we started being silly about it and saying things like Cinderella or Buzz Lightyear or Tina Fey. Obviously, my two year old thinks it’s hilarious.

The backfire comes into play earlier today when I took Thumper to a local playgroup. She was approached by two sisters who actually asked her, before she could ask them, what her name was. The mom asked if Thumper would be able to reply on her own, and we engaged in a little chit-chat about how Thumper could answer, and how funny this was because she is always asking other people the same thing. Then one of the girls turns to her mom and says, “Mommy, that little girl’s name is El Dorado.”  

If you don't get it, it's because you don't know that The Road to El Dorado is Thumper's favourite movie to watch at her grandparents' house.

The mom looked back at me with a half-smile of bewilderment and a loss for words as I laughed and tried to explain that my daughter is not, in fact, named after the real nor the Disney version the lost city of gold. Either she didn't believe me, or was judging the fact that my two year-old watches The Road to El Dorado because our daughters did not become friends after that exchange.

I tried to explain the Thumper that the game is only funny if the person she's talking to actually knows her real name. An hour later while at the library, I overheard her asking another little girl what her name was. When the shy girl wouldn't answer, Thumper offered up "My name is El Dorado." Needless to say, she didn't understand the concept of the game. Or become friends with that little girl.

I guess the moral of the story is, pretty much anything you do as parent will come back to haunt you. Even the stupid stuff.


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