My mother is in town. All of a sudden, my humble home has turned into a family headquarter. My sister visits my home often, with or without my presence, together with my buddy a.k.a. her husband and my niece a.k.a. Bethany. Bethany and I converse in various modes . I often stick to my mother tongue Cantonese . I am not sure how much she can understand me. At times I switch to English. I don’t think she responds to me either. But we have some friendly moments. Like when she was dancing non-stop in my living room, in between songs, she would collapse and rest her head onto my laps for five seconds. And then she would bounce back to her dancing mode, going round and round in circle, moving backward and forward, so totally absorbed in her own world. Bethany would listen attentively to the first few bars of the song before launching into a unique dancing pattern choreographed specifically for that song. For a 23 months old toddler, that is pretty amazing.
Bethany seems to enjoy listening to Roxette, Fleetwood Mac, Erasure, Tears for Fear, and Mariah Carey. And she does not seem to like modern rock. This saddens Cynthia a little bit. As for me, I am happy that she likes some of my favorite records.
After a rather long dancing session, her parents were concern that Bethany getting too excited may affect her sleep later that evening. So I switched to classical music, the same type of music that I played when she was still inside my sister’s tummy. Bethany stopped dancing, took out her teddy bear, held it by its head, and dragged it across my living room. If there was a level of affection between her and her teddy bear, I could not notice. I know she has a habit of chewing it. I now know that she likes to sweep my floor with it. I found that amusing. But my sister was not amused. As my sister tried to lift the teddy bear from the ground, Bethany slammed it flat onto the floor, stepped on it with one foot, and dragged it across the room with one foot on my ceramic flooring, and another foot on the soft toy.
My sister gasped and said that classical music must have brought out Bethany’s darker side. I laughed hard . Bethany has a unique character. My sister tried to grab the teddy bear and Bethany took it back, slammed it onto the floor and stepped on it. Not violently, but with passion. The cycle repeated and my sister would mimic the teddy bear’s voice and say, “I don’t want! I don’t want!” Bethany would stare at the teddy bear and reply in a firm, unhurried, and dominating voice, “No you want! No you want!”
I laughed so hard till my tears came out. The first English sentence I heard from her is “No you want”. My niece says the funniest things. I love her. I love her darker side just the same.