I was looking through some photos for a blog while Lay Tah Oo, nearly four years old, played with magnets–and tried to play with everything else within reach. He came over to see what I was doing after I said no to everything but magnets.
“Kelli!” He shouted and pointed to me in a photo.
I switched over to the neighborhood photos, and he started pointing out his sister and friends. He was on a roll, but never pointed to himself, who is (admittedly) in a lot of (adorable) photos.
I pointed to him and asked, “Who is that?”
He looked back at me confused.
“Is that Kelli?”
“Is that Yuh Meh Oo?” (That’s his sister, who was next to him in the photo.)
“No, that’s not Yuh Meh Oo. Yuh Meh Oo is right here. Who is that?”
“Awh Awh Lay?”
He didn’t know what he looked like! I tested it a few more times–we flipped through photo after photo, and he found all of his friends, saying all of their names clearly. He found a cell phone and other objects in the photos–but couldn’t identify even one photo of himself.
In some ways, it makes sense–mirrors aren’t common in their living situation, or even really in this country. When we have the Partners truck borrowed at our house, the kids like to look at themselves in the shiny bumpers. We have just one mirror in our bathroom, and that’s it. I never really see myself from shoulders down.
But he’s almost four!
Stephen decided to try to teach him.
He showed him what he looked like in the mirror, which he thoroughly enjoyed. And then we showed him the photos, and how they looked the same.
We’ll probably be teaching this a few more times, and perhaps adding a mirror to the community space!