There were about ten children scattered around the community space, playing with an assortment of puzzles and games. I was trying to sort out the numbers for our neighborhood Christmas party, while keeping little ones off of tables and sticky hands away from the Christmas tree.
Yuh Meh Oo put away her puzzle and crawled into my lap. She understands so much English now–it really surprises me every day–but she is shy to speak. Every once in awhile a phrase will eek out, usually on accident.
Today, she started pointing toward the rest of our house, and kept saying, “Kelli and Yuh Meh Oo; Kelli and Yuh Meh Oo.”
“…Shoes! Kelli and Yuh Meh Oo…shoes!”
She had left her shoes at our back door off of the kitchen, because she had been helping me wash dishes. “You can go get your shoes. You can go.”
“Kelli, no! Kelli, Yuh Meh Oo…go…shoes!”
“I’m not going to go right now. There are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten children here! Kelli is going to stay here and watch. Yuh Meh Oo can go get her shoes.”
“Kelli and Yuh Meh Oo…” This is where she started the hand motions. It took me a minute, but I realized she was dumping things into other things and stirring. She was also saying “Cool….cool” slowly under her breath.
“Oh! You want to cook? Do you want us to go cook in the kitchen?”
She was elated! She nodded emphatically and told her we could definitely cook very shortly–after the ten children had left–because dinner did need to be made just like every other evening.
So we made spinach tortillas together. She thought the spinach didn’t smell to good, and questioned if I really thought it was delicious. I said no, but that it made us strong so we didn’t have to go to the hospital.
She did love the tortilla dough, and kept picking pieces off the rolled balls of dough, and then re-rolling them so it didn’t look like she had picked off a large chunk. She liked the tortillas, too.
I liked the whole bit: the game of charades and a little buddy to cook with.