OF BASKETS AND TEETH

Saturday morning. We have had breakfast, and returned to bed, a big comfy huddle of soft suntanned goldy-brown kids and flowery duvets. Enjoying the feeling of not having to get dressed and go out.

We start singing a silly old farsi nursery rhyme at the princess, who has lost all her front teeth:

The princess has no teeth

She’s fallen in the sugar-pot

Hurry, bring a basket,

And haul her out

Take my word for it that it sounds much better in Persian- it is catchy and it rhymes. We sing it over and over again, laughing and tickling the princess. Then I notice the golden boy is shouting the word for “basket”, zanbil, with special force. I pause and ask: “Golden boy, what does zanbil mean?”

He laughs, showing his perfect teeth: “It means we are burying her underground!” he shouts.

The princess and I laugh at his silliness. “No it doesn’t!”

“It means a big loader full of earth!”

We laugh again. Then I ask the princess: “OK- you tell him what zanbil means.”

The princess pauses. She looks confused. “Car? No- box? Rope?”

Oh God. Identity crisis.

My children are growing up not knowing the word for basket in their mother tongue.

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One comment

  1. Haha that was funny, n hey who cares if they dono an unimportant farsi word?!

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