Thursday, 21 February 2008

Who Am I?

Five year old Amber seems to be having an identity crisis. 
To be fair, she was plucked out of a Japanese nursery school and a home where she had happily lived with parents and sister, Japanese auntie, and grandparents and almost immediately started an English Reception class, all less than a year ago and the family is now living temporarily with Harry and me. So there's no doubt that she is a very adaptable little girl and she is doing well at school and learning our culture very quickly.

However there is some mix up going on in her head and before she went on holiday she was looking long and hard at me when she eventually said, "You are not part of my family."
ME.  "Yes I am. I'm your Grandma."
A.      "No you are not Japanese."
ME.   "I'm part of your English family."
A .     "You don't speak Japanese so you can't be family."
ME.   "You have a Japanese family like Mummy & an English family like Daddy."
A.      "No, Daddy speaks Japanese!"
ME.   "He is English but he speaks Japanese."
A.       (Getting very annoyed) "He is Japanese, he is, he is!"
ME.    "He is my son."
A.       "No, no he is MY son!"

A little talk ensued about relationships. The difference between sons & daddies. I went on to explain that Auntie Debbie was my daughter, Daddy's sister. Rick and Dean were cousins. Thought I had better not mention the obvious racial differences as she had not even noticed them!
Amber replied, "They are family but you are not. Nor Grandad! You are very mean to talk like that!" she said, stamping her foot and flouncing off!

I gave up, feeling a little confused myself, but one thing I know is that she has a stubborn streak in her, just like I have!


She's like the wind said...

Well that'll be you told then!!

Maggie May said...

Sheslike the wind ......many thanks for your comment on the last post.
Amber is sweet really! Just an off day!

Casdok said...

Families are confusing!!

Maggie May said...

casdok ........... ours is!

OvaGirl said...

That's funny, I can relate very well, I'm from a mixed family (Filipino/Australian) and now living in an extended family. Have had equally solemn conversations with 4 year old asking "Why are you living in our house?"

Maggie May said...

That's really interesting! I didn't know! Funny thing is, at that age they really don't notice the difference in race at all! Its a good age to be, when all children play together no matter what race, colour or anything else!
I suppose its really because I was never living with them in Japan & I don't speak the language! So I am an alien!

the mother of this lot said...

I can remember a similar thing trying to explain to the kids when they were little that their nana was actually my mum! They couldn't grasp it at all!

Sweet Irene said...

Subconsciously she must be aware of the difference and maybe on eday it will dawn on her and maybe that is what is bothering her now. Poor kid, it must all be very confusing.

I must say that I admire you very much for taking in your son's family. I couldn't do it and would feel very strangulated in my own home. It would be difficult to have to share my space with other grown ups, even when one of them is my offspring, and then to add children to the equation! That's very good of you. I hope they are able to find their own space soon, because I know it will be best for everybody, no matter how well you are all holding up.

Anyway, you and your husband must be lovely people, but I am sure you son and daughter in law are also, because you all have to get along.

I am glad you have a blog in which you can tell us about all these things. I am curious and caring enough to want to know and to always hope for the best. I hope you feel comfortable enough to discuss whatever is on your mind, as I do in mine. I find that it helps me a lot to write down the things that I am pondering and I like the comments that I get and they help me think straight.

Hope you have a lovely day, ciao...

Maggie May said...

Mother of this lot ....... Yes .... we had a similar thing with the boys, but they always knew we were their grandparents ( whatever that meant to them!)

Sweet Irene ........ Maybe she does know subconsciously!
We do have our moments! (Rows) like any one else.
I could NEVER have lived with my in laws, for longer than a couple of hours, that is ......
As regards writing, I can only write about what I know or how I feel, so that is the type of stuff that comes out!
I also enjoy meeting new people and have lots of bookmarked people who I like to write to. I will have to get some help to alter my blog roll.
The more people you get to know, the more time is required to cope with it all! Stress! To think last Christmas I didn't even know what a blog was! Now I have to deprive myself of sleep to catch up! Amazing how it has all developed!

Sweet Irene said...

Hi Maggie, re your comment on my blog, Gandhi is an inheritance of my late sister in law and she had named her Gandalf thinking she was a boy, until she took her to be neutered and found out differently. When the cat came to live with us, we changed her name to Gandhi, as in Indira Gandhi, because we wanted her to have a feminine but prideful name. She listened to her new name quite quickly and came to fit into our household of other cars very easily. Secretly, she is my favorite cat, but you mustn't let the other cats know that.

Maggie May said...

Irene ...... That's interesting! I was wondering whether she was some kind of pedigree from India, that I'd never heard of. They all sound delightful!
I won't breath a word about her being your favourite!

Sweet Irene said...

That's very good of you, Maggie. I don't want the other cats to think I don't love them, because I do. Nouri is especially endearing and childlike and Toby is like a wise old man.

Hope your granddaughter has figured out that you are related to her now. Maybe you can make her some kind of a family tree.

Maggie May said...

Irene ..Nouri sounds lovely too!
The whole family has been away all week & they will fly back from Japan landing tomorrow evening. My post Silence is Golden tells of the departure & the ensuing silence! Course I'm completely used to it now!

david mcmahon said...

I understand your viewpoint and hers. I'm a ``genetic cocktail'' myself!!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Now you've gone and confused the poor girl. Heh.

She sounds like someone with very firm opinions!

Maggie May said...

DavidM .........Its the best of both worlds when this happens ...... I am getting ready for my badly jet lagged little ones to explode back into our lives this evening! I don't suppose any of us will get any sleep for a few nights. They will be sleeping at noon & ranting & crashing about all night!

rottencorrespondent! ......mmmmmh! She is a nit like me! There are also other members of the family who are like that too!
I think I confused myself more than her!

Maggie May said...

No not a NIT!

Ladybird said...

Hi! thanks for the compliment. And I am happy to have stumbled on ur blog too.

Sniz said...

I'm confused. Who's living with you? Amber and her parents?

Maggie May said...

sniz .. yes & sister Millie aged 3! Temporarily while they get re established in jobs & homes etc.

ladybird ........Nice of you to drop by. I will visit you again.

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