I am trying to guide Moona and Buru into saying “Please” and “Thank you”, not only when we are in the home but outside as well. Moona struggles with saying anything to strangers, and I wanted to help her work through some of that anxiety.
So I walked out of the bedroom one day with a scarf draped over my shoulders and some cards in my hand and trilled, “Hello! I’m Miss Teresa!”
Miss Teresa is the librarian who tells the stories at the library’s preschool storytime.
The girls froze mid-action, a little confused at hearing the name. A smile started to twitch at their mouths as they watched me take a seat at the play table with much flurried animation and exaggeration.
“I wonder who’s going to come today to ask for a ticket for the storytime. I hope they remember to say please and thank you!”
And so we went through all the motions, the girls’ giggling and excited as they asked for a ticket, please, thanked the librarian, went in the kitchen and sang the storytime song. Moona got a little lost somewhere between reality and make believe, and started chatting Miss Teresa—aka me in disguise—away in English, telling her about her baby sister and that she doesn’t want mommy to cut her hair ever.
Then we switched, and Moona and Buru took turns wearing the shawl and being Miss Teresa. Buru, who hardly says ten words, dropped her guard and pronounced, “Hel-lo!” and “Ok-kay!” with serious perfection.
Over and over and over again, we went through the motions about a dozen times. Finally, I couldn’t restrain myself and, after they took the tickets and sat primly for the song, I came roaring in with the scarf over my head, “GIVE ME BACK MY TICKETS!”
The shock on their faces was priceless, and the game disintegrated into a game of shriek-tag-and-tickle, which these kinds of things often do.