Rockstarism #220 – Just Make Up Something Else


Me: What did you learn in Putonghua camp today?

Rockstar: "Hamburger" in Chinese is "Han-pow-pow". And..... I don't remember anything else.

Me: You knew what "Hamburger" was before you went for camp.

Rockstar: Oh. Then I don't remember anything. I remember one of my classmate's names is "Thomas." Like the train. So cool, right?

Me: How can you remember nothing after two hours?? If your Chinese sucks I'm going to put you back in classes. Increase the frequency of your lessons, instead of having camp and games.

Rockstar: Oh. Erm... There was a knight in story-telling. (Shows me a finger puppet of a knight they made in camp.)

Me: AND??

Rockstar: There was a king. He tried to shoot the knight. But the knight had a very good plan. When the king tried to shoot the knight, he turned into Iron Man.

Editor's note: You believe this is the story they told him at Putonghua camp? It's like those cartoons where someone is talking and you turn off the sound and make up stuff for the moving mouths...

Rockstar: And so Iron Man shot the bad king and he turned back into a good king. The good king asked the knight if the bad king was killed and he said yes. So the good king said "Very good," and took over the place of the bad king. 

Me: Do you expect me to believe they told you this story in Putonghua class?

Rockstar: <nodding convincingly> Yeah! Yeah!! And then some bad guys stole the good king's clothes so policemen came and shot all of them. (I notice a dad at the next table stifle a snort into his bowl of noodles)

Rockstar: <pause> You're writing that down, right?

Me: Yes, but only because I find it funny, not because I believe you for one second.

Rockstar: Oh. Why... <half-heartedly> It's true...

Me: You cannot expect me to believe your Putonghua teacher told you that story.

Rockstar: Oh. <shrugs> O-kay...

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About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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  • zmun2

    Rockstar can really put a good story together – the good king and bad king in one person – just like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or someone with multiple personality. 

    I am very interested to know how they tell the story in Putonghua (giving Rockstar the benefit of the doubt). Perhaps Rockstar can tell you the story in Putonghua and you can record it and show us the video online.

    • Aileen

      Wow you beat me to it again!

      I also want to see video of Rockstar speaking Putonghua ok!! 😀 He has never spoken to me in Putonghua. Always makes stuff up to not speak to me. The only reason I even knew he could actually speak it back when he had “Putonghua playdates” with teenagers or teachers was because I’d stand outside the apartment door and eavesdrop. But then at one point I could see it was affecting his reading etc in English (got confused about left-to-right vs right-to-left) so I cut the Putonghua to conversational and once weekly for about 6 months leading up to his pri school interviews.

      Asked the Putonghua teacher today if he can actually say anything at all, she says yes and (APPARENTLY, ok..) his pronunciation is quite good. Honestly he so does not speak it in front of me that I don’t even REALLY believe her, but am of course glad/relieved he doesn’t completely cannot speak/understand…