I haven't written in over a month (sad things) so I'll try to make up for it with a quick Favorites story. Today I had Hikaru's class (he's My Favorite; I'm sure no one will mind if I mention his name, and it's such a great name!). In addition to Chihiro, the girl always in the class with Hikaru, I also had a make-up student from another class: a quiet 3 year old boy. My Hikaru and Chihiro are very smart for 3 and 4 year olds, and so they intimidated the make-up student.
Normally at the beginning of class I hold up toy fruits and vegetables and ask either "What's this?" or "Do you like this?". If I ask "What's this?" then My Favorites respond with the number, color and food (they're so smart!); for example, "One yellow banana!" or "Two red strawberries!" If I ask "Do you like this?" the answer is always "Yes I do!" There is an accompanying hand gesture, where the students raise their arms over their head to make a circle. If they said "No I don't" (which they never do), they're supposed to make an "x" in front of their chests with their arms.
Hikaru and Chihiro know what's coming, so the moment I hold up a toy, they start shouting possible answers before I can ask the questions. If I hold up a banana, immediately the room errupts with "One yellow banana! Yes I do! One yellow banana! One yellow banana! Yes I do! Yes I do! One yellow banana! Yes I do!" And each time they say "Yes I do!" they raise their arms over their heads to make circles. It's ridiculous. So while Chihiro and Hikaru were screaming answers like this, the poor make-up student just stared at me blankly. I wanted to give him a chance to answer, so I hush the other two and ask him, "What's this?" There was a long pause, and then he finally, cautiously answered, "banana?" Poor kid.
At the end of class there's usually a coloring activity. Today we were coloring animals, and I'd name the color and animal and the kids would have to pick out the right color, and then color in the right animal. They each come with their own pack of crayons or colored pencils (poor Chihiro only has 4 broken colored pencils, and she politely asks Hikaru to borrow his crayons each week). Most kids, like Hikaru and the make-up kid, have a special crayon set that comes with an eraser, 10 colors, and a pencil sharpener.
We start the coloring activity. I say, "We're going to color the tiger orange". Chihiro colors the tiger orange and says in Japanese, "What's next?" The make-up student picks up a black crayon and stares at me blankly. Hikaru, out of nowhere, starts sharpening his crayons.
"Good job, Chihiro, now color the bear brown," I say.
Then to the make-up student, "No, that's black. Find orange. 'Orenji' in Japanese."
"Hikaru, stop it. Don't sharpen your crayons now."
Chihiro colors the bear brown. The make-up student picks up the purple crayon. Hikaru ignores me and keeps sharpening.
"Okay Chihiro, very good, now color the fox red." Chihiro colors the fox red.
"Here's the orange crayon. Color the tiger, here." The make-up student takes the crayon and scribbles in the middle of the page, then stares at me.
"Stop it, Hikaru!" I take his sharpener away. "Color the tiger orange." Hikaru picks out the orange crayon.
At this point I look back over at Chihiro, who is patiently waiting for the next animal. "Color the rabbit pink, Chihiro." Then I look to the make-up student, who is scribbling with two different crayons, one in each hand. "No, like this, color the tiger orange," I say, and show him what to do. I finally look at Hikaru, who is putting orange crayon shavings into his mouth.
Guess who got to stick her fingers into Hikaru's mouth to stop him from eating orange crayon shavings. Holy cow. He can say "Four red balloons" clearly in English, but he doesn't know not to eat crayon. He's still My Favorite, but gross.
And of course, as I wiped the orange crayon shavings from his chin and picked them off of his tongue, Hikaru ignored me and confidently colored the tiger orange.