Meet my favorite kid in the whole world, Welvarend Damanik. He’s a smart 5 year-old kid (recently just celebrated his 5th birthday!) who speaks German much better than Indonesian. Back when I was in Europe, I babysat for him for a few times, like when his parents were out for their fifth anniversary. All the times when I was alone with him, I always had language problems. He asked me to do something, and as he spoke mostly in German, I would be clueless. I had to say this again and again, “Auf Indonesisch Varend, tante ga ngerti.” And he would frown, tried hard to find the Indonesian word for ‘andere’, for example. I thought all the German lessons would be enough to speak with a 4 year-old, but apparently, no.
And it wasn’t him that learned from me, it was me that learned from him! When we were talking, sometimes I asked things casually, like when we watched a channel that had horses in it, I asked, “Was ist ‘kuda’ auf Deutsch, Varend?” He thought for a second and blurted out, “Pferde!” See? I told you he’s smart.
When we were in Vatican, there was a big naked statue of a man. He looked deep at the statue and then said something in German. His parents laughed out loud and his mother filled me in. She said that he was asking why the statue had p*nis just like him.
My short stay with him was enough for me to pick up some of his habits. His favorite game in his mother’s iPod is Car Racing. He’s a stylish kid. He decides what to wear, and when his mother gives him something he doesn’t like, he will refuse to wear it. He’s also ticklish, and my favorite thing to do was tickle him until he shrieked in laughter.
On my last day, he was awake really early and woke me up, while his parents were still sleeping soundly. He begged me to play with him, so I did. And maybe he sensed that it was my last day, that I wouldn’t be there by the time he got home from school, because he followed me everywhere I went, even to the bathroom! I really had no choice but to let him in because he begged in a real loud voice, “Tante Dixiiiiie, Varend mau masuuuuk!”
Oh, how much I miss this kid 🙁
Happy belated birthday, Varend! I’m really sorry I forgot your birthday. Wish you all the good things and hope you don’t forget me the next time we meet.