Early this afternoon, I put down my laptop and stumbled wearily toward the kitchen for a drink of water. Tina the three-year-old appeared around the corner, wearing only underpants and a silk scarf tied around her neck; in her hand she brandished a fly-swatter held with the hand pointing out.
“I am Zorro!” she announced.
“Hi Zorro,” I replied, and stumbled on. This has been a theme lately. My parents gave the kids a complete DVD collection of Disney’s “Zorro” series, and they watch a couple of episodes every weekend. Tina has taken to it more than any of them. Although usually wearing more than underpants, Tina has adopted the reversed fly-swatter as her official rapier, and she charges through the house shouting, “Ne-e-e-i-gh!” (That’s Zorro’s horse, in case you can’t tell.)
A few days ago, she bounced into the kitchen, announcing to Jacinta, “I am Zorro!” “Go use the potty, Zorro,” Jacinta responded.
Tina’s face darkened: “Zorro doesn’t use the potty.”
Um. Good point. That’s true. Not in the Disney version, he doesn’t. Jacinta recovered quickly: “Yes, but Zorro keeps his pants dry!” It took a few minutes of back and forth (“He doesn’t use the potty!” “But he keeps his pants dry!”) before Tina had to concede the justice of the argument and marched off to her seat. While on the potty, she insisted that she was Tina (you can probably guess the premise behind that).
But as she arose from the seat of ignominy, clasping in her right hand her fly-swatting rapier of daring-do, and raising her face once more, she proclaimed: “I am…Tina-Zorro!”