'Mummy, stop calling me Gracie. That name is for babies. I'm a big girl so you can call me Grace & the reason my name is Grace is because I am just very graceful, beautiful and my singing is so lovely'.
Now I agree on two points but if I do hear her sing 'Let it go' just one more time this week, I may just have to take an extended parental vacation. Or maybe buy some ear plugs.
Like many people in the world Gracie has a birthmark. Her birthmark is small, circular shaped, no bigger than a finger print and it is also a bright teal-blue colour (not unlike a fresh bruise). Before I met Grace, I’d never seen anything like it and so I think I can be forgiven for the attitude I may have given the neonatal staff and for the suspicious eyed looks I probably shot their way when they said ‘Oh don’t mind that, it’s just a Chinese Birthmark…’.
‘Chinese?! But that just seems so unlikely’…
I don’t remember what the nurse said after that but I do remember discounting her explanation and turning to Google, only to see that we got off fairly lightly considering how small and discreet the birth mark was in comparison to other children who had large bruise-like marks covering most of their legs and torso. But still… Chinese? (Or Even Mongolian, depending on who you ask). Picture me trying to explain that one to any babysitters, child-care staff etc who cared for Grace before her toilet-trained days - hilarious? I think not!
Grace loves her birthmark. She calls it her blue-spot and I’ve always told her that it is proof she is special (it’s never too early to prepare for those awkward teen years right?) But given Grace’s recent obsession with watching Disney’s Mulan tied in with the added bonus of her class learning about China and the Chinese New Year for the past few weeks, Grace has been asking a lot of questions -
‘Mummy, you know, today I learned about the Chinese New Year? Well all the people wear red and they set off fireworks and Mum, will you show me pictures of China on your laptop?'.
After turning to good old Google, the most sensible search result seemed to be a youtube clip that gave a really brief overview of China whilst it showed some photographs of the Great Wall and other culturally unique Chinese images. After seeing the Wall, Grace got talking.
'Mum they built that wall to keep the baddies out if China Who were the baddies?'
Obviously the simple answer is Mongolia. But previously I had told Grace about the old Genghis Khan wives tale (Any babies born with a blue birth mark are descendants of Genghis Khan - highly possible that we're all somewhat descended from him considering how much of the world he conquered back in the day). But to make the answer easier for Grace, I explained that the bad guys in Mulan were the Mongolians like Genghis Khan. Quite rationally Grace has since been stating that 'She is related to the bad guy in Mulan and she knows he related to her because he has the same blue birthmark on his bum but she wishes that he wasn't really her cousin because she didn't like how mean he was in Mulan...'
Did I mention that for the past few weeks Grace has been learning about China in school? Well one homework assignment included sharing a Chinese fact with her class. I gave her plenty - Tea comes from China, The capital city of China etc.. but I bet you can guess which 'fact' Grace told her teacher?
For anyone that has never seen a blue birthmark - Obviously I'm not going to post a picture of Grace's bum but here's lots of google pictures. You'll get the idea :) https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=blue+birth+mark+%2B+atilla+the+hun&biw=1366&bih=650&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=jmLJVJHJJY2O7AaR9YGIDA&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#tbm=isch&q=mongolian+blue+birthmark