"So what's going on at kindergarten these days, Adinah?"
"You know what? Phillip and Simon always go to Mariella and say (adopts teasing, sing-song voice), 'Baby Mariella! Futzy Mariella!' All the boys do it. Not Oskar. Then Phillip and Simon say to Teresa that she has funny hair. So all the girls go to Simon and say, 'Baby Simon! Baby Simon!' And today Simon went around the kindergarten (adopts lurching, erratic movements) and bumped into Mariella and me and some other kids, and he said, 'I'm drunk, I'm drunk.' "
Translation: The two oldest boys in the group are claiming the oldest girl in the group is actually an infant and reeks of farts. A gender-specific mob mentality has developed. There are some who resist the savagery, including Adinah's best friend, the boy whom she has said she will live with (but not marry) when she gets older. The boys also tease the other Ethiopian girl in Adinah's class, who has a magnificent moptop. Simon, apparently the Lion King of the group, is acting out (when I mentioned his 'drunk' act to Anette, she asked, 'Have you ever met Simon's mother?')