We liked our pumpkin patch photos from 2012 (in San Juan Capistrano) so much that we wanted to take Allie to a pumpkin patch again this year. We walked by the same pumpkin patch/petting farm when we were taking photos with Kari in October, but the place was so crowded that we decided to pass and find a smaller, more intimate pumpkin patch. We tried a couple of small ones, but they were SO small that we just did a walk-through and left, and I didn’t let Allie participate in the bounce house or the inflated obstacle courses where bigger kids were going nuts, for fear she’d be kicked in the face or squished. At one patch, she requested, “Allie go in that house, Allie go in that house,” but I explained that the bounce house was for big kids and Allie could go in those when she’s bigger, maybe next year, but now she’s too small, and she was fine with that. “House for big kids. Allie little girl. NOT little boy. Allie little girl. Allie too small.” And we left. Then I was told by a friend about a larger nice pumpkin farm relatively close to our house, near the Laguna Hills Mall. THAT was a hit. Here are some of those photos, from October 26.

A giant pumpkin, lit up from inside by our little grinny goofball.

There were lots of rides, including Allie’s first pony ride!

And of course the carnival-type vehicle rides.

Allie said this is her favorite ride (“swing-swing!”), not that you can tell by her serious expression.

This isn’t a ride, but it’s a vehicle. She likes to climb on high things, so she’s finally smiling. A little. Okay, at least she’s not frowning.

I know Allie looks totally unimpressed, but she claimed to have had fun. She wanted to go back the next day and talked about it for a few days afterwards. She’s just stoic like her mama when in public. Also, you may notice that in some photos she’s wearing pigtails, and in others, a ponytail. We were there in the morning (pigtails), went home, and after her nap she wanted to go back, so we did (ponytail).

Just for fun, here are some comparison pix between last year and this year.
Sitting on a saddle strapped onto a bale of hay.

Allie using the pumpkin patch to meet boys.

Remember my kid with the early pearly whites and the cute smile?

The cute little teeth that we painstakingly brush twice a day and floss nightly to keep looking perfect? That we made sure to maintain as healthy and straight as possible by not having her on a pacifier and being bottle-free since well before age 1 (per her pediatrician recommendations), not giving her juice and especially no bottle to sleep?

Allie was downstairs yesterday morning before we’d left for work; Mr. W was there with her and Jayne had already arrived. I was upstairs and heard Allie start crying. When I came down a few minutes later, she wasn’t crying anymore but was still slightly whimpering as I held her, and I asked her, “What happened?” She told me she went boom, and pointed to where it happened, at the travertine tiles in the hallway between the living room and the kitchen. Mr. W explained that he had gone into the kitchen and Allie went running after him, and tripped over the metal ledge at the doorway of the baby gate. (I’ve often looked at that thing when Allie would hold on to the side of the frame and step carefully over the metal bar at the bottom, and I’d wondered how many kids and people trip on that.) Apparently she’d gone flying onto the travertine tile floor. She seemed fine at that point and moved on to eat some nectarine and grapes. She did take one bite out of the nectarine and start looking at it funny, pointing to where she’d bitten it, and the refused to bite again, so we cut it up into pieces for her and she ate it fine that way. She appeared to be sucking on her lower lip so I thought there may have been injury there, but didn’t see anything upon inspection.

Well, as soon as I’d finished with my noontime yoga yesterday, I checked my phone and read this text message from Jayne.

I’m not sure if [Mr. W] listened to the message I left shortly after you left the house. Allie broke her 2 front teeth when she fell this morning, which is so bizarre because I saw her fall and I never would have thought it would result in her teeth getting chipped! You probably want to contact a pediatric dentist and have her checked. I was so sad when I noticed it. At first it seemed like she had only bitten the middle part of her upper lip. 🙁

I was SO angry. It completely ruined my afternoon. I texted back, “This is the first I heard of it. She’s not bleeding? Do the teeth seem loose?”
Jayne responded, “No to both. I did try to wiggle them and they seem ok. I just can’t figure out how they broke when all there was was a little irritation on her lip and no bruise to her face. I didn’t even think she hit any part of her face or head when she tripped. She’s had falls that have seemed worse. I was so nervous at the park that she might fall and break more of the 2 teeth. She can tell something is different but doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable. But I’m wondering if they should be checked. Thank goodness they’re baby teeth!”

I took the advice and checked on Yelp for good pediatric dentists near our home. Two offices popped up with 5-star reviews exclusively (meaning 100% of the people reviewing gave them 5 stars). The one slightly farther had more reviews, therefore more 5-stars; 5 dentists work there, but were all males and Allie does better with women right now. The one closer had less reviews altho they were also all 5-star reviews, had only 1 dentist, but she’s female and has a pair of twin toddler girls of her own. From the photos on Yelp, her office looks amazing, like visiting an aquarium museum. When I read that she graduated summa cum laude from UCLA School of Dentistry (Go Bruins!), it was a no-brainer. I called and spoke to a very nice receptionist who gave us a next-day appointment and took our dental insurance info over the phone so that she could call them and check for coverage before we get in there.

When I got home, I asked Allie to show me her teeth. This is what’s left.

She looks like a Turok-Han vampire from the “Buffy” series. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Thankfully, Allie’s behavior was no different and the sharp new points of her front teeth don’t deter her from sucking her thumb as she falls asleep. I did feel them while nursing her to sleep, but they didn’t hurt. Just felt sharp points pressing against my skin. She’s in the process of self-weaning so it wasn’t bad. For the past 4 nights she would stop nursing early on the first side and refuse the second side, telling me she’s “done-done,” and I like this tapering off because it helps my body adjust, too.

I keep thinking of things my dad said about my front teeth being knocked out in preschool. He’d said (in Mandarin) that my little teeth had recently all come in and were white and beautiful and I looked so cute when I smiled, and then they were knocked out, and he was and is still so mad.
In my situation, I was in preschool (my mom called it daycare), around 3 or 4 years old, and I was among a handful of kids who were on the playground “carousel” — a large metal disk platform with metal bars attached to the top of it at intervals so that the kids on the ground can spin the disk by pushing on the bars and the kids on the platform can hold on to the bars for support while the disk spun. We were taking turns being the spinner, and when it was my turn, I stepped off the disk with one hand, while the kid who was supposed to come on the platform for his turn suddenly decided to push the disk really hard and spin it again. I either fell against the metal bar or the bar hit me in the mouth, but I ended up losing both upper front teeth right there in the sand. I cried, of course, I remember how numb my lips felt afterwards, how swollen, and I remember the teacher on duty in the playground saying spitefully to me, “You deserve that. That’s what you get for running around.”
My mom’s memory picks up after that — she came to pick me up as usual after work, and when she called me, I turned around to greet her, and she saw my swollen mouth, half my face and clothing still crusted over with dried blood. She freaked out. The teacher turned and tossed over her shoulder, “Oh, she fell earlier.”
Both my parents were furious that they were never contacted by the daycare/preschool, and that I was never given any medical or any attention, not even to clean me up. They even went back to the playground over the weekend to try to find my teeth to see if a dentist could put them back in, but couldn’t find the teeth. I had a raging infection in my gums and lip for over a month, and didn’t have front teeth until my adult teeth grew in sometime between 2nd and 3rd grade.
I had front teeth for only a couple of years before I lost them for the next 5 or so years, so for me, it was just how things were; I didn’t feel like I was missing out on much, I wasn’t self-conscious, I just did my own thing. I never understood why my dad was still so upset, even to this day if it’s brought up.

I get it now. I keep thinking about how Allie will have a hard time biting into apples now, or eating her new favorite thing: sandwiches (she loves turkey, cheese & avocado on whole grain). How is she going to cut the noodles she loves in a bite? She can now drink through straws without having to open her mouth. 🙁 She has a photoshoot coming up in September, how’s she going to look in those photos, and every other photo until her permanent teeth come in? How will she be received by other kids when she starts school? Her smile looks “goofy” now, as her dad described.
Allie, however, much like I was, doesn’t appear to be very affected. She occasionally puts her fingers in her mouth to feel her new points, the tongue comes out as she prods the new jagged edges of her upper teeth, but nothing else is much different. Of course, we haven’t been giving her popsicles or sandwiches in the last day. I expect her to be temperature-sensitive for awhile.

Lots of people and/or their toddlers have been having teeth/gum injury issues in the past week, so at least Allie’s trendy.

I had looked for this gem awhile before finally giving up. The other day, I happened upon it by total chance. This is an email exchange.

From a building supervisor:

>>> Myrna 4/9/2008 2:54 pm >>>
April 22, 2008 is “TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS AND SON’S TO WORK DAY”. I will be
coordinating that day’s events. If you are interested in bringing a child
that day you must fill out the attached enrollment form (one for each child
you will be bringing) and turn it in to me no later than Thursday, April 17,
2008. Please read the attached memo, as it gives information regarding
the ages of the children that may participate.

The fee this year per child will be $4.00. The $4.00 fee includes morning
and afternoon snacks and drinks for each child participating. It will be up
to each sponsor to provide lunch for the child or children they will be
bringing. Lunch will be on your own between the hours of 12 p.m. to 1:30

The children will be in a supervised environment during the hours of 8:00
a.m. to 12:00 p.m., after which they will be released to you. You will need
to check with your individual department manager/supervisor to make
arrangements to have your child/ren stay with you the remainder of the day.

Please share this information with staff that this e-mail may not have
reached. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via

Thank You,
Myrna, Court Services Supervisor
Southeast District Superior Court

I forwarded the above email to my mom and I wrote her this:

Mom, do you have programs like this for your work? How come I was never invited?

My mom’s reply:


Happy Thanksgiving!

We are not doing a thing for Thanksgiving this year. Not a thing. For that I am so grateful; Allie’s got a big weekend, so today is low-key day. Right now, Allie’s napping, Mr. W’s watching some movie on TV using his TV Ears headphones, and we’re all 3 still in our pajamas. Dodo’s napping, too, and I guess arguably, he is also still in his pajamas. He’s doing a lot better — even seems to have gained some weight back. His ribs and spine are still palpable, but he doesn’t feel like just fur and bones anymore.

Mr. W’s parents are driving here tomorrow. We’ve made arrangements to put them up in a nearby classy spa hotel, hope they enjoy being pampered a little bit. Mr. W and I have been wanting to visit that hotel since we pass it daily going to work. Then Saturday is Allie’s 1-day belated bday meal. Mr. W invited Jayne and her husband over for cake if they’re not doing anything that afternoon. Given that we were against celebrating until very recently, it’s amazing and humbling how many presents Allie has already received from coworkers and Jayne. We’re going to let her dig into the wrapping on Saturday; she’ll probably enjoy that more than what’s concealed. I’m a little nervous about making her cake, but since I’m doing them in mini bundts, if it comes out horrible, nobody has to eat it and we don’t have to serve it. We’ll just call it props and back-up props for Allie’s smash cake photos. =P

It’s hard to believe that a year ago today, I was whining about how my OB couldn’t do a membrane sweep to help encourage labor, since I was only dilated 1.5 cm and he can’t fit his finger in through that. Allie was already 1 day past her due date, but unbeknownst to me, I’d get my first labor contraction that night/early morning.

Months, that is. Things are going well. Her ankles are looking much better. The skin still looks like the thin shiny skin of scar tissue, but no more redness (well, maybe a little pink), blistering, or swelling. I continue to apply the tea tree oil antiseptic lotion twice a day, which bottle Allie loves to take from me and shake. Most things that aren’t toys (paper advertisements, manuals, shoes, ziploc bags, ointment tubes…) make her happy and since she still complains when we put her on her back for diaper or clothing changes, I’m happy to hand her whatever brings that big open-mouthed smile to her face.

Thanks to an app I have, I know that on this day last year, I had my first Braxton-Hicks contraction. I was out on a walk and it took my breath away. I didn’t know then, of course, that we were exactly a month away from meeting Allie out in the world. I thought I was about 2 weeks away. I had really been hoping for a slightly early delivery, since she was getting big in there and I didn’t want labor to be too difficult. Well, she was 2 days late, she was big, but everything was wonderful. (We’ll just smear past the next few months of my head going to hormonal imbalance hell.)

She’s a pretty good walker these days, unless she isn’t paying attention and trips over an unflat surface, my feet, her feet, a toy, etc. She’s just starting to trot, and it looks like running’s around the corner. Because of this, Mr. W expects her to be a lot more accident-prone (altho she seems to be pretty careful generally) and has ordered a 21-foot by 12-foot carpet rug so that we can turn pretty much the ENTIRE downstairs area, and not just the living room area, into her play area. That rug is to be delivered sometime today. According to tracking information online, the “package” is 120 pounds. Yikes.

Allie still eats well, still no food reactions, altho I’m hesitant to try avocado again. That may have to be one of those things she tries when she’s a kid and I offer it from my plate.

She loves to watch (slightly) older children play. At parks, she could watch a soccer game for as long as we let her. Yesterday, she watched the neighbor’s kids play four-square with a kick ball. She’d point excitedly and say, “Bah!” (ball). She’d wave her little arms up and down, yelling “Haa!” (hi) and “Aaay!” (hey). She’d walk right up into their game and try to join them if we don’t run over and snatch her up. There’s something beautiful about how she just smiles excitedly and goes over to greet a kid, reaching out to him/her with a big smile and a “Haa!” It’s as if rejection has never occurred to her. (Well, who would reject this little face?)


For the most part, other kids are delighted to see her and would talk to her or just smile right back at her as she walks up and smiles up at them. Well, except for that stupid kid in the video and this one kid last weekend:

So far, she hasn’t yet realized that she could refuse something. There are things she dislikes now, such as brushing her teeth. Mr. W would hold her up on her bathroom counter, we’d tell her, “Aaaahhhh!” as I bring the toothbrush up, and she’d whimper and complain, but she would do it with her mouth open and a big sad frown, sometimes fussing her way through it, but always reopening her mouth as needed. When she sees holes anywhere, the finger automatically goes in, and this is problematic if the hole is, as it occasionally has been, an electrical outlet socket. We tell her a stern, “No!” and she’ll pause, look at us, complain, but stop anyway. She’ll walk away fussing, shaking her head, with a frustrated look on her face, but she’ll do as she’s told. It’s the same when we make her not put rocks, leaves, grass, envelopes, flowers in her mouth. She’s not happy about it, but she accepts it. I guess it’s wishful thinking that she’ll always stay that way. =P

I’m starting to enjoy the lack of hair thing. Her peach fuzz is getting longer, but it still doesn’t require much more than a pat-down. No brushing, no barrettes, no bows, no tangles. I’m not taking that for granted. I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune if she’s ready to start school and still only has peach fuzz on her little head.

She loves little dogs now. She got to pet one a couple of weekends ago, a well-behaved shih-tzu-looking lap dog, and she was gentle and never closed her hand on the hair, never pulled. So now she can spot a dog half a block away and say, “DAW!,” point, and beeline toward it. That’s when I have to kill my back leaning over her to brace her around the waist, cuz that’s when she’s so focused on the Daw (and sometimes balloons [“bbbbloo! bbbloo!” with a vibrating “B” that I can’t do], which the other day she also spotted half a block away raced toward, as racingly as a toddler can manage) that she will trip over anything. The good thing is that she doesn’t cry unless she bangs her head on something in a fall, which rarely happens, and has never happened outdoors to my knowledge.

Oh, I think she’s also starting to wean herself. Nursings are now about 6 minutes or less a side in her hungry mornings, and 3-4 minutes a side in the middle of the day. At night, she dozes as she nurses, so that may go longer, but there’s been a few times now when she’s decided she’s done with nursing and still wide awake, so I’d put her to bed in her crib wide awake, and just let her settle down on her own. Sometimes it’s a nerve-wracking 45 minutes, and I think the best she’s done was 10 minutes, but so far it’s always been before 8pm. The most helpful thing Mr. W has ever said to me about that is, “She’s fine! She’s never NOT slept at night.” That being true, I remind myself of that every time she’s up kicking around and bear wrestling instead of being able to be put down asleep.

I’m still undecided about Halloween. Since it’s on Wednesday this year, I don’t think we’d have time to participate between coming home from work, feeding her dinner, and putting her down to bed by 7p. So I didn’t get her a costume. Well, she has two Halloween-themed outfits, one of which she wore on Saturday.

Allie: “You’re getting sleepy…verrrrry sleeeeeepy…When you awake, you will put on my shoes and take me out for breakfast.”

It worked! Mr. W took us to…wow, I can not for the life of me right now remember WHERE we went to breakfast, but I know we had! Maybe I was under Allie’s spell, too.

She likes soft furry textures. She loves her pink “A” blanket that Jordan got her (she has to nap with it daily), my Footsie UC bears, the fluffy lambwool rug, her fleece PJ fabrics, the big fuzzy bear that she still sleeps on in her crib. She will stop in her tracks when she comes across one of these things, and either pull it up to her cheek and lean her head on it with a big smile, or she’ll squat on the ground and lay her cheek onto it if it were on the floor. Doing this to the Footsie stuffed bear and to her fleece PJs is how she bonked her head on the bottom shelf of her low bookshelf once, and the travertine floor the other day when she pulled the new PJs out of the bag onto the floor. Yes, each of those led to a brief cry, seconds-long. I laughed involuntarily both times, so I’m glad she was unhurt.

Here’s a 30-second video clip my parents took when they visited on Saturday. They brought bubble necklaces to amuse Allie with. I think it’s funny how in the end, you can tell my mom (behind the camera) panicked.

Yesterday, Allie was eating a powerful nutrition house of veggies for part of her dinner: baked beets with baked sweet potato and steamed variety of baby kale. You need only google the nutritional content of those three items to know she’s got more vitamins, amino acids, phytonutrients, antioxidants, blah blah in that little dish than many adults have all day.

Mr. W was feeding and said in a mocking tone to the stepdaughter to come see or try what Allie’s eating, and the junk food fan of the family’s response was that what Allie’s eating is “disgusting.”

Insulting someone else’s food is the second biggest peeve I have (the first is being mis-accused of something I’m innocent of; I will instantaneously fly off the handle, don’t even get me started). I don’t care if someone’s picky; picky is a personal preference (altho open-minded eaters are more fun to eat with). But making negative comments is a voluntary behavior.

There was a girl, Lauren, in my junior high school whom everyone picked on. She basically had no friends and I was new to the school and I didn’t know why she was so unpopular. She was a bit homely, but not everyone in junior high is going to dress like a rich girl. I made the effort to talk to her a few times and we laughed together, I enjoyed the conversation, and almost the moment I told someone I really liked her and think I’d like to be her friend, she enacted the peeve. I was eating a zhong zi at lunchtime, which we jokingly call a “Chinese tamale.” It is seasoned sticky rice with roasted pork, mushrooms, some other veggies, wrapped in a bamboo leaf and steamed, so that the fragrance of the bamboo is infused in the rice when the leaf pouch is opened. It had always been a favorite item of mine since very early childhood. Lauren walked by and pointed and said really loudly, “WHAT is THAT? Ew!” and laughed. I was instantly annoyed. Before I could even begin to tell her what it was, she went on, “You’re eating a LEAF! Hahaha! What are you, a rabbit? Haha!” She looked around to see if anyone else was going to join in to mock my lunch. I was kind of incredulous that she was trying to incite an anti-Cindy fiasco when I was her only friend. No one joined in, altho some looked at her rather blankly. I forgot what I said to her, but I’m sure it was something irrate. Her response was, “Well I’m SORRY, I’ve just never known anyone who eats GREEN LEAVES before! HAHA!” I was too disgusted with her to bother pointing out that apparently, no one she knows eats salads or leafy green vegetables. AND, you don’t eat the leaf part of my lunch. I made her go away instead. And I didn’t befriend her after all.

Michelle is a former “friend” on the social networking site who seemed cool and spunky and I’d really liked her, up until she started commenting on photos I’d post of stuff I was eating/drinking. I didn’t really know her; she was married to a guy I was close with back in the day, so when his wife friend-requested me, I’d accepted. They’d moved to Texas, and she eats like a Texan, apparently. Loves beef, potatoes, large portions, burgers, sodas, deep-fried foods, and lived on Taco Bell imitation meat when she was pregnant. I knew from a nutrition stand-point that she could do better in her food choices, but it wasn’t my place to say anything, so I only commented when I could be truthfully supportive in something. SHE, on the other hand, constantly commented on my photos of fresh carrot+ginger+beet juice, caramelized fig & onion tartlet, homemade mushroom & zucchini pizzas on spelt and flaxseed whole grain crust with stuff like, “That’s disgusting.” “OMG, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.” “Ew, gross.”

I don’t care if there are foods out there you would never touch with a 10-foot pole. Don’t touch them. I don’t care if you’re not adventurous, I don’t care if you’re picky, because it’s not my problem if you decide to miss out on all the great stuff out there. And some people have preferences for things I don’t. Some friends are texture-sensitive, others are flavor-sensitive, and some just plain ol’ love salty deep-fried stuff that I wouldn’t eat because I’m trying to be more aware of health. BUT…don’t go pointing at someone’s food while they’re eating, sneer, and make a judgment call that insults their food, makes them feel like a freak for eating something perfectly fine and healthy, because that only makes YOU look ignorant, closed-minded, picky, and rude! And when the food being picked on is a superfood, you look uneducated and unhealthy, too!


My email inbox opened today on really old stuff from 2006. Seeing some interesting subject lines, I opened a few old emails and smiled, frowned, and mused in reading some of my history with friends from over half a decade ago. I even re-sent some to the friends on the email, just for kicks. “Hey, remember his? How things have changed.” I’ve always thought I had a more-than-decent memory, but there were some teaser emails I have no impression of, like one between me and college roommie Diana where we were about to get into something juicy and instead of writing it, she wrote, “Call me and I’ll tell you,” and then there were 3-4 follow-up emails arranging for the call, making sure we were both available, what numbers to call on, and then…nothing. WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT DID SHE TELL ME? WAS IT ABOUT A BOY? I DON’T REMEMBER AND I WANNA KNOW! It was most likely about a boy.

And then I saw an email from a guy who was my boss for something like a few months before he’d decided to leave the County and go into private industry. He was nice to me, and had defended me against some workplace unfairness he’d perceived and fought a battle that I really wasn’t even planning to fight myself. He made me feel a little weird, a little uncomfortable sometimes. Anyway, the email from him was just one line, which appeared to be in Latin. It looked like nonsensical spam or the remnants of a virus, when someone’s email gets hacked. But the sign-off with his first name made me think maybe it wasn’t spam. Spam doesn’t sign off. I *think* that back in ’06, I may have thought it was spam and not responded, because there’s no indication on that email that it was ever replied to. Anyhow, the one line is:

Is eram meus vicis ut leave.Hope totus est puteus vobis.

I ran the line through Google translator. It came back with “It was my time to leave.Hope all is well with you.” I guess it wasn’t spam. Why did he feel the need to write that all cryptically in Latin? It was from his personal email, not work email. Maybe I’d been right to feel uncomfortable about him.

When I was in 5th grade, our teacher, Mrs. Catanzaro, read us the headline of an article (or news clipping, or hand-out, or pamphlet, or SOMEthing) in class. Something about how we should not use warm or hot water to brush our teeth. The class of 10-year-olds was obviously not that interested, and probably habitually tuned out anything that had to do with hygiene. Mrs. Catanzaro told us then that we should be thinking, “We shouldn’t brush with warm water? Why not? What would happen? *I* sometimes brush with warm water.” That was the first time it occurred to me that maybe I ought to care about something I don’t care about. I guess that was the point of the lesson, to instill curiosity and a love of learning or research. She then went on to read the rest of the whatever she was reading from, while stopping every so often to tell us how we should respond mentally, what we should be thinking as information comes out.

For the life of me, I can’t remember at all why we shouldn’t brush with warm or hot water. I guess back 25 years ago, I was so fascinated by the thought that I OUGHT to be curious, that I was too distracted from being actually curious enough to pay attention.

I think about this quite often when I’m leaning over the sink, about to brush my teeth. I sometimes hesitate when my left hand reaches out toward the left faucet handle, toward the side that controls the hot water. If I’d used the left side recently, say, to wash my face or hands first, then the water would be already “warmed up” and I’d end up brushing my teeth with hot water. But if I didn’t, then there’d be enough cold water coming out first that my brushing water wouldn’t be warm. But how much does this really matter? WHY does it matter? Would it really be detrimental? And I kick myself for the millionth time for not paying attention in 5th grade on that fateful day when the oh-so-important information was being handed out.

Guess what! I just got photos for Edgar & Ruby’s creative surprise engagement, so I’ve gone back and illustrated the post. I think engagement stories deserve photodocumentation. 🙂 And in case you’re a fan of engagement stories, here are links to some other ones on this blog:

* Edgar and Ruby’s creative engagement, 8-20-11
* College Roommie Diana and Eric’s epic European engagement, April 2010
* Cindy & Mr. W’s bloggy engagement, 8-2-07 (hint: the actual proposal is buried in the comments)

A coworker riding up the elevator with me the other day asked, “So what are you guys doing for Easter?” I drew a blank cuz, people “do stuff” for Easter? Easter is this Sunday, so I expect to be doing what I do every Sunday — visit my parents*. I guess it’s a Chinese thing, cuz Mr. W said his entire childhood and for the childhood of his kids, he’s done “Easter stuff,” i.e. baskets with toys, candies and treats for the kids, egg hunts, etc. I have never had a family-sponsored Easter event, although in grade school one year, my class took a walking field trip to a park a few blocks away, where the teacher and her assistant had hidden a bunch of easter eggs for us. That was a treat. Mr. W claims to be sick of all the Easter stuff he’s been a part of his entire life, so I guess I have to consider what parts of Asian and American I want to incorporate into raising my hybrid kid. He’d be hybrid anyway by proxy living here, even if he were full Chinese. Mr. W stands pretty firmly on getting the kid into organized sports from a young age, which is largely a “white” thing from what I’ve seen (most Asian kids are at violin or piano lessons, or after-school advanced tutoring like Kumon, when the other kids are at sports practice after school). I don’t care for Mr. W’s idea as much. Team sports didn’t treat me well as a kid; there was a lot of peer pressure, mean kids’ egos, and I don’t care for how overly involved parents get into what’s supposed to be coordination- and esteem-building sports. Plus, from hearing my coworkers complain, it takes up A LOT of a parent’s time, and I’ll still be working full-time. I also think about “popular” jock kids I’ve known. I now suspect that they’re popular because they’ve been playing sports with other kids since they could walk, so of course in high school they’re in the “in-crowd;” everyone already knows each other. This then opens them up to keg parties and stupid popular kid trouble-making things (sex & drugs, *shudder*) when they’re teens. I REALLY don’t like that. Maybe Riley** wants to be a concert pianist instead, and cure cancer on the side. Who cares if his half-sister was cheerleading captain and half-brother played baseball, right?

* Speaking of my Asian parents and Good Friday, this morning my mom forwarded me an email joke about a talking parrot from a whorehouse. I’m pretty sure she’s unaware of the sanctity of this weekend for Catholics and Christians. I remember begging, BEGGING her to dye eggs as a kid cuz I just wanted the experience and those egg-dyeing commercials that come on between She-Ra and The Transformers make it look SO fun and magical. I have to this day NEVER had the experience of dying Easter eggs. It’s probably going to be a big disappointment if I ever do — likely messy and not magical at all.

** Speaking of Riley, next Tuesday is a county-wide event: Take Your Son/Daughter to Work day. The courthouse sponsors a tour and a snack, and the kid gets to see what we do all day and how the legal system is run. I think it has some value, since a courthouse is part of our government and many people at some point have to have contact with courts, if not on a personal legal matter, then on jury duty. It’s our civic duty. Plus, there’s something to be said about visiting lock-up and scaring the kids straight. Obviously, I’d never participated in Take Your Son/Daughter to Work day before, because they don’t allow cats, and because my mom never invited me along. I wrote her an email some years ago, when this event was advertised, “Hey mom, does your department have this program? How come you’ve never taken me to your work?” Her response was something terse, to the effect of, “Chinese parents don’t do this because children should be in SCHOOL on a weekday!” I guess I’ll be participating in Take Your Son/Daughter to Work day this year. But then, I’ve been doing a private taking my son to work for the past 7 weeks. I don’t think leaving him at home at this point is a good idea.

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