Yesterday I had Chinese food for the first time since we got back from China. Needless to say Panda Garden had almost nothing in common with what we ate in China. I’m pretty sure the cheese wontons would have made anyone in the Menglun metropolitan area puke. But Panda Garden combined with the annual sukkah hysteria inspired me to return to the blogosphere. We knew sukkot in Charlottesville spelled trouble when during our first fall Rebecca and Jonathan announced that their whole class was coming over for snack under our Sukkah. We had no intentions of building one. Somehow this has become an annual ritual and while we do now look forward to a hoard of tiny Jews traipsing to our little hut it would be a good idea if the teachers actually checked the dates with us. We thought Eli was making it up when he said his class would appear this morning. Having failed to convince him that the civil war did not end in 1953 and George Washington did not fight in it, I gave up trying to convince him that his buddies were not on the way. It turns out he had worked out a date with the teachers. Luckily, the biblical rainstorm saved us at least until Monday. This all amounts to some sort of cosmic payback for the time I volunteered my mom to make Latkas for the entire first grade.
Meanwhile I have to confess that I had a tiger mom moment with my not yet five year old. Eli begged to take piano lessons and we said sure. I think he’s too young but he loves it and takes it very seriously. At least he takes it seriously in the lesson where he tells his teacher things like “oh yes I know all the notes” or “I only pway in mino keys.” Pwacticing, however, is not his thing and usually consists of ten minutes of setting up his music, stretching, and organizing things and maybe finding middle C once. The other day I casually mentioned to the big kids that we’d have desert after they practiced. Somehow I thought it was a good idea to tell this to Eli too who of course refused to practice. But by then I’d taken a stand and felt I had to see it through. I make fun of most Dads I know for the “going nuclear” approach to parenting where for example a kid fails to put their shoes on and the Dad says something like “put your shoes on or you will never have another playdate again….” This is impossible, the kid knows it, and continues not to put the shoe on. So once I said the desert thing I felt I had to follow through. Let’s just say it ended with Eli screaming from his bed “I’M HUNGWWWWWWY. I PWOMISE I WILL PWACTICE…..” He also proudly explained to the teacher that his mother took away his desert for no reason and that said mother didn’t understand that his piano has a Z on it. Suffice it to say his performance of “Old Mista Wabbit” was lackluster at best this afternoon. In the end it’s hard to know what to say about a day that starts with rumbling front loaders, moves through Berlioz’s witches’ Sabbath, Charles Burney, Sting’s racial politics, and ends with a rather whimpery Mista Wabbit.
As I posted this the page just told me my blog is boring and old fashioned and that I should update the format. I promptly clicked a few buttons and found myself unable to figure out how to post. I did take a quick glace at a few of my posts from China. I'm not sure I can sustain this back here in cville. It all seems a little mundane now. But it did inspire a small congratulatory moment. I did in fact meet the summer's goals set out by my grad school bff Kirstin. 1. Do not beat the children. 2. Do not divorce the husband who took you to China. 3. Do not contract any fatal diseases. (I think the continued presence of the boils doesn't count so much as fatal disease as it does as pure gross. Nope the lovely thing on my neck is not a viola hicky caused by a newfound interest in practicing rock licks. It's a BOIL!"