Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving weekend, heart-break Bean

The holiday weekend has a passed in a blur, a rush of snotty noses and mucous-weeping eyes (Baby Legume’s), travel and relatives and too much food, shopping and toddler tantrums and preschool tantrums to boot. I’ve had no time, no space, to sit and write. But today the snow swirled down, bringing a kind of visual silence. The girls went out briefly on the back deck to stamp footprints in the snow. Then inside for a rest and, later, hot chocolate (I fed Baby Legume hot chocolate from a spoon).

We went down to my parents’ for Thanksgiving this year. Sister B and her husband joined us. My mother elected to have a supermarket-provided Thanksgiving meal—prepared turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. It wasn’t that great, to be honest. But in our family, the traditional American Thanksgiving staples are not the stars. My mother’s Thai dishes are the true attraction. Her spring rolls are the real holiday staple. I’ve eaten so many this weekend that it’s embarrassing. She lays out an ever-changing buffet of Thai appetizers and side dishes. There are snacks as you walk in the door, and more dishes come out throughout the day. In the morning there’s jook, or noodle soup, stir-fried noodles with gravy (lad nah), or pad thai…

Bean-girl decided to eat just cranberry sauce. And chocolate.

Legume, of course, eats pretty much everything. I’m pleased to report that she no longer cries at the sight of her grandmother’s face. Indeed, she allowed her grandparents and aunt to hold her, and even smiled as they did so. She seems to have worked through her stranger anxiety, and has become a much more outgoing girl over these past few months.

And we all got through Thanksgiving with a minimum of family tension and squabbling (save the usual squabbling between my parents, who have been at it now for thirty-plus years).

Tonight we took the girls with us to Husband’s department Christmas party. One of Bean-girl’s friends from preschool/daycare, a little curly-haired boy I’ll call “A”, was at the party, too. Bean-girl used to behave as though all boys had cooties, but perhaps she is coming around. She was certainly excited to hear that A was at the party, although nowhere near as excited as A himself. “A” kept jumping up and down, beaming at her. He trailed her about the room. Bean-girl hid coyly behind my legs. “That’s right, play hard-to-get,” one of the women at the party advised Bean-girl. Bean-girl told me in a confidential tone, “’A’ is excited because I am here.”

Later, the two kids stood together and examined the restaurant’s Christmas tree. Little “A” continued jumping up and down. “Do you know why A is so excited?” Bean-girl asked her father coyly. “He’s excited about the Christmas tree,” Husband replied heartily. “Hey, A, you’re really excited about that Christmas tree aren’t you?” “No, Dad,” Bean-girl answered. “He’s so excited because I’m here!”

The Bean-girl knows a thing when she sees it.

The party took place in a private banquet room. Later, the kids gathered on the floor with a bunch of books and trains, brought by A’s parents. Legume looked at books, A’s little sister tried to toddle about, and Bean-girl and A took turns drawing on a doodle-pad, then chased each other around and around the room. When it came time to say goodbyes, A hugged the Bean-girl and proclaimed, “Bean-girl, I love you sooo much!”

Although Bean-girl didn’t go quite that far, she did ask when A might come over for a playdate. So I think, at the mature age of four, she’s decided that not all boys have cooties, after all.

And I suspect that she will be quite the heart-breaker one day.


ScientistMother said...

that is too adorable! It is amazing how aware they are, at such a young age.

mouse said...

Aww, cute!! When I was in preschool, there was a little boy who would regularly proclaim to everyone that he was going to marry me one day. We weren't in school together after kindergarten, and I've often been a little curious about what he's up to now!