Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What's That Smell?

Since we were traveling through OKC, and had a little time to spare, we stopped at our favorite Asian market. It's called Super Cao Nguyen, and it is so much fun! The smell is a little overwhelming at first, but we love it now.

The kids took a big sniff as soon as we walked in the front doors and said, "Ahh! Smells like the Asian market." I think the smell is a mix of incense, large open cabinets of raw meat and fish, and the incredible variety of unfamiliar fruits and veggies. Regardless, it's wonderful and unique.

I always spend too much at Super Cao because there are so many fun, new things to try. This time we bought several different flavors of roasted seaweed snacks on our continuing quest to find our favorite. So far, this is it.

Zaya has been begging me to let him buy some form of Durian for a long time. He knows it is generally considered nasty to the western palate, but can't resist trying. It's the Y chromosome, I think. Here was his selection, I told him to make the face he thought he might make after he tasted it. So far, the closest we've gotten is sniffing it from a tiny hole in the corner of the bag.

Both kids love looking at the fish. There are a lot of them just lying out on the ice, and quite a few fish and crustaceans live in tanks as well. Mim is pointing to the bloody eyeball socket of a Buffalo Fish.

We used moderation for this trip, since all the purchases would have to fit in a van that was already overloaded from our week-and-a-half long trip to Oklahoma and some Christmas shopping. I did restock my supply of sweet soy sauce and tom yum paste. I would recommend both for anyone who would like to ease themselves into making stir fry and/or soups a little more fun.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Funtimes with Grammar

This would be why it takes Zaya forever to finish work that he can do in his sleep. We have to make the jokes.

In case you can't tell, and I certainly don't blame you for needing a translation, the article "an" is wearing a bandana, because he's in disguise as an adjective. Edible says, "He's an adjective." and An says, "No, I'm not!"

In this one, the (you) is being "understood" by the verb Make. Why? Only Zaya knows.

He hasn't quite figured out that when we make with the joke-time, school takes forever. Maybe it makes it easier to bear as well, though, so why not give him his funnies?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Light up a Twizzler

A new building has gone up in town, fairly close to our home. We've been watching to see which stores might move in, but without high hopes, since it's a small and rather boring-looking structure. Sure enough, the first sign to go up over a doorway was "Smokeshop and Liquor."

This is literally one building away from another store which is also called "Smokeshop and Liquor." Either the store is relocating, or this town has much more serious lung and liver conditions than I first suspected.

Either way, the whole idea is a bit of a mystery to the kids. They know what smoking is, sort of, but don't actually know anyone who smokes. (Haven't things changed in the last 20 years or so!) Zaya is sort of vaguely aware that liquor means the same thing as alcohol, which means the same thing as "something we don't drink because it's bad for your body and your ethics."

I hadn't realized, though, how vague Mim's idea of liquor was until yesterday when she told us, "Look! There's a truck out outside the Smoke and Licorice shop!"

That explains why she hasn't been as annoyed as we were to see the sign in the first place.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

It's Elementary...or it Ought to Be.

Every child is unique. I realize this, and feel very blessed that I have the children I do. They are great kids.

That being said, they are not without their issues. Zaya's particular difficulties were brought to mind recently when we made a trip back home to see family.

See, here's Zaya's problem. He inherited his father's unconcern with what people think of him. Within reason, neither my husband nor my son are too fussed with making a good impression, or caring whether or not they are universally loved. Fortunately for Art, he also is fairly shy and introverted, which means that people don't know about his lack of concern for their opinion, because he keeps his mouth shut. If that was all Zaya had inherited, then he would have the same charmed life that his father has.

Unfortunately, Zaya also inherited my mouth. We talk a lot, or more correctly, we talk to fill in gaps, or just to announce something to the world. The difference is that I care intensely what other people think about me (and, by extension, my children and husband), so most of what I say in a public setting is wearing the "don't offend people" filter. Even with my filter, I frequently say things that make me wince when I remember them, but at least I realize that what I said sounded stupid or rude.

Zaya, therefore, has his daddy's chill, nothing-much-bothers-me attitude, combined with his mommy's big mouth, so things like this happen:

At our homeschool co-op, Zaya raises his hand and asks the choir teacher (who is a super-sweet, funny lady, and an excellent music teacher) if she could play more accurately when giving the kids their accompaniment. Yeah. In front of the entire class of 3rd-10th graders. Of course, he gets told to play more accurately on the piano all the time, because he's a little kid in piano lessons, but he had absolutely no clue that it might hurt a grown-up's feelings. Grown-ups are invincible, right?

Which brings me to our visit back home. Zaya walks up to one of my aunts, someone he's seen at least once a year since he was born, and asks her who she is. He doesn't explain, as I would've if I'd been in on the conversation, that he always confuses her for the other aunt whose name starts with the same letter. No. He just walks up and asks her who she is, as if he's never seen her before in his life.

His sister, who has her father's sense to keep her mouth shut, and her mother's concern about what other people think, was appalled when we discussed it later in the car. She proceeded to tell him exactly who that aunt was, down to what her house looked like and the name of her dog. Really. She is his Watson. (The Martin Freeman kind, not the Nigel Bruce kind.)

Meanwhile, Zaya still can't figure out why it wasn't a good thing to say. He wanted to know who she was. He couldn't remember. Why shouldn't he just ask? I tried to tell him to ask me or Grandma Lilibeth next time he's unsure of his great-aunts, but I have no hope of his remembering that it isn't socially acceptable to let loved ones know that you are confused about their identity.

And then he told one of our best friends that her baby was "finally starting to look cute." What!? Her baby has been adorable from day one; he even has a picture of said baby on his cabinet and talks about how cute he is. Who says things like that?!? Luckily, it was someone who has known Zaya well since birth, and knows that he is just a tiny bit of a crossover between Sheldon and Sherlock. Except, you know, moral. And without the ability to notice the world around him.

Maybe I should just stop caring what people think, since he is so oblivious to it himself, but I can't do that as a mommy. I still care, even if he doesn't. All that to say, if you see Zaya in the future, and he says something that sounds a touch sociopathic, please understand that if you said the exact same thing to him, it probably wouldn't bother him in the slightest, and, as soon as they know about it, his mother and sister will be mortified. Perhaps that will make up for the shock of the moment.