The God of Laughter

Some things cannot be duplicated with words. I can’t adequately describe the experience of moving internationally, for all adjectives for the sights, sounds, and smells fall short. Suffice it to say we uprooted our family from rural America to metropolitan Asia.  And we took along a two-year-old. Suddenly, the following will make perfect sense – no matter where you live. It …

Do You Know Sumo?

  “Look Mommy! It’s fat-bottom wrestling!”   Maybe your children grew up on football and Disney. Mine grew up on sumo and PiYo PiYo.   Our three-year-old was especially fascinated by sumo. Who wouldn’t be entranced by two hefty, thong-clad giants who stomp in, throw stuff on the floor, and then push one another around?   We were introduced to …

The Window To the World

“Speak English, Mommy.”   Obviously, my plan wasn’t working.   When we moved to Asia, I began studying Chinese and wanted my preschool daughters to do the same. Yet, every time I spoke Mandarin to them, I heard the same three words: “Speak English, Mommy.”   Frustrated, I sent them outside to play while I went back to memorizing my …

All I Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Second-Grade

  They say that all you really need to know, you learn in kindergarten. Well, I didn’t go to kindergarten. And since I’m a slow learner, I didn’t get the important stuff till second-grade. And there I learned that you should share everything.   (Except maybe for saliva.)   This was pretty apparent because Mrs. Crouch had stressed this from …

Charles Dickens and Sleepovers

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.” I’m speaking of course about childhood slumber parties. This was indeed the best of times. In our small town, slumber parties were usually celebrating …

Tutti’s Panties

“Dear Diary,  Today, I lost Tutti’s panties.” Possibly, for you, losing a doll’s underwear may not be a traumatic event, but to this seven-year-old, it proved journal worthy. Now, a second-grade diary is filled with the ups and downs of daily life. The birth of kittens. A fish fry with friends. A spelling bee at school. The backfired plot to frighten …

Chinese 101

  Learning Chinese is a fascinating endeavor. Especially if you consider banging your head against the wall thrilling. As you have probably heard, Mandarin is one of the hardest languages to learn. I like this statement, as it justifies my own Chinese language ineptitude.   One of the first problems in studying Mandarin is getting used to the pronunciation. Sure …