Are You Having Fun Yet?

We had pretty much tired ourselves out today by 2 pm.  We saw Rumpelstiltskin at Steamer 10 Theatre, then we had a quick bite at home and headed out to ice skate at Union College.   If  we go to a show again this week, I think we’d make it a nap-time show at 1 pm for a possibly more subdued audience, but the puppeteer was great, and he really appealed to the crowd.   I received an email after my big week-long round-up about the public skating at Union–the hours are updated on their site.

I’ve been loving ice skating lately because it  brings out the best in the sister relationship.  My girls do enjoy each other’s company often–they’ll play for quite a while together, especially if you don’t say something stupid like, “Wow, you girls sure are having fun together today!”, which only reminds them that they’re supposed to be enemies.  But we do have problems.   There tends to be a lot of M-as-Bully and J-as-Victim, although of course I try my best not to label them because, hey, of course I read Siblings Without Rivalry and I know I’m not supposed to be setting them up by giving them a role that they then feel compelled to play out and all of that, blah, blah blah.  Yeah, I know, and I’m doing my best, here.  Incidentally, practically every chapter highlights the main points in comic strip form, so it’s an excellent skimmer.

But anyway, M is competitive, and she’s always trying to compete with J.  I say to M:  J is more than 2 years younger than you, she doesn’t know how to read, she’s not at the big kids’ school yet, she has trouble getting toothpaste out of the tube. . . you don’t need to compete with her because you can wipe the floor with her.  Well, okay, I don’t say it exactly like that, but come on.    So that certain je ne sais quoi that makes ice skating so delightful?  M is better at it than all of us.  She is so deeply secure in her superiority that she will graciously give me pointers on how to skate backwards (“Bend your knees more!  And wiggle your butt, but not too much because it’s so embarrassing, mom!!”), or she will solicitously fetch J a bucket or her mittens.  J will do a “trick” and M will applaud her.  Then J is so overwhelmed with gratitude and love that she hugs M and M sheepishly holds J up when fervent joy threatens to literally bowl them both over.   J did so well today that I couldn’t believe it, and I was 95% proud and excited and 5% worried that if she improves too quickly this special magic will be gone.

Anyway.  In spite of my Chinese post title yesterday, the party last night was celebrating the more generally Asian Lunar New Year, with a big focus on Korean food and culture.   The spread was ridiculously huge and delicious.  I mean, it was out of control.  The highlight was a traditional dish, Bee-Bim Bop.  I Googled it oh-so-briefly and found that there was a kids’ picture book about this very dish.  You start with rice and pile all sorts of things on top of it. . . we had carrots, sprouts, cucumber, anchovies, octupus, kim chi, beef, some sort of noodles, traditional sauce, and some other stuff.  It was super-tasty.

How pretty are these scallion thingies?  When I went to look at the pictures W had taken, I realized that I’d somehow missed eating these–very sad.

They also had a Jesa table set up, with is another Korean tradition, a small memorial with different foods and items offered up to ancestors.  So we had a nice little culture lesson along with the party.  It was all great fun, and when I told M “five more minutes” she said, “Already?!?” even though we’d been there for hours.  Lucky for her, W started chit-chatting and it actually turned out to be another hour.

W had off today–that’s part of the reason why we had to rush and skate today, so that he could test out his new Valentine’s ice skates–so tomorrow the real February break starts in earnest for us.  We’ve had such a busy weekend that I haven’t planned what we’ll do tomorrow at all yet.

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