Heard from the Peanut Gallery

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“Mom, does God understand Chinese?” 

This from Ya Hui, our 6 year old deep thinker while getting ready for bed the other night. 

“Here in China people drive their cars on the sidewalks.” 

“But mom, you don’t know the words to say that.”

She is definitely pondering our circumstances.  While in Beijing last week, she noticed all the foreigners walking around the city.  “Look!  They have people with our hair color here!” 

Even the play conversation is sprinkled with “This Polly Pocket doesn’t understand Chinese” and involves long trips by airplane, train or taxi to various countries and fictitious locations.  

Our children are definitely still adjusting to being on display every minute of the day.  Every step outside our apartment involves passersby touching their heads, hands, trying to pick them up, and literally chasing after them.  They have a limited tolerance for how many invasions of their American personal space they will accept before yelling “no” to further advances.  Yah Hui and sometimes DiDi the little brother will tolerate pictures a lot better than Meng Yuan. 

I took the girls along when I had my haircut a couple of weeks ago, thinking it would be a quick in-and-out.  The extended shampoo, head, scalp and neck massage while lying on a massaging chair would have been 100% enjoyable if I had not had to lift my head every 2 minutes because one of the many staff was chasing Meng Yuan–4 years old–around the waiting area in circles and sweet, quiet, adorable MY was screaming “NOOOO” at the top of her lungs.  

Another difference that Ya Hui is noticing is that people are more likely to laugh than anything else when somebody falls, cries, is having a temper tantrum, or is otherwise drawing attention to our little (or large, by local standards) nuclear family.  “Mom, they’re laughing because  I tripped and hurt my knee.”  So then I try to explain, “No they’re not laughing at you, that’s just how they try to get kids to forget that it hurts.” 

Looking on the bright side.  We could all use a little more of that when we feel like crying! 

PS.  The haircut and therapeutic treatment only cost me $2.00.  

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