Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Chinese New Year!

Year of the Tiger, of course

The full moon tonight marks the Lantern Festival and end to the 15-day Chinese New Year holiday season. This year, Wynn celebrated with a couple different activities.

A week ago Monday, we got together with the other family who traveled with us in Guangxi province, another family from our trip who went through Anhui province, and a third family who adopted through Sichuan last year. The kids colored dragons, listened to stories, and we all had a fine feast.

The Guangxi Girls - Wynn and Jenna - masters of The Force! Jenna is about a half-year older than Wynn. They both enjoy being in charge - they know the family routines; the rules of the games; what the pets should be doing; where we should sit. No need for whining or temper, as Guangxi Girls know how to get their point across matter-of-factly, using just enough charm or cool logic to convince you.

Last weekend, I took Wynn to Como Zoo. She specifically wanted to see the tiger (that's him in the first photo) and we wished him a Happy New Year. We also checked out the tropical plants in the Conservatory, noting which kinds grew in China; looked at the golden carp and talked about why they're considered lucky; and shared some stories about when we came to adopt her.

Quite a few other Asian families were at the zoo, too, doing the same things we were. I worry sometimes that we're not giving her enough exposure to her birth culture, but over the past two weeks of watching what other families are doing and seeing how Wynn interacts with other kids - Asian and everyone else - it feels like we're doing a good job.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Con Artist

Wynn and I have been playing with her Disney Princess Memory game a lot lately. She's graduated from Chutes & Ladders and has moved on to games like Memory that require a bit more sophistication (Crazy 8's and Go Fish are also in the new line-up.)

The Memory game, which we used to call Concentration, has emerged as her favorite, so she and I sit on the floor together after dinner many nights and spread the cards out on the floor.

Because she is a kind soul who revels in everyone's success, she likes to help me out when I get stuck. If I hesitate the slightest bit before flipping the card for the match, she points to it and says, "That one." When I flip it for the match, she gets all excited and cheers for me. She has done this for several weeks now, so I've gotten lazy about trying to remember where Mulan or Cinderella or whoever is hiding; Wynn will show me the way.

Yesterday, we were playing again, and, true to form, she steered me to the winning card a couple times. The third time I hesitated, she pointed to a card and said, "That one."

When I flipped it over, it was NOT a match.


I looked up at her in confusion, and she was beaming with the most magnificently mischievous smile ever.

She'd done it on purpose.

"You told me to flip the wrong card!" I said in surprise.

"I know," she giggled.

"Now I won't know if I should flip the card you point to anymore."

"I know," she said again as she tipped over laughing.

She's four years old, and she worked the long con. She strung me along to get me to trust her, and then she pulled the rug out from under me.

We've started referring to her as Little Danny Oceans.