Archive for the ‘Aidan & Rollo’ Category

Bitter coda to a sweet day

October 27, 2007

Today was bittersweet.

Rollo5’s birthday party was fabulous if a bit late. Here he is just before his candles were lit up:


We made up a bunch of food – curry/pear/squash soup, lasagna, chocolate cake, Rice Krispy cakes, and more. Guests came. Rollo opened presents and shrieked with joy. We went outside and played. The weather was gorgeous. All in all it couldn’t have been more fabulous. Here’s Shuwin, Rollo’s classmate and bestest buddy, showing us her cake face:


Then bedtime came and the nightmare began. It seems in our haste to clean up the apartment this morning, I may have thrown Rollo’s beloved blue blankie away. He has a squirrel-like tendency to stuff prized possessions into secret places that only he knows about.

Yesterday I bought a large pot so we could make soup. The pot came in a box. The box sat by the door—empty, or so I thought—this morning until I threw it out along with some other garbage.

This evening Rollo kept insisting his blanket was “in the big box”.

“You mean the white box that was by the door?!”

“YES!” he said, terror creeping into his voice. After the full force of what happened hit him, the tears flowed hard.

“I’m so sad that I can’t stop crying!” he sobbed again and again, causing me to well up. I can’t remember ever having been so passionate about an object. He was inconsolable for the better part of an hour before he fell asleep with Lisa cuddling him. Blankie has been around since he was born and he’s rarely ever been without it, certainly not at night.


Morgan kissed me!

October 23, 2007

On the way home from school today, Aidan blurted out, “Morgan kissed me!”

I asked, “How did that make you feel?”

A fat grin spread across his face. “Really happy! Then she showed me her solar system!”

The day’s theme was astronomy.

The Big 5

October 12, 2007


The boy who has been signing his name all year as Rollo4 is now Rollo5. He skipped school today and went to the insect museum and the aquarium with Lisa. Then we all met up at the Cafe du Monde for spaghetti and sweet, sweet, sugary beignets. Then outside for some play with his new friends from Japan. Right now he’s capping off a glorious day with a Pokemon video (in English, thanks to Grandma) with chocolate cake to follow.

Catching up

October 6, 2007

It’s been a busy few weeks of work followed by the Chinese National Day holiday, which actually lasts a week. The kids have been off school, making work harder to do (I don’t especially want to take the time off since traveling in China during this week is unpleasant). We’ve been visiting friends, going outside in the unseasonably warm weather, generally loafing. I try and catch up in the evenings on work.

I’m having some trouble loading pics right now, so we’ll hold off on those for the moment, but here’s what’s been going on:

There have been three different massive fireworks displays in Century Park this week, right across from our apartment complex. Unfortunately we don’t have a park view but we did go out front for a look-see, along with the teeming masses who pooled up at the big intersection and oohed and aahed. The boys ran around with some kids they know and didn’t pay much attention to the fireworks.

Aidan lost his second tooth in about as many weeks yesterday. The Tooth Fairy has been busy. In fact, He asked me to put in word with the Fairy that he wants more money. Sadly I have no influence with the Tooth Fairy and he’ll get what he gets. The front right incisor was the lucky one — the same one he crunched when he fell on a chair some years back in Hyattsville. We’ll see if the new one grows back in properly. As I recall, there was some doubt from our dentist.

We bought a fish tank last weekend. It’s about 48 gallons according to my metric conversion, so it’s a biggee – more than twice the size of our old tank. Lisa is rapidly populating it with tropical fish. The boys, who have shown a knack for finagling free things from Chinese shopkeepers using nothing more than charm and their surprise Chinese language skills, are also contributing to the rising aquatic population as well. They scored 10 free fish and some plants from a shop the other day when Lisa wasn’t looking.

I picked up the first and second seasons of Rome recently. It’s really good.

Shanghai art museum

September 11, 2007

Orange RolloWent to the Shanghai Art Museum this weekend. The boys started whingeing shortly after we arrived. “It’s booooooring,” and “I’m boooooored” covered the art like wet burlap sacks. But just as we were about to pack it in and take a culture raincheck, we went up to the third floor and were pleasantly surprised by, of all things, a silk exhibition sponsored by Hermes. The exhibitors did a fantastic job of creating a new place within the museum. There was ethereal music, dramatic lighting, rooms with different character and distinct feels, etc. The boys really got into it.boys art museum

Aidan said, “Pop, this inspires my art.”

Sick kid

September 4, 2007

We awoke at 2AM to the sound of Aidan heaving his guts, thankfully into the toilet. Not sure what’s wrong, but we had salmon last night for dinner. My stomach felt a little hinky all evening and isn’t stable even now. Lisa says she feels OK. Rollo, who ate the least salmon of anyone, natch, went to school feeling fine. Aidan is home watching Pokemon, drinking ginger ale, and feeling better. I’m not 100% ready to blame the salmon, especially since Aidan’s hands are constantly in his mouth, but it’s a likely culprit since he has no outward flu symptoms.

Back to School

September 3, 2007

back to school

First day of school for the boys today. For Aidan, that means 1st grade: classes, homework, big kid stuff.

1st grade

It was unclear whether this day was tougher on parents or kids. Emotions ran the gamut. A few tears. Lots of smiles. Anxiety. Aidan stood tall, though. He knows two kids in the class already from preschool. And despite the fact that she didn’t want to leave, Lisa held up well, too.

outside looking in

For Rollo, it means back to the Victoria Kindergarten and forced napping. We’ll see how it goes.


Get a haircut!

August 30, 2007

The boys had their first ever barbershop haircut today. They did extremely well. Five of us (A&R, me, Lisa, and Mrs. Lu, who does some housekeeping and childcare for us but mostly keeps the boys’ Chinese sharp) headed down to the local Wenfeng this afternoon.

First, the hair washing:

washing hair

Next, a towel dry:


Then, the cuttin’ chair:

Aidan cut

Rollo cut

The immediate aftermath:

Boys’ haircut

And the happy customers back at home:

happy customers

Globalization and Culture Clash, Little Emperor Style

August 27, 2007

Aidan got his first ever taste of McDonald’s food Saturday night. He has been playing basketball regularly with a group of kids from our apartment complex and some former pre-school mates. Gao Zhi Qi, our friend and mother of Aidan’s good buddy Patrick, has hired a coach and found four or five boys to come to practice once a week. They usually play at an indoor court about 3k (2 miles) from our apartment for about an hour. It’s great. He runs around, gets tuckered out, and practices his hoops skilz.

Saturday night we caught a ride home with a new kid from the apartment complex. He’s a classic Little Emperor: only child, doughy, entitled, and, at six years old, drinks Pepsi like it’s water, God love ‘im.

As Aidan and the little boy were bantering in the back seat in Chinese, I heard the kid say he was hungry. He demanded we stop at McDonald’s despite the fact that he was five minutes from home. After I made it clear that Aidan had dinner waiting at home, the kid’s dad, whose name I can’t remember but who is a very nice guy, pulled the Buick over, hopped out, and ran inside. He returned five minutes later with two strawberry sundaes and gave one to an eager Aidan. He  promptly devoured it. “I’m finished!” Sugar highs all around.

Wild Child

August 26, 2007

rollo wild childRollo has been on a tear lately. His natural inclination towards impishness has been exacerbated by boredom and the summer heat. Pretending not to hear is the equivalent of carte blanche to do whatever he wants. Yesterday, after he had already gotten in trouble for filling the newly capped off liquid soap container with water while he was having a bath, Aidan complained, “While I was under water, my brother jumped on my back and then peed on me.” [photo courtesy of big brother Aidan]