What can I say? I’ve been busy. I turned in my articles early, but the effort expended seems to have sapped my writing ability. Also, I’ve done nothing much of note. We meant to do all sorts of things this weekend, but somehow never got it together to do any of them. Someone was always either napping (Kyra), nursing (Ainsley), working out (Bart), skating (Aidan), going on playdates (Shay) or eating (ummm…me?).
It’s the nicest time of year in Beijing. Summer has broken - the heat and humidity are subsiding. But winter, with its burning lump o coal air, is still far away. Actual blue skies have been visible for several days. So we need to make an effort to get out and enjoy.
We did manage to go out to a Chinese restaurant for dinner with a couple of families. All told there were six adults and eleven kids at our table. Since my kids aren’t fond of Chinese food, I figured it would be a disaster. Then, one of the couples ordered water for their kids, so I didn’t even want to offer up special-treat-soda to my guys, as I feared the other kids would have a meltdown. So I offered my kids water or sparkling water. I should have known something was up when Shay said he wanted plain water, not sparkling (normally he loves sparkling). But I was just pleased that there was no whining going on, so I ordered plain water and moved along. When the waitress brought the water, I heard Shay ask her very politely to please bring him some lemon slices and sugar water. You know the saying: when life hands you water, ask for lemons and sugar water and make lemonade. Or something to that effect. Anyway, he asked so politely that I decided not to interrupt. Next thing you know, the boys are down at their end of the table ordering up more rounds of bottled water – and ordering in Chinese, at that! I was actually amazed at their ingenuity, language skills and politeness, all put together. So I didn’t say anything while they all sat there and chugged their homemade lemonade.
While they gulped lemonade, Aidan pulled out chopsticks and started downing the food. He and the girl across from him just wolfed down everything in sight. And all eleven of the kids were well behaved throughout. Even Kyra. Wonders never cease.
The grand total for our feast, including the homemade lemonade? About $36 per family. A lot by Chinese standards, but not so bad for an entire family meal, especially considering we all left the place stuffed to the gills – either with food or lemon water.