Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Break Adventures

We didn't take any big trip for Spring Break this year; we did a few day trips, instead. On Tuesday, we went to Fossil Rim Wildlife Park. The drive-through park was a disaster, since everyone else had the same bright idea we had -- bumper-to-bumper traffic the whole way through the park. We love Fossil Rim, but no way am I going back on any holiday! The petting zoo was a success, and the picnic lunch my mom packed was great! Zoe brought a friend along, also a China adoptee. During lunch they talked about how close they were in age (24 days!), and her friend said, "Maybe our birth mothers knew each other!" LOL! Yes, indeed, 1.3 billion people, a land mass that makes it the 3rd largest country in the world, and all Chinese mothers (at least when their children are born close together in time (but not distance!) know each other! Very cute!

On Wednesday, we took the train from Downtown Fort Worth to Downtown Dallas. That would have been enough of an outing for Zoe and Maya, who later named the train trip as the highlight of the day. A short bus ride (No. 8 Uptown) from Union Station in Dallas took us to our real destination, the Crow Collection of Asian Art. The girls were delighted the minute we stepped into the first gallery because the background music was THEIR sleepy-time music, the CD we've listened to every night before going to bed since that first night in Nanning with Zoe in 2001 -- Beijing Angelic Chorus Lullabies!
These origami butterflies were another hit (we thought of you, Maggie!). The exhibit of tomb art was interesting, too, and the girls easily made the connection between these small statues and the terracotta warriors they saw in Xi'an. Though we skipped the King Tut exhibit next door at the Dallas Museum of Art (too crowded!), the huge signs for it gave me a chance to talk to the girls later about the universality of burying objects with the deceased so as to provide a comfortable afterlife.
My favorite part of the Crow Collection (and my mom's too) was the exhibition of comtemporary Japanese quilts. I collect antique quilts, and my mom actually quilts (she's working on Maya's 100 Good Wishes Quilt right now (she did Zoe's, too)), so this exhibit was right up our alley. There really was something different in the aesthetic of these Japanese-made quilts -- more connected to nature, more organic. Very cool!

OK, the photo below gives me a chance to talk about the Great Penis Incident of 2009, a temptation I have so far resisted, but can no longer! (Can't wait to see what searches SiteMeter tells me lead folks to THIS post!)
A few weeks ago, I go to pick up Maya at preschool and the manager calls me aside to show me a picture Maya drew. It was a fully-clothed male figure, but in the appropriate area there was clearly a penis (pointing downward!) between two circular objects (don't jump to conclusions!) surrounded by some frame-like drawing. It seems that Maya and two other children in her class executed fine drawings of penises in class that day! The school wanted to make a big deal about it, but I thought it was hysterically funny and completely age appropriate.
My only question was where Maya has seen such an object. Being a penis-free household, I had to wonder. It took me forever to calm Maya down enough to tell me about her picture -- her teacher told her she was in trouble and that she was going to call her mother! Maya, never having been in trouble before, was terrified. She told me, "All during nap, I worried what you'd say. I thought you'd say, 'Maya, you're 5 years old. You know better than that!'" Poor thing!
Finally, I got out of her that the circular objects on either side of wee willie winkie were the boy's bottom, not what we all assumed! And the frame-like thing drawn around his privates was the toilet (she even drew the flush handle and the toilet paper holder!). Still, the ultimate question was where she'd seen a penis. Easy answer, a little boy in her class showed her his! I admit to being a bit gleeful in telling the school this, since their approach seemed so accusatory -- guess what, Maya saw a penis under YOUR watch, not mine!
So now we have a new rule -- feel free to draw penises anytime you want to at home, but don't draw them at school!
So what does that have to do with the photo below? Well, Zoe and Maya seem to know all about penises in theory, not in reality. They never even blinked in seeing all the penii on display in the various works of art we saw!!!! I mean, there it is, right at eye level, and nary a comment!
Next to the Crow Collection is the Nasher Sculpture Garden, and we had truly lovely weather to enjoy it. The girls were really tickled by some of the art -- the Miro sculpture where the buttocks were two brightly colored soccer balls, for instance -- and really tickled me by their reaction to others. There was a lifesize nude, La Nuit (the Night) of a sitting woman, knees raised, arms resting on knees, head bowed on top of arms. The girls mimicked her posture, and then I asked them what the woman was feeling, what she was doing. Zoe suggested she was sad or lonely. Maya said, "She's looking at her bottom!" What do you expect from the primary figure in the Great Penis Incident of 2009!
Today we went to the new Hong Kong Market in Grand Prairie, in a shopping center called Asia Times Square. We frequently go to the one in Arlington, but decided to check out the new one. The girls love going to the Asian grocery store and grabbing all the snack foods they adored in China -- truly foul-smelling shrimp-flavored chips, panda cookies with fake-strawberry cream inside, lychee-flavored jello cups -- you know, all that Asian health food! I always buy one new sauce, and this time picked up shrimp paste -- can't wait to try it in cooking! We also had lunch at the Vietnamese restaurant next to the market (not the best pho I've ever had, but the salted & toasted shrimp was almost like what we got in China), bought grapefruit candy at the little candy shop, and checked out the bakery (I'm still looking for egg tarts like we had in China).
No big plans this weekend (except for Maya's first soccer game!), so we can relax this weekend to recover from a fun-filled spring break!


anne said...

But you still haven't posted about the great penis incident of 2008 (or was it earlier?).

malinda said...

Anne, you stinker!

That would be the Great Penis Incident of 2007, Zoe was 2 months away from age 7.

We took my parents out for their 50th wedding anniversary, and I'm encouraging the girls to ask questions about their wedding -- what did you wear? who was there? where did you go on your honeymoon?

And Zoe asked my mom: "On your wedding night, did you and Grandpa get naked, and did he put his penis in your vagina?!"

ACKKKKKKKK! Not quite the question I was expecting, and CERTAINLY not the question my mom was expecting!

Zoe had just learned about "that part" of how babies are made, and I had linked it to marriage, so it seemed a normal wedding question to her!

Ah, the adventures of parenthood!

malinda said...

Oh, and today in the car, we were passing the time by coming up with 10 words for each letter of the alphabet, and we come to the letter P -- and the girls say in unison, "Penis!"

Sue said...

My 6-year-old now knows that a male puts his penis in a female's vagina so that the sperm (we call it seed) can get to the egg. I had to tell her this because she thought it could happen if you sit next to a boy! But she really can't imagine how a penis could get into a vagina and has been asking me repeatedly for more detail, which I just can't quite bear to explain to her yet. I just said they have to get really close together to do that! Then she attempts to show me how she thinks it could be done. Oy! I think I have had enough reproduction talk for the time being! The thing about the statue is too funny, though!

Sue said...

(what do you know, I posted non-anonymously!)