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January 22, 2009

Writing Things Down

So, this blog is going to turn into a notebook of funny things the kids say. But right now, Chiara is the only one speaking, although Luke claims Jemma can say Oma and has on several occasions now, mostly when she is wailing for me. Eventually Jemma’s funny moments will be recorded here but right now, it’s Chiara, all the time.
So, Chiara and Jemma will be raised on a macrobiotic diet, which is pretty much like being vegan (no meats, no dairy, no eggs) except for occasional seafood, and with the additional restriction of avoiding cane sugar. This is basically the diet Luke was raised on.

Chiara calls herself vegetarian and knows that she doesn’t eat meat. At Thanksgiving time, however, her class at school was exploring the Thanksgiving tradition, and without really telling us parents, they made a Thanksgiving meal for the kids (we got a note saying there would be a Thanksgiving themed snack, but to me a snack isn’t turkey and trimmings!). I learned about this through our nanny, who said to me, “Did you let Chiara eat turkey? She said she ate it at school.”


I asked Chiara about it that day, and she said she ate turkey. She explained that she told her teacher she was vegetarian so they didn’t serve her the turkey. But then she said one of her classmates asked, “What is vegetarian?” in a tone that sounded suspicious and wary, or at least that’s what it sounded like in Chiara’s telling of her story. And then the same girl asked her why she didn’t eat the turkey and so, Chiara ate it.

Not being vegetarian myself, I was not happy about this incident but I didn’t feel it on any personal level. I was apprehensive about telling Luke, however. When he came home that night I said to Chiara within his earshot, “Tell Apa what you ate at the Thanksgiving snacktime at school the other day.”

Luke immediately got the drift and wanted to make sure Chiara understood he wasn’t upset. So he began to gently probe.

“Oh, you had a Thanksgiving snack? What was in the snack?”


“Oh, did you eat it?”

“No, I’m vegetarian,” Chiara said.

I interjected. “Chiara, is that true, you didn’t eat the turkey?”

Luke said, in a gentle voice, “Were all the other kids eating the turkey so did you want to try a little?”

This gentle approach really worked as Chiara replied in a loud, enthusiastic gush:
“I wanted to try a LOT!” she said. “It was delicious!”


Today, we were walking by a panhandler and as we always do with panhandlers whether I have money for them or not, I looked her in the eye and said hello, and since I wasn’t stopping to give her money I also said sorry I couldn’t offer her anything this time.
She said, “That’s OK,” and then looked at Chiara and said, “God bless you.”

Chiara looked up at her and replied, “I didn’t sneeze.”

jeanhee @ 11:31 pm

January 7, 2009

I’m supposed to write these things down….

Everyone who’s been a parent longer than I have has told me I have to write down the hilarious things Chiara says. That she’s going to ask about them when she grows up. I’ve already forgotten so many things that I have meant to write down! But this week there were doozies!

Yesterday, Grandma Mimi and Aunt Jessie visited in the evening around bath/bedtime so they took care of getting Chiara to bed while I took care of Jemma. While I was nursing Jemma in the darkened bedroom, Luke comes in with a huge smile on his face. He recounted: Grandma Mimi and Chiara were having a conversation that turned to Aunt Monica, GMimi’s youngest child. At some point, they talked about how Monica came out of GMimi’s belly, and GMimi asked Chiara, “How did Monica get into my belly?” (Don’t ask me why she asked that! I wasn’t there!) Chiara answered, her voice filled with authority, “First, you drink a lot of water. Then you pay lots of money to the pay person.”

Sometimes, I know I’m instigating Chiara by saying nonsensical or fantastical things. Like the other night, I was blowdrying her hair with our ancient mini travel hairdryer. It has only one temperature, and two speeds, and of course, Chiara wants me to use the low speed. But who has time? So I said, “Chiara, if we use the slow speed I’ll be a halmoni (grandmother) before your hair is dry.”

“Noooo,” she replied. “I don’t want you to be a halmoni.”

“Ever?” I said. “Don’t you want to have your own babies? Or Jemma to have a baby? If either of you have a baby, then I will be the baby’s halmoni.”

“Noooo. I want you to be my Oma. I want to live with you forever.”

“Really! You want to live with me forever? When you grow up and become a teenager, I’m going to remind you of this conversation!”

So there you have it! Posted on the web for posterity.

This is the munchkin last September on the roots of what I believe the groundskeeper called a kind of  fig tree at a mission in Long Beach, California.

jeanhee @ 12:23 am