I asked Matt this morning, "Think we can pull off Dim Sum with All My Children?" He looked doubtful, but agreed. Which is always how it goes in this family. I come up with the crazy idea, Matt gives me a doubtful look, then he sighs and we go off on yet another adventure.
We wanted to be the first family to arrive at the restaurant, so we could get set up and eating before the big crowds hit at this typically "Asian only" restaurant that draws huge crowds on the weekends.
I knew Narnia would not eat Chinese food. She barely eats American food. I packed a bag of goodies sure to keep her attention. I packed a baby cookie for Juna to nosh until the congee arrived. And then I packed a jar of baby food for Avalon. Diapers, wipes, bibs, chewy toys? Yes. Packed up the babies and Narnia and off we went.
Please note this is second time Juna has not cried in her car seat. Maybe we're getting somewhere!!
We walked in to find an already seated Chinese family smiling at us. The mom of the group said, "Ahh you know where to come to get GOOD Chinese food!" We told her we'd recently come back from CHina and had been in Guangzhou. There was a flurry of excitement as restaurant staff came out to talk to us. They were all from Guangzhou and were eager to hear of our travels.
You think a Chinese baby in the Midwest attracts attention? How about a Chinese baby, belonging to a Caucasian family with a baby of the same age in an all Chinese restaurant? Oh my! From the staff to the patrons, we had people stopping by to ask questions and say, "Lucky baby!" To which we always reply, "Lucky family, happy family!"
It was just like being in China. There was the language barrier with most of the staff, with the exception of our waiter. They all wanted to ask questions, so we tried hard to understand. Just like in China, there was a lot of miming, and doubtful looks until the big moment when we'd all go, "Ahhh yes, ok ok!" Then we could attempt to answer back. It's a fun little song and dance and I love the challenge.
The babies were little angels, but Miss Boo acted like a spoiled American girl. She's normally perfection in restaurants, as we dine out so much. Today she was shouting, "Is everyone here Chinese? Is this Chinese food? I hate Chinese food. YUCKY YUCKY! That's awful!! I want to go home!!"
I need to work with her, because China is now a part of our hearts and we are going to embrace the culture. That includes the food!
Ahh but then the cart of pastries came by. Boo shut up quickly when she learned she could choose anything she wanted from the cart. She chose custard tarts. They were 3, all yellow and shiny and laid out in front of her. That was it. Boo suddenly loved Chinese food. I added a plate of sticky rice, handed her some chopsticks and she was content for about ten minutes.
Then came the Mulan questions. "Does Mulan eat here? Where is Mulan? Mulan doesn't eat sticky rice! Does Mulan eat fish? Does she eat the fish in that fish tank? Does that lady over there know Mulan? Can I see Mulan? Are we in China?"
The place was suddenly standing room only and we were near the entrance. Boo got uncomfortable, so I took her and Juna next door to get some Pocky and then to the bakery to pick out some breads.
It was sad to get back into the car and leave a bit of China behind. But we can always go back to the restaurant. It will have to do until we can get back to China someday. I really connected with China for some reason. No one understands and most people think I'm nuts. It just felt really comfortable to me. It felt like home.
Anyway, I'll get sad if I continue down this train of thought. So I will end saying that I am thrilled we pulled off Dim Sum with All My Children. It went so well, we'll try again next week!