Friday, July 21, 2006

That's My Girl

Disclaimer: The following post is all parental bragging. If that bothers, offends, or bores you, skip this post.

So, Grandma Jeffery and Grandma Harbertson, (I thought I'd address you directly, since you're probably the only two people still reading), Trea is doing wonderfully. She has adapted with amazing speed. Already she is learning to wai (a Thai custom where you raise your hands, palms together, and bow slightly. You show more or less respect by how low you bow your head, how high you raise your hands, and how long you hold the wai. Thais wai when greeting/saying goodbye, before accepting a gift, and to apologize). Trea hasn't mastered "Sawatdee kaa" yet, which is the greeting phrase for a female speaker, but she wais and says "kaa." She'll also do it before accepting something, if prompted. She also says "aroi," which means delicious, and sometimes repeats random things John says to her in Thai. Mostly, though, she seems to think that Thai is a joke the world is playing on her, and just giggles when she hears it. She does seem to understand some of the things the nursery teachers say to her, and she's learning their names. The other kids are nice to her and they all play together as well as can be expected of toddlers - as in, sometimes they share nicely and "talk" to each other and other times she comes home with scratches from fighting. Mai pen rai (no matter).

She's still a huge celebrity around here. Today I was walking her home in her stroller while the school clubs were meeting. I left her for just a second to talk to John, and the entire soccer club gathered around the stroller to see her. She took it in stride, of course. I guess you get used to attention when random people take your picture at church, at the park, whatever.

To get the full effect of this next anecdote, you need to visualize a songtaow, a pickup truck with two bench seats in the bed, and more or less open sides and back (there's a picture of one on John's blog.) This is our preferred mode of transportation around Khon Kaen, since they're cheap (less than $.25 each, and Trea's free), fairly convenient, and, like a bus, they follow a regular route. That means I don't have to try to explain where I want to go to a tuk-tuk driver, I can just get on and ring the bell when I want off. We were on one of these tonight, riding home, and Trea decided it would be a good idea to lean out the side and frantically wave to all the passing motorcyclists, calling "bye-bye!" and blowing kisses for good measure. Thais, being Thai, just smiled and waved back. Everywhere we go, people giver her food, drinks, flowers, balloons, whatever they've got that might get her attention. I know she's adorable, but it's a little over the top. I'm really a little concerned about what will happen to this child when we go back to America and she's just another kid on the street.

Trea is also learning about rhymes. We read a bedtime story my sister-in-law gave us called Sometimes I like to curl up in a ball. Sometimes we'll pause and Trea will fill in the word. She knows pretty much the whole book. She also knows parts of Goodnight Moon and Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? We also read a book called Hippos Go Berserk. It's a counting book, and once all the hippos arrive at the first hippo's house, they go berserk. Trea keeps saying "Serk!" is this really cute, high-pitched voice. I think it's the only part of the book she really likes, because she'll flip back to that page 3 or 4 times and say "Serk!" over and over.

Also, she imitates the sound on, when you enter the site. Wish I could capture it on camera, because it's really funny to hear. She even throws her hands in the air.

We eat a lot of meals at a restaurant near our house, and Trea has become well known there. Sometimes they have Thai music videos on in the back, and she likes to go back there and dance. The Thais think this is hysterical, of course, and everyone is entertained by this little light-haired girl dancing to Thai rock.

Finally, I am really glad that I splurged on Disney princess sheets for her bed. She has Belle, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty on her pillow, and we get her to lay down at night by telling her to give the princesses hugs. She lays down and gives them hugs and kisses (sometimes she tries to feed them snacks, too, which is a little more problematic). She has no idea who they are, because she's never seen any Disney movies, but it works.

Okay, bragging done. Next post will be more normal, I promise.


suprbacana said...

Hey we love shameless brags. I am extremely guilty of it's pretty much my whole blog since there's not much else to talk about. :-) Preston has somehow learned the words to the "Into the West" song (from the ending of LOTR Return of the King). Jeff sings it to him at bedtime and he's picked up on the words. If you stop, he fills in. If you just hum part of a line of melody, he STILL fills in the right word when you stop. These kids are amazing!!! I had no idea how fast they could learn. The drool and screaming is just for show! hahahaha

Zimm said...

Mr. Brown Can Moo. Classic!

She sounds adorable as ever.

Grandma J. said...

Grandmas love someone bragging on grandchildren. I loved this.