Silas in China

We have a full-on obsession here, folks. It started with a DVD of Big Bird in China, and Silas wanting to watch it every day. Then, I found out there was a book of it, which I procured from Paperback Swap. I pulled out my old copy of Children of the Yangtze River. Then, armed with the knowledge that there were books about China, Silas demanded that I get more books on China from the library. Thus, he learned (about a week too late, unfortunately) about Chinese New Year.

We watched videos of the Dragon Dance on Youtube. We had a home-made dragon parade.

Homemade dragon parade

At the local children’s museum, they have a Surface computer. One of the activities is a set of photos that the kids can push around and resize. Silas found, incongruously among a bunch of animal photos, a picture of the Great Wall. He started jumping up and down and shouting, “I found the Great Wall of China! I found the Great Wall of China!” The other children backed away…slowly.

At his request, I made Chinese food for dinner (fried rice, nothing fancy). Silas desperately wants to use chopsticks.

He frequently asks when we’re going there.

I have kept it a secret (so far) that there are books about the Monkey King, who features prominently in Big Bird in China.

The funny thing is that Silas has always sort of had an affinity for China, or for Chinese people. Once, when we were in Chinatown in DC, he met a beautiful little girl. He was only ten months old, and was riding around in the Ergo carrier on my back. She was maybe two, and spoke no English. As I walked by her, she started chattering and waving to Silas. I knelt down so she could get a closer look at him, and Silas reached out his hand for her. The two of them held hands and gazed into each other’s eyes for an unbelievably long time. Finally, the girls grandmas came over to me, and, using perhaps a quarter of the English words they had between them, started saying, “Thank you! Bye bye!” rather forcefully, over and over. I stood up and walked away, and both Silas and the girl started crying. She ran after us until one of the old ladies caught up with her and picked her up.

Someday, if Silas reaches a certain age and hasn’t yet found his soulmate, I might have to send him to China.


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