Monday, May 31, 2010

Spoiler Alert

Several friends had cautioned us about seeing Shrek Forever After with a young 'un, since theirs had gotten scared and needed to leave the theater. Still, Wynn insisted that she wanted to go.

I talked to her about the fact that others had been scared, and she assured me that she was brave. I asked her what she would do when the scary parts came on, her answer: "Sit on your lap and think about that they are in the movie and can't get us."

So we went.

She'd never seen a Shrek movie before, but she caught on to the story pretty fast. When the squadron of witches showed up, she turned to me and said, "I know why they got scared; those witches are mean." But she kept right on watching.

When the fire-breathing dragon started breathing fire on Shrek and Fiona, I figured Wynn would change her tune vis a vis the whole being brave thing, but I was wrong, and she kept watching.

For the most part, she found the movie enchanting. She liked seeing the scenes of the Ogres as a family, and the humor of Donkey and Puss in Boots was much appreciated - especially when Puss in Boots had put on a few pounds and couldn't roll over on his cushion.

The only time in the entire movie when Wynn looked worried was when, through the cruel trickery of Rumpelstiltskin, the "true love's kiss" between Shrek and Fiona didn't work to break the spell.

As Shrek explained the reason for its failure, "Fiona doesn't love me," Wynn turned to me aghast. She'd seen them as a happy couple early in the movie, and it distressed her so to think that they were no longer in love. That's when she needed a comforting hug and the reassurance of, "I'm sure Fiona will fall in love with him all over again."

I held her tight and teared up at her never-ending supply of sweetness.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dim Sum and Then Some

This morning we took the L to Chicago's Chinatown and had dim sum at the Phoenix. There were carts filled with all sort of goodies, but Wynn's favorite by far was a big bowl of congee - the rice porridge she'd eaten as a baby in China. She wolfed down the whole bowl, just the way she did in Nanning when we first adopted her.

Here she is skewering a spring roll ...

Then we spent the afternoon at the Shedd Aquarium. It's a gorgeous facility filled with sea creatures from all over the world. Wynn's favorites:

1. The touch screen displays (or anything with buttons to push while completely ignoring the fish) ...

2. The part where you could dress up like a penguin and go down the ice slide ...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chicago: Day One, Part Two

After Lunch and an Hour in the Pool ...
Ready for Dinner ...
Pizano's Pizza on State Street ...
Yep, That's Chicago ...

We sat down with the map this evening and figured out that we walked about four and a half miles today. Add to that the time in the pool this afternoon, and it's no big surprise that we're kinda tired.

A friend back home recommended Pizano's for dinner; it was voted the #1 thin-crust pizza in Chicago, so we headed there for dinner. It's tiny with wood paneling, decor straight out of the 60's, and pictures of sports stars and celebrities plastered all over the walls. In short, it's exactly what you imagine a Chicago pizza place will be. We walked in, looked around, took a sniff, and siged, "Yessss."

The staff was wonderful and brought us some crayons for Wynn to color the paper tablecloth with while we waited for our food. (The wait also gave me some time to explain who Mike Ditka, whose picture hung next to our table, was for Wynn.)

The pizza has a "butter crust", which is yummy - more akin to pie crust than what you normally associate with pizza. We could literally smell the butter in the crust when they set it on our table. Mmmm. Scott and I dug right in. After I'd polished off my first two slices, I noticed Wynn was just pushing hers around on the plate. I asked her why, and she said, "This is yucky pizza." I told her that Baba and I disagreed. And then I ate every bit of hers off her plate. Figured I'd earned it after all that walking.

The Windy City w/ Wynn

Walking on Air at the Willis Tower ...

Checking Out Millennium Park ...

The Pout Which Can Only Be Broken with the Promise of
Swimming in the Pool after Lunch ...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Accentuate the Positive

Back Story -
Several months ago, Wynn and I got home from school and found that our dog (Shadow) had chewed her stuffed horse and left its mangled body all over the living room. I scolded him and told him he was a bad dog. It made quite an impression on Wynn, and she has mentioned the time I called Shadow "Bad Dog" several times since.

Our Conversation in the Car Tonight -
Wynn: Do you think Shadow was a good dog today?

Me: Yes, he was probably a good boy.

Wynn: Well, you know, when he is a good dog, you should say good things to him.

Me: Really? What kind of things should I say?

Wynn: Like, "Oh, Shadow, you are such a good dog, and we love you."

Me: Yes, that would be nice to tell him. But what should I say if he was a bad dog?

Wynn: Well, when he is bad you should still say good words to him. Because sometimes he does bad stuff like chew on toys or Baba's blanket, but you should still say good words. Not bad words like, "Shadow, you bad dog!"

Me: But shouldn't I tell him that what he did was bad?

Wynn: Yes, but use nice words like, "Shadow, you good boy, why you do bad things?" That way you won't hurt his feelings, because when you say bad words like, "You bad dog!" you might hurt his feelings, and then he will say, "You hurt my feelings."

Me: You're right. I wouldn't want to made Shadow sad, but he needs to know that I don't like when he's bad. Wynn, what would you say to Shadow if he chewed up your gecko?

Wynn: I would say, "I love you, Shadow, but don't chew my gecko."

Me: What if he got your alligator and ripped its head off and threw the stuffing all over so you could never play with it ever again?"

Wynn: Oh, no! No! That would make me SO sad.

Me: Me too. So, what would you say to him?

Wynn: I would use nice words. I love Shadow and don't want to hurt his feelings.

At this point I'm thinking that Wynn is the kindest, most forgiving soul on the planet.

Me: Oh, Wynn, you are such a sweet girl for not wanting to hurt Shadow's feelings.

Wynn: Yea, 'cause if I use bad words and hurt his feelings, he might bite me.