First Beach Trip!
Jian and I have been planning to take Daniel to the beach for his birthday weekend for about a month, and she has been very excited. When she first saw a picture of the beach, she said, “Big yo yong!” (Yo yong means swim.) She is not a very good secret-keeper, though. I explained to her through our translator that we do not keep secrets from each other, but that this is a surprise for her dad’s birthday, so we will not tell him about it until right before we leave. She assured me that she would not tell him. As soon as he got home, I walked into the room, and she was whispering in his ear something about “Happy Birsday.” She saw me and started laughing and saying, “No tell, no tell!” Over the next couple of weeks, she told him about his cake and his gifts also 🙂
We made it to the beach in just over 4 hours, but this was much too long as far as Jian was concerned. She complained for about the last 3 hours that the beach was too far away and that we should just turn around and go back home. When we got there, she was so excited, though. We ordered dinner on the beach, but she said she was full and wanted to go play on the beach playground instead. She was smiling and laughing and throwing the sand up in the air. She asked that when her friend from China comes home in a few months if she could go to the beach also.
The next day, we lived it up. The condo where we stayed had multiple pools, hot tubs, and kids’ play areas. She decided she liked the pool area rather than the beach. She also said that we were not staying at a very good “hotel house” because it was not stocked with any food in the refrigerator or pantry when we got there. We decorated the room and turned off the lights and lit candles and sang Happy Birthday (just as she had seen on a cartoon.) She was so proud.
We went to eat at McGuire’s, where they decorate all the walls and ceilings with $1 bills. I asked her if all of that money was hers, what she would do with it. She said she would buy food. Daniel asked what else, and she said clothes. She saw the waiters singing Happy Birthday to another man and wanted them to sing to Daniel. She has been very “scared” and saying “I can’t” a lot, so we decided to use this as a teachable moment. We told her that if she told the waiter that it was Daniel’s birthday, they would sing to him. If she didn’t tell him, they would not sing. The waiter came and asked if anyone wanted any dessert. I told him that it was someone’s birthday and nodded to Jian as a cue. She froze up. We gave her a couple more chances. She hid under the table. I told him nevermind. Then the 3 of us rehearsed for about 10 minutes what she would say when he came back. He came back over, and she smiled and pointed to Daniel and said, “Baba.” We praised her and said that she was right, it was Daniel’s birthday. She was so proud of herself.
The next day, she was more testy than she has been in a long time. I can only assume it was because she was anxious about leaving. She also got car sick and threw up all in the car again. Thankfully, she is back to her sweet little self today. But as for more road trips, she does not want to take them any time soon!