Monday, October 25, 2010

The Girl In the Red Dress

This Saturday was Daddy's turn to "help" in the Class room at Chinese school.  Now, I know there are many thoughts on whether or not Chinese School is good or bad for our children from China - and these are just my thoughts... take 'em for what they are worth.

Don't worry.  
It is only your 1st day at Chinese School.
You don't need to be scared.
The other kids will like you.
Just... breath!
Don't panic if you can't understand what the teacher is saying.
It will come. 

And with that, I turned away from the mirror and called to Ping to come get her shoes on so I could take her to Chinese School.  Yes, I was nervous.  Her?  Not so much.  This was her 3rd week.

At Saturday morning Chinese School

We got to the class, and everything started off great!  The teacher was working her way though the simple introductions for family members, and Ping was shouting out the answers with as much gusto as any other child in the class!

Every once in a while she would turn her head around and make sure that I was watching her from the back of the class room.

Then, IT happened.  About 30 minutes into the class, while the teacher was walking up and down the rows of students to listen to them reciting their "Ge ge hao"s, she stopped at Ping...
... and listened.
With abated breath, I watched, listened, strained to hear the teacher over the din of the children chatting "Ge ge hao".
"Hen hao!" come the teachers ENTHUSIASTIC reply - which means "Very good!".
I was so happy!
Ping, wasn't.  Ping thought she was in trouble because the teacher was "loud".
Ping quickly retreated and within 5 minutes, was sobbing in her seat, which grew into a full cry in my lap.

I took her out into the hall of the school, crouched down to her, held her beautiful cheeks in my hands and looked her straight in the eyes and said all the things I thought she needed to hear.
Daddy loves you.
Daddy is so proud that you are learning Chinese!
You don't have to be scared.
No one here is going to take you away.
It is OK to learn Chinese.
You do not have to go back to China.
Daddy is learning Chinese too!  Daddy goes to Chinese School on Mondays.

See, we've had many conversations lately which makes me think that she is worried about going back to China... I mean, she said "I no like China.  I no want to go back." (again, maybe I'm not the quickest at clue-ing in on the subtle hints of the women in my life).  After about 5 minutes in the hall, and hugging my little Ping, she came back into the class, and sat in the desk beside me.

When we DID come back to class, and I sat her beside me, I started repeating along with the teacher the exercises.  Ma ma hao.  Ba ba hao.  Di di hao.  etc.
Ping would look at me.  Kinda scrunch up her face and turn away.
After about 10 minutes of her "suffering though" her Daddy trying to speak Chinese... she started to speak it again.
She started repeating with the Teacher and me.
And by the end of the class she was chasing the teach down to show her the pictures she coloured!
Ping was actually enjoying herself in Class.
+1 for the Daddy!  Yay!

Now... what about  that girl in the red dress?  

She is my school nemesis!
Oh sure this little girl might look all cute and innocent sitting three rows over and one desk forward...
But every time the teacher was asking questions, she was answering first!
Show off!
I'm sitting there trying to run the teachers instructions though my limited Mandarin vocabulary and convert it to English... but the time I figure out what the teacher asked, little "Red Dress" over there is blurting out the answer all proud of her self!
It quickly became a competition between me and Red Dress to see who could answer the teacher quicker!
Yea, I know.  Its a JUNIOR Kindergarten class... but still!
That little 4 year old show off had to be put in her place!
I'm pretty sure at one time, when I'm trying to figure out Di di in the Chinese characters on the White Board, she blurted out the answer and then turned to me and gave me this little smirk like "Yea, thats right, I know it... and you don't.  You're a LOOOOOSER!  I'm SMARTER than you!"
I hated school 30 years ago... and I still hate it!  :-)
Silly little girl in the Red Dress.
You just wait till next class.
I'm practicing this week Red Dress!
Come next Saturday, I'm TOTALLY gonna lay the vocabulary smack down!

... I'm not really proud of myself right now...  I know I have issues.


  1. Good Daddy! Keep up the hard work.
    And be nice to little miss smarty pants red dress!

  2. You show her show her!!!!!!

  3. Oh I'll be nice to Red Dress. I don't think she's being very nice to ME though... ;-)