Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lan's Nose...

We were having our family movie night last weekend, and during the pizza dinner, the children currently with us started talking about how much they looked like me or their mother, one commented they had their "mom's lips", another "mom's freckles", "mom's eyes", etc... etc... etc.
Oddly enough, none of my children look like me... hmmm... no that's not true. My oldest son walks like me, talks like me, acts like me, drives my wife nuts like me... welcome to the pre-pre-teen years! :-)

Anyway, during the conversation everyone was having a good time, laughing, when their mother started asking questions...

Wife: So how do you feel Ping would feel if we all started talking about how much you guys look like mom or dad?
Son #1: She might feel sad.
Wife: Yes, she might. So what are some things we could say to help her feel included and loved?
Son #1: We could say that she looks like her real mom or dad!
Me: We are her mom and dad. (a little surprised how sensitive I am to that word, "real")
Wife: Well yes. But... she has brown eyes like your dad.
Son #2: And big lips like me!
Me: Yes, and Lan's nose.

See, who is this Lan, and why her nose? Well... let me fill you in. :-)

My brother had a good friend growing up, his name was Chuck.
Chuck is an interesting fellow.
A great guy.
Someone I really enjoyed spending time with.
Back around his late 20s, early 30s, Chuck decided it was time to settle down.
Now, Chuck being Chuck, went about this in the typical Chuck manner.

Chuck: (flipping though a travel book) I'm gonna go to a beach.
Brother: Yea, where.
Chuck: (flip, flip, flip) Here!
Brother: There?
Chuck: Yup.
Brother: Do you know where that is?
Chuck: Nope. But I'm gonna go there. To that beach.
Brother: Where will you sleep.
Chuck: (flip, flip, flip) There. Under that tree.
Brother: Not a hotel?
Chuck: Nope don't have the money for that. And I'm gonna meet a girl on the beach, and she is gonna feed me fruit from her hat.
Brother: Fruit from her hat?
Chuck: Yup. And I'm gonna marry her.

Well, me and my brother wished Chuck well as he headed off for Cuba.
A few weeks late, Chuck popped back into town.
He did in fact go to Cuba.
And he did in fact, sleep on the beach.
And he did meet a girl there.
And although she did not have fruit on her head... he did marry her.
A nice Vietnamese cheer leader from the University of Toronto.

Now, I wish I was making this up. But that is Chuck.
No one was really surprised.

Still not seeing how this is connected to our little Ping's nose eh?

Lets fast forward a few years again.

Nurse: Just keep walking Mrs. Berzenji... the contractions will be easier if you keep moving.
Me: Did you hear that? The nurse said to keep walking.
Wife: Thank you Nurse. You, don't talk to me!
Me: Okay.
Chuck: Ade?!
Me: Chuck!
Chuck: Hey! What are you doing here?
Wife: Oh, hey OW OW OW, Lan.
Lan: Hee-heee-haaaaa... oooh... Hey Roberta.
Me: Oh, not much. Wife's in labour. How you doing?
Chuck: Oh good. You busy?
Me: No, not really.
Wife: What?! Not busy! We're having a baby!
Me: I can't talk to you... you said not to.
Chuck: Wanna go for a burger?
Me: Uh, sure, let me check... Mind if I go for a burger?
Wife: Don't talk to me!
Me: You know, Lan's not yelling.
  • NOTE: Now at this point, I'm pretty sure my wife is ready to kill ME. Luckily, Lan was there!
Lan: Oh sure! You boys go and have fun! (BIG smile!)
Me: Realyl?! Oh sure!
Chuck: Gid'y up!

So me and Chuck went for burgers, came back... and a few hours later, we each had sons. Born by a mere few hours apart.

Still not sure where this is going? Well, after our sons were born, we went to the viewing room to gaze at them in wonder and awe...

Me: Oh look! There's our son!
Wife: And he has the cutest nose!
Chuck: And there is our son.
Lan: He has my nose!
Chuck: Actually, their son has your nose too. Wait, all the babies have your nose!

And sure enough, ever since then, every baby we see, has "Lan's nose".

Unfortunately, we don't see much of Chuck and Lan anymore. Kind of miss them. I'm not sure why we don't see them much. Might be that they moved out to BC and we now live 10,000Kms apart... but I think it might have been that two weeks after having our 1st child together, we got together and had lunch at Pizza Hut. While by lovely beautiful wonderful wife was still trying to recover from the trauma of making a baby... in bounded Lan in a little halter top showing off a terribly flat tummy.

... but I'm sure its the distance... :-)


  1. Ha! Very funny story! Thanks for the laugh!

    We had similar discussions before we brought Q home, and we continue to have them now that Q is here. My eight-year-old has already been asked if Q is her sister. E replied, "Yes." And was told, "You don't look alike." Poor E. She didn't know how to respond. She's only eight, after all. If the comment comes up again, I have coached her to say, "Not all sisters look alike."

    After all, Q is Chinese and she's adopted, but first and foremost, she is our daughter and E's sister.

    Have fun on this exciting adventure!

  2. "The Real Mom and Dad" is a very common term in our society, and you will hear it a lot ;-)

    I've gotten to a place myself where I tell my daughter (adopted from China too) her biological parents are her real mom and dad, and we are also her real mom and dad too. I state it as more of a fact.

    Then we can talk about the types of things we can do with her as her real parents now, and the "things she inherited from" her other real set of parents. I treat it more as she is a product of both of our "real" families.

    Good luck waiting for your LOA! You'll be in China before you know it.


  3. My siblings are really obsessed about family facial features, too. I also wonder how you can have a non-biological child feel included in this conversation. Can we say, "And you are as beautiful as your mother"?
    -- If she asks which one, just say, "Both!"

  4. Good answers. Thanks for the feedback...

    We're still trying to work through with the other kids how to answer those questions as well. Why dose your sister look different? Are you really Sisters? ETC.

    Anyway, more reading! :-) More reading...