December 21, 2008

Matt Eats A Shame Burger and Sydney Stories

So for those of you who maybe don't know, China is a shame based culture (as opposed to Western cultures which are guilt based). So when you "lose face" in China it means that you were shamed. A handful of us foreigners here have adopted the term "shame burger" for a situation in which you were shamed (e.g. "Today I ate a huge shame burger", "Really what happened?", "Well I was crossing the street and fell"). But shame burgers can also be served to you by someone who intentionally or unintentionally embarrasses you in front of others. So I say all of this as a back drop to my story from this week, my teacher feed me a huge shame burger in class.

It happened like this, in our lesson for this week the phrase "exceeding the weight limit" came up in our new vocab. And our teacher stops and is talking to us about the phrase "exceeding the weight limit" and yes, you guessed it, I became the example. She said for example Matt needs to lose weight and his brother (Jeremy) needs to add weight. Well thank you teacher for that lovely example it definitely brightened my day. But to be honest I didn't take it too hard, because let's be honest I'm the size of like 2 Chinese people. Another cultural note, the Chinese are really honest about some things, like weight and appearance. So it wasn't out of line for her to say what she did and our class is only 5 students so it wasn't that bad.

Lastly, stories from the life of Sydney. Last night as I was going to bed I turned off all the lights in our apartment and made my way to our bedroom. And from across the hallway I could hear Sydney tossing and turning a bit. So I quietly (and barely) peaked my head around the corner into her room... and noticed her shadow sitting in bed (or standing). So I figured that she was going to sleep talk so I didn't move in anticipation for her to say some funny thing in her sleep. Then through the darkness I hear her say plain as day "Hi Daddy". So the joke was on me, because she wasn't asleep and I wasn't being very sneaky.

Sydney also has made HUGE progress in her potty training. Thank you to Kris one of our readers for her suggestion to put toys in time out. That is what has been the deciding factor in Sydney's recent success. Now she will routinely tell us she has to go to the potty (for 1 and 2). Although I did spend a few minutes cleaning up a mess this morning... and yes her dollies, as I write this are in time out.

Memorable Quote from Sydney. As we were walking home from playing at the park, I (Matt) was holding Sydney's hand and wanting to have the perfect Hallmark Father/Daughter moment. So I said, "I love you Sydney", to which she replied "Me too". I laughed pretty hard.

much love,
the petersons