So my daughter just turned six years old the other day, and have there been stories to write about her or what? I rarely write about her in this magazine, but I thought it was about time. Like the time my wife was walking her down the road, and some old lady exclaimed, “How beautiful is this little girl! She must look just like her mother.” Whereupon my wife said, “I am her mother.” And then the old lady promptly said, “Well then she must look just like her daddy.” Ha, you’ve got to love the honesty. And then there was the time when I was worried she wouldn’t be able to learn English properly, and then we went to the US to visit Grandma for a month back when she was three years old, and the problem was solved. Now every now and then she’ll ask me if she can speak in Chinese to me, and that’s fine if not an ego booster, but for the great most part she always speaks in English to me. I often wonder in which language she thinks in. And then she started learning the piano at four years of age, and though that has been fantastic, it hasn’t been easy to say the least. That’s her third language or fourth if you’re counting the Hunanese that she speaks with her Ai Ji. And yeah, Hunanhua is definitely another language. Don’t tell me any differently on that one. And then the other day my wife told me how she has to eat more because she is “fayu”, and here I thought that “fayu” meant going through puberty, and then I learned that it just means growing. Maybe I should learn to speak my second language a bit better.
And then there’s the iPhone thing. My daughter knows how to use the thing better than I do. She can whip through Angry Birds quicker than I can, and okay she can’t play the game better than I can, but she knows how to get in and out of the thing faster than I can. She even figured out that you can kill the pigs on the intro page. And here I told her that you can’t do that. And the music on the iPhone is getting more than I can bear especially when she can recognize when the Doors come on, and even worse when she can sing along with old Jim. These little kids are killing me, especially the other day when I took her to see The Hobbit. Now the book wasn’t as scary as the movie now was it? I’m having nightmares about the movie, but she took it in stride. Maybe it’s just me being too sensitive about these things, but are kids really this tough these days? It could have been the fact that she took off the 3D glasses halfway through the movie, but I think not, she’s six for God’s sake.
By Tim Hoerle