20 May 2007


We got Trinh a play kitchen today. She seems to really enjoy her imaginary culinary universe, and we're keen to encourage it -- if nothing else, it gives Mama the time necessary to cook real food.

Thus, Mama's been stalking eBay for months, looking for just the right play kitchen here in Houston so as to avoid the exhorbitant shipping charges. She found it last week, we sniped it, and today I went to go pick it up.

It's big. It has a table, shelves, a sink, microwave, stove, an oven and a refrigerator. All kid-size, of course, but even folded down it barely fit in the backseat of the car. We've parked it in what used to be our breakfast nook along with her pink picnic table and numerous other toys.

Trinhity *loves* it. She played with it all afternoon: cutting vegetables, washing them, rinsing dishes, cooking eggs, answering the phone. It's fabulous.

Tonight during beddy-bye story-time we read an old favorite of the house, But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton. It's about a lonely hippo who watches all the other animals do stuff, but she's always left out. One page shows a bear and a hare who've been to a fair, and they both have balloons and ice cream cones (but not the hippopotamus).

We rarely read books to Trinh verbatim; we usually just talk about the pictures and what's happening, swapping the languages freely. Well, in my case, not so freely as I'd like, but that's my language deficiency -- not hers.

Anyway, tonight when we got to that page Trinh pointed to the hippo and said, "Hippo buồn." The hippo is sad.

Mama said (in VN), "Yes, the hippo is sad because she doesn't have a balloon or an ice cream cone or friends. Does Trinh have an ice cream cone or a balloon?"

"Không," she said. No. Daddy asked, "And are you sad?"

"Không. Trinh bếp!" Translation: No. Trinh has a kitchen!

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