Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ambivalence

Petunia has found her thumb. I looked down at her napping in her moses basket this morning, and she was happily sucking on her thumb. So I guess I can give up on the pacifiers. I'm not sure how I feel about this (not that it matters...): if she attaches to sucking her thumb as a self-soothing method, at least it will always be available to her. I won't have to get up in the middle of the night to find her binky. However, when it is time to wean her from it, I can't just take it away from her or start storing it on a high shelf where she won't notice it (yes, this is our current approach with Pumpkin's binkies).

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Our cleaner came yesterday. I love coming home from work to a clean house. It is, however, a little weird to be here while she's cleaning. I tried to disappear for awhile, but I couldn't really stay out of my house for the almost four hours it takes her to clean it. So I was here to deal with the aftermath of our first cleaning mishap- the cleaner broke one of our souvenirs from our big trip.. She broke the jade happiness ball we'd bought in China. We'd been told that the layers in the ball represented the generations of happy family... I'm not sure what to make of our broken ball. The outer layer and the third layer broke. The other three layers are intact.

As you can see from the above link, we can replace this souvenir (and the cleaning company will pay for that)... but not really. We bought the ball in Xian. Our guide in Xian was one of our favorite guides from our time in China*. She took us to the jade shop first thing in the morning, instead of heading straight to the Terra Cota Warriors. We were a bit surprised by this (especially since we were a bit, um, jaded after our experience with our guide in Beijing, who always wanted us to "rest" at shops), but we understood her logic once we got to the shop. We were the shopkeeper's first customer that day, and apparently it is good luck to make a sale to the first customer. He was very motivated and we got a pretty good deal on our purchases.

No ball we order online will truly be a replacement, because it won't have that back story. We have plenty of other souvenirs from China, so perhaps we should just take the money for the ball but not replace it.

However, it was a lovely jade ball and we liked having it. Perhaps we should replace it, and add the bit about the cleaner breaking the ball to the story of the piece.

What would you do?


*The China leg of our big trip was the only one in which we used a tour operator. We found our tour on the internet, and were pretty happy with the itinerary- Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze cruise, Shanghai. We booked the tour, nervously hoping that we'd like the other people on the tour. It turned out that this was a private tour- we were met in each city by a guide and a driver. The tour operator was actually the Chinese government. It was a very interesting experience, which I should really write a trip story blog post about someday, before I forget anymore than I already have about the trip.

3 comments:

  1. I just wish the Pookie would suck on something besides me to get to sleep! ;-)

    As for the jade ball, I probably would replace it and then add the incident to the story. It will at least be a reminder of the original. (And I got a kick out of the "jaded" pun.)

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  2. Sounds like a good excuse for another trip to Xian one day. My one year old nephew broke a beutiful Moroccan couscous plate which I will one day replace with an original from Fez. That's what I've been promising myself ayway

    p.s. Xian is great! I loved that street market where you could buy barbecued meat on skewers while guzzling Tsingtao beer.

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  3. As the mother of a child who would/could not soothe himself, I'm hoping that baby #2 sucks her thumb or a pacifier or a piece of lint. I'll deal with the consequences later.

    As far as the jade ball...I'm a sentimentalist. I'd have a hard time replacing it with an imposter, but at the same time, I'd be sad to not have it. So I'd probably replace it but be a bit passive aggressive towards it, even though it's an inanimate object. But that's just me...

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