This week was filled with new experiences. Some good… one shocking… and one unique.
On Monday, I took the kids to a local swimming pool called Ky Dong Pool. It was perfect for E and T! There were three pools to choose from: 20cm, .5 m, and a lap pool. The 20cm one was shaded, had one slide, and Theo could have some freedom walking, and sometimes falling, around. The water only came up to his knees so even when he fell, his head stayed above water and he could get back onto his feet. Eleanor preferred the .5-meter pool. It had two slides and she could practice swimming while still having the confidence of standing up when needed as the water only came up to her belly button.
Tuesday was the day Eleanor decided to test out my disciplinary skills. She started the day out with dropping F bombs. The first time it came out of her mouth, I just ignored it as I wasn’t too confident she had actually said the word. She must be mispronouncing some word. Ten minutes later, in a moment of frustration, she yelled, “It won’t f***ing work!” She definitely just dropped the bomb and in the correct context no less! Ok, how should I handle this? I could say it’s a bad word, but then if she heard it from someone she knew, I don’t want to have to explain why they used it and she can’t. I can’t ignore this because she’s going to hear this word throughout her life, but how do I teach her she shouldn’t be using it now…? Not to mention, it’s absolutely shocking to hear it come out of a little person’s mouth! Oooo! I got an idea. “Eleanor, that’s a grownup word. Kids are not allowed to use it. Are you a grownup?” “No. I’m a kid!” “Right. If you use that word again, I’m going to put you in timeout.” Fast forward five minutes later…. She dropped another F bomb and I put her into timeout; again, explaining that word is only for grownups and she is a kid so she can’t use it.
Later that afternoon, I told Eleanor we could go to the park once she picked up all her Legos. “I’ll stay with Theo in his bedroom so he doesn’t bother you while you’re picking up.” Five minutes rolled by. Theo and I came out of his bedroom to find Eleanor staring out the window with not a single Lego picked up. “Eleanor, you need to pick up your Legos so we can go to the park. If you don’t pick up your Legos, we’re not going to the park.” She preceded to pick up some Legos and then started playing with them. After I reminded her twice what she needed to do, I decided to escalate the threat. “Eleanor, if I have to ask you one more time to pick up your Legos (I sound like Barb. This can’t be happening already!), I’m going to take them away and we will not go to the park or do anything fun.” Any guesses on what happened next?! Yep, you got it right…. I put Eleanor in timeout in her room, picked up the Legos, and put them in my apartment. After she came out of timeout, she asked me if I had picked up the Legos. “Yep and I took them away.” “So we can go to the park now?! Wahooooo!” Um, I think you missed an integral part of the situation.
As I mentioned last week, I’m back in the land of cheap massages. Last week I had a foot massage which was glorious. This week I decided to treat myself to a full body massage from the same spa. My options included hot stone, coconut/hot oil, Thai, and aroma. After pointing to the aroma option, I was led upstairs to a room with two other clients partway through their massages. Eh, not the first time I’ve gotten a massage with others in the room. When in Asia…. Then my lady motioned for me to get undressed. Um… there’s no curtains in here. And then she preceded to watch me while I undressed. So much for privacy. After that strange encounter, the massage began. About three minutes in, I felt her climb onto the table and walk on me. Oh no. I know I pointed to the aroma massage, not the Thai one! Next up, she pulled my undies halfway down my cheeks and began to massage from the top of my butt crack to my shoulders. Ok, so maybe Vietnamese consider your back as starting much lower than your waistline. Is that… Do I hear one of the other clients walking towards me? Well, they’re about to get a show. The next, ahem, interesting technique included the lady kneeling on my back with her feet dug into my butt cheeks for leverage. She used her knees to massage the outline of my ribs and ended with her straddling me. She popped back up to a new spot on my back and repeated. Oh ,the good old days back in America of having my own room during a massage with at least three blankets on me while the masseuse stayed on the floor. Needless to say, it was a rather interesting hour. I think I’ll just stick to foot massages for the remainder of my time here.
Last week, Melissa and Travis made some last-minute plans for all of us to fly to Hoi An for four days. One of their friends they met in Chiang Mai has been living in Hoi An for the last two months and had been asked to perform (sing and play guitar) at Soul Kitchen, a beach bar. Friday afternoon we flew up to Da Nang and had a 30 minute taxi ride down to Hoi An. Do you know how short a one hour flight feels when you’ve been doing 5+ hour flights for the last five months?! It was like as soon as we got into the air, we were already landing. Eleanor just couldn’t understand why there weren’t any TVs in the back of the seats on the flight. We stayed at Vina Beach Villas and it was fantastic! There were only six rooms on the property and the staff made it a very accommodating and personal experience… they referred to us by name as soon as we arrived. Each morning we were served breakfast outside overlooking the pool. The staff placed a fresh mango in my room every day. We rented our scooters directly from them and the mini bars were stocked!
On Saturday, I took the kids to La Plage which is a restaurant on An Bang beach. This placed was highly recommended from another Worldschooling family as being kid-friendly. There were swings, a hammock, sand toys, and a shower all onsite. The menu prices were reasonable and there were a couple other kids there for Eleanor and Theo to play with. Homerun for La Plage!
Sunday was spent exploring Hoi An (we stayed on An Bang Beach which is about a 10 minute scooter ride from Hoi An). I thought I had prepared myself to drive in Hoi An after all the Uber trips I had taken in Saigon. I’m surprised to say this, but it was much harder to drive in Hoi An with less traffic because I wasn’t able to watch others and follow the flow of traffic.
Do I yield? Blaze right through? Stop? No, definitely don’t stop. That’s a death sentence. After parking my scooter and getting back on two feet, I wandered around the little town for a few hours. The highlights were eating at Madam Khanh (nicknamed The Banh Mi Queen and for good reason!), having freshly squeezed lime juice at Reaching Out Tea House (tea shop run by local deaf women), and checking out all the tailor shops. Hoi An is THE place to get clothing or shoes custom made. The tailors can replicate anything after just seeing a single picture of an item (suit, boots, dress, skirt, etc.). They also have their own designs that you can choose from, all at a steal of a price.
I’ll end this post with a hilarious conversation Eleanor and I had this week while eating cucumbers.
E: Where do you live?
L: In the next apartment over.
E: Do your kids like cucumbers?
L: I don’t have any kids.
E: You don’t have any kids?
L: Nope. And I don’t have a husband. (For the last month, she has been asking about my husband)
E: (with a terrified look on her face) So you’re all alone?!
It’s not nearly as depressing as you make it sound. One day, you’ll appreciate your own space.
Kids say the darndest things.