A Different Kind of Milestone: Noodles and Chopsticks

Every once in a while, I encounter a surreal moment where I think to myself, "Wow, my life is really weird!" Today was one of those moments. I had prepared a lunch of spicy fried noodles with egg and peanuts for Abi's lunch. (As I write, I'm realizing that this lunch, in itself, would probably be classified by most of  our readers as unusual, especially for a 3 year old, but this is normal for us.) Anyone who knows anything about Asian food, knows that noodles simply must be eaten with chopsticks. Of course, the Akha use chopsticks for every meal, but even the Thais, who use forks and spoons most of the time (bet you didn't know this!), ALWAYS use chopsticks when eating noodles. It's just the way it should be! Well, to get back to the story, Abi has been showing a lot of interest in chopsticks lately. At mealtime she always steals one of our chopsticks to play with and ends up trying, unsuccessfully, to stab at her food. So today, as I served up her noodles, I remembered a blog post I read recently about children's chopsticks. So, I threw together a pair of "training chopsticks" and she went to town. I swear she ate more at that meal than she has EVER eaten (at least when feeding herself!)

As I was sitting there watching her eat with as much parental pride as is legally allowed, I realized that the heightened degree of sentimentality with which I was viewing this milestone was not really normal (at least not for the majority of Americans). Most of our American friends will not have pictures of their children using chopsticks for the first time at the age of three. Nor will they forever cherish the first set of "baby-chopsticks" given to their children by their Akha Grandpa.

So, I guess I just thought I'd share one of the little differences about raising a child overseas. What are the milestones and memories that you have cherished from your child's life?

Abi concentrating hard to master the chopsticksSipping the super spicy tom yom goong brothThe obligitory drink of water after a really spicy biteOn her way to chopstick mastery- shoveling noodles asian styleJust bein' cute

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