When my son was a young boy, his favorite food was potstickers… dim sum everywhere… we knew all of them. By a very early age, he was a true connoisseur of many delicacies… potstickers always remained the one that made his eyes gloss over. When he was nine we moved to the DC metro area…
Mom, can we go find a place where I can get some potstickers? Sure sweetheart… It wasn’t that easy. Together we tried many restaurants, but all looked at us in confusion when we asked for [our] favorite. I’m sorry, I’ll keep looking… we’ll find them.
I went out on my own pilgrimages almost daily, searching everywhere I could think of to find those so loved treats for him. Finally, I went back into one restaurant we had already tried — it was near our own neighborhood.
Hi. She nodded. I know I’ve asked you this before, but you have to be able to help me find a place that makes potstickers. She just looked at me – nodding her head (the other way). You know, those little steamed pastries that are folded over into leaf shapes and crimped? Filled with vegetables and then fried? Please? (We were both using our hands, trying to understand the other’s gestures — I was pretending to make them with my hands to show her a visual… she was responsive after each of my attempts, looking down to mimic my movements with her own hands…) She looked up at me with a huge smile… Oh! Fried dumplings!!!! Huh? Oh, yes — that’s what I want… fried dumplings!! You can make those? Oh, thank you — please would you? How many? How many are in each order? Six. Give me two orders (and I ordered some other stuff). He was thrilled when I brought them home.
A couple evenings later, we were driving back together after picking up take-out Chinese, including fried dumplings… but, I only ordered one order. He was aghast. That’s okay sweetheart, I only want two, you can have four. No, mom, I get five, you can have one. There’s a lot of other food too… I think splitting them four/two is fair. No, I get five, you get one. (on and on… I tried to reason that other parents would probably give him at best two, and take the rest for themselves… he didn’t buy that…) Okay, look I’m driving and arguing at this moment isn’t useful, could you please stop? He kept going. That’s enough, I said. Why? Because I’m the adult and I said so. It was the first (and only) time I ever used that line with him… I felt kind of bad doing so, but I didn’t want to get in an accident. He quieted but was sulking a little. Pretty soon came: I can’t wait until I’m the adult! Oh? Why’s that? Because when I’m the adult, I’m going to put you in a home! (Trying not to laugh… ) Okay, you can have all of them.
When we were at home, eating… I’m full… here mom, you can have these two, I saved them for you. Thank you sweetheart.