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Friday, October 11, 2013

A Week of Firsts

I was passing by the bathroom the other night when the sound of whispering – in Chinese – caught my ear.
“Hey guys. That’s a bathroom, not a party room. Only one person allowed in there at a time.” And I continued on my way down the hall.
Five minutes later I passed by again and noticed they were still locked in the bathroom.
“Okay, John, come on out and leave Jerry alone in there, will ya?” These guys spend every waking moment in the same room, it seems, but enough is enough already.
“No! Jerry is cutting my hair!” John hollered through the closed door. I tried the doorknob, and it was unlocked.
“Jerry is not qualified to cut hair. Stop that right now,” I advised.
I had to stifle a giggle when John emerged from the bathroom, his bangs chopped on an angle over his eye and one side of his head trimmed to the scalp.
“Ok, tomorrow after school we are going to get your hair cut properly,” I declared, wondering if the poor guy owned a hat.
Twenty-four hours later we walked into First Choice. John spent the first few minutes examining hairstyling implements and letting his stylist know which ones she would be permitted to use on his head. Jerry flipped through a style book, exclaiming at the flippy, wavy haircuts. He has poker-straight hair. We all want what we cannot have.
I commend the stylists on their ability to follow the boys’ direction, because they managed to somehow communicate in their broken English exactly what they wanted – and it turned out really nice for both of them. After the finishing touches (John wanted no hair gel; Jerry wanted to blow-dry his own hair), John hears water running in the next room.
“What’s that?” he asked. I explained it was the shampoo room.
“I want that,” he announced, sauntering into the back room and settling himself at the sink. The stylist looked at me.
“Well, I guess now that you’ve styled his hair so nicely, he wants it washed,” I explained. And of course Jerry decided he needed his washed too. Those are two very patient women in that salon. I’m sure they will see us again. In about 6 weeks, or less.
With all of the Kung Fu going on in my house, I figured the boys needed an outlet for their energy. I suggested bringing them in to Douvris for some martial arts. I encouraged them to go for a run down the road. Finally they decided they needed to buy bicycles. We found a pair of mountain bikes at Canadian Tire, and despite the fact that John says his is broken (he is not yet comfortable with the braking system), they seem to be doing the trick. Every night after school the boys strap on their helmets and head out for a race down the dirt road. Sometimes they ride their bikes out the gate into the back pasture. They are mountain bikes, after all. They want the full experience. An hour later they return, huffin’ and puffin’ and sweaty. And much less likely to spend the evening kicking and whalloping each other.
The final ‘first’ of the week was the boys’ first Canadian house party. A group of new friends invited them over for movies and snacks. I decided I would drive them over myself, so I could gauge the safety of the situation and verify that no alcohol would be involved. I knew the parents, so figured things wouldn’t get too far out of hand. My mind did briefly entertain visions from an old movie, in which a Chinese exchange student is initiated to the all-American house party and ends up passed out on the front lawn the next morning. Thankfully, that did not happen to my boys. They returned home quietly as I slept and were still asleep when I left for work before the sunrise this morning.
At least I think they are in there. Perhaps I should go home and check.
Next item on the ‘firsts’ list: Hallowe’en costumes.


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