Chinese New Year 2012

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Gong Hei Fatt Choy! Kiong Hi Hyuat Chai! (Okay, that last was supposed to be in Hokkien so I don’t know if I spelt that right).

Chinese New Year is almost over and Aristotle celebrated his 5th birthday. The boys really got into the swing of the new year celebrations and enjoyed the fireworks, the lion dances, and the eating fest enormously. Every evening, Hercules would run for the door, hollering, “Fireworks, fireworks, fireworks!” He’s even figured out how to raid the cookies on his own as I discovered one morning when I saw him munching on a chocolate chip cookie as he stood next to the open container. He watches the lion dances with great fascination and points out all the dragons he sees in the passing (it’s the year of the dragon so the theme decorations are all dragons) saying, “Magon” (yup, he can’t pronounce “dr” just yet).

Aristotle, who’s only ever associated Chinese New Year as the only time of the year where he gets lollipops (because I won’t let him have it at any other time of the year, unless his grandparents sneak them to him and then I have to pretend I allowed it or appear to have my authority undermined), now looks forward to other things as well. After he realised the significance of those little red packets he now appreciates them a whole lot more (ang pow = dinosaur train toys). Unfortunately, we neglected to tell him not to do the taboo – which is that you don’t open it to look at how much you got in front of the people who gave it to you – and had to suffer the embarassement. Luckily hubby managed to twist it into a joke and everyone laughed it off.

Aristotle and Hercules helped with the new year decorations. We went shopping at Petaling Street and the boys were ecstatic to discover the invasion of Angry Birds in this year’s New Year theme. My MIL was so delighted by the boys’ eager participation that she indulged their Angry Birds fancies even though I’m sure she wouldn’t have picked these decorations if they were the last ones in the shop.

We thought at first that the Angry Birds had rooted the dragons, but it appears they are actually in league together:

Aristotle also helped to make new year cookies this year – he whipped up a batch of his famous choc chip cookies (admittedly not part of the usual spread of my MIL’s traditional Chinese New Year cookies but a commendable effort nonetheless) at The Haute Food Co. under the watchful guidance of his famous Cordon Bleu chef aunt. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos, but here are some other Haute Food Co. goodies to feast your eyes on:

The only thing the boys didn’t get to see was a live performance of a dragon dance. Aristotle was most disappointed about that but at least he got to see it on Youtube:

They did a special theme on Chinese New Year at school and he told me about how the dragon chases the ball and something about a legend. The best part was that it got him interested in the Little Robin books I bought on Myths about heroes – Kintaro, Perseus, Theseus, Odysseus, and Beowulf. Before this, he wasn’t interested in any of these stories. This morning, he read them all. I think he likes the story about Kintaro the best because he kept telling me how strong Kintaro was – even stronger than a bear!

Amid the yee sangs, house hopping, ang pow swapping, deafening lion dances, and face stuffing, we did manage to squeeze in a trip up to Genting where we took the boys to see the outdoor theme park for the first (and possibly last) time of their lives. As much as I realise that that theme park is older than me, I would have thought that they would have at least attempted some upgrades to make the park a little more stroller friendly. We had to navigate a number of flights of stairs with the pram (lucky we brought the light one and not the 12kg monster!) and if we hadn’t brought the pram, Aristotle’s legs would have gone on strike (which they did after what little walking he had to do). Hercules weighing in at 16kg (give or take a few hundred grams), is nearly the limit of our trusty Ergo. I would think that even if the Ergo did not give out then my back certainly will. Not a wonder that I crashed in exhaustion on the way home…

We didn’t see much of the theme park but we did manage to get to Dinosaur Land up in Magic Mountain. Perhaps I expected too much, but there really wasn’t much to see. Probably the most disappointing part is that they couldn’t even get what little facts they had right…

Okay, so maybe I’m too critical… Nevertheless, I don’t think we’ll be heading back there any time soon.

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