Friday, April 24, 2009

Sushi with "Sarafina"

Some days, I'm not sure whether to be totally amused by my three year old, Nia, or worried that I should be entertaining therapy instead of searching for the right pre-school for her. At this point, I'd rather think of her as a clever little entertainer, instead of the the next Sybil.

Tonight, since it was Friday, we decided to eat out at a local sushi bar that has just opened around the corner from us. My three year old has suddenly become a girl named "Sarafina", that we are dining out with. Sometimes she turns into "Elizabeth", or "Rosalita", but tonight we have this new guest to get to know.

"Sarafina just loooves sushi." she tells us. "I have traveled to Japan many times and had real sushi; not the semi-fake stuff they serve around here."

Where does she come up with this stuff?

This is a three year old we're talking about here. She is oohing and aahing over her udon noodle soup while trying to master the chopsticks that are made for extra large hands, and not hers.

I turn to ask her "Where is Nia tonight, Sarafina?".

"Oh, she's been bad and has to stay home cause she's grounded.", she replies while sucking a noodle through her tightly pierced lips that are in the shape of a perfect "O".

"Well, what did she do?", I ask again.

"I can't tell you. It's really bad." she says with eyebrows crunched together and a wrinkle at the top of her nose.

So I begin my inquiry again: "It must have been really bad if she's been grounded. How long is she grounded for Sarafina?"

"For life!" she emphasizes through a whisper.

"Wow, that's a very long time. Do you think her mom is gonna make her stay grounded for life?" I reply very slowly while mimicking her voice level.

"Yep, especially when her mom sees those shoes!" she replies,


"What happened to the shoes Sarafina?" I asked with wide eyes, a smurk on my face, but with a heart and mind of an investigator.

"Well, she wasn't suppose to play with them, buuuut..... she did anyway, and, well, she got them wet, and well, the beads fell off, but then she tried to fix them, but, well, then her mom found out, and then she has to stay in her room for life!", she says in one single breath in under five seconds while slopping another noodle in her mouth.

"What shoes with beads Sarafina?", I ask now with a firm inquiring tone in my voice and a pang in my stomach.

"The sparkly black and white ones." she says. This time she picks up the bowl and starts slurping the broth down while hiding her face at the same time.

I look down at my feet because I have the shoes on that she speaks of and there it is, or rather, there it is not!

"Oh Crap!" I say much too loudly for a Japanese restaurant, and the soup bowl is still covering Nia's face.

My brand new, $100 thong sandals that I got at a bargain basement price of $17.00 (but still the same, they were $100), are missing the main bead at the toe, and as I look a bit closer there are gaps where black and white pearl-like, sparkly beads should be.

My head goes into my hands over my tempura vegetables and yellowtail sushi.

"Niiiia!" I say.

"Nia's not here I said. I'm Sarafina!", she smarts back.

"Sarafina! You need to go home and Nia needs to get back here el pronto!" I say back.

"Uh, uh." she replies again with a mouthful of fried rice.

My husband finally intervenes and tells Nia she needs to fess up or no brownie when we get home.

That's it; bribery! Why does he always resort to bribery?

Because it WORKS, that's why!

"Okay." she says looking down and sideways at her udon noodle bowl.

She turns to me with those big brown eyes and cherub-looking cheeks and says so daintily and quietly with her little fingertips pressed together: "I'm sorry Mommy. I know I wasn't suppose to play with them. But they look like Princess shoes."

Even though I think this is the brownie talking, I am still taken in by the look on her face, the sounds of sincerity in her voice, and the fact that she is just too damn cute right now! Plus, my husband is giving her that puppy-dog look that tells me I have to back off now and just pick a different time and place to discuss this with her.

"And Mom, since I ruined them for you, I think that YOU should give them to me forever and ever so I can be a pretty Princess!", she chirps with a look that has turned into a sort of sunbeam over our sushi boats.

I think I want Sarafina back.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Isn't it remarkable what good taste the little destroyers have? You won't catch them wrecking your $5 shoes from Target or the Revlon lipstick. Always the good stuff.