A Chinese New Year Dinner

The beauty of keeping my website current is that I can always go back in time and find out, say, what I did last new year.  It is hard to believe that one year has passed.  Reading what I wrote last year makes me feel that it was only yesterday when Bethany was a tiny baby.  OK.  My niece Bethany is still a little one.  Even with a little bit of motivation (such as doubling the content inside her hong bao this year), she has yet to learn how to call me kau fu, or in English, uncle.  I am a patience man.  I know that day will come.

“A home cooked dinner. From right to left, little Bethany, Benny, my sister Lora, Cynthia, and I.”

This year, my mother is not in town.  So, it was I who wore the apron and cooked up a few Cantonese dishes.  I even had the honor to heat up little Bethany’s dinner, specially made by Benny’s mother.  I have no idea what kids love to play when they are one year old.  But I have discovered that Bethany likes to play with buttons.  And I have tons at home.  Such as my remote controls, my computers, and my amplifier.  With much restraint, I tried not to say ‘cannot’, ‘no’, or ‘not that‘, for it is not quite cool to have Bethany repeats those words I say.  Instead, I brought her the walker and said, “Go to you mama [and please stay away from my stuffs!]”  Or in my attempt to divert her attention, I took out my Indonesia drum and said, “Play this”.  Bethany seemed to enjoy playing the drum, although I really wish that she plays the piano instead.  Maybe she will, when she gets older.  I am thinking of Moonlight Sonata.  I am thinking of Chopin.  I am thinking of chilling out with my books while Bethany plays the piano all day long.

Some traditions should remain, like our family dinners on these special days.  As I was guiding little Bethany to walk next to my sofa, looking at those eyes and ears that are the exact replicas of my sister’s, I could not help but to feel that it was only yesterday when my sister was a toddler, when I was learning to play my big brother’s role in taking care of her.  Decades have passed, with a blink of an eye.


  1. It’s great that you all have a wonderful reunion dinner.

    Moonlight Sonata please! it’s my favourite. What about if you get Bethany to call you Fu Fu for a start? Kao Fu is a bit tongue twisting for the time being perhaps. 😉

    1. JoV – Moonlight Sonata is my favorite too!

      I think “Fu” is the tough one. Maybe Kao Kao to start with?! I am an easily pleased man. Anything the remotely sounds like that I would be happy. My nephew called me Oom Pea Prit instead of Oom Wifrid. Ha ha ha.

    1. Tigerfish – Gong Xi Fa Cai to you too! Yes, we love to eat green veggie. Also the easiest to cook … ha ha ha.

      Erm. If babysit only involves keeping an eye on the toddler … but it is not! No. I haven’t learn how to change diaper yet. Or any of those really time consuming activities like feeding the baby for half an hour (or more)!

  2. Thanks Big Brother! I also enjoy your cantonese dishes… Yummy~~~ :D~~~~ Time flies, huh? I wonder what will happen next year… May be you will need to run after her! hahaha… 😛

    Oh… BTW, yesterday Bethany ‘built a mansion’ on her head… heart pain heart pain….

    1. Lora – Hope little Bethany is OK by now 🙂 When we were young, mom used to wrap a boiled egg with a small towel and massage the area. I may have done that for you when you were young!

      And perhaps I will just look at little Bethany orbiting around me, when she runs!

  3. I remember my niece calling her uncle “pao fu” when she was young. Remind me of the lizard. Haha. Kids grow up really fast. Enjoy their company now because before you know it, they will be all grown up and not that interested in you and your stuffs anymore. Store some toys and chidren books at home so when she visit you the next time, you can let her play with them. Best way to distract her and get her to be away from the “do not touch” zone. I am sure Moonlight Sonata will sound nice in a Xylophone. 😉

    1. J – Good suggestion! Though I am not sure if my home has any more space for children’s toy 🙁 Maybe I shall introduce WoW to little Bethany from young?


      Just kidding … ha ha ha.

      These days, don’t need to have a xylophone. My sister has an iPad, and there is a piano app. Bethany plays virtual piano, believe it or not!

      1. ipad piano apps? Wow! Ok I take back the part that I said “not interested in your stuffs anymore”. 😀 Now you mentioned it, I do remember a friend let her 2-year old son plays boxing game on the Wii……and we let Kate watch cartoons on ipod when she can’t sit still during the shopping trips.

        Technology, technology. Don’t you love them. 😀

        1. J – Really? One time, little Bethany felt restless in a Japanese restaurant. My sister quickly pulled out my phone and played some cartoon via YouTube. It seemed to work for a while. But ya. I doubt if that would work for a longer time, like a shopping trip! Maybe you should try to switch from cartoons to, say, Angry Bird?!?!

          1. I guess baby feels restless for many reasons. If she is tired then nothing will be able to distract her except letting her sleep. Same thing if the baby is not feeling well. If she is hungry just give her food. 😛

            Baby’s concerntration span will grow longer as they grow. I used to stuff different toys in our car and Kate’s diaper bag when we were out because she would get bored very quickly playing with just one toy. The trick is bring out each toy one by one….or we will distract her with whatever flyers we could grab. Good thing that she likes to eat so we usually time our meals with hers too so we eat together. Anyway, there is no perfect solutions to deal with a baby. Sometimes my hubby and I just have to take turns walking Kate around while the other one quickly chomp down our food. 😀

            1. J – Thanks for the tips! That probably explain why when Eric, my brother-in-law in Indonesia, takes the kids out with the family, he has a “truck” full of stuffs. Cynthia and I would joke that he is moving house … ha ha ha.

  4. Very nice post 🙂

    Time really flies! I remember your posts when little Bethany was just born!!!
    She really looks like your sister!

    1. G – Little Bethany does look like my sister, doesn’t she? OK. When she is in deep thought, or when she is sleeping, she looks more like Benny, her father … ha ha ha.

  5. Happy New Year Wilfrid! Here’s wishing you and your family a great Year of the Rabbit filled with more chances to explore the world, experience art, and enjoy culture!

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