On his first trip to Laos for his job interview in January, Mike was warned that should we move to Laos he would be encouraged by many locals (in fact, expected) to take a Laotian wife.
Mike sent Lisa one post-card during that trip. It was of an elderly Laos woman smoking a cigar. All that was written on the back was: “Check out your competition for wife number two.”
Since getting to Laos in April Mike has indeed been encouraged to take a Laotian wife.
Mike: “The district governor I met with today said you were beautiful when I showed him our wedding photos. Then, later in the meeting, he suggested that I might also want to take a Laos wife.”
Lisa: “Not during our first year of marriage…. Oh, wait. We’ve been married more than a year now. It’s fine then.”
Mike: “Yes, the second year of marriage could be the perfect time to introduce a second wife into the equation.”
Lisa: “I wonder if the push to see you presiding over a full stocked harem will abate come July when I’m in the country?”
Mike: “I actually do have a woman in mind for my second wife.”
Lisa: “Well, you have until July to get that all squared away.”
Mike: “She smokes a cigar, and she’s not at all demanding.”
Lisa: “That will be a nice change for you.”
Mike: “You’re not demanding, my love, you just have strong preferences.”
Mike’s never been to the Hollywood Bowl. Lisa went online to see if there was anything scheduled for the first week of June when he’s back, but alas. Performances don’t start until about the 12th.
Later, on a skype date…
Lisa: “I tried to do something special for you today. It didn’t work, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway so I get some ‘thoughtfulness points’.”
Mike: “Uh, OK. I think you just lost some points there by telling me that’s what you were doing.”
Lisa: “I may have lost a few of the thoughtfulness points but I gained a couple of honesty equals righteousness points, so that’s a wash. Overall, I’ll still come out ahead.”
It started as a game, over the phone, before I even got to Washington DC for this last trip. The opening dialogue went like this:
Michelle: “Tahli, do you want to come say hello to Auntie Lisa?”
Tahli (in the background, is clearly none too thrilled at the prospect of yet another phone conversation with invisible and distant relatives): “No. I’m very busy right now.”
Lisa: “Ask Tahli if she wants to come live in Laos with Auntie Lisa.”
Michelle repeats the question to Tahlia.
There is a very long silence then a small, tentative, voice, “All my friends come too.”
So during this trip I asked her a couple more times at random intervals, until the dialogue went like this.
Lisa: “Tahli, do you want to come live with me in Laos?”
Michelle rolls her eyes.
Wednesday, picking up Tahlia from pre-school on our way to Dulles airport. Tahlia climbs into the car:
Tahli: “We go to my house now?”
Michelle: “No, we’re going to the airport to drop off Auntie Lisa.”
Tahlia (quietly, to herself): “I go with Auntie Lisa to Laos.”
Michelle (to me): “Did she just say Laos? She can’t even say Australia yet and you have her saying Laos?”
Michelle (to Tahlia): “Tahli, can you say Australia?”
Michelle: “Tahli, why do you want to go? Do you like the planes? Do you like Laos? Or do you like Auntie Lisa?”
Tahlia: “I like Laos.”
Wednesday, three hours after dropping me off at Dulles airport I receive a text message from Jed that reads:
Tahli: “I want to go with Auntie Lisa, cause I miss her soooooo much.”
Jed: “But if you went with Auntie Lisa, wouldn’t you miss Daddy?”
Tahlia: “Someday I’d come back Daddy.”
Tahli and Auntie Lisa
So I’m spending some of this week with some of my favorite people – my sister and her family, including my almost three year old niece, Tahlia.
Michelle’s apparently been working with Tahlia on potty training. It hasn’t quite taken yet, but the core concepts are clearly marinading away in that brain because potty talk occasionally finds it’s way, unprovoked, into play. Yesterday Michelle, Tahlia, and I were lying on the carpet pretending to sleep when Tahlia bolted upright…
Tahlia (alarmed. snatching up her Ariel doll from the carpet): “Oh! Ariel needs to go to potty!”
Lisa: “Quick then! Take her to the potty! When you need to go to the potty you need to find one quick!”
Tahlia snatches up the doll and races off towards the toilet.
Lisa (adding needless drama to an already fraught situation): “Quick!!!!”
Tahlia (from inside the bathroom): “Ahhhh!!!! OK!!! Aunty Lisa, you come too.”
Michelle has a sudden thought: “Don’t put Ariel IN the potty!!”
Tahlia: “I NOT put Ariel in potty.”
Then, just as I reach the door to the bathroom…