For weeks now, my almost-2-year-old son has been obsessed – obsessed! – with Chinese lion dancers. Ever since they came to his preschool to perform for Chinese New Year, it’s practically all he talks about. It’s the first thing he asks for when he wakes up at the crack of dawn. Bouncing in his crib, he squeals, “Lion dancers! Lion dancers!” Although, with his adorable little lisp, it’s more like, “Lion dantherth! Lion dantherth!”
At first I thought, cool, what a cultured little kid. We encouraged his fascination by letting him watch YouTube videos on the iPad. He couldn’t get enough of them. Even after hours upon hours of those clanging cymbals, drums, and gongs, he kept demanding more lion dancers. So then it got old, fast. This particular cultural performance, while spectacular, isn’t exactly the most soothing experience. I mean, if there’s a faster way to induce a migraine, I have yet to find it.
Coincidentally, this week he also got the stomach flu. The poor boy has been plagued with vomiting and diarrhea the last few days, but not for one second has it diminished his demands for lion dancers. Just last night, he woke at midnight, crying, his crib and jammies completely covered in puke. My husband and I cleaned everything up, only to have him wretch all over us a few times more. Once he stopped crying, pooping, and spewing, he looked up with his sweet little eyes, and murmured sadly, “Lion danther! Lion danther!” So of course, my husband and I took turns: one on throw-up cleanup duty, one on YouTube lion dancer duty.
My point is, the last few days have been filled with absolutely nothing except toddler vomit and Chinese lion dancers. To better understand, imagine watching this video about 75 times in 3 days. Now imagine watching it for the 76th time, exhausted in the middle of the night, with chunks of fresh upchuck in your hair.
It’s been a bizarre week. I swear, for the rest of my existence, I will forever associate clanging Chinese drums with hurl. And I’ve learned more about lion dancers than I ever thought I would know – I’ve been reading the histories behind them, and in brief, they’re supposed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck and great happiness. So if all goes well, hopefully our YouTube lions will ward off the great misfortunes of upset stomachs and loose bowels, and bring our little kingdom good fortune, prosperity, and a decent night’s sleep.