Sunday, February 10, 2008

Candy Land

Some good friends of our sent the girls the game "Candyland" for Christmas. The girls have certainly loved getting to know King Kandy and his crew which has evolved only slightly over the years since I was a child. . . candy cane lane, lord licorice, and Grandma nutt to name a few. They even have began asking if we may go as a family to candyland--and often it becomes the destination spot in their playtime travels. Well, someone needs to imform them that they have arrived. I know of no better candyland than Mongolia itself! As a mother it has become quite a test in tolerance of other cultures and customs. We are just coming off of Mongolia's biggest annual holiday, the Lunar New Year, or Saagan Sar. Along with offering boiled mutton, steamed dumplings, milk tea, and fermented mares milk, candy is a not-to-be-forgotten main staple on the table. Saagan in Mongolian means white and often the holiday represents purity and newness, thus the white food. So, as you may have already guessed, the white variety of candy that graces the table is sugar cubes--my children are officially in heaven. Before I ramble on, some quotes from Maggie, Lydia, Johanna and Clara: "Do we do this again tommorow?" (Mom musters a reply about finding our way home in the dark without slipping in the snow with four kids and arms full of gifts first) "But Mongolians do this again tommorow right?" --Maggie "We have to eat this!" (An excited Johanna pops another sugar cube into her mouth!) "May I please have some water?" (There is not a drop of water to be found in Mongolian's homes--they do not drink water, and what they use for personal hygiene and to make milk tea is often carted in by hand from wells that are sometimes a kilometer or more away. Of course, Lydia, by this time has eaten so much candy that only water can douse the foggy sugar daze she is in!) Clara happened to turn, yes, believe it or not, four months old on the first day of this holiday. To celebrate, she not only had some cereal, but was given her first lollypop at our final destination around 10:30 that evening! Besides the sugar cubes there is a variety of other candy by the bowlful on the holiday table and parents are frowned upon if they attempt to limit their children's intake of this "poison"! The occasional moment when our children remember what we have told them previously about the multiple other visits we will have and to take only a little at each place finds them instead "saving" the candy for later in the convienient pocket of their traditional mongolian dell. What they forget at that point is that upon leaving every home, they are given a treat bag full on candy to take to our house! I know there are some of you who will see the photo of Clara and imagine my astonishment and may I say horror as she is treated to a nice big lollypop at the young age of 4 months! I should be used to this by now, although I think Johanna was at least 6 months old before her first Mongolian New Year.
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1 comment:

musicmommy3 said...


I would have stroked out too Renee!

I cannot IMAGINE my children in that setting with all the candy they are expected to eat. :):)
Two of my kids get WIRED (and I'm not kidding) from ONE cookie. People think we are being overly strict until they watch our kids after they've had sugar. LOL

I'm sure that you had fun celebrating with people though.
Clara is as beautiful as all your girls.

Love and miss you!
Ang :)