The Husband and I have been going to this Japanese restaurant since we first started dating (lo, those many years ago). We have taken the Shorties several times, but this was the first time that Lily has been old enough to really appreciate the program. She’s always a pretty strong entertainment factor in our evening outings, but this time she delivered in a big way.
The chef came out and started the slicing and dicing, and the Little Flower’s eyes got big. She immediately got a soup spoon in one hand and a pair of training chop sticks in the other and proceeded to mimic the Japanese chef exactly from beginning to end. If he transferred the knives to one hand and seasoned the food, so did she. If he cut the food, so did she. If he flipped the food, so did she. If he banged the knife and spatula on the grill, she did the same on her plate.
The chef fell in love with my child. In fact, he watched her and laughed the entire evening. So did the rest of the building. The wait staff kept pausing too long at our table to watch not the amazing skills of our cook, no, no, but my four-year-old tearing it up in a most serious way.
The big moment for my child was when he invited her around the table to flip the egg—-you know the trick where they use a metal spatula and flip a raw egg into the air and then catch/break the egg on the blade edge of the spatula? Well, Lillian was invited to give that a go. When the chef looked at her and said, “You come here and we flip egg,” she flung herself out of the booster seat and caught wind as she whipped around the table and behind the grill. He put his hand over hers, and it was a completely successful maneuver. Then she looked at me, with that crazy-eyed smile she has, and yelled, “I’M DOING IT, MOMMY!”
While making the rice, the chef made various shapes like Mickey Mouse and a heart. When Lily was served her pile of rice, she immediately patted it down and started making some sort of shape. She looked at me after working it for several minutes and said, ‘There it is—-I made a star!’ Of course I ooohed and ahhhed in the appropriate places, (although it just looked like a big pile of rice to me).
As we were leaving, Steve told the hostess and the waitress that Lily could start next Friday night, but we would have to go over her salary package first because four-yr-old blue-eyed female hibachi chefs were a little hard to come by, so they’d have to make it worth our while. (They think he’s cute too.)
On the way home I asked her what her favorite foods were from the dinner. She didn’t even hesitate. The salad and the broccoli, Mommy. (What a complete freak.)
The rest of the kids enjoyed the program too, just nothing like The Little Flower did.