The Kind Emperor
Friday, September 26, 2008
So Sonny-boy plants himself in front of me, arms akimbo, not unlike Yul Brynner in The King And I. Facial expression too, not unlike Yul Brynner in said movie. In a word - imperious.
As a stay at home mum, I'm impervious to my offspring's perceived imperiousness. If anything, I squash it like a fly. But this time, I thought I'd humour him. Besides, I was busy counting my stitches and didn't want to lose my place on the pattern.
Sonny-boy: I'm the Emperor!
At which point I drop my knitting and give him my full attention.
Me: Is that so?
Sonny-boy: I'm the kind Emperor. I say 'Please'!
Sonny-boy: So I command you to please give me an ice-cream!
I wonder if it's got anything to do with the purchase from the city of Yichang some two months ago when we went on our Yangtze cruise. We had a few hours to spare before boarding the flight back to Beijing. Our local guide suggested a silk embroidery gallery to while away the time. We said, sure, why not?
You must understand that Hubs and I are not impulse buyers. Well, not really. So when I tell you we had to have that particular piece of work the minute we laid eyes on it, it must be something special.
May I present Exhibit A:
It is already beautiful on its own, made even more magnificent because the whole picture is hand embroidered with hair-like strands of silk. I find it particularly poignant and sad. The little Emperor looks lonely to me. He has all the power and responsibility of a huge country resting on those wee shoulders of his when really, all he wants to do is be a kid and just play.
The real reason why we fell in love with it was due to the striking resemblance to Sonny-boy. He has the same facial expression when concentrating on his PSP or whatever he happens to be busy playing with. It was too much! It's as if the stitcher went and sewn his face into the picture.
And here lies Exhibit B as proof:
The toy and clothing may be different, but some things never change - boys will be boys.
Although we were keen, we balked at the asking price. Sensing our willingness to buy, the gallery manager offered us a discounted price of €660. To sweeten the deal, he would also have it shipped to us at no extra cost. It now hangs in our living room:
Sonny-boy has since taken it as an affirmation of his imperial status, after all, it's his face in the picture, is it not? Well, as long as he remembers it's the Empress Dowager who runs things around here.
Labels: Beijing, home life, retail therapy
The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 2:28 am