We discovered recently that Lydia has a brilliant and frightening method of using chopsticks.

The essential mechanics of the operation involve taking a stick in each hand. Then, with focused patience she advances the sticks on the enemy position simultaneously from opposite directions. Slowly, and with meticulous patience, she narrows in on her chosen morsel. Then while her prey is distracted, bracing for an attack from the flanking positions, Lydia strikes with a frontal assault, diving at it from above and noisily snapping it to ribbons with her face. It is a brutal and violent ending to a long, well timed, game of Cat and Mouse. Over and over during the course of dinner her sticks slowly converge on the plate, singling chunks of tofu and noodles out from the herd, and then her head quickly pounces on them from an ambush point hidden in the tall grass. It is an impressive use of tactics that is unfortunately wasted on such docile and unsophisticated opposition, but it at least keeps her occupied during our outings to the local Thai restaurant.

I’m already considering options of places we can take her for her birthday where her skills will be appropriately tested. Maybe we can find a good Greek restaurant and order her the Fall of Troy combo platter. Or maybe we can have her take the field with an honorable samurai sushi roll. I have no doubt that young Lydia would make an embarrassing ruin of any challenger that stood in opposition to her at meal time.