One Week Left!

I can’t believe we only have one week left! It seems too soon! Maybe the next time we do this, we’ll stay the whole summer. Only eight more eating days left!

1) Hapa Papa flies in late tonight! Whoohooo! We haven’t seen each other for about four weeks. The kids are excited. Lately, Gamera has been saying “我的爸爸說可以。” (“My Papa says it’s okay.”) to everything I or her teachers say “No” to. Pretty convenient if you ask me.

Even though Fleur and I have gotten into a rhythm and it may take some getting used to, I will be glad to have Hapa Papa
around. An extra set of hands is an extra set of hands. Oh, right. And we love and miss him, too.

2) The kids have gotten so good about walking to and from the bus stop. It makes me very pleased! Of course as soon as Hapa Papa is here, I bet Gamera will mysteriously forget how to walk and will be forced to be carried to and from the bus stop.

3) Cookie Monster and Gamera were taking turns being the teacher before bed. It was so cute. And a nice glimpse into their world and what they do at school. They were playing together in Chinese! And Gamera was playing by herself later in Chinese, too! Unheard of!

4) Speaking of language, Cookie Monster has picked up the Taiwanese way of speaking. He now adds “啊 (Ah)” to the end of every sentence as well as “超級(super)” to every description. So cute.

5) I forgot that the older kids have English lessons every morning and the other day, Cookie Monster started reciting in stilted, robotic, English, “Good morning, Miss Michelle! Thank you for reading us a story.” I nearly died laughing. Obviously, he still speaks English just fine and fluently. But boy does that kid mimic the teachers! I have to get it on tape.

6) Cookie Monster loves pineapple. He just shoves it in his mouth. This pleases me!! He also eats eggs and a few more foods. Whoooo!!

There is a pineapple and watermelon truck by the subway station and the guy there cuts them up fresh. 🙂 So we try to pick some up on the way back from our outings. Anything for my kiddo!

7) Glow Worm can now get to a standing position by himself! No holding onto anything! He’s walking so much better now, too. Not that he gets much opportunity since he is always strapped into the ergo.

8) Also, Baby Boy loves to eat. He really is adorable. (Photo credit: Fleur)

20140801-105604-39364251.jpg

20140801-105604-39364633.jpg

20140801-105604-39364124.jpg

20140801-105604-39364198.jpg

9) Cookie Monster and Bebe are fighting and loving like sibs. Every morning they fight on the way to school to push elevator buttons. Poor Bebe arranged a good compromise but Cookie Monster still hit the buttons because he got there first. So yesterday, Bebe threw a massive tantrum and Fleur had to drag her to the bus stop.

Today Fleur left first to avoid this mad rush but then Cookie Monster threw a tantrum because he wanted to go with Bebe. He hates being left behind. He threw his backpack and for the second day in a row, his water bottle burst open and spilled all over his stuff. I ripped him a new one I was so pissed. The whole complex and block probably heard.

Poor little man. All the way to school he was uncharacteristically subdued. He kept saying, “I’m sorry, Mama.” I also apologized for screaming at him.

10) Gamera went upstairs with the teacher today without crying! Told me to stay downstairs. Yay!

11) I recently realized that I very much enjoy taking new buses. Fleur laughed and called me a bus collector. I like it because it makes me feel as if I’m a local and savvy. Plus, I see more of the city.

12) Saw some more of the local fauna yesterday afternoon. What the hell, Taiwan? (Photo credit: Fleur; iPhone mine)

20140801-111742-40662067.jpg

13) Yesterday, we ate three different shaved ices. One leftover from the night before. One at Smoothie House. And one at a random shaved ice place Fleur passed by on her nightly forays into the neighborhood after taking out the garbage. It’s our way of making sure we stay hydrated. (Photo credit: Fleur) Here’s a pic of a new shaved ice we got at Smoothie House.

20140801-112233-40953002.jpg

14) I keep forgetting to look for quality mah jong sets. I want the kind that is slightly translucent, fat, and looks like almond jello. Mmmmm.

Ok. Off to cram more food in my mouth. Have a great weekend!

Counting Down

This morning I woke up and thought it was Saturday. I started to freak out until I realized that it was Friday. Whew. I have three days until my trip to Taiwan and despite my friends constantly asking, I have yet to start packing. Mostly because what is the point of packing things we use every day? That would just serve to piss me off and confuse me if I had to constantly repack stuff I already packed.

Also, I am crazy and feel the need to have all the laundry done and house cleaned before I leave. (I always have this problem before trips.) There is nothing I hate more than returning to a house full of dirty laundry and bathrooms. I think it’s because I’ll be bringing enough dirty stuff back as it is.

Hapa Papa has generously told me that he would clean the house after we leave so I don’t have to stress about it. I love this man. However, the thought of him cleaning my bathroom makes me ill. Why? Because I don’t trust him to clean it right. sigh I am an ass. I will let him vacuum and do the laundry though. 😀

What about you? Any crazy pre-trip rituals or quirks?

 

Pants on Fire

I have a general rule that I will not lie to my kids – even white lies, lies of convenience, or statements to make my life easier. I do teach my kids about God and Jesus, so depending on your philosophical bent, that may or may not count as a lie. But since I do believe in God and Jesus, at least I am not technically lying to the kids (or at least, intentionally). The main reason I don’t, even when it would make my life considerably better, is because it breaks trust. And once my kids catch me in a lie (and they will!), they will start questioning everything I have ever told them in the past because hey, if I lied about this, what was stopping me from lying to them about that?

I even include Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. (At least it cuts down on fictional gifts I have to purchase!) I know. I’m such a killjoy. But Santa is an old white dude who rewards you for being good on Jesus’s birthday – and it sounds a lot like the stereotypical view of who God is – so no thanks! Now, my kids know ABOUT Santa. But they just think he’s in a costume. Like Spiderman. Plus, it is much easier to explain all the Santas that crop up during Christmas time.

In fact, not only do I try not to lie to my children, I try not to lie in general. After all, what’s the point of telling my kids not to lie, not lying to my kids, etc., if they just hear me telling people lies (white or otherwise) just to make my life easier? Of course, I have no problem lying via omission. For instance, someone brings a food that is not delicious. I won’t say that the food is yummy. But I will thank them for bringing the food or comment on the plate that the food is on, or whatever. I will try to say true things in as kind a way as possible without outright lying. Hopefully, my kids will absorb this lesson without me having to explicitly tell them not to lie. Aren’t the most important lessons in life learned this way?

I find that the temptation to lie is similar to the temptation to deflect all the questions my kids have about their bodies or stuff in general. I am very honest with the kids about their body parts and I have no qualms about Hapa Papa or my nakedness around the kids. This, of course, leads to some very awkward and hilarious conversations. I’ve had to explain to Cookie Monster why his penis gets big, what pubic hair is, what a vagina is, etc. My reward for all my non-euphamizing are these types of conversations (FB friends will recognize a good many of these stories):

1) Cookie Monster: Papa has a penis and a gagina! 
Hapa Papa: Papa just has a penis.
Cookie MonsterGamera has a gagina!
Hapa Papa: Yes, Gamera has a gagina. Cookie Monster has a penis.
Cookie Monster: Papa has a penis and a gagina! HAHAHAHAAHAHAH!

2) After a month or so, we finally figured out why Cookie Monster thought Hapa Papa had a vagina and a penis. He thought the pubic hair was the vagina. He also pointed at Hapa Papa’s face and said, “Gina face! Gina mouth!”

3) Gamera: My penis hurts, Mom. 
Me: You don’t have a penis, honey. You have a vagina. 
Gamera: My ‘gina hurts, Mom. My penis fell off.

Anyway, this post isn’t to make you feel bad or judged if you do teach your kids about Santa or The Easter Bunny or even if you tell your kids or other people white lies. This is just my personal policy. I think it comes from my traumatic upbringing of constantly swallowing my father’s numerous lies in addition to reinforcing his lies with lies of our own (many at my mother’s behest). My father wasn’t even a very good liar – that’s how insulting he was. He didn’t even think enough of us to lie properly and NOT get caught. He just thought we were too stupid to catch him.

Of course, telling the truth is not the same as being blunt or using the truth to bludgeon people. (Although, incredibly tempting.) I suppose the key to this is to tell the truth in love. (Often, an incredibly difficult task.) It helps that I don’t really have a good filter when I talk to people so I am usually a little too honest in general. It also helps that many of my friends also consciously choose not to lie to their kids so we can support one another. I’m curious. Do you lie to your kids? If so, what do you lie to your kids about? Tell me in the comments.