1) I have become the stereotypical American abroad. There has been a bunch of miscommunication with the school and the first day was bad. Very bad. I was livid. In English, maybe I could have thought of a more diplomatic way to express my extreme displeasure, but my Chinese isn’t good enough. I am blunt and to the point and leave no room for the other side to save face.

I am a bludgeon of entitled Mama Bear.

Thank God my mom came with us and could serve as a more polite but insistent intermediary, giving room for the school to save face, yet giving up no ground.

I won’t recap the drama here due to my lack of energy to dredge the whole thing back up. But suffice to say, I wanted to call the director a Fucking Stupid C word (and I almost never choose to use that pejorative because even I find it too misogynistic). Obviously, she isn’t and was trying her best but FAIL. SCHOOL FAIL and MOMMY FAIL. All the sighs.

2) We just dropped the kids off for the third day and it was ok. They are much better at walking to the bus stop, catching their balance on the bus, and walking to the school. I anticipate it only getting better.

3) Kids still refuse to eat lunch at school. But hopefully, they will break down eventually. As it is, they are starving when they let out. I have been spoiling them with familiar foods for dinner these last two nights.

My last trip back two years ago, I appreciated having McDonald’s everywhere because it was something familiar to Cookie Monster and was finally something he would eat. My sentiments have not changed. They have only increased. Say what you want about pink slime and fillers, McDonald’s has consistency mastered.

4) My food experience thus far has been such a bizarre mixture of meh and awesome. The meh food is anytime I have to consider my older children and their insane pickiness. Cookie Monster pretty much ate white rice all of last week. The awesome food is anytime I eat with family, my mother, and without Cookie Monster and Gamera. Glow Worm, on the other hand, eats everything. (To be fair, all my kids were awesome eaters until 18 months old.)

I have decided this morning that if possible, I will eat 紅火龍果 (dragon fruit) every day for breakfast when Glow Worm is napping and the older kids are at school. I don’t care if it’s expensive. It is awesome and delicious and makes my poop magenta.


Also, I may just have to eat 鼎泰豐 (Din Tai Fung) every frakkin day because 小龍包(xiao long bao aka soup dumplings) are happiness in my mouth parts. Glow Worm heartily approves of the place and ate at least five or six dumplings and other stuff. Each time a platter came, he would vocalize and demand one just in case Mommy forgot to feed him any and he missed out. I regret I do not have pics because I wolfed down everything and forgot. Besides, I am not a big food picture taker-er. I am the gaping black hole maw of a locust swarm. No light or food can escape the gravity pull of my stomach.

5) I have not gone to see any sights. I’ve been here before, am not big on tourist attractions anyway, and have zero desire to drag my whiny children and pay for crap they won’t remember seeing and don’t care to in the first place.

I am, however, shopping. A lot. I am a sucker for educational toys (especially if they are Taiwanese in origin and I can’t get them back in the US for the same price). I have also purchased my weight in Chinese DVDs and learning materials.

6) I mostly regret bringing my stroller. It has come in handy a few times and I am glad I brought it just because nothing is worse than needing something and not having it but suffice to say, I am sending it back to the US with Fleur’s husband. Poor guy is hauling a lot of my crap back for me. (Like the aforementioned DVDs.)

7) I am constantly hungry. I mean, I am usually anyway because of breastfeeding but now I have added a ton of walking and sweating to the mix. Also, I can smell myself.

8) Yesterday, my mom watched the kids as I ran out to grab dinner and I realized that Taipei is incredibly convenient and fast if you don’t have 20-30lbs strapped to your front (I love you, Glow Worm) and aren’t dragging 75lbs behind you (you, too, Cookie Monster and Gamera). When the kids are older, I’m gonna try and convince my friends to come back again and we’ll drop off our kids at school/camp and eat/play all day. Kinda like now but even better.

Ok. My brain is tapped out. (Plus my elbows are cramping and my arms are tingling from all this thumb-typing.) More to come!