Mark from 2012 to 2014.
Browsing: Baby Mark
Since the weather is nice now, Mark and I spend a lot of time outside. I still avoid the playground as much as I can but I take him downtown, to museums, in shops, or just for walks around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, we aren’t the only ones out: the toddler police is patrolling in Ottawa…
It’s funny how sometime you say one thing while thinking another. Like when Feng announced that his parents had invited us to RandomDistantRelative’s fiftieth’s birthday party. “Why would I want to spend Saturday evening with your parents and people I barely know?” I thought. But somehow, I heard myself replying “yeah, sure.”
Stating that screaming at your kid is not a good parenting technique is a bit like stating that calling your boss an asshole will get you into troubles and that your spouse may not appreciate if you sleeping with another person. Yet, these things happen. Cause you know what? We are humans.
I have two flavours of instant oatmeal at home. I have just spent ten minutes trying to decide which one would be granted the honour of being my snack. Dates and nuts or banana. I was looking at the two boxes in the pantries and I just couldn’t pick one. And it’s not like it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to eat oatmeal. I mean, a box of Quakers Oats is $2.49 at WalMart and last time I checked, they weren’t anywhere close to being out of stock.
“Stranger danger!”: this pretty much sums up my interactions with people these days. Canadians are nice people and they generally…
A few months ago, while vacuuming Mark’s room, I tossed the toys, artistically scattered everywhere à la modern art, into one of these big empty Pampers diaper boxes. It was just a practical way to clean the carpet properly. The carton box wouldn’t last long with Mark, I thought.
We can’t help it. We are raising Mark the Chinese and the French ways. We respect Canadian customs and abide by local rules, etiquette and laws. But at home, we use Chinese/French parenting skills. I just can’t be a Canadian mother. This is not me.
Mark inherited my love of walking, a weird fondness for broccoli and an addiction to cameras. He also has my hair—it’s soft, fairly light and very thick. I On the plus side, he had never needed a hat in winter to keep warm. On the downside, he needs to have his hair cut often.
The first few months, babies are a bit like Tamagotchi. Remember the craze for these made-in-Japan digital pocket toys in the 1990s? You had to care your “pet”—really, a basic pixelated rendering of a pet—and feed it, change it, play with it, answer its calls for attention, etc.
The hard part is interacting with other people. Mark, like any other kid, is curious and open minded. He has no concept of taboos, political correctness or politeness.
While traveling, I went back to basics—sleeping, eating, staying safe and clean. I learned to stop feeling guilty about relaxing. I learned to indulge again. My anxiety and stress levels spiked on the plane home to Ottawa. As much as I was looking forward to seeing my two guys, I wasn’t ready to start the vida loca again.
Feng’s parents are nice people, albeit very stubborn and convinced that they know best. They also tend to forget their only son is almost 40, not 10, and they constantly remind him to dress warm, look both ways when crossing the street, get a better job, buy insurance, etc. Their motto should be “if it’s not broken, let’s fix it anyway”.