Oh dear….bad Mum?
Sooo…the kids have (or should I say, had) been off school for TWO whole weeks during the Easter holidays, and by school I mean, 8.30am-11.30am, 5 days a week.
In the lead-up to their break, there were soo many school events (Purple day for Charity, Book day, fancy dress day, scratch & sniff day…piss-my-mum-off day), that I was actually excited to not do the 3 minute drive to school for 2 weeks. Throughout all the school events, their last day involved an “Easter Bonnet” parade (AKA in my mind, “Competition for Mums with nothing else to do”) which meant the children going to school with an Easter HAT?!
Well…. what can I say….
(a) Never heard of this shit in my life, but
(b) Im fucking competitive and got busy making “bonnets”. See photos below.
The first photo is before the bonnets were made (from scratch may I add). However, it cost $400 to buy all the crap! I may as well have gone and bought a ready made one for cheaper.
The second photo is of one of the twins HOME MADE (yes people, HOME MADE) I had to measure their heads, draw circles, cut stuff out, glue stuff on and everything. No starter kits for me!!)
Then, my daughters hat:
This whole process, took me 3 hours and 2 bottles of Rose wine. BUT, I made it myself (ok, the kids got to stick stuff on but only with my crazy parental control) and I actually love doing this shit, so it was fine. My friend said it looked like something from a “Fortnum & Mason” window… Classy!
I must admit… when I dropped them off on their last day of school (before Easter), I saw all the children arriving, some with hats bought (& chicks or eggs added to them) and, some, made sooooo pooooorly, I had to judge (of course).
When my twins got out of my 7 seater monster mobile, they kept getting stopped to be complimented on their wonderful, creative hats. I beamed with pride because I’m clearly an egotistical . To be fair, I should have worn one too just to be a massive show-off.
Saying that, I noticed one Mother arriving with an INCREDIBLE hat…. yes…this is what my life has now become. Her hat had bloody feathers and looked amazing. Something that famous hat maker, Philip Treacy, would make. It looked ready for Ascot. I was so jealous, I was tempted to trip her up just to break the damn thing. Why didn’t I think of feathers?!?!
The Captain rang and asked “how the competition was looking” and I told him, “everything was fine until I left…. Someone might give me a run for my money”. I mean…really?
An Easter Bonnet competition and I’m soooo involved in this crap? Who have I become??! There and then, I decided I needed to go for a drink and talk this shit out with a fellow alcoholic (who is thankfully a neighbour….which means no drink-driving for me).
In addition to getting this time off, the weather here in HK has been SHIT. I have never realised how tough is is to keep kids entertained when the weather is crap/raining/windy and they need constant chit-chat. I feel like I talk a llllll day long….:-
“Don’t sit like that.”
“Keep your mouth closed when you’re eating”.
“Take your feet off the table!”
“Why OH WHY would you DO THAT TO YOU SISTER?! UNGLUE HER FROM THE WALL NOWWWWWW!!!”
“DID YOU REALLY HAVE TO USE MY NAIL POLISH AS A CRAYON?”
“Why didn’t you go to the loo when you needed to?!?!”
“Don’t tell me No sunny boy unless you want a clip round the ear…!!!”
I mean…. we were surely never like this as kids?!
I swear HK kids need constant attention because they are given so much attention by not only their Mums, but Helpers too. They’re pretty friggin lucky these kids here. I grew up, eating frozen pizza (still frozen) and feeding my younger brother (he’s 10 years younger) jelly or dried pasta with Vodka, just so we could stay alive while my parents went to work. I was 11…but obviously very resourceful.
Saying all this… I am not anti-HK.
I think we all love to slag off the way of life here to ease up on our own middle-class guilt. I don’t know a person here who hasn’t tried to apologise for their way of life before beaming about how great its been iving in Hong Kong.
Why can’t we be honest?! Its been fucking amazing!!!? Almost like being back at University but (a) with money, (b) no debt, (c) kids and a partner, (d) a Nanny to look after all of you and clean up when the shit hits the fan. LOVE IT!!!
I grew up in the era of Margaret Thatcher (yes…the weird internet “trolls” who are reading this now will have a field day in attacking me) BUT, Im not against the elitist bourgeois way of life. In fact, I support those hardworking bastards (trustaferians don’t count) and aspire to being an annoyingly rich arsehole one day myself.
Hell, if you gave me a Helicopter, Maserati and a 12 bedroom home in Miami… I would kiss your feet while bedding over a combine harvester (and anywhere else you needed) and happily be on my way.
When I look at the life my kids lead here…. I’m jealous. No wonder they’re sooo friggin happy the whole time. I would be if I was being fussed over by 3 women all day long (me & 2 Helpers). Yes Im spoilt having “staff”…get over it you judgmental arsehole.
Sooo…. back to the Easter break. Which I have to be honest, I never noticed being sooooo Eastery, until I had kids. AND, I went to a Catholic School where Easter was all about…errr…actually there was no fun shit… it was prayers & God, and errrm…confession. Good times.
Point to self….when im reincarnated…dont piss my Muslim parents off sooo much that they send me to a Catholic School run by Irish nuns. They may as well have sent me to Purgatory (which is where I swear most Mums are when their kids are aged 0-17yrs old).
Anyhow… back to the story…
The Captain pointed out that when we had Easter back in London (minus kids), we would all get together for a “leo sayer” (AKA “all dayer” of drinking). Im like, “really?! I don’t remember!?” Point taken now I think about it. Although… I can’t remember fuck all about any Easter since 1986.
Soo….while Easter dragged its hairy bunny arse around for 2 weeks, with pouring UK weather which made me want to take a bunch of Xanax with vodka….. I was stuck indoors, with my poor kids who were bored within 3 minutes of waking (“Mummy what are we going to do this morning… at 5.30am?”)
Well….. lets say, we did….Colouring, singing, playing, dancing (lap dancing didn’t kick in until after the 6pm rule of drinking) Mandarin for 2 minutes, getting out of the apartment for a few hours.
This is a small, teeny, tiny, time frame which gives me a chance to (a) drop them off, (b) food shop, (c) spend time with our third child/have a quick nap/go to the gym (oooh sooo self indulgent)/cook lunch, and (d), I have never got to “D” in this scenario….its just too much for one morning.
Apparently (or should I say, according to my Mum, based in freezing, cold, shitty, UK), I “have help”, therefore, why am I sooo bloody tired?!?! THE WHOLE TIME. Why? Ok, this whole “Help” argument is really pissing me off.
This is part and parcel of living in Asia. End of. Why am I apologising for this??!! Still!!!? So boring. I have TWO helpers and Im still friggin knackered the whole time. Yes, I AM SPOILT. I said it. Now what?! Kill me/throw stones/vodka/your choice. I don’t give a rats arse. I LOVE HAVING HELP!!!!
Go on … JUDGE!!! Even now…
With “Help”… I am spoilt and therefore cannot handle 3 kids under 3.2 at home alone. To be fair…if I was still in shitty, freezing, taxing, chavtastic UK, I would still have fucking “Help”!!!
They only came disguised as “family” but were sometimes worse than “help”. They have the balls to judge you & comment & tell you what to do. I’d take “Help” any day. You don’t pay “Help” for an opinion. Family just can’t help themselves.
So today…… what did Mum of the Year do???
Me ……… I mean. G-d the shame….
May I just add, this is my SECOND time doing this…..Yes, THE SECOND TIME…..because I never learn from my mistakes.
I took the kids to school, when there was NO school today. NO SCHOOL. They felt like Xmas had arrived and I looked like an complete failure as a Mother. A complete arsehole.
The bird who sat in Reception at 8.25 on that very rainy day (by “Bird” I mean a woman in a very non-derogatory way) looked at me and the kids and simply said “Sorry, no school. Its teacher training day”.
My response. “Oh…how lovely”.
TEACHER FUCKING TRAINING!??? What are they going to learn to teach kids up to a maximum age of 5?!?!?!?! WHAT?? Especially on a rainy shitty Monday morning after already having 2 weeks off work. They’ve already been off for TWO WHOLE FUCKING WEEKS!!! Whu didn’t they do it in their time?! Oh, because they’re Teachers…. nice life.
I did take the kids to school once when they were at Sunshine House in Tai Tam (and it was closed). It was AWFUL. They had uniforms on as well (bright yellow ones that had the schools logo printed across the front) so you could spot the idiot Mum walking around in Stanley food shopping a minute later with twin toddlers in tow… asking you why they were not at school. My response? “Oh sweeties…those silly elitists wanders who take our money and should teach longer hours decided to be closed on a MONDAY of all days” (when the working day in every country aside from the Middle East begins). What a fucking liberty. We pay a shit load of money to send 2 year olds (at the time) to school and they’re always on friggin bloody holiday!! When do I GET DOWN TIME!!!!???
Anyhow… on arriving and leaving, Sunshine House (a very deceiving name if you ask me), I actually felt guilty. BAD. The school next door were like “errr… there’s no school today crazy lady (wearing slippers, PJ’s and sunglasses)…!” I didn’t pay attention.
And do you know HOW long it took to get those poor twin munchkins of mine ready?! Oh… fuck, the guilt….. The one time in my life… I felt bad as a parent. They looked at me like “Errm.. no school?!” Mum, you’re a Dumbass”. Actually my daughter was like that…her twin brother was chasing traffic.
I felt sooo guilty (soooo, ashamed is the right word….) as my daughter, talked me through the whole thinking process...
“Oh Mummy… School is closed. Where do we go? None of my teachers are here?
Mummy, why are you looking funny?” (she’s 3 yrs old)...
“Mummy, I want to go play at Stanley playground…. in my uniform” (why do I feel so ashamed as a complete idiot). Basically, history repeated itself…. AND… I was soooo angry with my Mum when it happened to me.
Imagine this… Christmas Carol singing at The Royal Albert Hall, London in 1988…..(where I played the violin a few years later and stopped an entire concert because I just needed a “second to gather my thoughts” (God even knows where I picked up that expression coming from an Iranian family where everyone refused to speak English on principal).
I felt sooo embarrassed ( I was 8 years old, not 3, but still)… I did the very same, mortifying thing my Mum did. Why? Because I (a) don’t read those stupid letters they send home daily, and (b), no Mum friends as I don’t want any!! Why the fuck do I have to make friends to parents at school??! Its really annoying.
Basically…. I have become my Mother. My Mum, hated all that bullshit…and I have become her. I am mortified.
I may pretend to be an anti-Mum arsehole…but…when your kids can speak and TELL you how shit you are…. it kinda breaks your heart into a zillion pieces. And, IM NOT SHIT!!! I’m just lacking in details/social skills sometimes…. that’s all!!
I arrived at school this morning, dressed in my usual Rayban/moustache “The Lorax”/hoodie combo (to be fair… I am Middle Eastern but I didn’t realise HOW much until I noticed NO ONE recognises me anymore due to my morning get-up….
Anyhow… the kids in the car (how long does that take alone to get them INTO the car!??! 10 minutes sometimes if you have coats, back-packs, zipper bags, cars, Minnie Mouse, “he/she touched my foot” arguments (which I can’t help but get involved in, despite being 32 years older than them!!!… and NO SCHOOL once we arrived at our designated arrival point.
After TWO WEEKS OFF.
I think my heart actually broke.
I wasn’t the ONLY one (there were approx 4 out of the usual 15 cars belonging to Mums, who arrived, looking as bewildered/embarrassed as I did)…. but really, I thought…. “never again” . The only positive thing was that they didn’t have a school uniform (unlike last time) , which meant, I didn’t have to go home right away and change the little monkeys before we went out….!! They were ecstatic, for 3 year olds doing nothing but painting and singing. Just wait until “real” school hits them. Especially when we move back to London. I HATED school sooo much. I got expelled twice. Twice. Good times.
I hated the teachers and their self righteous bullshit, I hated the long drawn out Latin lessons (which I thought I’d never use, until I became a Solicitor… and had to use, errrr… 6 words all in all). I hated being controlled by “the establishment”. I fucking hated school. I didn’t trust adults and I found it all a load of crap and control based.
When I arrived at University to do an LLb in Law with Busines which I got with Honours…. I agreed with school. Why? We were drunk the whole friggin time!!? Its University!! I lived on a beach and I love to live by the sea (where the Captain brought me to live, when we moved to HK.) BUT I HATE SAND. Compromises were made.
Now, with hindsight, I wish I had enjoyed every single minute of this amazing, privileged dream. I will be sad if we ever have to leave (and we may have to). This place, if you give yourself a few steps to adjust, is amazing.
1. Uppack their cases & wait for moaning WAGS (Wives & Girlfriends) to arrive. Brace themselves for arguments about where they have been every night.
2. Get an apartment for WAG and family and get sorted. Things get sorted eventually.
3. If you are a single couple, you will hit the town hard every weekend and enjoy it. Don’t stray from each other. This is where problems seem arise. You arrived as a team. Nothing has changed aside from TAX.
- Have fun. You’re fabulous.
This has led me to think that maybe (a) I should read those stupid diaries they send home daily with the kids (but really…what would they put in there? aside from start dates obviously?!), or (b) Make some bloody friends at school?!
Ive thought about this and decided against it. I literally have zero hours in the week as it is to make new friends, I don’t like, for the sake of the kids. I’d rather hang out with Mums/Helpers who are fun and whose kids mine like. Otherwise, I may as well just go back to work. And I hated that too.
Or (c) is not an option …. look I just can’t do it….I have friends at school ( I now say “hi” and everything to parents at the gate which shows how much I have grown as a woman (with a child (x3) ) but really…. today was “Teacher training day”.….really??!!!! DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO SEND KIDS TO YOUR MORNING NURSERY??!!! ESPECIALLY TWINS?!! And they use the day/morning for “teacher training”?! This in my mind involves, wine, cheese and briefly chatting about the little cute Monsters we teach. Teaching training? I can only imagine the following discussion:
1. Don’t beat the kids, regardless of how annoying they are. Also, make sure NO ONE sees you if you do lose your shit.
2. Keep the kids alive until they are collected by a Parent or Helper.
3. Try not to lose your rag and scream at a kid because they don’t understand your accent.
4. Try not to scream or shout at the children when parents have come to collect them. I recently saw a child try to “run” to his mother and was grabbed by his coat hood (literally taken off his feet) and then, a slow, uneasy laugh when his teacher realised ALL of us collectors (Mums/Helpers were standing right there… in stunned silence). She then decided to tell him off publicly for running as it was unsafe. I pointed that grabbing him by the hood of his coat and lifting him off the ground was more “unsafe” as he was chocking. She laughed. She didn’t understand me. I did, to be fair, in the crappy recent weather we are having with continuous rain, look like Forest Gumps Mum, with Ray Bans on, a Hood, Uggs boots and literally total coverage of my face with a scarf. I may as well have been the boy from The Lorax (The green one who killed all the trees as you never see his face until the end).
Wine or Cheese anyone?! Anyhow..
Turning up at school on a “none-school day” is a huge no-n0.
Plus… maybe its time I grew up…. I’ve got 3 kids who rely on me and, well today, I just…. I had zero excuse aside from… I didn’t care enough to read the diaries they send home because they normally write shit like “ooh Twin B went to the loo“. What an arsehole am I? I love to slag off everything but letting down my kids…. thats a huge, HUGE, NO.
I feel guilty thinking about it now…because they will remember this, but not all the times I did great stuff. It will be
“Oh Itchy do you remember that one time (of many) when Mum took us to school/a birthday party/bar mitzvah/a bar opening…etc & it was the wrong day?! What a dumbass!!!!!”
However, lets not forget the DAD’s in this story….
The Captain came home a few nights ago after work (allegedly…although that argument is starting to wear thin…) and after saying his good-nights to the kids, I assumed, he left them in bed.
What I didn’t know, is that our Son (AKA.. SATAN), begged him to use the loo (en suite bathroom he has too… not that he appreciates it now). So… The Captain put our son on the loo (3 year old fibber that he is), and FORGOT about him. FOR O.N.E. HOUR.
An hour later, as I’m “doing the rounds” kinda like a warden on “Prisoner Cell Block H”, checking the kids cells are all shut down & settled….I notice a light from my sons room.
When I walk in, there he is, sat on the loo (slightly at an angle) and he’s covered (COVERED!!) in soap. He looks like he has a Santa Claus Beard, with hands made of bubbles and something more disturbing occurs as I get closer….. As I get walk into the bathroom, I notice, he is not only TOTALLY naked (you can’t tell for a second because of ALL the bubbles), but all his clothes (PJ’s) are filling the toilet…. his clothes, toilet paper, toy cars and anything else he had at hand while sat on the crapper/shitter/loo…whatever. He has shoved every single thing at hand down the loo. And then, sat back down, naked… and covered himself in hand wash…. totally oblivious. Totally 3 years old. Happy…until he sees me. M.U.M.
Not only did The Captain FORGET that he had left our kid on the loo, our Son didn’t even bloody move from it for a whole hour.
I’m not sure which is worse?! Our Son not bothering to yell out “err… hello adult people in charge, I’m still on the loo?!?! Anyone?! Hello?”… or the fact his grown father, of nearly 40 years of age… FORGOT to go and check up on our son after placing him on the loo (in his en suite bathroom…) Bad parenting, or is our kid just a little too slow in voicing his opinions (silence apparently doesn’t work in a Jewish household). I didn’t grow up in one so I’m still learning.
Anyhow… on our discovery, I had to leave the bathroom immediately and call for our Helper as I was laughing so much but couldn’t show this when i found our kid. He knew he’d fucked up by stuffing every single thing into the loo… but when The Captain walked in to tell him off….he laughed in his face.
My reaction? I had none. I had to leave the situation. I then thought about how people become school teachers. How the frigg do they keep their cool when kids behave, well, like kids?!
I know for a fact, having once been a kid, that teachers too lose their cool. I remember a teacher at my old very private, international school in London, hitting a boy constantly (we were approx 7 years old and stunned and soo afraid, I never told my parents). To this day, I can remember the teachers face (and name), but not the student he humiliated so horrifically. That kid (or any of the children there) will never forget the incident.
I clearly picked the wrong profession (and NO, I don’t mean Motherhood). When I used to turn up to that shitty institution they call “Work” and hand over most of my salary from January until May (in the UK) every year just so every illegal immigrant and criminal could live for doing nothing, I hated it. I hated working my arse off and the UK Government took their cut (January-May).
Then, you had these idiots who pretend they can’t “find” a job, or were physically/mentally impaired in some way, and yet, there they are, sat in a pub (don’t ask me what I was doing there), drinking away, hour after hour. For free on tax payers money. The UK is a shit hole.
Ruined by a weak Government and zero tolerance on immigrants. Every country has some quota to fill, I’m sure but, the UK, are looking to let everyone in and let us, the tax payers, look after them. Are they my family? NO. Are they a charity of any kind that I am being offered to look after? No.
So why,why why are those who work, having to pay for those who chose not to? When you have to pay bills, you do. The UK, where we will inevitably be returning to…. they give benefits to everyone aside from those who truly need it. If you earn a penny more than you should, the Government want it. The UK is not what it used to be. Shame.
Enjoy your weekend and I know its been FOREVER since I last wrote something. Ive not been feeling the urge, plus, not leaving the house has a huge impact on what I write!
My ONE word of advice to a new comer in HK…. don’t do the whole “6 month transition crap”…enjoy it. This is a great experience and wasting time missing home is a shame. Don’t apologise for anything. We only live once.”
ps. Photo above is of me… trying to watch TV with my HUGE afro….and headphones…
pps. Its been a while simply because I’ve had zero energy to write….