Four weeks to go until the baby arrives and what am I doing? I’m moving apartments in 3 days to add to the stress as I clearly have too much time on my hands. Not only that but the twins as well as our useless Domestic Helper (no.1, of our now 2 home employees) have come down with colds (well she gave it to the twins which really pisses me off). Sooo, I’ve been packing boxes, sneezing from dust that appears everywhere, dealing with twins who wont sleep during the night as they are both bunged up with mucus (yes, I have slanted both their mattresses at an angle to help them breathe easier).
All i keep thinking about is how much I can’t WAIT to stay at The Hotel Matilda ( AKA. Matilda Hospital at The Peak in Hong Kong). I have already told family to stay away for the first month so I can recover and I’m actually looking forward to staying in the hospital to escape everything/one for a few days. I need some SPACE! I’m actually going mad not being able to drink with all this stress going on. I’ve even started reading a book on HOW TO QUIT ALCOHOL (yes, yes I’m clearly depressed) just because I’m worried that my drinking will return with a vengeance once this baby arrives. I don’t know how else to remain sane otherwise doing the same thing day in, day out. I managed to quit Smoking after being a 20 a day Silk Cut addict for over 10 years. I never went anywhere without 2 packs in my handbag, especially if I was going out drinking with the girls after work. When I read Alan Car’s book “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking”, I just thought I’d try it out for a laugh. It was my final year at University and a friend recommended it to me. Well….. after reading his book, which basically tends to repeat regularly about the cons of smoking, despite encouraging you to smoke throughout, I quit smoking. And didn’t miss it one bit. Not even a craving. Genius!
So when I mentioned to that Captain that I am reading a revolutionary “Stop Drinking” type book, he looked at me with worry. Despite his moaning and hopes of controlling my substance abuse, I think he quite likes me being that crazy fun outgoing party girl, just to a certain degree (ie. he’d like me to stop when I approach the “falling over stage”). I explained that as I may go nuts after giving birth to this third child, especially if I’m stuck indoors all day doing Gina Ford routines and having no sleep. Someone asked me recently if I’ll breastfeed and I told them that “no, I wont be”. It interferes with my entire life (drinking/going out/exercise/sleep/etc) and I can’t be stuck indoors for months boob feeding when I can bottle it and go out. It didn’t harm the twins, so hopefully it wont harm Baby no.3, although our food and Baby Milk Formula costs will reach new heights once she comes along.
In addition, for those of you who do your food shopping in Hong Kong, you will be fully aware of the cost of milk, nappies, food, anything!!! Everything costs triple what it does in London. The Captain keeps moaning about lack of food, bread, cheese etc in our house. The fact of the matter is, we go food shopping every 3 days and keep running out of stuff. Plus our two Helpers can’t seem to work out that maybe they should purchase other things we need when they pop out, rather than get home and say “Oh sorry, we need Washing up liquid and eggs”. I’m starting to lose my cool with them as I can’t understand how a person doesn’t think to put that sort of thing on a list. I always go through the shopping list with them before one of them heads out the door and I’ll ask if there’s anything else we need. The response is always “no we have everything”. But lo and behold, the next day we will need a whole batch of crap. The kids are also addicted to yogurt and cheese which means buying these every 2 friggin days.
The Captain also complains about the quality of things we buy from the Supermarket but as I explained, if we go local, our shopping bills would be minimal, but I’ve no interest in eating local food or produce. I want nice Juice, Cheese, Organic fish/Meat and Organic spreads. But this all costs double the amount. Why can’t we just have a bloody Tesco here like back home!?? They even have one in shitty Thailand for crying out loud!! Thailand also has Boots which I wish we had in HK. It would piss all over Mannings and Watsons!
Anyhow, the Captain has also started a new line of non-stop moaning about the toilet tissue we buy, despite me explaining its only to wipe his precious arse with (plus I buy 2 for the price of 1). His argument is that as he “works so bloody hard”, he wants something soft, ideally with Aloe Vera and quilted too, to gently wipe his bum (which is a non-stop farting machine all year round) ….I handed him our wedding certificate.
Photo taken from the site – http://www.porcelainpoetry.faketrix.com/
So my 20 month old twins have gradually turned into little personalities, with my Daughter (no, not my favourite contrary to popular belief, but great for entertainment value), is considered the bright, funny one (takes after me clearly) and my Son (AKA. Satan), is the naughty one who doesn’t pay attention to anything (takes after his Father). My dilemma with these two began a few weeks ago when my Son started bullying his twin Sister (whos very gentle and walks around kissing and hugging everyone… adorable really, even if I am bias). His bullying can vary from pushing her, to biting, shoving, taking all her toys (only to throw them aside the minute he takes them) and basically watching what she does all the time. They both have his n hers tricycles and instead of just using his one, he has insisted on taking hers (which is pink) and not letting her even get on the damn thing.
He also tries to take her now adopted Blue one and has been seen hiding both just so she can’t play with them. My daughter, bless her, even asks him if she can “sit” on the bike, patting the seat to see if her brother will say yes. His normal response is a lot of tears followed by a tantrum, by which point she can’t be bothered with all the drama and walks off. If she doesn’t like something, he will copy her. If she laughs, he laughs. OMG…the frustration of not being able to leave them alone for a second in case he hurts her is driving me insane.
Plus, his behaviour at nursery has taken a turn for the worse. For those of you who have experienced the joys of expensive Play-groups (also the Devils work in my opinion) run at your local school or nursery, will know how the morning pans out. First, theres about 15 minutes for “free play” (ie. play with whatever toy they have there & normally includes a fight between a couple of 17 month olds at some point), followed by arts, crafts, story telling, snacks and music. If I wasn’t pregnant, I swear I would have my nifty hip flask, filled to the brim with straight Vodka, hidden inside my skinny jeans…just to get through it all. Now my Son, recently re-named Satan for his charming antics at school, has been seen kicking & screaming (yes, me with my big pregnant belly & him look a right pair) as I’ve carried him down the school hallway, because he wont share a particular Toy Car which has become the bain of my life. Whenever I turn up for these damn play-groups, I see that green plastic car, that is big enough to fit a toddler in, and he makes a beeline for it. Once he’s sat inside that thing, NO ONE can get him out without a huge show of tears, screaming and hitting. He wont share it with any of the other kids and if he climbs out, only to see another child approach it, he runs right back to it and jumps in! When you try to get him out for “floor time” with the Teacher, he has what I can only describe as an emotional breakdown ….plus you can feel all the parents eyes on this little display, thinking, “hmmmm…. that poor cow”, while they smile sympathetically over at me.
Later that same day, while having his compulsory Gina Ford lunchtime nap… I was alerted to him shouting non stop from his cot. When I walked into his bedroom, what did I witness? My Son, Satan/I Houdini, had managed to not only get out of his zip up sleeping bag with has popper on the side (he has a habit of climbing out of his old ones so this was one of the stronger ones), and had taken his shitty nappy off, smearing it all over the cot, himself, the walls and pillow, Cuski etc etc etc. I think I let out something along the lines of “HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!” , then shouting to out Helper to get her arse into our room to witness Hell. I then handed her my ,now covered in shit son, while I dealt with the sheets…. if I was near him at this point, I think I would have lost it, so while she gave him a hose down, prison-style, I cleaned up his bedroom (gagging at the stench). What did I do that night and every nap time since this episode? I sellotaped that cheeky monkeys nappy on. Yes, that right…. I wrapped it round him about 3 times, not tightly of course, just strong enough for him not to rip the damn thing off again.
So, as of last week, I have started reading, not one but three books on how to basically kick your toddlers arse without physically doing it. Trust me…. the last few times at school, I have carried that boy out with gritted teeth praying I don’t lose my cool and just hand him to someones mother asking her to take him home before I go fucking insane. As parents are we even allowed to say that about our sometimes annoying little angels? Therefore, after a few sample tries of books on my trusty Kindle (love that device… fucking genius if like me you read a shit load at night when the whole family are finally asleep), I found a couple I liked. One book which has the hardline, no bull-shit approach I particularly love, talks about the whole “Time-out” thing. You know, basically putting your kid in a cot, on a naughty step, or wherever that works, without any toys etc until they stop being little ungrateful punks.
Sooo…. for the past week, my mission has been to break this boys spirit and get him to (a) stop villainizing his poor sister, (b) stop showing me up at friggin nursery school & upsetting all kids around him in the process, and (c) to learn to share toys (damn it!!). Today was our first trial run at school, and aside for a couple of moments at the start of the morning (ie, when we first walked into the play-room and both of us clocked that damn Green car), it went ok. What did I do? Well, first of all, he can’t put his foot in that car from the moment we arrive because that causes all the crap to begin with. As we arrived at school early today, I was tempted to run ahead of him, his sister & our Helper (thk fk for her being there) just to cover that damn car in a blanket (or anything I could find) just so he wouldnt see it. But then I thought, no way. This boys gonna learn whose the boss (FYI. ME) and plus, its not fair hiding it from the other kids. He’s gotta learn right? Plus, me running at this stage in my pregnancy would have looked like a poor imitation Santa Claus going for his morning jog (I was wearing red today … minus the white beard). Apart from him screaming to high heaven when he realised that his bitch of a mum wasn’t letting him get in his favourite toy car (he lay on the floor screaming), I literally carried him over to the toys on the other side of the room and told him “its this, or your cot. Chose now”. He stopped crying IMMEDIATELY. So….the little git does understand me when he wants to. Thats 15-love to me. We’ll see who wins this match in the end (I suspect it’ll be him in the long run).
My words of wisdom on how to deal with “strong-willed” toddlers so far is this …. give them one warning and then put them in time-out, for anything from hitting, to screaming for nothing. Show them that sort of behaviour is not acceptable (until they get to my age in any event). Every cause has an effect, bla bla bla. OR, just drink your way through it. If you’re drunk… you wont even care, thats what nannies are for afterall right?
I’ll see how things pan out at our next group session on Wednesday. I have to admit I’m dreading it….and not just because the Teacher has a moustache I can’t stop staring at.
ps. I can’t believe the stores are starting to sell Christmas stuff already!? Where’s the year gone?!
* Top photo taken from the site http://www.laughitout.com/2009/02/parenting-not-for-everyone.html