Tag Archive | playgroups in Hong Kong

Naughty toddlers….

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

Can’t fuckkkking w r i t e!!

So since my last piece of shit post (ok it wasn’t shit…but I reckon I’m losing my touch quickly minus booze & drugs to assist my creative juices)…. I’ve been stuck in boring shmoring pregnancy limbo.  You girls who have been pregnant and were previously considered “party girls”….you know what I’m talking about?!  No booze – tick.  No drugs – tick, wimper, tick.  No fun – tick.  Arguing non-stop with anything that moves (usually The Captain) – triple tick.

I’M PISSED OFF AND BORED!!!  What the hell am I supposed to do?!  I’ll tell you what.  As of today, I started “nesting” (it was either that or fucking crying into a pillow for hours…or until one of the kids found me).  I basically re-organised the apartment (ok, one third of it), delegating our Helper to do various chores in the process and even now, considering I LOVE being tidy (yes, its my only geeky thing I promise), I’m still fucking bored out of my mind.  I even took photos of all the Captains shoes, printed copies off and stuck them onto the cardboard boxes.  Yes, I DID.  To be fair, this is also to stop him bitching constantly about not being able to find any of his shoes and then deciding the ONLY way he will locate the pair he desperately needs that day, would be to open every single friggin box until he found it.  Does he clean up after he’s made this mess, despite stating to me matter-of-factly “Dont look at me like that, I’ll clean it up!”?  Nope.

I’m lucky if the Captain manages to find the kitchen to return a plate. FYI, before The Captain and I joined the joyful institution (funny they call it that eh?) of marriage, I “trained” him (yes, like a dog) to put the toilet seat down (label on lid – “Now shut”), close the cap on the toothpaste that was forever dried out (“Now put lid on”), not burn the apartment down by turning the gas off etc.

So what happens to me the other night while half asleep and off to the loo for my millionth visit because this 3rd child of mine is making me piss non stop?   I almost, no joke, fell into the fucking loo.  Don’t you just hate sitting on a wet/cold toilet when the seat is missing? Especially in the dark.  I, of course, woke him at 3am and told him he was a “selfish wanker” for leaving the seat up. Bless him, he thinks it’s my “hormones” that are making me this angry.  I hate messiness.  Fact. The Captain LOVES mess.  He has had moments where piles upon piles of clothes have built up in the middle of our bedroom and for some reason, assumed, I was the one who was going to tidy this pile of crap up.  You would literally have to climb over it to get out of the room.  I never did tidy it of course, as, and I have pointed this out to him on numerous occasions, I’m not his Mother.  He, being the messy git that he is, got the cleaner to do it instead.  Yes, I still love him but I hate mess which makes me want to hurt him on occasion when I see it.  If I have just tidied up a room, The Captain, without fail, will walk in and start putting crap down everywhere ie. socks on the floor, underwear in my bathroom sink (we have double sinks so why it’s in mine I dunno), putting his electric toothbrush on the black bathroom counter despite the BIG plastic cup I placed there especially to stop him marking it constantly, packets of chewing gum (not chewed) everywhere and change from a million countries strewn across all countertops so the kids can choke on them.

Anyhow, this week The Captain has left Hong Kong (no mess) for a work trip to New York (FUCKING LOVE NYC) and I’m stuck here with my little monkeys (Itchy & Scratchy) and now, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (AKA our Helper & her niece who is here to do a “trial test-run” over the next week).  We want to see if she’s any good for the job as we need an extra pair of hands to help out once Baby number 3 makes their appearance.  As it turns out, she’s worse that our Helper ie. can’t cook, doesn’t speak English and thinks I’m invisible when I’m talking to her. She’s good with the kids though.

Anyhow, the reason we need this 2nd Helper (aside from the fact i could never afford one back in the UK), is that as all you Mums of Multiples will know, to do anything with Twins under the age of 2 years old, you are usually legally required to have “one adult per child” for all activities.

So the new Toddler/Nursery group I go to (after leaving the shitty, snobby, cliquey, arsholey, “what are we going to do today kids?” one in Repulse Bay) also still requires me and our Helper to go along to everything.  Not that I would ever send her on her own in any event as the woman is not fast at anything.  The amount of times we have had accidents because she’s forgotten there are TWO children of the exact same age running around, is numerous.  I on the other hand, being their mother, am fully aware of where each child is at any given moment.  I also rule with an iron fist (kinda like Margaret Thatcher but with better hair) which means I kick their arses (not literally obv) into shape and they don’t misbehave.  My son however, when he spots a woman with a weakness for him, will play on it and before you know it, has them carrying him around (& my guess, breastfeeding him), despite him being only 18 months old.

In the past, my Helper has looked at me in shock when I’ve told her time and again “DONT PICK THEM UP!  Stop carrying them around! Stop babying them! Let them eat glue, they’ll learn eventually”. Basically, she thinks I’m a mean Mum.  I’m not, but I am strict.  So, the other day, when the Captain and I took our kids to some massive indoor play area that would be hell if you were hung over but is actually great for toddlers and kids up to approx 5 years old.  A boy of approx the same age as my 18 month old, pushed him and kept taking his toys.  After about 40 seconds of this little bully pushing and shoving and taking every single toy car my quiet little boy wanted to play with, The Captain heard me state very loudly (I’m apprehensive to use the word shout) “NO PUSHING!! STOP IT NOW!!” (little shit) at someone elses kid.  He’s lucky he didn’t see the back of my hand that little arsehole.  Anyhow…out of nowhere stomps his mum who towered over me and had AT LEAST 400lbs on her.  I actually thought for a minute that she was either (a) going to kick my arse (b) eat me.  She was in fact, a total sweetie and swiftly took her son to another play area (probably to get him away from me).

So….how do you Mums deal with this sort of shit as I can see myself losing it if someone is blatantly bullying my kids?  I’ll be one of those crazy mums storming across the playground and having a go at some 4-year-old for being “mean”.  Any advice on how to deal with this would be appreciated otherwise I’m sure I will be pulled into many a HeadMasters office pretty soon to curb my big gob.

That’s it for me at the moment. As you can see, my last 2 posts (apparently the last one didn’t go out to all my subscribers so maybe have another look when you get this one), have been waffle.

Why waffle? BECAUSE IVE GOT FUCKING BABY BRAIN AND THIS IS ALL I CAN WRITE ABOUT!!!  Where’s a cold glass of white wine/Rose/bottle of Vodka when you need it.  I mean, if there’s ever a time you need booze, it’s when you’re pregnant.  At least I’d be happily ignorant of my body changing and all the hormones as I’d be blind friggin drunk.  Shame I can’t stomach the smell of booze, eh?

Playgroups & Schools in Hong Kong

So, as you know…being a Mum of Twins is never easy at the best of times. Well… actually being a Mum is never that easy and is probably THE most thankless job … especially to Twins.  Now, I also have to contend with finding a good preschool/Reception class for the kids to get into in  Hong Kong.  On top of all of that, I’m dealing with some serious “unfriendliness” at my local playgroup, with a leading Nursery on the Southside being my new pet hate.  When I say unfriendly, I mean, downright bitchy!!  I try to make conversation with Mums and get a laconic reply to even the smallest “so, how old’s you little girl?”.  The response is normally (a) “It’s a boy”, or (b) “one years old and 2 days”, with a long sigh before a friend arrives at the Playgroup and Im shunned from all conversation immediately as they exchange bull-shit chit-chat of their weekends together.  LIKE I GIVE A SHIT!!!

I’ll firstly begin with the whole “putting your kids name down for a good school”, which has turned out to be an absolute nightmare, and sooooo competitive.  To begin with, I want a school which also has a UK curriculum (of some sort) only because I’m hoping/trusting, we will one day return back home and the kids can slot right back into school (despite the massive upheaval, Tax issues and shock of the cold shitty, rainy UK weather & rude service staff).

Anyhow, back to School visits, The Captain asked one of the Fathers, (also doing a tour of one of the many “International Schools” we were going to look at) if he’d seen many good schools so far.  The Fathers response was “yeh”.  Not, “yes, we’ve been to bla ba bla…”.  Nothing just a point-blank, competitive, terse, dickhead (they also had Twins as it turns out), “yeh”.  Arsehole.  The Captain in response to this blokes total “unfriendliness” and the other set of Parents also on Tour of the school, decided to ask AS MANY QUESTIONS possible during the tour.  I mean, sooo many questions, I even looked over at him to say “Mate, we don’t even like this school, relax”.  He couldn’t though as although The Captain sounds normal, he is just as nuts (if not more so) than I am.  He’s also hugely argumentative and LOVES to wind people up. Seriously.  He asked me for a “pen & pad” and starting writing stuff down.  Where is that notepad now?!  Who cares!  Winding people up is his speciality.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Sometimes genius, sometimes, very annoying (especially when you need to be somewhere else).

Sooo…. what is it with this whole school business in Hong Kong? I mean, if we were in the UK, I would (a) be escorting my services out once again to pay for private schools, (b) begging all Grandparents to pitch in as they don’t really need a retirement fund anyway in this day and age when anything can happen to their money or (c) pick our favourite and send her (ooops, or him) off to private school while the other braves a harsh state school sooo hardcore, you have your shoes, lunch and usually house keys stolen before you’ve got to your first class.   Harsh? Yes.  Honest? Yes!!

My younger brother went to a state school in Wimbledon, South London.  One of the better ones allegedly.  He got bullied sooo much (hey, even the Headmaster did by some of the 16 year olds, that scared the crap out of me when I used to collect him from school), he once walked out of school with a bloody nose and dried nail marks down the side of his face.  He was 6 years old.  I, being 10 years older, stormed into the Headmaster’s shitty office with peeling wall paper and after much bullshit, got an apology but that was it.   I was only 16 years old after all and who cares what I said, I wasn’t his parent… but close enough as I pretty much raised him.  I wanted blood for what those silly bitches had done to him.  My little brother, who had been taught from a young age, never to hit girls (no matter how irritating they were), was picked on by 2 little cows in the boys loo.   Even to this day, I could picture those little faces as I wanted to cause them some serious harm.  One of the girls Mums rang my parents to sloppily “apologise” but it was all just an act.  If one of my own kids came out of school with anything like that, I’d go fucking mad and I wouldn’t make any apologies for going in and giving that kid (whoever that poor sod was) a good old verbal telling off, unless he/she/it really pissed me off, in which case, I’d remove a flip fop, start hitting …. and wait for the Police to turn up.

Since we moved to HK, I’ve witnessed brats on a different level to anything I’ve ever seen before.  To be fair… I grew up with lovely, polite, well spoken (to our parents anyway) girls who never ever did, what I have experienced since moving to Hong Kong.  I’ve seen Helpers give kids a good whack when they misbehave, but, to be fair, I’ve also seen the most vulgar behaviour from kids here (between the ages of 7 ish to 12 ish).  Rude screaming, shouting at their helpers … no parents in sight though.  My kids…. for the record… are aware of boundaries, with me anyway.  I grew up with very strong, harsh boundaries and that’s what they will get too (hopefully).  I am a better, stronger person for it.  My poor helper walked away from a baby-milk-drinking situation a few days ago, as my son cried for her over me, as she would have given in to holding his cup. HOLDING HIS CUP.   Did I give in, so he liked me more? No.  I carried that cheeky monkey and he will not remember her over me, I’m afraid to say, in a few years.  I’m setting boundaries.  Life is not easy.  He comes to me first and foremost always though and this gives me the strength to carry on, feeling like a complete 1950’s Mum-type cow.  I’m raising them after all & I’m not mean, but you are not helping them by just handing over everything they need.  I’m also there so I am not, in any way, saying, all helpers are bad, or all mothers in HK give in.  I’m NOT saying this.   I’m saying, I’m not sure… in fact thats a big fat lie… in my mind… I dont want Itchy & Scratchy being complete arseholes who expect everything on a plate.  I never had it.  I wouldn’t give things that easily to a friend i was trying to teach something to.  You wouldn’t do it with your best friend.  Why do it with your kids?! Kids know they can try it on (hell, I did!) and will do anything if no one stands in.  My kids, I’m afraid to say, only understand me telling them off in my own language (which was always English until I gave birth).  My Original language though, I wont say which, but, maybe because it sounds angry… well.. lets just say, they dont argue with Mum.  I’m not mean, I don’t need to scream.  I just do the old fashioned “Mum stare”.

Now, I’m in Hong Kong, trying to PAY for a private privileged education and STILL, you have no guarantee of getting your kids into a Reception class (from the age of 4 years old!?! wot the fuck?!).  I told the Captain, I will be happy to sleep with the Headmaster (or Mistress if needs be) of our chosen school.  I even dressed a little too slutty for our look around which appeared to make the old chap happy (by that I actually mean The Captain who kept perving at me all morning) as we wandered around an AMAZING school with views over mountains.  MOUNTAINS PEOPLE?!?!  How lucky are my kids?! Or any child living it up in Hong Kong.  I had a view of the Dartford Tunnel, Kent (its shit… Google it if you care) when I went to school.

So, that’s my trying to get the kids into a school story.  Pay a shit load of money (you don’t get refunds on “administration fees and deposits”) and even then, despite putting their names down THREE YEARS in advance, you don’t know if they get in.  Debentures from companies work wonders though and bump you up to the front of a huge line of parents waiting for their Prince or Princess to get in.   FUCK OFF YOU ELITE GITS!!! How unfair is that?  It wouldn’t be if we had one of course, but we don’t. So I’m pissed off.  If I could be arsed, I may try doing the whole home schooling thing, but really…. I personally need time out for myself (plus there are too many happy hours to leave undrunk in Hong Kong).

Now, part two of my joyous last few weeks involves the godforsaken hell that is the “Playgroup” which you actually pay for at a Nursery.  I HATE going to these.  I feel like the naughty kid in school for a start as all the Mums turn up in floaty dresses (when did they come back in fashion btw?!) and I feel all “rock n’ roll” (Captains words not mine) in jean shorts, T-shirt (usually saying “burn in hell”) and smoking a spilff (ok I’m joking but I may as well bloody be?!).  I did see one HOT Mama today picking up an older child who I immediately wanted to be mates with (she had jean shorts on, ripped shirt… no friends but bloody gorgeous).

Now, I have explained to The Captain, that I HATE playgroups. Hate them.  Yes, they may allegedly be great for the kids to encourage social skills of all kinds but, really?!  Why can’t I just meet up with people who have kids (which I also hate doing BTW as its such hard work)?  I mean, this “free play” time business is basically something you could do at home.  They don’t have padded floors (much-needed with my Daughter who thinks her head is made of sponge), it’s all the same, plus germs, viral infections and horrible kids/parents.

One Mum turned up today with a child soooo sick, he was coughing and spluttering all over everything.  When I say “everything, I mean things your kids then pick up and put right in their mouth. The stupid selfish cow.  Yes, I’m being mean but they’ve all been soo unfriendly from day one, i can’t even give a crap to be polite about this.  I never ever go to a playgroup/persons home, if I or one of the kids have been sick.  Especially when people have kids of their own.  It’s just fucking selfish.

Everyone in the playgroup was moving away from this woman and her coughing son, who then had the balls to try to HIT my daughter in the face as she happily ran past him during “freetime”.  She managed to duck his slap but, he still clipped the side of her ear and …. I then tripped him up.  Yes. I did.  He was mean to all the kids in the class and before you say it’s because he was “ill or out of sorts”, it’s not.  This boy is nasty.  I hate him. He’s only 1.5 years old but he has hurt approx 70%  of the playgroup class with paint brushes, slaps directly to the mouth, hitting kids with the tambourine (during the marvel that is music time) and all other kinds of crap that his Mum needs to reel in ASAP.  What kinda woman have I turned into?!  I used to love kids until they started trying to torture my own.

Anyhow…that’s it from me.  I’ll let you know if we ever get into a school I like.  Sorry, I mean “we”... The Captain keeps pointing out the kids also do belong to him…. even if I did carry them for 9 months and all the fertility shit that came with it.

I can’t name the school’s I’m keen on for Legal reasons (I’m sure) and also, I wont name my painful playgroup I’m subjecting the kids to weekly, as we’re all STILL, 9 mothes later, still trying to settle into this new home.   One thing though.  One AMAZING thing for me. I’m soooo in love with our kids …. they are really becoming people now, you know.  They do things every day, where I go “wow!!”  And that can involve anything from holding a cup, to eating Pizza (for kids with acid reflux.. this is a huge deal for me right now!).

Hope you’re all well out there.

 

* Photo taken from the top of The Dragons Back trek in Hong Kong.