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
As the shit hits the bucket, it turns out, I need not ONE but TWO people to help me run my household. Did I insist on this bullshit? Of course not. I’m not some arsehole that tells their husband “I NEED HELP RUNNING THIS SHIT HOLE SHIP”. I like my privacy and anyone who can name and shame me to the Child services Dept in Hong Kong would be long gone. I actually like being alone (plus you can drink without judgement). My best friend recently stated (& I love this statement) ” I don’t drink ON my own, only ALONE”. Genius.
Sooo… I’ve been interviewing people and guess what?! We have had some right characters walk into our house (surprise eh?). One Helper who intervied told our current (& lovely Helper) “Your Maaam asks ALOT of questions”. For the record, I asked her why she was leaving her job & where she had last worked. This was the same person who turned up at ours looking like, well I’m gonna say it “a Lesbian” and then told ME how to cook the kids food (my toddlers are on Annabel Karmels food…although I’ve had it on good authority that she’s actually a bit of a knob), the kids, didn’t eat a shred of her food and then she picked up a clove and asked me (I’m, FYI, the daughter of a Chef) “What is this?” When I told her it was a Clove, she looked angry and kept cooking.
Once I left the Kitchen and asked our present (and lovely) Helper to speak to her (to see if they get on), this bird turns around and says “Your Maam asks a lot of questions” (ie. why are you leaving your job”). Stupid bitch. We also have cameras in the lounge, kitchen & nursery. Yes, I do and why the fuck not?! Every single place I’ve worked in, there are cameras. It’s no different. If you are going to piss, shit or most importantly, beat my kids, this is the main area to do it. Get over it luv. She asked our Helper “Why the cameras? What did you do?” I don’t like the cameras”. Why? Because shes a silly cow.
So… being lazy old me, I have spoken to about a dozen people who advertised themselves on Asiaexpat stating they can “cater for dinner parties”. A big fat lie as it turns out once you speak to anyone who goes “oh yes, I can cook omelette”. The bird who showed up at our appartment told me, she had “soooo many interviews” she didn’t now who to choose from, which is why she came to a household with twins and a newborn on the way (full of shit clearly). The Captain lets me interview people as my past job as a Defendat Litigation Lawyer lets me weedle out the bullshit from the truth pretty quickly. Plus, I rely on instinct, and who can make a good cuppa tea.
We have found one person who is wonderful BUT she presents new problems…. (a) she will make our current Helper look very bad (b) she will make me look like a lazy cow, and (c) she likes to run the show. So although this woman is clearly a “super Helper” (her new nick-name when we talk about her), I can’t have this shit going on in my house. Otherwise, I’m redundant & our current Helper’s flaws will be highlighted (shes terrible at everything but the kids). Today we interviewed her very lovely neice. She’s nice, kind, polite, good with the kids and states she can cook & “follow recipes”. Who knows but, I need a happy house. Why? I don’t want someone being the boss of me in our own place.
Plus, I’m at home. A very new thing to me but something incredibly important as its obvious when I’m NOT here. The kids play up, they start speaking Filippino and no one does what they’re told. If my job (and I think its one of the most important…and underpaid) is going to work, I need to be here. Until the kids can feed themselves and wipes their own arses,. The thought of being kept “indoors” for another 3 years is killing me though BUT, I was raised in a house where, I, in effect, raised myself. Therefore, I HAVE to be here. Drunk or sober. They’re lucky to have me!
So… I have to admit…. I’m an angry person when pregnant (this time round). Maybe the IVF kept my hormones at bay last time. Maybe I was just happy to have finally fallen pregnant? Who cares? I just feel horrendous this time round & I’m making the whole world pay for it. Bothered? Not really. That’s the kinda mood I’m in. People should be lucky I can’t drink as I’d be a fucking nightmare right now.
So in light of my “with child status” am I experiencing anything new in HK? Nope. In fact, I’m sooo pissed off at the moment, all I can think about is London. Funny isn’t it? I know, people get “Island Fever” and have their highs and lows with Hong Kong… & so yes, I’m having a low point. I’ve not seen anyone the last couple of weeks (which for someone with 2 kids, aside from playgroups with strangers…I think is essential to your sanity), I’m angry with people I know here (dunno know…I just am) and I’m now looking for a 2nd Helper to, well “Help”, in the house. Would I have got this kinda help in the UK? Of course fucking not!!! Does this make me any nicer a person? No.
Why? I’m finding there is no real substance to the friendships I’ve made here (I guess having a history with people at home is different), and plus, I’m feeling like I’m hard work (I’m not really). I’m a great, loyal friend but in essence, I’m your party girl. I hate doing mundane bullshit and I HATE shopping, so I’m struck off many a “girls shopping trip”. They actually have facebook groups dedicated to this in HK. Wierdos. I like people I can call up last minute, have a chat to and basically relax with a drink. As I cant do this (due to my impending 3rd child), I am fucking torn with being here right now. I realise the substance of most of my friendships (not all, don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some very good friends too), but the ones you think you can count on, are the ones you always end up with at 4am, looking for a drug dealer and not speaking to for weeks on end after.
Is it all to do with my pregnancy? Probably but I don’t care. I’m dangerous like that though. I cut off from people very easily and don’t feel one shred of blood doing it. Nancy Kissel & I could have been great friends (joke).
Soooo… my mindset at the mo? I have to apologise as I’ve been getting emails from readers asking what hell is going on with my writing at the moment… The truth? I really truly can’t be fucked right now. And, feeling quite alone (can people even say that out loud in this day ‘n age?) here, I am fed up & cannot be arsed with anything. I keep getting invited to shit that I would NEVER EVER do in the UK and the girls in my apartment block want to throw me a “baby shower”. OH LUCKY FUCKING ME. A BABY SHOWER?! Someone stab me now. I explained, very gently that (a) no baby shower until this kid arrives healthy therefore I can actually have a drink, and, (b) NO FUCKING BABY SHOWER! Its not a party unless I can get drunk/dance on tables/get arrested & The Captain turns up to collect me grim faced & angry (hence angry crazy monkey sex will usually follow). As this wont be happening until February 2012… I’m gonna be a right bitch until then (& I guess, pretty lonely). BUT I still have to attend these stupid things. I’m too old for this shit. I want my old life back.
Fed up? Damn right I am. Can I moan to a single person here? Aside from one, or two, not really. That makes me feel pretty alone (yes, its my fault for being sooo cut off & a bitch…shoot me) If I was at home right now, I would have a WHOLE support network who have known me forever (therefore forgive my flaws/alcoholic tendencies) & who are, well, just like me … normal (ish).