Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bureaucratic Bullshit

After returning from Shanghai, my husband and I were overjoyed that our beautiful baby girl, Raelynn, was now an official US citizen. My husband quickly rushed off to the Entry/Exit Bureau to deal with her visa so we could take our trip to Korea. But he came back with some lousy news. It's absolute bullshit but I've come to expect this kind of crap from this country. They said they wouldn't acknowledge Raelynn as a US citizen (even with all her paperwork proving it) until she gets a Chinese visa from a Chinese Embassy in the United States. That means if we take her out of this country, she can't come back in without a Chinese visa that she obtained in the states. My husband and I must go to Korea to validate our marriage certificate because in the grand pain-in-the-ass tradition of all things China, they do not recognize us as a married couple. EVERY other country does, but China will not do so until we visit the Chinese Embassy in Seoul.

Why don't we just say 'fuck it' then? We can't. I have to renew my visa and I will keep having to renew it every few months which will certainly add up in costs as opposed to having a special visa that you can get when you are married to a Chinese national. So annoying as all this is, we must get it done so we can deal with the next issue...taking care of our daughter's visa. The good news there is that Raelynn can stay in China without a visa as long as she likes. And we have time to actually plan a trip to America. So we are looking into what it takes to get Xiaolong a visa to the United States for a visit. I can practically hear all my friends and family squeal with delight at this news but I can't tell you WHEN we'll be there so please, just hang in there and I will update you on that soon. There are more pressing issues at the moment.

Like what? Oh, like that, if you've been paying any attention as you've been reading this, we can't take Raelynn with us to Korea. Do you know what that means? My old bat MIL is going to get to watch her. I cried my eyes out.

This incompetent woman who is one step up from special ed will be in charge of my only baby. This woman who we have to remind to wash her hands is going to watch MY baby. She who wrecketh my house with her unsanitary ways and who cannot remember to put the vegetables in the refrigerator will be here to try not to kill my child with her negligence. The same woman who, last week, put Raelynn on the edge of the couch when she went to go to the bathroom, leaving her unattended and dangling over hard tile flooring when she COULD have put the baby on her foam floor play pads, into her crib, into the Baby Bjorn Babysitter Balance chair or, heaven forbid, given me MY baby back to hold. No. My stupid mistake for letting that cow hold her. I was only trying to do what would make my husband happy and look what happened.

My only slender ray of consolation is my husband. Xiaolong absolutely loves Raelynn as much as I do and would do anything to protect her. He promised me everything would be all right and he asked me to trust him. So trust him I must because this is the man who has given me everything I've wanted. He's never made a promise to me and broken it. But I can't help but wonder if he puts too much faith in his seemingly senile mother. I can also take comfort in that my FIL will be here too. Yes, I am allowing them into my home to wreak havoc on our clean and orderly abode. But I'd rather have a mess to clean up after we get back than for them to take Raelynn to their filthy home. I speculate on how filthy their home is since I have never been there myself, but if it is even a fraction of the way they kept this house we live in before we moved into it, then I know I'm doing the right thing.

Where MIL has no sense whatsoever, my FIL is the opposite. Instead of holding the baby and just staring at it like an idiot, he talks to Raelynn and sings her songs. He doesn't scare me so much. But MIL truly frightens the daylights out of me with how brainless she is. My husband allowed me to lay down all the rules for their stay and for taking care of Raelynn which I am hoping they follow. Some of them are:

1) Do not leave the house with Raelynn, even for a walk.
I can just see MIL bragging to everyone about her grandchild. That I don't mind but she's so clueless, she'll let filthy people come up and try to touch the baby. Oh and she'll use the stupid stroller she got us too so she can brag how much she spent on it. Yeah, great gift. No one can carry the damn thing up or down the stairs with a baby by themselves. She is SUCH an idiot.

2) Please do not attempt to give Raelynn a bath in the tub.
I'd rather the baby stink of old milk and farts than to worry that those 2 are drowning her in the tub. MIL would probably shoo her poor sweet husband away and do the bathing herself. But when the phone rings, her stupid ass would run off to answer it, leaving Raelynn alone in the tub. I do not want even the remotest possibility for drowning to occur so I have taken that one off the table. Would YOU let this woman bathe your kid unsupervised? Yeah, I didn't think so. She can use a wet cloth to sponge bathe her instead.

3) Please practice sanitary hygiene.
It is sad I actually have to include this on there. This listing includes but is not limited to washing hands especially after using the toilet and after handling dirty vegetables and raw meat. It also demands that soap be used. Yes, I had to tell them that it's not washing your hands if you don't use soap!

Among other things, I have asked them to pick up after themselves and leave our home in the same condition as the day we left, meaning CLEAN!!! I was not surprised today when MIL showed up to cook us lunch and totally demolished our spotless kitchen. Annoyed, but not surprised. As long as she stays far from the husband paid someone to come clean our windows and they look incredible. He also went through all the cabinets and weeded out useless stuff his mother had been keeping there for over a decade. Now the kitchen looks even more incredible than when I clean it. Well, at least it did before she showed up to make one of her craptastic lunches. Bleh.

I also gave them detailed instructions on sterilizing bottles, on thawing breast milk correctly and on Raelynn's routine because I can just see them fucking that up and my kid not going to sleep when I put her down for bed the first night I'm home. I can also see them using up all the breast milk I leave in an hour so I should get back to pumping now.

And as I pump, I try not to think about this milk-curdling issue. I swear my milk goes sour as soon as I hear her voice. Ugh. It should speak volumes to everyone that all I have wanted to do was go back to Korea and now that I have a chance to, I don't want to go. I don't want to leave my baby because I love her. Even if I had someone I deemed competent enough to handle this task, I hate that I have to be apart from my sweet little girl. But I don't have someone competent. I have an invalid and one semi-normal person to care for the most precious thing I have. I pray that our trip, which should last no longer than a week, goes smoothly and that upon our return, my little angel is alive and unscathed, all the while thinking that this is a ridiculous steaming pile of bureaucratic bullshit.

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