Thursday, October 23, 2014

Great Going, Grandpa!

Thank goodness for Google searches so I can find the perfect images to illustrate my posts. This one's from here

Please read the title of this post with as much sarcasm as you can drip from your voice. Because FIL has outdone himself yet again in undoing the positive progress we've made in Raelynn's behavior.

Despite my repeated pleas, FIL comes to meet us at the bus drop-off each day. When I was pregnant with Seoul, this was very helpful because I couldn't carry a sleeping Raelynn and our bags off the bus, up the hill, down the street and up 6 flights of stairs. But now that I'm not pregnant, I welcome the strenuous exercise. It's the only workout I've got time for at the moment and FIL ruins it every day by being there. But with any luck, we'll be moving to the US soon enough so I think to myself, "What's the harm in letting him come to greet his eldest granddaughter when she gets home from school?"

Oh silly me.

I should have known there would be great harm in allowing this. After all, we remember what a maternity leave of daily outings to the park with her grandparents resulted in: crazy behavior at the US Embassy in Guangzhou.

Today, Raelynn had fallen asleep on the bus. Some days she doesn't, but today she did. I tried to wake her which resulted in a groggy toddler. She started to follow me but FIL came on board and she didn't want to go with him. I keep calling her from the door to come with me. The bus driver looks dull-eyed and annoyed. Certainly he wants to move on from here and go play mahjong for hours on end while drinking tons of beer and smoking tons of cigarettes, or whatever he does when he's not driving the bus. Finally, FIL just scoops her up and she kicks and screams and goes into full-blown tantrum mode.

We get her on the side of the road and she's completely flipping out. And then, she bites FIL. On his thigh. Savage. So, still carrying all our bags, I snatch her up and carry her, telling her things like "No!" and "We don't bite people! Wait until Daddy hears about this!" And she's upset but she's listening to me. Until I put her down a block away. Because I am wearing high-heeled boots and I cannot keep wobbling in them, with our bags and carrying her on this lumpy craptacular sidewalk. She's furious about this and flips out. She wraps her arms around one of my legs - classic toddler tantrum move - and I have to hobble down the sidewalk the rest of the way. Now instead of not wanting her grandpa, who she was saying she didn't like moments before, she says she doesn't like ME. Because I won't carry her anymore.

Of course that idiot feeds into this and allows her to behave this way, carrying her like a baby and giving into her demands. Once up the stairs and away from nosy morons on the street who kept trying to butt in (and were abruptly cursed at by yours truly), we enter our home. MIL is naturally curious about why Raelynn's crying this time so I explain to her what happened from the whole biting incident on forward. I tell Raelynn to go to her room until she can come out and tell her grandpa she's sorry, which she STILL had not done because he gave in to her.

She screams and carries on, while the actual baby in the house serenely peers at me from MIL's arms. She wiggles and reaches toward me and I'm so happy to see her little face again. She wants her milk boobs so I tell MIL to have Raelynn stay in her room until she says sorry to FIL.

I can hear everything from the bedroom but I can't do anything because Seoul is blissfully latched on and enjoying breastmilk straight from the tap. All I can do is send Jeremy WeChat messages from my phone, telling him all about it. Once Seoul finishes her meal, I take her with me to talk to Raelynn who has now stopped crying her eyes out.

She's fine, actually. And as I try to talk to her about why her behavior wasn't good, she tells me, "Grandpa gave me a piece of candy!"

"WHAT?!?" I say, stunned. And then I turned to him and asked him in Chinese, "Ni gei ta tang?!?" And that total imbecile says yes, because she was crying and he didn't want her to cry. Oh. My. GOD! What is wrong with him?!? I actually ask him this. I then tell him as politely as I possibly can in my poor Chinese that I don't want him to give her candy when she's been bad because then she thinks she can act out like that and get rewards. And he harped on the whole "but she was crying bit." Augh!

Jeremy gave him a big lecture when he got home but FIL didn't understand still. I asked my husband to explain to him that if he loves Raelynn, he sometimes needs to let her cry and be disappointed. One day she'll be in America and I don't want her acting this way. I would be absolutely embarrassed if she acted like this at my parents' house. Then again, my parents wouldn't be giving her candy if she'd been that rotten in their presence.

But one good thing did come of this incident - FIL said he won't wait at the bus stop tomorrow to punish her for biting him today. I don't know if that will work but hey, I'll be happy to not have him mess up my parenting.

Oh and in case you're wondering about MIL, let me just bitch about her for 2 seconds. See, I'm finishing this post after Raelynn's bedtime routine and after hanging out with my husband in the living room. We enjoyed some ice cream together while watching TV. When I went to serve him that ice cream though, I noticed something odd on top of our mammoth refrigerator. I tried taking photos but the flash whites it out completely and without flash, you can't see it, much thanks to the pathetic, paltry little light in our kitchen, so you'll have to envision what I'm about to describe...

On top of the refrigerator, I noticed a plastic food container (calling this wonky thing "Tupperware" is a stretch) covered with a clear plastic bag. Because she just can't ever figure out how to use lids. I saw it when I was opening up the freezer to get the ice cream. I opened the freezer door and stopped. I closed it and reached up to this foreign object. And I noticed with disgust that it had a leftover cooked fish dish inside of it. Leaving food out is totally MIL's calling card but this is a new one. I mean ON TOP OF THE REFRIGERATOR. You know, I'm not a tall girl at five-foot-four but I'm not short either. Still, I had to reach up to grab this thing. It required effort on my part. MIL is not taller than I am. She's not shrunken and short either. So she had to actually work at putting this container of food up there. Jeremy just laughed. And I'm sure you are too but I'm not. Because only a crazy person would do that and we are stuck leaving that crazy person to watch our precious baby. Lord!


  1. SO basic Chinese grandparent behavior. We are already afraid what bad behaviors Nathan will get when we will be there for a few weeks. I bet my wife will do everything to keep her parents away from him though...
    When MIL was with us for three months my wife was pretty much controlling how much time her mother was allowed to hold the baby etc. Of course MIL was upset at first but she got used to it by the end :)

    1. Get ready for it because they will totally give him candy and ice cream when he's screaming like a jerk (something all toddlers are prone to doing, especially mine) and he will learn that if he screams his head off, people will give him treats. This is the habit I've been busting my ass to break with Raelynn. We don't relent but her grandparents do. We'd made such progress with her. Then I went on maternity leave and those morons took her out each day to give me a rest. Some rest...they turned her into a monster who walked all over them because it's what they allowed. Then when my husband and I tell her no, we have to endure the tantrums all over again - the very ones we'd basically cured her of - all because of them. Urgh! Best of luck to you when you visit over here, man.