Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dear MIL, The Shriners Want Their Hat Back

I take back what I said about those fucking red shoes. They can stay. MIL has proven that she can find something even more unsightly. On Friday night, we were invited I was forced  to go to my in-laws' house of dust and filth to celebrate FIL's birthday. His birthday is actually on January 1st but they wanted to celebrate it by the lunar calendar. This worked out better for me actually, since the 1st is the start of my vacation and it would really suck to have to spend my first day off with those 2 lamebrains.

When we got home though, there was no baby. They'd already taken her to their shack of shit down the street. I freaked. That old bitch probably dressed up Raelynn in something disgusting and Lord knows what kind of crap Raelynn would be playing with over there in their unhygienic household.

Just as I suspected, when we arrived, she'd put Raelynn in different pants, which I actually didn't mind. They were plain black. I approved. But she put a Snoopy shirt on top of a long sleeve polo I'd dressed her in. I should also mention that inside my in-laws' house, it is so fucking hot it's unbearable. How Raelynn could stand wearing all those clothes I didn't know. I tried to remove the Snoopy shirt but Raelynn got angry with me. God, she's one of them now. This isn't happening. They are totally turning her into a moron like them. I'm not having it.

I open some windows so I can actually breathe and it finally gets to a normal temperature in their hovel. We eat and I have to endure the shrill sounds of MIL singing stupid Chinese songs to Raelynn. No matter how much beer I drink, I can't block out the sound.

Raelynn eventually tires and MIL tries to sneak her off into their other bedroom to put her to sleep. "No," I tell her sternly. It's the only English word MIL knows. She looks at me all confused and I tell her again that there's no way Raelynn is sleeping at their house tonight. We will go soon and she will sleep in our home, where she belongs. She doesn't belong there with them.

Soon after, we start putting on our coats to head out into the cold. That's when my stupid in-laws bust out this busted hat:
Would you look at this raggedy-ass thing?!? It looks a bit like a Shriners that somehow got thrown into the trash, dragged through dirt and shat upon. Even if it were clean, would you put this on a little girl's head??? Me neither! The kicker is MIL bought us a hat for Raelynn last year that still fits and that I actually thought was cute. It's a pink ski cap. But this thing? It looks like a cheap piece of shit hat I'd see on any of the fat, ugly baby boys around here. It is so fug. I should also point out the tassels are all ratty too. Here's a closer look:
Yuck! I don't want this on my daughter's precious head! I begged my husband. I told him the shoes can stay. Hell, the faux mink scarf she got her can stay (I'm torn about how I feel about it - I mostly hate it but it looks kind of cool). The lame Snoopy shirt can stay. But this thing?!? Dear Lord! It needs to be burned. I'm tempted to accidentally-on-purpose throw it out the window but I fear my husband will get really angry and make us go to the hot springs with his idiot parents. I already told him I wouldn't go but I don't want him to be mad at me over this stupid hat. There has to be a way that we can both be happy and this hat can cease to exist all at once.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dirty Laundry

This is not our laundry though it is the same style basket that we have. Picture courtesy of Google's Picasa Web Albums.

Of all the household chores, I've always enjoyed laundry best. Perhaps because it's fairly easy. You take the basket of dirty clothes. You dump said dirty clothes into the washing machine. You add laundry detergent. You push the buttons to make the machine go, and voila! A short time later, you have clean clothes. I don't think I would have done well living in a time or place where such an invention didn't exist.

I usually do laundry 3 times a week. I think I've mentioned before that we don't have a dryer. Most people here don't have one, as they cannot afford one. We can, however, we have no room in our home for one. So we must hang our clothes to dry.

On Monday, I'd come home to find MIL had brought Raelynn a new shirt. It wasn't too horrible, especially considering some of the shit she's picked out before. My problem with it was that, for one, she'd put it on top of the ample clothing Raelynn was already wearing, so she looked like some hobo baby. For another, it was stained with whatever she'd fed her for lunch and the bad medicine Raelynn had to take for her cold. And seeing as our radiators make it nice and toasty in here, I had no idea why she'd overdress her inside the house. In any event, I took the new dirty shirt and tossed it into the laundry basket.

Tuesday was Christmas and I had off for the day from school. I was busy spending time with Raelynn and Jeremy all day, making special Christmas memories, so I left the laundry for Wednesday. Except when I arrived to work on Wednesday, my Korean boss, Lesley, the one who likes to change everything, wanted us to all go out to dinner after work that night. Since Lesley is moving back to Korea, I figured going to dinner with her was important. So I left the laundry for Thursday.

I should also add that when I came home on Wednesday, not only did my in-laws leave a huge mess for me to clean up, but they also stunk up my house. I'm totally not trying to be a mega-bitch here, but seriously, it was fucking horrible. When I opened the door, I was greeted with a smell that could only be described as 1,000 farts being bottled up and left for dead, rotting away. I gagged. "What smells?!?" I cry, horrified, to my husband who kindly picked me up from the dinner. His face suggests he's also alarmed by the stench. Do you know what it was? MIL cooked that horrible luo bo thing in some sort of disgusting dish. Ugh! She also left more half-eaten pieces of luo bo around. There was one on our dining table and one on the counter behind the couch. There was also a giant half of a luo bo in our kitchen. As if that wasn't bad enough, when I came within a foot of my FIL, he smelled much like wet dog. Was it his clothes? Was it him? Probably both. They need soap. And I need more air freshener. Because I emptied that shit out after they left that night. Gah!

Anyway, now it is Thursday. We had our kindergarten graduation today and it was lovely. I even got flowers from one of my students' moms. My husband kindly picked me up and brought me home. Today, I was delighted that my home smelled like MY home, and not like it had been overrun with gaseous, eye-burning farts. But what do I see? Raelynn is wearing that shirt MIL got her. The one that was dirty on Monday. The one that was in our laundry basket. I ask Jeremy to ask his mother about this because I do not have the vocabulary to talk to her about this in Chinese. I calmly explain to him that I'd put that shirt in the laundry basket to wash this week and now it was on Raelynn again. She tells us she washed it by hand. So, you DUG through our dirty clothes to just wash THAT shirt? Is she fucking serious? Jeremy was visibly irritated by her answer. He stayed calm and seemed to tell her something to the effect of how unnecessary that was. He may have also told her I didn't approve of her digging through our dirty garments though I can't quite be sure. After she left, he actually admitted to me that his parents have no fucking sense whatsoever. Now I feel like we're on the same page about this. I do not want his troll-faced cow of a mother digging into our dirty laundry. Furthermore, the shirt she claimed to have washed was still FILTHY. It was visibly dirty. To prove my point, I threw it into the wash this evening and guess fucking what? Those spots and spills you could see a mile away are GONE! As I've said before, her definition of clean and mine are vastly different.

We got a package of clothes for Raelynn from my folks today. I went to put them into her closet and put away some clothes from the other day that were now dry and what do I find? A pair of dirty socks! She has put them back on top of the other clean socks! Why the fuck does she do this when we have TONS of socks for Raelynn?!?!? Why does she dig through our dirty clothes to pretend-wash a dirty shirt but yet puts dirty fucking socks back in a closet full of clean clothes? WHY WHY WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?!? I can't even come up with a theory, other than she's crazy. If you have any ideas as to why she's nuts, or perhaps how we can cope with this dolt, please comment away.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mission Unpossible

If you read the title of this post and were about to come at me with the whole "unpossible is not a word" thing, just sit down and shut the fuck up. Because Ralph Wiggum of The Simpsons made unpossible possible. It's so fitting for what I'm about to describe to you. It is truly, as Ralph said, unpossible.

For over a month now, I have been preparing my students for their graduation ceremony. Over a month ago, I chose a song for my students to sing and dance to: Frank Sinatra's version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." I've been working hard on this and so have my kids. Every day, we practice and they have come to really take it seriously. I am honestly really proud of these guys.

When I'd selected my song, I checked with my Korean boss. I told her which song, how long it was and even played it for her. I also sent it to my Western boss. I double checked with my Korean boss that I only had to do one song and dance and she said yes. See, last year, they felt my song choice wasn't long enough. So I taught them an additional song, making for a total of 2 songs. And then, they came to me and told me they wanted a graduation song too. On top of those 2 songs. Three songs for my kids to sing. Somehow, I'd managed to get them to sing all 3 (and perform no less) perfectly. But during the graduation, they cut the graduation song out of the performance at the last minute. So I basically tortured those poor children for nothing.

Last week, my Korean boss tells my Korean teacher to tell me she wants me to teach the kids a graduation song. In one week! I seriously wanted to smack her and for the first time, I was ready to kick up my heels and throw a fucking party that she's moving back to Korea after this semester. On a personal level, I like her very much. As a boss, she totally sucks because she's always doing shit like this. She can speak English well enough to tell me this but she sends my Korean teacher to tell me. It's such bullshit. The song I was forced to teach last year's students was really, quite excessively long and very hard so it was probably for the best that Christina and I couldn't find it on the server. I found a much shorter, easier song which was thankfully the children picked up fast.

I was all proud of everything too. I'd taught them a good song and dance and now, I'd taught them a great graduation song to go out on. It was Christmas Eve day and despite having a long rehearsal for the performance this Thursday, we were having a good day filled with cake and a visit from Santa (one of the other teachers who was happy to dress up for us). Then, while I'm eating cake with my kids and Christina, the other teacher (who will also be taking my Korean boss' place when she leaves which will be super) pops in and tells me this lovely gem:
He says that our principal thinks that because the first grade children are also doing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (never mind that it is a completely different version than mine) that we should combine them, essentially 1 day before the big performance. Is she fucking nuts? Seriously, I have no words for this that don't begin with "fuck." He went on to say that he told her it was impossible at this stage (or unpossible because of how fucked up this whole thing truly is) and that I shouldn't worry about it. I know they can't make me do that. For starters, my 2 Western bosses will totally shoot that shit down. I'm just venting because I'm super-pissed that they keep pulling this shit on me. I don't mind most requests, I really don't. But why don't you fucking come here and teach these small children IN ENGLISH how to sing a song and then, give them commands IN ENGLISH regarding dance moves. Then, when you're all done with that joy and you've been whipping them into shape for weeks with oodles of practice and hard work, change the whole fucking thing only 1 day before they go on stage. And better yet, go fuck up another class's hard work that they did to prepare for their performance. I'm sure the parents of both classes won't hate you forfuckingever. GOD!

Anyway, we have off for Christmas tomorrow and now that I've ranted via keyboard, I feel lots better. I'll bake my goodies and make a first class Christmas dinner and enjoy my day off. Then, just a few more days to endure before the school year ends. And then I have 2 months of paid vacation. Which I guess was worth signing a new contract for. Though my first official day of vacation happens to be FIL's birthday which means I am stuck going to their smelly house of dirt and boredom with no escape in sight. Oh yeah. Fa la la la la la la la la everyone.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bad Medicine

Sorry to disappoint, but the in-laws began to slack on their countdown to Christmas. Then again, we've been too sick to notice. Again, my germy students thwarted my attempts at staying healthy and spread some of their sickly goodness on over to me. Joy! The school nurse informed me that I had a fever on Thursday and recommended I go home and rest. I would have been fine just sleeping in the nurse's office except they chose this week to replace all the heaters in the school and her quarters were freezing. I wound up putting my head down on my laptop until my Korean teacher tapped me on the shoulder and told me to go home and get some real rest.

When I got home, MIL watched Raelynn for me while I rested. And then when I awoke, she said she'd make wontons, which she makes rather well. Only this time, she served them to me floating in some very unsavory seaweed, and I'm a gal who likes her seaweed. I didn't have much of an appetite to begin with either. After all, it was 4:55pm that she was forcing me to eat dinner. For once, I didn't want to be a complete bitch because it was nice of her to help me out when I felt so ill, but I couldn't suppress my laughter about how early it was. I even reminded her that I wasn't an old person in Chinese but she just laughed, thinking I was joking. I told her I wanted to wait for my husband to come home but she poo-pooed that and forced me to eat then.

That night, Raelynn fell asleep in less than 5 minutes. I thought it was too good to be true. Until she woke up an hour later and was acting a bit odd. I should have known it then but hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it? Anyway, she kept me up most of the night between wanting breast milk even more than usual and then, getting out of bed to pull things off the dresser and hit her dad with (which, I must admit, was hilarious). Neither Jeremy nor I slept very well that night.

I managed to make it back to school on Friday, but barely. My fever left me alone all day but made a return visit in the afternoon. Just in time for when I arrived home. My in-laws were planning to have dinner with us anyway to celebrate the winter solstice. Chinese people love to celebrate these kind of things and I have to admit, I think that's really cool. They make jiaozi (that's the Chinese word for "dumplings") for the occasion. I was excited about getting a chance to nap until I found out poor Raelynn had a fever, and suddenly her nutty nighttime behavior made perfect sense. My in-laws and my husband assured me that I should just get my rest and they would give her some medicine.

About that:
One thing that I find absurdly idiotic about China is how they administer medicine to infants and small children. In the states, we have those droppers and nicely-flavored liquids that go down with little fuss or objection from the wee one receiving it. I have a few of those for fever only, thanks to my parents and also Phillip and Kimmy. So when Raelynn has just a fever, or is teething, I can drop in some fruity deliciousness and she doesn't scream and run away from me like someone in a Friday the 13th movie.

The medicine for babies and infants here all smells horribly. No matter what you get or where you get it from, starts as a powder that you must mix with a little hot water to dissolve it. Then, you're supposed to take this concoction by way of spoon and pour it into your child's mouth. If I could describe the smell to you, I'd say it was like burnt dried leaves, that horrid star anise thing, rotten tea and death rolled into one. My in-laws have better success feeding it to Raelynn for several reasons:
1) Many things MIL makes are smelly, perhaps even smellier than any medicine we've had to give Raelynn.
2) MIL never lets Raelynn feed herself even though she can totally do it. Jeremy just bitched at her about that the other day, but she shot him down on that. I would have hollered some but I was too sick to make a sound. Way to drop the ball though, Honey. She has until Raelynn's 2nd birthday to knock that shit off before I knock her off. In any event, perhaps this is why Raelynn doesn't run for the hills when MIL shoves a spoonful of shitty medicine in her face.
3) My husband loses his temper at me for not restraining her properly (because if I don't hold her hands out of the way, she whacks the spoon and goodbye medicine!) and begins his bellowing which, if you know me, I'm not having it. So she associates her daddy's bad temper with the bad medicine.

Now I'm feeling better and it seems Raelynn is improving too, though I have to tell you all, I'm beat. At points during the weekend, she wouldn't go to sleep unless I was holding her so I became a makeshift pillow. Any attempt to lay her down onto the bed was shot down with an instant screech of disapproval from her. My neck and back ache, but I'd do it all again just to have her feel all better.

In fact, my husband said he'd ordered me a crock pot and some measuring cups for Christmas. None of those things have arrived yet (but all the toys we ordered for Raelynn have, thankfully) and it's okay with me, as long as Raelynn is healthy again. It's all this mommy wants for Christmas. Here's hoping Santa will make that happen.
And so we can all feel better, here is a picture of Raelynn licking her face after she had her first taste of chocolate pudding. Awwww!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Make Room At The Louvre!

FIL's abstract art project that I wrote about yesterday is finished! Already! 11 days until Christmas and I honestly thought his little collage-thing would take him longer. Then again, that's pretty silly of me since this is a man who uses package tape to secure things to walls (see exhibits A and B).

I must tell you that it's absolutely breathtaking. Yes, that's right. As soon as I saw it, it literally took my breath away!

After my husband and I arrived home today, and after the head troll went off to resume her post under whatever bridge it is she crawled out from under, I was washing my hands in the bathroom before picking up Raelynn. My husband came in to wash his hands too. We were talking about something, which I can't even recall what we were discussing because FIL's art suddenly caught my eye.

"What the..." I say, trailing off.
"What the what?" asks my husband. And then his eyes follow mine and fixate on this with me:
Oh. GOD! Soccer?!?!?!? WHYYYYYYYYY?!?!? Urgh!!!!

My husband looooooooooooooooooooooves soccer. He will set an alarm for 3am on a work night just to catch some dumb game that's happening in Latin America. He played soccer in college and he found some guys his age around here that play soccer for fun on weekends. I am so happy that he loves soccer. But I don't. And to me, this is okay because I know there are plenty of things I like that he can't wrap his head around either, such as my adoration for word games like Words With Friends or my fascination with handbags.

But even Jeremy burst into hysterical laughter with me as we gawked at this eyesore. It's hard to tell from the photo, but this is a collage of soccer moments from a magazine page. He didn't make the collage himself. He did, however, rip a page out of some soccer magazine which he (and MIL) couldn't have been bothered with picking up off our fucking living room floor today. He only taped the edges to the wall, this time using a clear package tape. Oooh! How fancy! It is now completely obvious, to me at least, that FIL has no idea that water destroys paper.

That's not what mystifies me in all this. I live here too. This is MY house. Why are these morons messing up the things Jeremy and I have set up to our liking? Why in the world would FIL even think I would want a piece of paper with soccer players on it in my bathroom?!? It makes me think of when my brother lived in Moscow and he told me how the bathroom in his apartment had been decorated with stickers from the previous tenant in an order like this: car, lady, truck, lady, truck, lady, lady, car, lady, etc.

Now I'm almost afraid to ask what's next. I'll have to go digging through Pinterest to see if there's some sort of craft that can cover this disaster up in a practical (and pretty!) way.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

More In-Law Abstract Art

Just yesterday, I was marveling at the bounty of gifts bestowed upon us by my in-laws. Ironically, at the end of that post, I wondered what other surprises we would find in the remaining days before Christmas. Well, I didn't have to wait long! Now FIL seems to fancy himself an abstract artist as well. I guess he wasn't done just taping our towel rack to a piece of wood and then taping it to the wall where it had fallen off. Silly me! I should have KNOWN it was a masterpiece in progress.

Shall we venture into the bathroom for a look? Come along now!

Hey Jenn, what is it we're looking at, you ask? Why, it's a picture from a magazine! It says "Marina City" which is one of the nice malls here, but my flash makes it hard to read. I have absolutely no earthly idea why he did this. It is just paper from a magazine. It is not laminated. It is not fitted onto something sturdier. IT IS JUST PAPER. You should also be aware that, being in Asia, this is a typical Asian-style bathroom. There is no shower stall. You just shower in the middle of the bathroom. Everything gets wet, though when you're cleaning, it is pretty handy. That being said, how he thought this would be a nice touch is beyond me, especially when it would get wet during the next shower.

Perhaps, since their views on hygiene are vastly different than mine, they didn't think about this being a problem. Or perhaps, this is a work in progress. I say this because I also found these sitting on top of the washer:

These 3 pictures were also cut out of a magazine. One has 4 ships; another has some sort of Chinese-style building. My favorite (and yours too) is the thing that looks like the I'm Just a Bill from Schoolhouse Rock after splicing it with a penis. I am not quite sure what he is planning to do with these pictures...a cheap collage of sorts? Your guess is as good as mine.

So you tell me...what do you think FIL was doing with these things? And do you think he'll finish what he started? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook. I'd love to hear what you all think. I'll keep a keen eye out tomorrow to see if we have any more interesting artwork sprout up. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Comes Early In The Qu House!

Our tiny little tree, which is actually on top of a table to prevent Raelynn from mutilating it and pillaging all the ornaments.

How I love this time of year! The freezing cold weather (despite the lack of snowfall so far this winter, and I don't count the ever-so-slight dusting of snow that consisted of about 10 flakes falling down on the tops of a few cars that line my street snowing, just so you know). Snow boots (even when there is no snow). Big, fluffy sweaters. Hot chocolate. Holidays. And presents! Who could forget the presents?

Even though they don't celebrate Christmas, my in-laws have kindly gotten into the spirit of gift-giving. And early too. And bitchy ol' me, I just complain about these two nimrods! Shame on me. Today, when I came home from work, I found the following lovely presents waiting for us...

First up, some more handiwork by my FIL. Allow me to first explain that a few days ago, our shitty towel rack came off the bathroom wall. I noticed it when I'd come home and figured MIL gnawed it off with her crackly teeth, but my husband said he was the one to blame (though I honestly think he told me that so I wouldn't scowl at her even more than usual). Well, before Jeremy even had a chance to call the one repair guy who actually does a good job fixing things (the guy who finally fixed the kitchen sink) or allow us to pick out one that didn't look like crap in the first place, FIL took the liberty of "repairing" it himself:

Why, yes! That IS package tape on there! Back in the USA, Tommy Peek is shaking his head back and forth, lamenting over the lack of use of duct tape. But here, oh yes. FIL has taped the bar to some old wood and then taped that old wood to the wall. Isn't it lovely? Here is a closer look:
You can see where the screws were originally drilled into the wall before this hideous bar fell off the wall.  
Here is the other end of the towel rack. That one part stayed in the wall just fine, but FIL wanted to make it match I guess, so he taped it too. I think he has a thing for package tape. Just check out some of his other projects here.

Next up, some gifts from the jolly old troll, MIL!

No joke, this is what my living room looked like when I got home today:
I want you to know that this is not how it looked when I left for work. Maybe she felt it just wasn't festive enough, what with the books actually being on shelves and all and garbage being in the garbage can.
Maybe she felt the chairs looked so much better assembled in this fashion. Books on the floor are the new throw rug, y'all! And dig on the plastic bag on my husband's desk (which I hate that he moved to this location but that's another story), within perfect reach for Raelynn! Wow, she remembered a toy for Raelynn too with a new plastic bag. MIL truly thinks of everything, doesn't she?
More of the mess, which just includes a better look at the table. There are used tissues on there as well as the table top for the high chair, which was dirty. Also, my coffee cup from breakfast is STILL there. Because a sip of cold coffee that has been sitting out all day long is exactly what I want when I come home from work! How did she ever know?!?

I know she went to great lengths to make this detailed of a mess for us, but it just isn't our style. It took me about 10 minutes to pick all this stuff up. I wonder how long it took for her to enact her lazy, room-wide abstract art project. Anyway, here is our living room/dining area just 10 minutes later, once I restored order:
Ah yes. MUCH better! Even Raelynn is impressed with the quickie clean up.

Don't feel too badly that I destroyed MIL's thoughtful gift of redecorating, because she is such a giver. She also gave us the gift of nearly breaking the satellite (not pictured) and tried to pass the blame to Raelynn. Someone unscrewed the cable from the box. I know Raelynn is sneaky and all, believe me, but even she couldn't have been that skilled. If she had, it makes me wonder if anyone is actually watching her, or if they just let her run amok and destroy anything in her path.

So, what's better than almost crippling our connection to quality programming?

But it's not the green onions themselves that are special. It is WHERE MIL stored them for us. We shouldn't be surprised, given her history of not putting food items into the refrigerator. They weren't in the cabinets either, which, at this time of year, I wouldn't complain because it is freezing in our kitchen (it's the only room without a radiator). Much thanks to my keen-eyed husband who was kindly making dinner so I could have a break, both for the cooking and for pointing this out:
Hello, green onions, hanging out on the window box outside the kitchen! Still covered in dirt which probably doesn't matter since you're enjoying all the not-so-fresh air fumes of China. Mmmm...pollution-flavored vegetables! 
Here is another shot of the green onions, along with our poor dead plant. You can also see the craptacular courtyard below. Please take note that there is no snow there STILL.

With 13 days left before Christmas, I'm left to wonder what other surprises the in-laws have in store for us. More ugly clothes for the baby? Dear God, please just let her uproot my living room and call it a day instead!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Too Cold For School

I found this image on Google's Picasa Web album when I did a search for "it's too cold." This sums it up fairly well. I didn't want to use a photo of the students mentioned below to keep them anonymous.

One day last week, before the children had arrived at school, I heard my Korean teacher, Christina, on the phone with one of the moms. Iris's mom. I listened intently, trying to piece together what she was saying with my elementary Korean skills. All I could determine was that she was calling in. AGAIN.

Of all my students, Iris has been absent the most. BY FAR. Her mom always has the most asinine excuses for not bringing her too. I should add that her mother drives her to school. I'm not quite sure what part of the city they live in, but you'd think if it was too much for you to bring your child to school, you'd make arrangements for the bus to pick her up.

Iris is a really cute little girl but she's kind of bratty. I say this with absolute love. The kid can be bribed with lollipops and she's smart. She does a good job, when she feels like it that is. How can I blame her when her mother teaches her to have this kind of attitude toward school?

Her mom has called in for Iris with the following excuses:
1) Sick.
Iris has been sick quite a few times. I can't fault her for this one. Children are full of germs. Ack! Ick! Oog! If she's sick, she should totally stay as far away from me as possible.

2) The mom (and not Iris) is sick.
She's called in for this reason at least 5 times that I can recall. I'm sorry, but with a little pistol like Iris running around, wouldn't you feel better if you could just rest while she went off to school? She's 6 years old. I have no idea how having your demanding daughter whining at you all day would make you feel better, but whatever.

3) Waiting for a repairman.
She only used this one once. Again, you could really benefit from putting your child on the bus! It just goes to show parents will make the lamest excuses for their kids.

And finally, my absolute favorite excuse. EVER. Drumroll please!
4) It's too cold out.
Did you read that? Yes. THIS is the reason why she didn't send Iris to school one day last week. While I will agree that yes, it was cold. It was insanely fucking cold. But there was no snow. And this week is even colder. She has her own car. It's not like she has to stand outside and wait for public transportation to roll on by whenever it feels like it. Our classrooms are heated, though our hallways are ideal for storing butchered meats.

It makes me sad for Iris. I know kindergarteners don't have to take tests and the biggest worry they should have is what color crayons to use for the pictures they color. But when parents have this kind of attitude toward school, it sets the tone for the future. Meaning Iris won't really care about school which is a huge shame because she's a bright girl. Her mom is teaching her that she can shirk her responsibilities for the flimsiest of reasons.

Up until a few weeks ago, we had an adorable Chinese boy named Jacky in our class. His mom added him in the middle of the semester and then, after one of our notorious troublemakers pushed him down in the hall (not on my watch, thankfully) she pulled him out again. I can understand her concern about that situation, but when he was attending our school, the mom would bring Jacky late. EVERY day. Not a few minutes either. We're talking 30 minutes. 40 minutes. 45 minutes. An hour and a half. I had told her kindergarten classes start at 9am and she needs to have him at school by 8:50am. Her English skills are not good so Christina repeated that sentiment in Korean. And in Chinese. Even our director, Lesley, told Jacky's mother to please bring him on time. Her excuse? You'll love this...
"I'm busy."

Seriously?!? What is more important than your child's education?!? If you're so fucking busy doing your damn nails or your hair, why not put him on the school bus for fuck's sake?!? Busy my ass. Lazy is more like it. Jacky's mom and Iris's mom should totally hang out, go shopping and buy overpriced lattes. They can put their heads together and come up with even more ridiculous excuses for bringing their children to school late, or for not bringing them altogether.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Throw The Book At 'Em!

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you are probably well aware of the fact that my in-laws are colossal morons. Neither my MIL or FIL seems to possess even a shred of common sense. It truly is a miraculous thing that my husband lived to be an adult while being in their care.

I have been trying to be nice to them as best I can. Hey, you would find it hard too if you repeatedly (and politely, I might add) asked somebody to please do (or even not do) something only to come home and discover that your wishes were not respected in your own home. And to add insult to injury, when you come home, your house is a complete mess. I'm not talking a few things out of place. I'm talking torn up papers on the floor, crumpled up tissues everywhere (some of them shredded into teeny tiny bits), my near-empty cup of coffee STILL on the dining table (now with tangerines dropped into it, because hey, why bother to tell the baby not to do that or not prevent her from doing it!!!), dirty counters and tabletops, food sitting out for hours in the kitchen, dishes put back with visible filth on them...I could go on and on. And on. And on. AND ON.

In other posts, I have mentioned how my in-laws leave out Raelynn's books, though I'm not sure which posts and I'm too tired to go sifting through them now. I have asked both MIL and FIL to please not touch Raelynn's good English storybooks. There is no reason for them to take them down off the shelves for her. Raelynn likes ripping things. She doesn't understand that we shouldn't rip books. Her Beauty and the Beast: Friends Are Sweet book earned the first scar a while back when I accidentally left it within her reach and then took a phone call. Luckily, I was able to tape the page she tore back together. It was from then on I pleaded with my husband and his parents to never let Raelynn alone with one of her good books.

But yet, I would come home from work and find the good storybooks strewn on the floor, easily accessible to Little Miss Destroys Everything. And yet again, I would tell them not to touch those books. I confronted MIL one time recently and as politely as possible told her not to touch those books. She can't read English! Why in the world is she taking these books down to show my daughter?!? I read them to her when I come home. I show her the pictures and then, when I am done, I put it safely out of her reach so I can read it to her again and again.

Despite my kind pleas to cease and desist, these 2 blundering buttholes did it yet again. This time though, they didn't leave the books all over our living room floor. Oh no. They put them on the most attractive nuisance of furniture in our home...Jeremy's desk.

Jeremy had decided that he wanted to move his desk out into the living room. I found his logic a bit moronic, as he stated Raelynn would come bother him too much in our room. But she bothers him and his things even more so now than before because he is so readily available. She takes EVERYTHING she can grab from his desk. Honestly, I am waiting to fart out a big "I fucking told you so!" when she breaks something important of his.

Well, MIL and FIL put Beauty and the Beast: Friends Are Sweet and Toddler's First Pop-Ups: Opposites on top of Jeremy's desk. They couldn't be bothered to put them back where they belong, could they? Oh no, because they're old! Gah! So just after they leave yesterday, I am putting our laundry in the washer when I hear the tell-tale sound of paper being torn. I run out into the living room and discover Raelynn sitting in the middle of the room, tearing up the last page of the pop-up book. Thankfully, the Disney book survived without any further damage. When I'd confiscated the pop-up book, I scanned the room and had found the other one laying on my husband's desk.

This page was the one I saw her ripping:

Sure, I can tape the doghouse and dog's head back on but it won't pop-up anymore. Look, I know there are worse things in life. For those of you that aren't married, just you wait until you do get married and your spouse has the most idiotic people in the universe for parents. And then when you have kids and they endanger your precious angel with the stupid things they do or they neglect to follow what you have asked them to do in your absence, then you come tell me I'm being bitchy, ok?

This book was a gift from Phillip and Kimmy. I really appreciate all the gifts we get from them but books, even more so. The reason is that here, original copies of children's books in English like the one you see here cost A LOT of money (anywhere from 50 to 150 yuan each, which in US dollars is cheap but you have to remember we don't get paid in US dollars). You can get some paperback covered books that are in English and Chinese but the English is very clinical and boring and not at all how the original stories were told, like in our Hansel and Gretel or Puss in Boots books we have. Here is an excerpt from Puss in Boots: "There is a miller. He has got three sons. One day the miller dies." Yeah. In these kind of books, they love to make use of "has got" and also constantly use the word "clever" to describe people. It's lame.

Anyway, for shits and giggles, I decided to check the whole book to see if Raelynn had damaged anything else, and lo and behold:
She must have destroyed this page a different time because the moon is completely missing. It was nowhere to be found, which really pisses me off. Her stupid grandparents just let her tear up a very nice book and didn't even try to fix it or at least tell us about it. This is perhaps the most ridiculous thing about this culture - that younger people (coughcoughJeremycough) won't confront even in the most polite way possible an older person when they have done something to upset you and that older people don't apologize for things they do wrong. On my end, I won't let Raelynn grow up like that. If she's got beef with someone, I will teach her how to constructively and courteously speak her mind to that person. And if she is wrong, I will teach her how to admit it without shame and how to learn from the mistakes she makes. Jeremy might be content to bury his head in the sand but I am not.
Here is a closer shot behind the cloud. You can see the moon was torn off and, judging from the fact that I have been unable to locate it in our home, it is safe to assume one of two things: 1) Raelynn ate it (less likely) or 2) MIL or FIL threw it in the garbage, which is most likely though incredibly ironic as they leave all kinds of garbage all over the table and the floor when they are here. Grrrr!

Next, I found this nearly-decapitated flamingo. His head is still there but doesn't pop-up with the rest of him.

Jeremy was mad about what happened to this book too but when he told me to calm down, it just made me feel stabby. I am even more pissed since he kind of insisted I give those vomitous miniature old lady shoes back to the old hag. I didn't think that was very fair. He said she was upset. Oh boofuckinghoo she's upset. I'm upset about all the crap she's fucked up in our home and hasn't even bothered to say she's sorry about. The thing is, I wouldn't be so pissed off and wound up if she simply offered an apology. Now this old goat gets to trot our daughter around in those disgusting boots AND destroy our things. I should throw the book at her and my FIL too for that matter and never allow them here again though I think I'd have more success actually lobbing a book at them, preferably a volume of Encyclopedia Britannica.