Sunday, January 24, 2010


We subscribe to the cheapest cable TV package in the Yummy Mummy household but, mercifully, all the BBC channels come as part of that bundle. I know it makes me an expats expat to crave that little piece of home but I swear the programs are just better than the US bunch that come churning out of the Fox-related networks we also get.

My latest BBC addiction is Supernanny. I know that I have come to the Supernanny fold quite late, but there is something incredibly compelling about watching some truly awful children, and their parents, start the show behaving so badly and ending it like little angels. I know I am a complete voyeur in this respect. There is something compelling about watching car crashes, whether rubber necking on the motorway or a family. However, I also view Supernanny as something of a horror movie (a genre I hate). What if Eve turns out like that? What if I do? What if people say that about my child?

I also don't quite believe it is that easy, for either parent or child. I mean why exactly does an otherwise unruly and out of control six year old sit on a naughty seat and not move? Is it all clever editing?

Last weekend Eve had her first tantrum. I naively thought she'd had them before, but like many things with children you don't realise you've had one until they really hit! I can't recall what prompted it, but we had full on screaming and crying and shouting. So, taking a leaf out of Supernanny's book, I popped Eve on the sofa and said she would have to stay there until she calmed down. She got off once, but I put her back on, and she stayed there. She tried everything to fight it. Volume, shouting for Daddy (I had to restrain him from going over and cuddling her), shouting for me. Screaming "sorry" at the top of her lungs but refusing to say it quietly. But she stayed on the sofa.

I sat in the kitchen, I am afraid to say, laughing quietly and mouthing at the Boy "why doesn't she just get off the sofa?!?!". It actually worked. But why on earth did an otherwise bright and intelligent child not realise there is nothing I could do to keep her on the sofa? I am not querying it, but I can't understand whatever psychology lies behind it.

I am now watching Supernanny with a newfound sense of respect.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Going potty

Crap. Eve is two now. I'd better start potty training properly now. It's just so damn cold that it wouldn't be fair for her to run around naked for very long while she wees down her legs - my sister's and nanny's chosen technique.

Chinese New Year is coming up. That is 4 whole days off. It will be warmer by then. That will be 4 whole days of cleaning up Eve's pee off the floor then.

Children at work

One of the reasons I am really rather enjoying the toddler stage, and if I confess honestly hated the whole baby stage, is that now I have a real little person with whom I can rationalise. Eve understands cause and effect and generally tantrums can be headed off before they start, or at least minimised, by a rational explanation of something and boundaries that make sense.

So, this evening, when we went to leave the playground Eve decided to stay. She sat on the floor and screamed. To which I simply said that she could stay, but she would be on her own because all her friends had gone home, would get cold and it wouldn't be as comfy as her big girl bed to sleep there. Within 5 seconds she was running into my arms to come home.

If only colleagues were so easy. I have spent the day listening to excuses about why things have not been done, a fair bit of whining (some from me, I will admit), and a complete lack of thinking through consequences. Much like London City Mum (whose blog I will link as soon as it is up running for general consumption again), I found myself today wanting to tell a colleague that they could do what they wanted to but if they did it then nobody would want to play with them again and they would have to stay on their own in the cold.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Birthdays and birthdays

I will confess this right now but I write this a little bit tipsy. It was Eve's 2nd birthday last week, is the Boys tomorrow and his parents are in town (a WHOLE different post), so rather than having what I had intended would be a quiet birthday at home I did something a bit special today.

I have always been a bit scathing of the highly competitive mothers in HK who wheel out parties that doyens of Hollywood would be envious of. This has seen us at parties with entertainers (a rather surly teenage princess who looked as if she would be happier in a crack den than with a bunch of toddlers) and ones where the helpers seem to run the show. Not for me I thought. I would bake the cake, we would have something small scale at home, children would not be given any of those stupid party favours that seem to be given out in plastic bags at the end of parties. Oh no, not for me.

Except, my in-laws are in town and I would be an even more evil daughter-in-law (for this is the fate of most daughter-in-laws) if I didn't at least make a bit of an effort.

I think I may have overdone it.

Private room at the rather lovely private island retreat at the yacht club. Free flowing food and champagne and wine for everyone. Balloons everywhere. Lots and lots of children. A vastly expensive cake with a sleeping teddy bear on it and icing saying "Happy 2nd birthday Eve", incidentally which lasted about 5 minutes before an unsupervised Eve stuck her finger in it, leaving something saying "Happy irthday ve". And, of course, every child got a cupcake with an animal face on it. In fact, most adults got one too.

The issue comes that I don't know what came over me. I bargain hunt as a pastime and was debating yesterday with the Boy over ten Hong Kong dollars for some balloons. How, then, did I end up having the type of bash that I routinely criticised in the past?

Answers on a postcard please. Needless to say the in-laws thought it was great, so did Eve and the Boy, I had a great time and already have a hangover even before I have been to sleep.