Archive for » May, 2013 «

“Tasterbach! You got Chinese Honor Roll!! I am SO proud of you!” I run over to my baby, rain down hugs and kisses on my 9-year-old, unable to contain my happiness.

The baby was unmoved, just stood still under all my motherly affection, stared at me with an inquisitive frown.

“I just found your Honor Roll certificate from Chinese school! It was in your school bag.” me, pointing at the certificate I just dumped out onto the floor.

Chinese school Honor Roll certificate

“I am so happy that you got on the honor roll in your Chinese school. I can’t believe it!!” me, all smiling and overjoyed.

Baby was curiously stone faced.

“Why didn’t you tell me? I might give you a big present for this.” me, so happy.

“She gave a certificate to everyone in the class.” baby flatly stated.


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In Chinese culture, one cannot yell at the elderly. But I am an equal opportunity yeller when prompted. Yesterday, I gave my dad a good yelling.

My parents are in their mid-to-late seventies, and they live 7 hours away by car. I call on my parents at least once a week to check up on them. I don’t like surprises from them.

Our phone conversation had started with our usual high spirit and good humor. I always end the conversation by asking about their health in general, if they are sleeping, eating, and pooping well (Yes, constipation can be a real jerk to the elderly, why do you think they have those nasty prune juice on the shelves.)

“Everything is good this week with us.” my dad reported.

“Oh, good! No problem this week then.” me.

“Actually, I have one problem.” dad.

“What is YOUR problem?” me, most of the problems usually came from my mother.

“I am walking with a serious limp these days. And my foot is quite swollen.” dad stated dryly.

“WHAT?!” I thundered sharply over the phone, leaped out of the couch.

“You need to go back to the doctor! When are you going back to the doctor??!” me.

“I don’t ever want to see that doctor again! He messed up my foot. I already didn’t go to our last appointment.” dad.

“ARE YOU FIVE?!!” me, fuming, furious with him, “You have to go back and see him! Right away.”

“He is a bad doctor.” dad.

“No.” me, “YOU are a bad patient.”

“No, no, no,…he is a bad doctor. He gave me bad surgery. And now I walk with a limp, and my foot is swollen.” dad.

My dad had a very minor 15 minute long outpatient surgery on his foot a couple of months ago. It was supposed to take a week to two weeks to recover, at the most.

“Heavens! You had this small surgery 2 months ago. I don’t know if he is a good or bad doctor, but I told you to listen to the doctor and follow his instructions 100%. You didn’t listen.” me, no volume control there.

“I did listen to him.” dad, sound very defensive. Maybe a tad of hurt, that I wasn’t taking his side.

“I told you. I told you. More than once, a lot more than once. You must follow his instructions when you get home. If you don’t, bad thing might happen to your foot. And when bad thing happens, I will not have any sympathy for you.” I explained myself to him very sternly.

“I did follow his instructions.” dad.

“NO YOU DIDN’T!” me, yelling at the phone, “ You cut the bandages off your foot yourself!! You were supposed to wait for the doctor to remove the bandage at your follow-up visit.”

Yes, he removed the bandage off of his foot just days after the surgery himself, because the bandage was a great inconvenience to him.

Silence on the other end of the phone.

“Remember! You even called me that you didn’t like to have the bandage on your foot, and wanted to just cut it all off. I said No, No, No, No, No then.” me.

“Hee, hee, he…” he seemed to remember, and tried to laugh it off.

“You better call this doctor, and have him see your foot as soon as possible. It is swollen. Probably infected or something.” I instructed him.

“Alright, maybe I will go see him next week.” he conceded.

“MAYBE? Quit acting like a child! If you don’t see a doctor soon, your foot will grow even bigger. If you wait too long, maybe they will cut off some toes or half of your foot!” me.

“Okay. Okay, I will go see him.” dad.

“And be nice to him, don’t complain that he gave you bad surgery. You need his help, to see why it is still swollen.” me.

“You call him tomorrow. And go in to see him as soon as possible.” me, very bossy tone.

“Okay. I will.” me.

I am generously giving him an extra day. I will call him tomorrow. If he hasn’t called his doctor to make an appointment. I will have to yell at him some more.

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I had a fabulous Mother’s day celebration last Sunday. But it was a home-made card that my 9-year-old gave me that really made my day. I love, love, love, this Mother’s Day card.

As my children are getting older, I knew that the days of those adorable hand-made cards are severely numbered if not already gone. By now, they already figured out that for a few bucks, they can just buy an adorable card that Hallmark made. I was only too happy to be wrong, not only did I receive a hand-made card, it is also much more thoughtful and grandeur.

Page 1:

When I come home, you are always preparing a good meal for me

Page 2:

You are a very funny person

Page 3:

You are always giving me good advice

Page 4:

You always take me to special places

Page 5:

You always help correct my homework

Page 6:

You are always giving me the encouragement I need.

Page 7:

You are the best mom!!!

Alright, gotta run. I have a 9-year-old to spoil….

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Category: Kids, Parents  One Comment

Let yourselves be warned, that a totally unexpected huge problem will follow.

Had you read my previous entry about Middle School Fashion Police, you would known that my 12-year-old is suffering from fashion unacceptance at the hands of a few miserable mean girls at school.

Truth be told, I did not know how to deal with this problem. The idea of contacting the school administrators to correct these girls’ subtle bullying behavior seemed over the top, and would most definitely ensure that my 12-year-old would never share any school dramas with me ever again.

After much consideration, I decided to apply the rarely used strategy of: If you can’t beat them, join them.

Last Sunday, I took the kids to the mall, and told my 12-year-old to pick out whatever clothes she wanted.

I thought this was brilliant. Oh yeah, she will feel really secure now, and will know that when she comes to me with a problem, she can count on me to plot a plan for all of us to suffer together.

We walked into a store called Justice at the the mall. My 12-year-old picked out a number of clothing articles there, and handed them to me one by one. Clothing articles that I would never put my hands on otherwise, and caused me to wince when I knew she wasn’t looking.

We walked out of Justice with a full large bag. Then I cured my annoyance by stopping by Gymboree to buy clothes for my 9-year-old. My baby is still happy for me to shop for her.

Just look at this adorable and sophisticated outfit my 9-year-old will be adorned in from Gymboree!

And look at this alien outfit that my 12-year-old got…

On the drive home, I was feeling proud of myself. I really did allow my 12-year-old to make her own choices, and did not once use my veto power at the mall.

I was certain that my child is feeling empowered, grown up, independent, happy, secure…

“Mom.” 12-year-old interrupted my glowing thoughts.

“What?” me.

“I want Tasterbach out of my room now.” 12-year-old.

“WHAT?! Why?” me and my 9-year-old together.

My two kids got along great, and are often inseparable. They demanded to be moved into one bedroom a few years ago, and shared a room very splendidly over the years.

“I want my own room now.” 12-year-old answered matter-of-factly.

Empowered, grown up, secure…flashing loudly in my head.

“Tasterbach. You will have to move back into your own room. She wants her privacy now.” me.

9-year-old began pouting and crossing of the arms to display her displeasure.

“I want a real desk in my room.” 12-year-old.

I suppose a 12-year-old can legitimately outgrow her toddler table set.

“That’s fine. We will get you a study desk for your room.” me, still empowering…

“Oh, I also want a TV in my room, and a soda machine.” 12-year-old.

Me blinking: this “empowering” business is going TOO FAR.

I commanded in my very loud voice, “There will be no soda machine in your room! And most definitely no TV in your bedroom!! ”

“Why most definitely no TV?” 12-year-old.

“BECAUSE!” I turned to give my 12-year-old the eye to eye, “If we put a TV in your room, we might never see you again. I like to see you from time to time.”

As soon as we arrived home, the newly empowered one lead my husband and I upstairs to assess how best to move my baby out of her room quickly.

Over the years, my baby’s bedroom had turned into a library/reading room and toy room. What made things worse is that the room had been assaulted by numerous science projects during the science fair season. There is currently a long florescent light structure hanging inside the closet.

There is going to be a day of declutter and clean up before we can move the baby’s bed back.

In the mean time, the baby was a pitiful mess laying on the sofa downstairs, depressed about being kicked out of her sister’s room all of sudden.

“Hey, I got an idea!” hubby blurted out excitedly.

“We can paint Tasterbach’s room.” hubby, “Then she will get excited and will want to move back to her old room.”

CRAB!!! Of course, the baby will want to paint her room.

I knew the idea would work , but I hated it anyway. This meant I will have to engage the three of them on round two of the battle of the paint colors.

I am not afraid of colors. But it has been established that the kids’ idea of wall paint colors is absolutely horrid.

On our last round of paint color war, we comprised on painting just one of their two bedrooms, and we settled on painting the room with a bright yellow sun, a light shade of blue, and wavy shades of green.

I also agreed to let them abuse one of the four walls with this honeycomb fantasy thing.

Both sides proclaimed this paint job a win.

Now I have outdone myself empowering the 12-year-old, got a new desk to buy, a new room to paint, and a huge paint color battle ahead.

I will be ruthless. I will not empower the 9-year-old.

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Category: Humor, Kids, Parents  2 Comments