Monday, September 19, 2011

Life as a single parent

As I said before, Fabrice travels more frequent than I do.  Strangely though, I always can get more work done while he is not home.  Kids are usually fed well and tucked in bed on time, dishes are mostly washed and put back to shelves, toys are often put away, even floors are sometimes cleaned.  I usually even can sit in front of the computer either working or reading blogs for at least few hours a day after putting the kids to bed… I completely enjoy the times that I, myself, as a single parent with the two toddler kids.  See, I am now enjoying my alone time talking to myself here.

Last time when I noticed my better productivities when left alone with the kids, I told Fabrice, right after he was walking into the house to kiss each of us.  And then I closed my "exciting observations" by, “I wish you did not come back so soon!”  I know, I am just that smart, most of the times!!!

"You cheat!"  he knows me well and usually ignores my saying things without understanding the implications.

Fabrice meant that I always have Ling, my best friend and acting nanny, here in the house to play with the kids when he is out of town.  The truth is though, Ling spoils the kids to rotten, which means that I feel like having 2 kids and 1 grandma in the house whenever she is around!

Okay, back to the "single parenting" subject.  I cannot explain why it always seems easier when I am alone dealing with the little ones.  The kids seem to be smart enough to sense the dangers of being with a crouching tiger if they don't behave.  Maybe because Fabrice is the preferred one and the "go to" parent, whereas I am the one who often sets the "rules".  One day when he was enjoying his kids' salivary kisses, I complained about the obvious, “The kids love you more because you are the fun parent, whereas I am the one who cooks, feeds, and disciplines them.”  “Oh, yea, why don’t you try to  squeeze them less but play with them more.” he disagreed, as predicted.  He knew all the answers to solve problems, you see.  He would give me pointers whenever he sees me at loss for tricks to get them to kiss or hug me, "Follow their lead, play their games, not yours.  You will get the kisses and hugs at the end."  "You abuse them all the time with your rough beard hurting their little cheeks!"  I cannot see his point at all and continue to kiss them and hug them whenever I get a chance.  

Maybe that is exactly why I enjoy his out-of-town trips, because only then the kids are closer and listening to me.  They have behaved like angels in the last couple of days. 

Zhuzhu and Niuniu have enjoyed being picked up early on Friday visiting the Dr's office, a field day at the Chinese School on Saturday cerebrating mid-fall Festival (moon Festival/中秋节), Chinese restaurant following the Chinese school for lunch, and then swimming pool following the lunch - A very busy weekend, so far. 

Sure, Ling has been helping out by taking Niuniu to a park to feed the ducks after dropping off Zhuzhu to her Chinese school on Saturday morning.  But I could have done the same except I chose to spend my Saturday morning in my office.  I did feel a little guilty when I found out that I had missed Zhuzhu's first competitive game on Saturday though - I had not known that her Chinese School had this special event planned!  Zhuzhu had her first "rope pulling contest" at which her team won.  Ling only found out when she picked her up after her class.  Fortunately, she took Niuniu there thus the three of them had a good time.  She was so excited that she could not shut up when I greeted her at the Chinese restaurant.  "Mommy, Mommy, we won, we won!..."  Zhuzhu and Niuniu both were talking in the same time, waving some a colorful plastic inflatable toys, which confused me quite a bit.  I did not remember that they had those toys.  Finally, when I asked them to take turns to give me their detailed reports, I understood that Zhuzhu's red cheeks and hurting hands were the result of the rope pulling on their field day, at which her team won.  The yellow tiger was her first trophy, she finally had a chance to declare her first victory!  Niuniu did not want to be left out, "And I got a trophy too!"  He waved his blue elephant in front of my yes in circles.  Niuniu was being her good “cheer leader”, I was told.

Given what I had missed yesterday, I ditched the original plan this morning after getting up - I was going to get to work while Ling was watching the kids in the morning for me again.  Instead of working, I parked the car at the Dragon Park close to my office.  I decided to enjoy sometime with the kids.  We had so much funs, both of them were running circles to get up and down the slides or chasing each others' tails like crazy.  Then Ling surprised us with home-made Baozi and Mantou so we had our family picnic at the park!  Best of all, Ling took over the babysit duties in the afternoon so that I could at least catch up with the loss of my "working" hours.  But I napped instead!  Indeed cheated!

Ling brought the kids home at 4 pm.  Each of them was awarded with 1 pillow pet.  Then Ling said, "I think they will give you some hard time tonight!  Her reason was because they have not had their naps today, "They only slept on their car ride home, which would be about 20 minutes."  She reported in details as usual.

Then the kids waved goodbye to Ling happily and then played by themselves for the rest of the evening joyously.  I had also quite a peaceful house to cook dinner and then to watch them eating properly at the dinner table.  They both finished the food that I put in their plates without making any fuss.  My angelic kids even willingly helped the Mommy pick up their toys before bed.  A great day did not end there.  When I was putting the kids to the bathtub, I heard this little lovely voice, “Mommy, you are the best Mommy in the whole world and I love you!”.  This, my friend, was coming out of our Zhuzhu's mouth naturally and spontaneously.  Niuniu who never wants to be left out pirated his sister immediately.  I was them completely immersed in their showers of wet kisses and tight hugs!

A single parent can be rewarding sometimes!

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