Saturday, May 28, 2005

Yes, yes, I've been out of touch. You hardly recognize me. Suffice to say that during my silence there have been more childcare dramas, but that for now things seem ok. The first drama was that another family was trying to hire The Nanny for every afternoon of the week, and we were trying to figure out if we should just drop her, or attempt to do sharecare with this family across town, or what. But they ended up not hiring her, so now we're safe until the next potential job comes up for The Nanny. And now I'm realizing the big pitfall of working part time: Part time childcare is really hard to arrange. I even found about a potentially cool (though expensive) Montessouri preschool/daycare with a Mandarin immersion program, that takes kids starting at 18 months. But of course, they only take kids 5 days a week. And to pay for that, I'd wanna be working full time, that's for sheezy. Which I don't want to be.

But on to the real challenge for us these days: Culture clash with The Nanny. She has decided that Nutmeg is too skinny, and that it is her job to make up for our failure to adequately nourish her. Which means she keeps buying stuff that we don't want Nutmeg to eat and bringing it to our house, and ignoring the food we do want her to eat that is so inviting arranged on Nutmeg's own shelf of the fridge. And then of course, we have to reimburse her for the food we didn't want her to buy. Erik showed her Trader Joe's near our house, in case she has to buy whole milk for the kids when we're out of it, and when she came back she complained to me, "They don't have baby food there."
"She doesn't need to eat baby food anymore," I told her for the 1,000th time. "She's big."
"But she likes to eat the sweet potatoes. She needs to eat more."

Uh-huh. This is after Erik explained that our doctor said her weight is healthy and that it's normal for breastfed babies to be a little lighter than others at this age.

But then I was chatting with a copy editor at work about the situation, and the woman told me that she is married to a Chinese/Korean-American. So she is blessed with a Chinese mother in law and sister in law. And they're always trying to stuff more food into her kids too, and of course not the food she approves of.

"I think you're just going to have to accept the culture if you want her to learn the language," she told me. "Maybe it will help her understand the culture more anyway."

That's a thought. If we want Nutmeg to learn the Chinese language but we don't want her caregivers to act Chinese, she'll be as clueless as we are to truly communicate with the people she's trying to talk to.

But damnit, it's annoying for someone to not accept that you're the parent and your word goes. Well, who knows. Epu keeps applying for Chicago jobs, so maybe we won't be here much longer anyway. Then again, last time I thought he was applying for jobs it turns out he was in hour 5 of tinkering with his firewall. So maybe we will be here, for much longer.

On the upside, Nutmeg has added a third Chinese word to her vocabulary: "Chou." Which means, "stinky." She says it when she's getting her diaper changed. And yep, that's cute.

4 comments:

Kori said...

Ooohh....Chicago job hunting! Hurray!

Howard said...

I do agree that the food thing is embedded in Chinese culture. Truthfully, I think they like to feed the baby things they like, food is a form of love :O.

And I don't think it ends with childhood ;).

mike said...

Go Epu!

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY!
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