Sunday, October 10, 2010

Friends, Food & Funnies

Earlier in the week has been a mish-mesh of catch-ups with different folks – we weren’t keen on mingling with throngs of crowds at tourist/scenic spots in Beijing, so decided the wiser option was to take the opportunity to meet up with friends.

On Sunday night, I already pre-empted our girl about Aunty Cassie, Aunty Zhu Li, and their two sons, so she was all looking forward on Monday morning when we went to Zhu Li’s new house – we last went their house, the old one, back in May last year, and have not seen her son Cheng Cheng since. This time round, our ex-colleague, Cassie, and her husband and son Rong Rong, were also there.

The three kids, though not that far a gap in ages (Rong Rong’s turning four early next year, whilst Cheng Cheng is older than Rosabelle by 8 months), each really did their own thing, not playing with each other much, so it was a rare shot of them in the same area!
It was a brief visit as we had a next stop – to Cassie’s new house, quite near to our place actually. Before we went upstairs, we walked around their area a bit – anywhere seems better than our yard area as there are places for kids and elderly to play/rest/exercise, and there’s a lot more greenery than roads. Our girl was busy chasing after Rong Rong Ge Ge (Zhu Li left her son at home with her husband) to show her the playground.
When we reached the swings, she wasn’t very keen on sitting on it herself, so Daddy gave her a ride, as she was highly amused by Rong Rong who went ‘awrrrr’ like a dinosaur every time he came downwards.
Zhu Li thinks Rong Rong is more hyper and mischievous than her son, though she hopes that her own son can be slightly disobedient as he is too goody-two-shoes and risks getting bullied. Haha… but Rong Rong does seem to have an abundance of energy – maybe all boys do – stomping his feet at lift walls, throwing his toys, and even throwing food at Zhu Li, heh!
We then went up to Cassie’s place for a quick look (and a quick watermelon snack) before heading out for lunch at 林家小馆. Wayne forgot to ask them to 少油少盐免味精, so the foods came out quite salty, but our girl ate quite abit of the noodles with broccoli, mushroom, fish and meatballs. Thankfully she cooperated and sat in the high chair, even eating half a kiwi up before wanting to get down to chase Rong Rong around the restaurant. There was once when she was running and Rong Rong came up too close to her from behind, causing her to fall down, but she did not cry. At least she knows that they are just playing around and did not hold it against him.

Cassie and her husband related the incident of Rong Rong scratching an older/bigger boy’s face badly on the first day of kindergarten, and after they punished him severely at home, he did not even dare relent when a younger boy bit him in the back once. So they have learnt to take it easy and let him push the boundaries without being too hard on him for small matters. I have taken that advice into consideration as well – Rosabelle needs to learn how to be hardy, but not to the point of being a bully – just enough to fend for herself when the time calls for it. If I keep telling her to never beat/push, she won’t dare to relent when some other kid is bullying her in future.

We then headed home for the day after the late lunch.

The next day, on Tuesday, our girl was happy to help in carrying a carrier bag of a toy and some snacks for our next home visit – to Feifei’s new home after they shifted away in July. The last I saw his mum and newborn brother was in August, so I was equally excited on the 40-minute drive to their home in Daxing.

When we reached, we first saw his mum at the apartment entrance, and drove her in to get a parking lot, before going on our way to look for Feifei, who was playing with his father. It wasn’t a hug-and-kiss reunion, so unlike our girl, but I think she was very distracted by his toy car, and the fact that there were kiddy rides outside the convenient stores just around us. So we let them take a ride as the sun got strangely warmer and warmer, almost like summer!
It was a really beautiful estate (just like a park) with fountains, loads of greenery, a playground, and a huge well-maintained lake with loads of fishes as the kids fed the fishes some bread. However, at their age, they just tossed the whole ball of bread in instead of plucking bits off, and I think the poor fish risked getting a concussion…
After that, we made our way to their new home, a rented apartment that is just blocks away from Feifei’s grandmother’s house. Rosabelle was insistent on sitting on Feifei’s toy car, and did not mind that he hitched a ride behind – both fathers had to take turns pulling them along, haha!
It was a lovely home – more so that they did up a welcome sign for us – so sweet!
We brought a never-played-before toy for the younger brother, and some dried beef and yoghurt raisins for Feifei, and throughout the journey, I could see that Rosabelle was keen on the foods, but kept repeating that it belonged to Feifei Gege… So she was happy as a lark when Feifei’s mum opened up the raisins as she treated herself to some.
We did not play around too much in the house, though Rosabelle did invent a choo-choo train by placing two chairs together – that’s the juvenile run-aways making their journey on the train…
We also saw the younger brother Wan He, who has since grown – the brothers do look very alike. He’s taken care of by an Ayi, whom the mother wants to get rid of at the end of the month, as she is rather defensive, and does not like to be told what to do. Once, she was even using her hands to mix the salad (instead of using chopsticks or a salad fork), and at RMB3,000 a month, she really isn’t that experienced. Sigh! It sure is a headache to get a good Ayi…
We then left the kid brother with the hand-tossing-salad Ayi, and made our way to a restaurant for lunch. We had originally wanted to eat duck, but the restaurant was booked solid for a wedding lunch, so we went to a seafood restaurant instead. Here, a wedding lunch had just ended, so we could go in, but the whole place reeked of cigarette smoke – yucks… Feifei was happy to occupy himself whilst waiting for the food (whilst our girl, as usual, led Wayne in climbing the steps to the second level).
Both kids had a good lunch in spite of the extremely hard/dry rice, and Feifei’s mum told me he hates vegetables, spitting them out all the time. I’m glad at least our girl eats her greens! She kept giving false alarms of wanting to poo throughout lunch, and Wayne even brought her to the toilet once. Finally, as we were getting ready to leave, she really did poo, in her diaper, and I quickly brought her to the toilet to finish up the business – luckily we were a few steps late in leaving, or she would have pooed in the car, albeit in her diaper.

As we sent them home, Rosabelle kept pulling Feifei’s cap off to play Peekaboo with him, so the cap is unfortunately still with us as she placed it on the hind seat – I only realized when his mum messaged me later to help her keep the cap till our next meeting, haha! That’s her, happy with my shades on on the drive back…
On Wednesday, we went out for dinner, supposedly an early one scheduled for 5:30pm with my ex-colleagues. However, our girl slept all the way till 7pm, and by the time we reached the restaurant, it was 8pm, oh dear… The whole purpose of the meet-up was mainly to see Tan Ying’s newborn (not so newborn anymore) – the now 2.5-month-old Zhao Zhuo Feng, and we did not bring any presents, just a bib I got for him in Singapore, a toy and some flashcards. I managed to catch him smiling – so cute!
Rosabelle was quite hungry, but her food had not arrived as I’d ordered new dishes when we came, so I let her at some fried noodles and beancurd first – think she liked it. It took her awhile to warm up to the folks, and she wasn’t her usual talkative self, but she did manage some gentle pats of the baby…
We finished up dinner and headed home after since the baby had to go already, but it was good to finally see him and some of my ex-colleagues.

And there you have it - my October holidays 2010…

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