Monday, December 6, 2010

Hope the honeymoon isn’t over!

Maybe I’m too used to taking care of our girl all alone of the trip, but this past week alone has seen a few brushes/disagreements with my MIL, sigh…

I overheard Nainai using the word狗屁on Friday, when Rosabelle said she wanted to eat a pear before lunch, Nainai went ‘吃什么梨?吃狗屁吧!' – now, I heard her saying狗屁on a previous occasion as well, but wasn’t sure I heard that right as it’s not a very nice word to use, and my MIL seldom says such offensive things, but when I heard it on Friday, used in such a context, I quickly told her not to say such things in front of Rosabelle as she will pick that up (imagine us telling her to eat her dinner, and she will reply ‘吃狗屁吧!'). Immediately after, Rosabelle really imitated and went ‘狗屁' – I almost fainted. I had to tell her that Nainai said something wrong and will not say it again, and to not learn/repeat that ever again. Think Nainai found nothing wrong and maybe was quite offended, and she remarked ‘别学奶奶,跟你妈妈学好东西吧...' – I wanted to retort that all of us have to set a good example, not just me, but I left it at that – maybe she does not realize, but I did my job by telling her yesterday, so if she repeats that again, then I will have reason to be angry. However, it really is quite disturbing the pace at which kids pick up things – both good and bad, so all adults around them really have to be on their best behavior man!

Yesterday, as Nainai was carrying her out of the bathroom after a pee, Nainai remarked ‘都没尿,尿狗屁呢!', perhaps inadvertently… gosh! I really had to tell her to please not use that again as Rosabelle will pick that up, and true enough, Rosabelle started saying, until I had to point it out bluntly that it is very impolite to use on both adults and kids, and no adult nor kid should say it. I really, really hope that she will watch such slips of the tongue… sigh…

And then, Nainai and I had another slight disagreement – see, Rosabelle has had a cold sore (I think) on her left cheek since late Oct, and I applied some clotrimizole a few days later for about 3 days, leaving a scaly patch. Now, that seemed quite ok, until it refused to go away, so we tried putting Vitamin E and Aloe Vera (not together), for a few days, and it looked like something that should fade over time. However, and I am hoping it’s because of the cold/dry Beijing winter (that’s causing her a mild cough together with a runny nose now, she even had a coughing fit Saturday night for about 15 minutes, and surprise, surprise, I spent about 20 minutes looking for Euky bear rub to apply for her – I was very sure I had an opened tube lying somewhere, sigh… thankfully by the time I found it, she was sleeping well, so maybe it was just a wrong sleeping position and the dry weather, and I also gave her quite abit of water to drink to ease the dryness) that the spot suddenly turned a fierce red Friday, so I asked Nainai to apply some Aloe Vera. Nainai thinks it’s some medication, and thinks applying it would cause it to flare up more, like how we applied medicine the first time round on nothing much (I had to remind her that it was red, and that was WHY I had to apply Aloe Vera, which has a calming effect for cold sores and rashes)… sigh… let’s see. She thinks I should bring bring her to the doc’s for a look, but I have emailed my brother-in-law with pictures (see below) and see what his friend the derma thinks…
Still on the subject of things clinical, Nainai suggested we not bathe Rosabelle every day, and since our girl seems to have rather dry skin, especially on the back (which she complains of, so we’ve started applying J&J baby oil even), I also agreed, saying we can bathe her every alternate day (as it is, she washes her hair about every 3 days now). Nainai then went on to suggest that Beijing is different from tropical Singapore, and is very dry in winter, and we could even bathe her once every week (horrors!) and suggested I ask a doctor for opinion next time. I quickly indicated that the doctor can only give a suggestion, but it is really up to each family’s hygienic regime to make their own call. With our girl breaking out in sweat at times whilst playing/sleeping, and going out almost every day (unlike Nainai who stays at home mostly), I told Nainai that I don’t wish to cope with other skin problems resulting from not cleaning her well. Thank goodness the discussion ended at that… (I think our girl might disagree too, given that she’s quite a clean freak – the other day, I bit off the side of a banana that had some black parts on it, and she took a look at my other banana in the hand and claimed, ‘玥玥要另外一个banana, 这个脏了...' – faint…)

The last straw probably came about yesterday when I saw Nainai removing lint from Rosabelle’s thin pants with the sponge I use to wash Rosabelle’s hair with, so I casually remarked that the lint might be quite hard to wash off and get into our girl’s hair. (The pair of thin pants were worn as an extra layer inside a pair of thick fleece pants.) Maybe she felt she was already trying to find a way to remove the lint, so she got quite irritated and said that it can be washed off easily. I then saw the sponge break into half, as it is very hard when dry… oh dear me…thankfully I have a spare sponge. She then went on to turn the thick fleece pants inside out and also started scraping at the fleece, saying she wanted to remove the lint. Erm… but isn’t the fleece supposed to be there to keep her warm? If you scrape at/remove the fleece, it defeats the purpose, right? So that’s what I asked Nainai, and she said that she is only removing the top surface, and not the whole thing… then went on to say that she won’t do it if I don’t wish her to, so that she does not have to 多此一举… I wasn’t very happy when I heard that – I did not ask for her to remove any lint in any way, much less using a sponge that we bathe Rosabelle with, and spoil it. So I just said ‘那就别弄了', and she quickly packed up.

That exchange resulted in half a day of cold war (Wayne bought pears from the supermarket and asked her to cook for Rosabelle’s slight cough, and she wanted Wayne to tell me directly), sheesh… After Rosabelle’s lunch, I wanted to cut our girl’s fringe since it seems to be bothering her quite a bit, so I remarked that I will let Rosabelle sit on a chair herself instead of letting Nainai carry her, or the hair will get all over Nainai as well. Nainai retorted with a, ‘随便,看你吧,一切就随你喜欢怎么做' – I thought that was totally uncalled for but did not want to dampen our girl’s enthusiasm for a haircut, since she was very excited about it, seeing me bring out the scissors (got my mum to buy a pair from Singapore and pass them to me in Guilin) earlier, so I got her ready myself in the toilet and closed the door. I had half a mind to do this first haircut myself when Nainai asked if I needed her help, so at least she was still amiable about making sure her grand daughter was well taken care of. When Rosabelle got seated on the stool, wearing nothing but a singlet and panty, covered by her eating bib (it’s quit warm in the toilet with heating), Nainai then came in and stood behind her, holding onto her arms so she would not move.

I gave Rosabelle a big cosmetic brush to play with (I see this a lot in salons, where the assistants use a huge soft brush to dust away hair – I made the mistake of using wet wipes the first time we cut her hair – bad mistake! It made the hair stick on her face even more…), and set about snipping away at the fringe… it was all over in a few minutes as our girl was surprisingly cooperative, and I had quite a neat cut…. Nice! It wasn’t too messy at all as I sat her in the shower cubicle, and I only needed to shake away the hairs on her bib and on the stool. Now at least she won’t rub her eyes when the fringe used to poke into her face! Thankfully in spite of our animosity, Nainai and I made a good team when it came to Rosabelle’s hair cut, my first ever from Hairdresser Mummy Wendy!
At least things slowly eased up the today when Nainai asked in the morning if I wanted her to cook pear soup for Rosabelle’s cough… sigh! I sure hope that such unnecessary tension does not come about again, and me, I just have to be more mindful that Nainai is still my elder, Wayne’s mummy, and Rosabelle’s grandma!

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