Monday, January 17, 2011

On a 14-hour HIGH…

On Saturday, our girl amazingly woke up close to 10:30am in the morning, so by the time we were done with breakfast and dressed to go out, it was already way past 11am, and it was a jam going to Joy City.

It’s one of my favourite places since you get shopping and eating in a big, nice mall, and my main purpose was to visit the first GAP store in Beijing there. Lady luck was smiling at me as I gasped upon seeing the store – up to 50% off, ding ding ding!

Wayne and I alternated taking care of Rosabelle as we went about looking at ladies’ stuff, kids’ stuff, and mens’ stuff, in that order. In between, Wayne brought her for a loo break, where she insisted on holding onto a little cloth purse (in the shape of a woman’s face) I’d bought for her the day before, and in it, her precious Combi lip balm I got for her. Wayne must have taken over holding it when in the washroom, and I put it in my back when he handed it to me when they got back. Later, when I questioned her about the missing purse, she actually asked Wayne the next time they went to the toilet ‘刚才给爸爸的Ayi purse呢?’, haha! In the mean time, I’d already chosen a down jacket and a pair of shoes for her to try out.

Pity they didn’t have the down jacket in pink in her size, so I ended up buying a blue/poka-dotted blue reversible one at 30% off (RMB349 after discount), and a pair of pink shoes at RMB119. (And Wayne got a sweater. Me? I did not dare to look in detail and start picking out things – there would have been no stopping me…). In between, Rosabelle was harassing/stalking/chasing after children, one of who was wearing a pair of shades and carrying a haversack (she actually remembered him and reminded me the next morning over breakfast that ‘刚才看到哥哥戴眼镜,拿包' – as you can see, her concept of ‘yesterday’ is still not very strong).

By the time we were done, I was already starving, so we headed to 将太无二 for lunch, where she enjoyed her udon noodles whilst greeting every adult and kid alike around the restaurant, heh! After that, I was craving for a nice drink/dessert, so we headed on up (there is really no lack of dining/snacking options in this mega mall), to get my fix of bubble tea (turns out it tasted pretty bad and I only drank half of it, which was good, as my stomach felt slightly queasy hours later). I then saw that they had Baby Art Museum on the top floor – sounds interesting!

We then went on up, only to find out that it was not exactly a museum, but a place for children to learn arts and crafts. They have a branch in Fu Li Cheng as well, so I actually made a call to find out if I could sign her up for a demo class. She is already exposed to Kindermusik, so I am really looking for a good class for arts/crafts, but thing is they only do weekday evenings (her nap time) and weekend mornings. Guess I’ll pick this up again when come back from Singapore.

On the way home, I was actually hoping that she could take a quick nap in the car, as we were scheduled to have an early dinner with the Choons that evening. However, she was most active/alert, so I gave up all hope and toyed with the idea of keeping her awake all the way till night time, haha…

When we got home, she was still in high spirits, and looking at the clock, we had only slightly more than an hour to go before we had to go out again, so I did not intend to nurse her and let her nap. However, I thought that it’d be quite tough on the toddler, so we had her change, and even after nursing, she miraculously refused to sleep! Goodness… so after about 10 minutes of quiet lying down, I asked if she wanted to get up, and she was exhilarated, my goodness!

However, we were still late in getting to the Village as there was a jam getting there, and the Choons had already arrived half an hour earlier on time at 6pm at Queen’s Café. I was letting Rosabelle hold onto a gift bag for Rachel – bunny hair clips, cloth shoes from Pingyao, and a Hello Kitty winter hat – and she was really taking good care of them in the car. On the way up to the restaurant, whilst on the escalator, I saw Rosabelle saying/waving hello to this laowai standing behind us, heh!

When we reached, Rachel was eating an egg tart, and they had nicely also gotten one for Rosabelle from Queen’s Konditerei next door. Strangely enough, when Rachel saw us, she started bawling inconsolably, asking to go out, and no amount of cajoling from any of us helped. Poor Rosabelle could only pass the bag of presents to Vanessa, and just as she was so excited and looking forward to meeting Rachel Meimei, Rachel obviously wasn’t feeling the same way. Vanessa had to carry her upstairs as she kept crying, so we ordered our sets first.

They were mainly Western-style dishes, and I’d been reading rave reviews about the place, that’s why I suggested that we meet here for dinner. The ambiance and décor all looked promising, but that was really just about it – the courses were expensive (average RMB125 per person consisting of soup, main, and drink), food was really bad, and Tim and Van were quite pissed that they took so long to serve their mains, especially when Rachel was beside them crying away and asking to go home.

At one point, Rachel kept saying she did not want Rosabelle, and that she wanted Ruyi, and Rebecca – her neighbor and playmate and the Mummy from Shanghai, who have also just shifted to Beijing. I thought that was quite rude, and thank goodness Rosabelle wasn’t around to hear those hurtful words, but I put it down to the fact that she’s just a kid and does not know any better. I am really trying to strain my memory to see if there was anything that Rosabelle did in the past to remotely scare her into such hostility, and can only bid adieu to all hopes of both Vanessa’s and my girl being good friends like we are/were, heh!

However, Rosabelle was as usual on her best behavior, feeding herself dinner (no matter how bad the food was…), not crying once, and being very gentle with Rachel, even when Rachel ignored her as she was calling out to her. It’s quite unfair for us to have to curtail Rosabelle’s loving nature and physically hold her back for fear of igniting another crying spate in Rachel, but that was as best we could to avoid another uncalled for and unprovoked meltdown, haha… Poor Tim and Van were already having a lot on their hands in trying to pacify their girl!

In the end, as we were leaving, maybe Rachel decided that Rosabelle wasn’t so scary after all and even sweetly gave her two biscuit liners, breaking into her first smile of the evening. Rosabelle was of course most thankful and reciprocated with a big hug and kiss – mission accomplished for her I guess, hehe!

We didn’t even have time/chance for a photo (can’t imagine the violent protests from Rachel, haha!), and had to bid them farewell since Rachel sleeps early. Sigh! I told Wayne that it’s hard for us to meet up as the girls have really different sleep/nap times, and as the Choons try to accommodate us, we almost always end up with a Rachel who is grouchy from a lack of sleep, poor thing… and then we have to rush through the catch-up…

Anyway, with the tensions eased, we headed to Konditerei next door, where our girl kept saying she wanted blueberry (from the cake), so we bought a blueberry tartlet for her, where she only ate the 3 blueberries on top whilst I finished the rest in one bite. (That's the Ayi purse...)
After that, we went to Uniqlo (our favourite shop in Village), and bought a sweater and scarf for Nainai – we figured she needed the extra clothing/accessories, heh! We seldom have the time to shop around much after dinner in Village as we always eat very late, but this time round was different, so we went to the basement level to look around as well.

Rosabelle loved this baby doll model (that is used to model the baby clothes sold in the shop) at Toonsland, so Wayne took it down for her to hug, making her so happy. However, she refused to let go of it (Wayne enquired if we could buy it, but nope, it’s not for sale), till I had to cajole her and tell her that Baby needs a bath, and she should put it in the bathtub (also for sale and on display) and let it rest after its bath. So she excitedly ran towards the bath tub and stuffed the baby in there when who should come but this bitch of a saleslady, who grabbed the baby from Rosabelle’s hands and said, ‘你别放那啊!多脏啊!', then rudely smacked at the baby’s clothes/socks like as if she was dusting away layers of dust. Wayne carried Rosabelle away and said ‘不好意思' apologetically, but I was FUMING. Poor Rosabelle had a puzzled look on her face, wondering where she did wrong.

So I bent down and used my fingers to touch the bathtub, then rubbed them together, as if feeling for dust, before remarking, ‘哎呀。。。真的很脏啊,应该好好擦一下嘛!', then as we walked away, I told her ‘小孩嘛!谁家没孩啊!' – if Rosabelle wasn’t there, I would have made sure to scold her properly and even complain to her supervisor. First of all, your bloody baby’s clothes weren’t the cleanest things, and if your bloody bath tub is so dirty, why don’t you spend time cleaning your displays instead of snatching toys rudely away from toddlers? Secondly, you are supposed to be working in the kids’ section, for bloody-fucking-goodness. So unless you go and cultivate some patience for working around the kiddos who are the source of your salary, please consider working elsewhere like a granny’s underwear or sleazy sex shop, sheesh! Lastly, I wanted to buy your damn baby but it’s not for sale, so just quote a price and I’ll buy it, dirty clothes and all, and even some of the other useless things, if only I didn’t want to let you earn the commission!

I was ranting away to Wayne throughout after as he kept quiet – maybe he felt bad for not standing up for Rosabelle, or maybe he thought I was too harsh on the lady, I don’t know, but I quickly told Rosabelle that ‘Ayi is so naughty and rude – she wanted to clean the dirty bath tub and save Baby, but she was so rough and could have hurt Baby, right?’. That night, when recalling the incident, Rosabelle said ‘Ayi so naughty!’, heh! I hope Rosabelle can also learn to stand up for herself when others behave rudely/unreasonably towards her, maybe a balance between Wayne and myself, as I can be quite a bitch too myself sometimes, haha!

After that, we went to Devil’s Nut as Rosabelle was captivated by the cute shop display and striking colours. As she was flipping a magazine placed on the lower rack of the table, I warned her to watch out when she got up, for fear of her bumping her head. The next moment, there was a loud thud as she hit her head, aiyo! As Wayne quickly carried her away, she was fighting back tears – it was really quite painful. So naturally, she wasn’t the most cooperative when I asked if she wanted to take photos with this display, and Papa had to carry her, haha…
Seeing that there wasn’t much else to browse around, we then headed back home to wash her up and gave her a milk supper (since we had an early and unsatisfactory dinner). By the time we got her ready for bed, she had amazingly stayed awake for a whole 12 hours! Without feeling sleepy! (Ok, the only time she yawned was in the car on the way back from Village, three times.) I told Wayne and Nainai – if I nursed her and she still did not sleep immediately, I really have to throw in the towel on this one.

I had to eat humble pie. After nursing, I laid her down on her bed and she woke up crying, wanting to lie with me on the big bed, so I had no choice but to carry her out, and she was all excited, even running to Nainai’s room to wish her good night. Sheesh! I was so konked out I just slept as she rolled around on the bed – I think she managed 14 hours straight – so many activities/happenings in one day and she wasn’t zapped, I am really amazed!

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