My Chinese-American husband waited to bring a white woman home until he was almost thirty. At that point, Jay and Sunny were grateful Andy had found anyone.
There were plenty of arguments over our marriage venue and our potential change of last names, but no arguments against our actual marriage.
Once we were married, though, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. Jay was upset when we didn’t have a child—specifically, the Number One Son of the Number One Son—right away. When the in-laws came to visit, they hit me with criticism for my cooking, my cats, my teapot, our dogs, and even our local Costco.
This negativity wouldn’t have bothered me as much if Jay and Sunny criticized their son-in-law or their other daughter-in-law. But Sunny fawned over her son-in-law. And her other daughter-in-law? Denny’s Wife escaped the trials and tribulations I endured—including the Daughter-in-Law Tea Ceremony.
While favorite DIL status seemed an impossibility, I hoped that, once the Number One Son was on the way, I might at least achieve Level “Leave Her Alone.” Continue reading Daughter-in-law The First, Daughter-in-law The Worst (#310)
Starting at age 15, my birthday has gone…poorly. I mostly tried to ignore it. This got easier once I had a child. The focus inevitably shifts—as it should—to various kid milestones, kid holiday stuff, kid birthday parties. Also, your memory sucks when you’re sleep-deprived.
When Baby D was just a little more than 2, a friend called and said, “Hey, where do you want me to take you to lunch for your birthday?”
“My birthday? It’s not my—oh. Wow. I guess it is my birthday on Friday. I forgot about it.”
“You forgot your own birthday?! Isn’t that your husband’s job?” Continue reading The Birthday Grinch (#304)
There’s a common phrase about parenting: “The days are long, the years are short.”
The days ARE long when you have a baby. Especially when you have a baby that only takes a half-hour nap. And when you have a non-napping child and no handy relatives to help?
A day feels equal to a year.
When your baby is sick?
A day feels like a century. Continue reading When the Days Are Long, Again (#289)
My husband is Chinese-American.
I’m so white looking, I make a point of assuring any new neighbors of color that I did not vote for Trump.
Our son took after me.
Occasionally, an Asian-American woman would ask me if Baby D’s father was Asian, but no one ever appeared to be surprised that I was his mom.
It was different for my husband. He took Baby D to the grocery store when Baby D was about 2. An old white man got in Andy’s face and asked, “Is that your son?”
Andy said, “Yes.”
The old white man snorted and said, “He don’t look a thing like his daddy!”
Andy replied, “That’s because his white mama traded up races.” Continue reading Belated Chinese New Year (#275)
I have a lot of relatives with Asperger’s and Adult Residual Asperger’s. Same for my Chinese-American husband. I was prepared for our child to be, at the very least, a little introverted.
Baby D was not. Baby D craved human interaction. He never liked playing with toys by himself. He was fascinated by other children. Once he was mobile, he enjoyed swim classes with other kids, playdates, and even Childwatch at the local YMCA.
When I hovered while dropping him off at his first day of preschool, my three-year-old waved a dismissive hand and said, “You go now, Mommy.” Continue reading The Ballad of No Baby Brother (#274)
My child was always fascinated by cats.
My cats were only fascinated by my child when he was an immobile source of warmth. The minute he developed enough motor control to grab their fur, the cats were out.
Bat Cat and Commando Cat had been my pampered bachelorette cats. They grudgingly adapted to both husband and rescue dogs. But small fingers pulling fur? Hell no. They hid up in their scratching posts or heated cat bed.
Baby D had a boy-loving rescue dog who would have happily played chase or keep away with him for hours. But Baby D was contrary. He scorned the in-your-face, I-love-you-so-much creatures. He wanted the ones that were hard to get.
“This,” I told my husband, “does not bode well for his future dating life.” Continue reading Felines & Persuasion (#273)
As children, my younger sister and I used to lie under our Christmas trees. We had minimal Christmas decorations, and no outdoor lights, but we loved our small trees. Not only were those colored strings of light magical on their own, they were also a visible reminder that parties, presents, and the North Polar Bear were coming.
When I got my first apartment, I got a tree. It went…poorly. Not only did my roommate JM have allergies (sorry, JM!), but we had cats. 5 pound Bat Cat raced delightedly up and down the tree, ornaments flying in her wake. At 25 pounds, Shamu Cat was incapable or climbing any tree. Instead, he pulled branches down and sat on them, almost as if telling Bat Cat, “See? I am also in the tree!” Continue reading A Tree-mendous Christmas (#272)
Unless it’s in his garden, my Chinese-American husband doesn’t notice dirt. I’m the one who notices when there’s pet hair piling up and hauls out the vacuum—usually every few days. I like my house neat, especially if we have company coming over.
But once our high maintenance, non-napping Baby D arrived, the vacuum disappeared into the hall closet, sometimes for weeks.
We soon had two dozen dust bunnies to go with our two dogs and two cats. Continue reading Dirty Baby, Healthy Baby (#270)
I am a picky eater. Take onions. I’ve hated onions with a passion since biting into my first McDonald’s burger and recoiling in horror over the raw, diced bites of bitterness wrecking my burger.
Unfortunately, onions are everywhere. No burger, sauce, or burrito is safe.
I’m normally a people-pleaser. Not when it comes to onions. I will quiz the wait staff before ordering a new dish. I will send that dish back if an onion shows up (very nicely and apologetically). And then I am NEVER going back to that restaurant.
My Chinese-American husband can and does eat anything. Animal brains? Check. Animal testicles? Check. Bitter melon? Check. Fish eyeballs, jellyfish, chicken feet? Bring it. The guy could have killed it on Fear Factor. Continue reading Taste Test (#268)
My son got a ton of hand-me-downs from his older girl cousins before he was even born. My Chinese-American husband’s frugality warred with his old-fashioned views on gender when those boxes first arrived.
“You’re not gonna dress him in pink, are you?” he asked.
“I dunno,” I said with a shrug. “We’ll see what fits in which season. Would you rather he wear pink or we save money?”
I let Andy wrestle with this dilemma for a while—because I am cruel like that—before telling him he wouldn’t have to choose. Continue reading Pretty Binary (#267)