Chinese New Year 2015 is half gone as I write this. As a family, we’ve made our rounds with relatives, both those we see often and those we see annually. Yup, people we see only once (or max twice) a year.
For those who see us often, they know how our children can be. But for those who only see us that one time every year, they tend to have things to say when they see the kids.
1. Aiyo… So Big/small For Her Age
Size matters to relatives, apparently. Even though you see them once a year, they are very concerned how big or small your children are for their age.
2. Eat So Little/Much!!
As with size, these relatives “care” about how much your children eat. If your child is “big sized” and happens to eat a lot, you’d probably hear “No wonder he’s so big!”
Or if your child is petite like my daughter, you’ll hear a lot of “Aiyo… Eat so little, no wonder so small size.” Well, these relatives probably didn’t see how your child was gobbling new year goodies like 20 minutes before meal time.
3. Can’t Feed Themselves?
When your children are of a certain age, some relatives have this expectation that your children must be able to eat on their own. What they fail to see is how distracted kids can be in different environments. Of course, there’s also the factor that you don’t want your children to spill the food at someone’s home accidentally.
I had an Aunt come up to me and ask why my daughter couldn’t feed herself and told me how her kids used to be able to eat by themselves. Well, good for you, Aunt. Sorry my daughter isn’t like your kids.
Other than food related questions, there are also behavioural questions that we hear.
1. Your Baby Has To Be Carried To Sleep?
Yes, my baby has to be carried to sleep because there’s a lot of noise during gatherings, plus my baby is going through separation anxiety.
And yes, my baby is different from when your now-teenager children were babies.
2. Your Child Can’t Sit Still
That’s because my child is at the active age and she has a sociable character. She wants to greet everyone and talk to everyone.
Also, not every home we visit has children her age, so she is finding things to entertain herself with.
3. Your Child Seems To Throw Tantrums A Lot
Well, with visiting schedules, the normal routine of my child has been messed with. She probably hasn’t napped when she should have, and she is too excited to nap because she knows she gets to visit and meet new people.
Also, I do discipline my children. But as no one can force you to do things you don’t want to, I can’t control my children all the time.
Okay, so it sounds like I didn’t enjoy my CNY visitations. Don’t get me wrong, I did. I enjoyed catching up with cousins I haven’t seen in a while. I enjoyed all the good food and fun I shared with friends.
It’s just that there are people, whether parents of grown children or people with no children, who seem to think they know your children just based on that one encounter.
For those with grown children, my guess is they either forgot what it’s like to struggle with young children, or their children simply had different personalities to that of what my children are now.
For those with no children (yet), let’s just say, wait till you have kids, and all the best when you have kids.
Okay, I’m done ranting! Back to enjoying the rest of CNY!