Posts Tagged ‘children’

Shrieking kids in public

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

What are your thoughts on children who are playing in a restaurant, running amok and hollering at the top of their high-pitched lungs?

That’s what a good fifteen minutes of dinner was like for me last night. Exacerbating the fact was my exhaustion and stress over everything I needed to do after getting home. I already have no patience for children as it is, and I was not pleased that neither the parents nor the waitstaff said a thing. My friend and looked at each with eyebrows raised, cringing with each piercing shriek that filled the otherwise empty room. A boy of about eight was chasing around a boy of about three and the young one was having a grand old time challenging our eardrums.

The mother quietly spoke in Vietnamese as the other two adults ignored the situation. Perhaps they were used to this behavior, or perhaps they were mildly deaf (they did seem rather elderly). The kids paid no attention to whatever the mom said and that was that. Meanwhile the staff (only two were out) looked on and stood awkwardly with no sign of at least attempting to create a more pleasant dining experience for my friend and me.

I don’t know if it was because the place was Asian or maybe they knew the family, but I’m pretty sure a Western restaurant would have said something. I kept looking at the adults and the staff until I got tired of waiting. Then I resorted to my usual tactic: I stared solemnly at the children. Whenever kids are acting up in public, making a scene where it is disruptive to others (at least when I feel that way), I stare them down. If they catch my eye, they generally stop. Sometimes they might just be startled to realize someone is looking. Sometimes they figure out that they are being annoying. Whatever the case, it tends to be effective in getting them to stop yelling.

This time, the older child noticed me and then began to tell his brother to quiet down. They happened to be leaving at that point anyway, but I was glad for the noise reduction even before they made it out the door. Too bad the one causing a ruckus never saw me staring. Maybe then he’d learn to keep his play to louder environments or to more appropriate situations.

Would you ever be like I am and look at kids until they stopped screaming or crying? Or would you be even more straightforward and go speak to them or their parents? Maybe you’re like most others who sit and bear it with teeth gritted?

Having a baby boy in China is a BIG deal

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
chinese baby wrapped in poufy red swaddling clothes laying on bed

When I was born? Probably not a big deal.

One of my cousins in China recently gave birth to a baby boy and oh my gosh, it was such a big deal. You think you’re excited to have a kid? You should imagine how excited you’d be if that was the ONLY kid you were allowed to have in your lifetime. And let’s say you had a boy like my cousin – then you get to be super excited that your family lineage gets passed on. Yeah, boys are still valued more than girls over there (as in many countries, I’m sure).

Maybe I should also mention that you’re not allowed to know the gender of your child, so it’s a surprise for just about every citizen in China when their child is born. Of course, sometimes people “cheat” and find a way to find out, but by law doctors are not allowed to tell you (and they abide by it strictly). You better have some mad connections to get an accurate reveal ahead of time. So come labor time, there’s a ton of anticipation as everyone waits to find out the all-important question: is it a boy or girl??

If you’re confused about these crazy rules (laws), let me explain. You’ve probably heard of the One Child Policy in China at some point. Most people have an inkling that Chinese families are only allowed one kid. Maybe you didn’t believe it or didn’t think they take it so seriously. Well, it’s definitely a law that’s alive and well, though a bit more lax now (like if you remarry you’re allowed to have a child with your new spouse).

Layer on top of that the outlawing of gender revealing during pregnancy and you’ve got one mad nation (as in crazy – specifically, boy crazy – not upset or angry per se). Can you imagine how curious you’d be? The reason that you’re not allowed to know the gender of the baby is because boys are heavily favored for passing down the family name and whatnot, so many people would have an abortion if they knew it was a girl. This probably wouldn’t be such a big deal to families if you got more than one chance to have a boy. But as the laws go, you only get that one chance.

Not only did the announcement of a boy stir up a whole lot of chatter, family activity has picked up as everyone makes their way to send their well wishes. Traditionally, each family is supposed to send one representative, but since my family is all the way here in the US, one of my aunts is representing our family as well. It’s time for my cousin to get showered with gifts and attention (though really it’s probably all going towards that son of hers).

Having a boy is so important that family members are pitching in to “guard” him. Yeah. They’re afraid he’ll get stolen or swapped out. I mean, that’s how big a deal it is. Are they overreacting and paranoid? Maybe. But you never know… with so many couples desperate for a boy, they just might do crazy things to get one.

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