I have sucked at this blog lately, and I am so sorry about that (if you even care). I don’t know why summer should be so upsetting to my routine when I am not in school and I don’t have a job, but apparently it prevents me from doing my blogging duty. So much has happened, and I will try to sum it up as briefly as I can.
I told the maid I didn’t need her after the first month because (a) I really shouldn’t have a maid if my children are in school, (b) as sweet as she was, the unsolicited advice was getting a little old, about giving the children green bean water to drink in the summer or telling me not to eat upstairs so that I don’t get roaches (for the record, I didn’t eat upstairs – I should just not live in Chengji if I don’t want roaches), and (c) we really couldn’t afford to pay the school AND a maid. Of course, now the kids are not in school and I don’t have a maid but when I can afford a maid again, I guess at least I’ll know what I want.
The children went to school for two months, but not for the month of August, in anticipation of my sister’s arrival. They were so happy AT the school, but every single day for two months Piper pitched a giant fit every time she was dropped off. They would have to peel her off of me, screaming and crying, and of course she’d stop 2 minutes after I walked out the door, and, even better, she’d cry when it was time to go home after lunch. I have no idea why it lasted the entire two months, when her crying didn’t change the outcome each day. She adored her teachers and never wanted to leave at the end of the day. Now we have moved, so I’m not sure that they will be able to go back to that school, as we are a 45 minute bus ride away, and I hate commuting, but it is so sad to think of never being a part of the school again.
On the animal front, we now have four cats (and the rabbit, of course, and, blessedly, zero hamsters), because, like an idiot, I could not walk by the tiniest, most adorable kitten I’d ever seen sitting under a motorcycle, trying to hide from the pouring rain. I think it’s terrible to have four cats in an apartment with three children, and what in the world will we do with them if/when we go back to America? But here we are in a country with an over-abundance of cats, a disproportionate number of people who hate cats, and no humane societies to care for the unwanted ones. Now I’ve accustomed them to a Western standard of living (eating cat food every day, having clean litter to poop on, not being abused) and I have left them unfit for the nation of their birth. Hopefully, if we are lucky, we will eventually come across people who want them, and slowly find homes for all of them. But can you guess who wants them the most? Hint, the person is not female and is not a minor. In the meantime, we are trying to figure out how to get rid of the ringworm that has spread from 1 cat to 3/4 of the cat population and 2/5 of the human population. Gross I know. Also, they have no names. Not sure why we can’t name animals since we’ve had children. They are, in birth order, Piper’s Friend Cat, Daddy’s Friend Cat or Black Cat, Fluffy Cat or Teddy’s Cat, and The Baby Cat. Oh, and they are the most docile cats I have ever known, which I attribute entirely to having their spirits broken by the children (in spite of all of our efforts to protect them). I am happy to report, though, that the child-on-cat violence has finally dropped to almost zero, after a traumatic 5 months (for me, and probably for the cats, too). One of these days I’ll wade through all the videos and post one demonstrating just how resigned the cats are to their lot in the life. I’m not sure why they still think it’s a good idea to fall asleep in open dresser drawers.
We finally took the bull by the horns two days ago and decided to not put diapers on the children at bedtime (Piper has never stayed dry, but the boys have each had a few dry nights). I was pretty anxious about the whole thing (mostly the lack of sleep I was anticipating from being woken up by wet children in the middle of the night), but they did it! I was so surprised! They have done it for two nights now, and we are on our third, so we’ll see if it will last. I have had at least three diapers a day (and sometimes much, much more) in my life for the last 4 3/4 years, so it’s hard for my brain to process the fact that this has really happened. I have this nagging feeling that I’ve forgotten to do something when I’m putting the children to bed. Actually, since I started this, it’s been at least a week and a half, and I’d say it was all successful. We’ve had 2 nights when both boys wet, a couple nights when one boy wet, but otherwise, it’s been great, and I think we just won’t go back to diapers. It is so strange to not have diapers in the house.
We have also moved to a new apartment and had a visit from my sister, both of which are for their own posts.
Last but not least, fall is absolutely the most beautiful time of year here. I had read it was the season for the cleanest skies, and it is. I have never been able to see so far, and the air practically sparkles some days, it’s so clean. The days are about 72 degrees every day, and cool at night, and it has been the most wonderful time to explore our new home, which is just surrounded by beautiful adventures waiting to happen.