Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Our First Babysitting Job

Our friend and neighbor entrusted us to watch her new baby (45 days old!) while she went to the store.  It was nice to have a baby around for a couple of hours, and also nice to give him back when it was time for bed!

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Babywise, things are done SO differently here.  Sue went to help her friend Amu take her baby to the hospital today for his shots.  She went to their apartment and she was just getting ready.  First, she wanted to bathe the baby.  The hair is washed first, while the baby keeps his clothing on, lest he get cold.  Once the hair is dry, the rest of the baby's body is washed. 

The baby doesn't wear any diapers, but instead has split bottom pants. 
Rather than a diaper,  a piece of cloth is ripped up and passed through the baby's legs, then a piece of elastic is put around the waist to hold the cloth in place.  It's not at all absorbent and in fact when Amu was ready to go the baby peed which got all over Mom's clothes so she had to change.

Then there is the problem of carrying everything.  The mom has to carry a) the baby stroller, b) any shopping bags, c) baby supplies, and d) of course the baby!  They live on the 4th floor so navigating all of this stuff up and down the stairs for an outing is quite a Herculean accomplishment!  The baby stroller is a 2-button job, so when you want to collapse or expand the stroller it takes 2 hands to do it; definitely not easy when you have your hands full with everything else!  They finally made it to the hospital after the ordeal of going out, to find out that shots are only given on Thursday.  Arrgh!

Sophie was very happy to help watch the baby!
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I got a message on my phone from the school that I had to forward to a Chinese friend to have translated.  It said, "By the 25th of May, please make some clothes for Sophie out of old plastic bags and newspaper for Children's Day, to promote the green ideas of reuse and recycling. The clothing must include a hat that in some way resembles a goat for a performance that will be held."  Sue got a good start today by making a dress for Sophie.  Cute!  Thank goodness I didn't have to make this!
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Sue and the boys went out with Stefania today and enjoyed dumplings together.  Delicious!
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They took advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoyed the bamboo forest...
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Sophie's school just installed new play equipment on the roof of their building.  Space is at a premium in the big city, but this is a great place for the kids to play.  It will get hot this summer though!  Every day after school Sophie asks to go up and play before we bicycle home to our apartment.
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Today in class I taught my students how to play "UNO".  At one point I had 4 games going at once, 9 people per game and shouting at the top of their lungs.  I also passed out some of the Bazooka bubble gum that Linda sent (Thanks Linda!) and the kids really enjoyed trying to blow bubbles.


Anonymous said...

Sue looks like a real natural
holding that cute baby......
Curious in USA

Bob & Amy said...

Looks like you had a fantastic beach holiday! Loved hearing the details of babyhood abroad. I'm impressed with the diapering strategy as it is much greener than our approach. We have been having great weather here & Lucy has ingested her share of water balloons!! Miss you guys, you are on the countdown!!

Anonymous said...

That's sorrta cool recycling stuff for that. I wish they did that at our school o.O

Chris V.