Sunday, January 17, 2016

Hannah hits 4

Hannah has made it to four years; funnily enough though we didn't expect much to change we have noticed the odd change recently. The most noticeable is one that I presume all parents are desperately waiting for almost as much as the time when you start potty training but are not sure when it will be successful. It is, of course, the time that a child begins to get over tantrums!

Yes, until a couple of weeks ago, when Hannah didn't get what she wanted (and the old 'distract her' tactic doesn't work as well as it used to when she was longer) we'd end up in long stand-offs, often involving her not coming along with us and staying in a sweet shop, near a fairground ride, or whatever.

Now that stand-off is still as dramatic as ever but is down to about a minute and once we walk off Hannah does actually run after us (crying of course) but does quickly accept reality and calm down. I hope it lasts… maybe, finally, she is learning that she can't always get what she wants, and there is a semblance of discipline appearing?

Hannah got her dream present a couple of weeks before her birthday when her grandpa turned up for a weekend (for those without kids, I'll tell you what all kids from 3 years old and up want: it's a tablet computer or similar device able to play games, watch cartoons, and tale photos) but still she was looking forward to her party. 8 friends came, mostly from her kindergarten, and all Chinese. They played, ate, cooked, danced, played some more, gave and took gifts and 2 and a half hours later left behind a happy and exhausted 8-year old.

I don't know the names of most of the kids, or indeed most of the parents, but I think Andrea and our nanny do. Though as I understand it the party invite list conversation started a couple of weeks ago and went something like "Hannah, which friends do you like the most and want to invite to the party?" and "Hannah, can you and the nanny talk to the friends and their parents over the next week at collection time to invite them". Andrea has some time on her hands as she doesn't start her new job until next month so did most of the organizing, whilst I was mostly on photo duty and general supervision (including of Leah) whilst also being responsible for getting hold of a red bike that morning and getting it wrapped up somehow.

All went well (though the bike is a bit big, it should be fine in a couple of months, and last her several years) and maybe it will be the first party she'll remember when she is older?

Meanwhile Leah has continued her rapid development, trying to run now, practicing using forks and spoons, and beginning to argue with her sister (over toys, naturally). She gets very vocal, though currently only has the standard mama and baba as words. She's got most of her teeth and a large belly from her non-stop eating (and drinking). Sometimes she sleeps really well and gets her 12 hours a night; sometimes she wakes up once or twice and needs comforting back to bed, but she is a great little toddler and really happy to walk around all day long. Today at the indoor playground she mastered walking up the 3 stairs of a small slide and going down the slide herself. It is the age where all the basics are there so simply combining various things leads to many different "firsts".

I'm sure the kids are going to have a lot of fun during their month in Europe coming up; and their grandparents and uncles/aunts (and the associated pets) will have even more fun playing with the two of them. It will be the first time they see them walking and playing together and interacting (rather than just Hannah playing with Leah, though that was also fun). Now that we have got Hannah past her tantrums, I wonder if we are going to be facing another major issue to deal with instead: the fighting between two kids who both want the same thing. How long will that issue last (maybe until we are bankrupt buying two of everything)?

And lastly we are just about to enter the Chinese New Year month, when there is no kindergarten, everything closes down, and everyone runs home for at least 1-2 weeks during this period. All the Christmas decorations have finally come down everywhere to be replaced with red Chinese lanterns and I seem to see monkeys on sale everywhere…. For an already shaky economy, the low of the holiday may not help; although it should stabilize the dodgy stock market since there will be limited investment activity (and limited expectations of any too)!


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