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I'm sorry Future Jack, but this story must be written down


Okay so tonight was the big Chinese New Year dinner. I was expecting our family plus one other family, which is pretty much what I got, except for the part where the other family consisted of, like, ninety people. 

But wait! I must back up!

This other family is a family FIL has been our case to meet for YEEEEARS. Literally. Phillip had met them once or twice, and I FELT like I'd met them, as I hear about them ALL THE TIME. The patriarch is FIL's friend and he has a son who (!!!) married a Caucasian girl TOO! I've been under the impression that the patriarch really only wants us to meet because 1) we have children and 2) his son does not have children and 3) he would like some grandchildren. But that's just my IMPRESSION. I don't KNOW. 

But wait! I still have to back up!

So BEFORE dinner, before Phillip even came home, I gave the kids a bath and dressed them up all cute-like. The only thing I really know about this other family is that they are sort of fancypants and since I wasn't sure how the kids would behave, I at least wanted them to LOOK nice. So I put Jack in his nice jeans and a collared shirt and Molly insisted on her Christmas dress and you guys I was so on top of things that we were EARLY. By, like, fifteen minutes. That never happens! And of course Phillip's parents weren't there yet, and we had no intention of introducing OURSELVES to the other family, so we hung around outside, waiting for Phillip's parents to show up. 

This was even sort of fun. It was freezing so I had the kids running laps between two posts and the hostess inside the restaurant was even smiling and waving (THIS IS HOW CUTE THEY WERE) and I'm wearing makeup and my hair is behaving and Phillip dressed himself super nice without any help from me and then Jack is looking at me sort of worriedly. He says something about being wet. And I look at his pants and, well, yes. They are wet. And oh look, there's a puddle forming by his shoes. SPLENDID!

But wait! I have to back up AGAIN!

Yesterday, at preschool? Molly and I were hanging around outside the door to pick up Jack instead of in the car like usual. When the teachers came out they said, "Oh good! We wanted to talk to you!" So then I was all, "Oh!" because OBVIOUSLY they were going to tell me some special tidbit about my amazing brilliant child and didn't want the other parents to hear and get jealous. Then Teacher Nancy smiles apologetically and says, "Jack had a little accident" and hands me a garbage bag full of pee clothes.


Teacher Nancy adds, "His shoes were soaked" and I look and see my kid standing there in his socks, a stupid grin on his face. I had to carry him to the car, a block away, and Jack was not at ALL embarrassed (which is good) and extremely chatty about the incident (not as good) and I had to throw his entire outfit, shoes and all in the washing machine. 

His shoes only dried out completely this morning. 

The same shoes he was wearing at the restaurant tonight when he peed his pants AGAIN. 

Phillip and I looked at each other. All, "WHAT DO WE DO NOW?" I usually have an extra diaper in my purse, but I am not accustomed to carrying around a brand new outfit for my THREE-YEAR-OLD. And we totally couldn't just bring him in the restaurant. I mean, we have some shame.

SO THEN. It was this crazy mess of dragging the kids back to the car, stripping Jack and wrapping his legs in my scarf so he wouldn't freeze to death, and fighting about how to get to the downtown Old Navy so we can buy a new OUTFIT. (For the record, I knew exactly where I was going. Why Phillip perpetually insists on contradicting me about DIRECTIONS I have NO CLUE.) I flew out of the car and bought the first pair of jeans, socks and shoes (SHOES!) I saw and flew back out to the street right after Phillip finished his first lap. And of course Jack was ASLEEP.


Then we rushed back to the restaurant, dressed Jack (in a DIAPER, OMG) and ran into the restaurant to meet all these fancypants people and MAYBE I NEEDED A DRINK. That said, we were only 10 minutes late. GO TEAM CHEUNG.

Anyway. Dinner was delicious (except for the part where they dumped a bunch of cilantro on top of the fried rice, NOT OKAY) and the kids... oh, the kids were DARLING. I mean, for real. They ate, they were friendly, they were super cute, and all of that was especially wonderful because it became Rather Clear that we were there to be The Grandchildren Example. (In fact, as I type, Phillip's dad is on the phone reiterating this. SIGH.) The kids were just SO PERFECT I could hardly believe it. They fawned over someone else's new baby, they fist bumped FIL's friend, they made adorable conversation, they smiled on command, someone actually said to me, "They get along SO WELL!" And I totally lied and said, "THEY DO!"

But at eight they were obviously worn out and we were terrified of losing our Perfect Family status. So we came home and put them to bed. Not before I ate almost the entire plate of honey walnut prawns by myself. The End. (Well, hopefully. If I have to wash shoes again tomorrow I'll be having wine for lunch.)

P.S. I wrote about Chinese New Year-ness at Parenting, for those of you who read my drivel there as well (you ARE my best looking readers).



You put Jack in his "nice jeans". That made me chuckle. I have said to my boys many times to put on their "good church jeans, not the ones with the holes!" OY.

Just throw a pair of sweats, t shirt and underwear in a bag in the car and then forget about it till you need it! Of course, he would have still needed shoes and the sweats would have lessened the cute factor!

Glad you had a fun night!


Oh no. Oh dear. Poor Jack - although it doesn't seem to have phased him, no? So....yay Jack! And, really, YAY YOU. Sounds to me like you handled everything perfectly....and don't you love it when the children are perfect exactly when you need them to be? Oh - and Tim and I would have argued over how to get to Old Navy too...


Oh, so glad it worked out. I have to say as a fellow Caucasian married to a Chinese-American, that grandkid has certainly upped my status.

But "competition" to have kids is so open and it is entirely foreign to me and makes me sad. My brother-in-law is married and doesn't have kids, and I die a little inside everytime it gets brought up at a famiy gathering (which includes a pointed reference about how cute my son is and how we MUST be trying for a second).


I keep meaning to put an extra outfit in my car, but if I do that, I would have to then do Elizabeth's laundry one day sooner than I do now because she would have less available clothes. I probably ought to buy something cheap and boring for the car and solve both problems.


I am so NOT a fan of the accident while we're out. We usually let Kalena choose if she wants to wear a pull up or not, but she's going through this phase of not wanting her playing to be interrupted by potty time, so we may just have to stick to pull ups for outings until that passes. Also, I've heard the outfit in the car is a good idea. My friend always used boys swim trunks, because, hey! Built in underwear! Works for boys or girls!

Life of a Doctor's Wife

That sounds so frustrating! But I'm really glad it all worked out in the end. Thank goodness they were perfect angels for you at dinner!


I always "forget" to put in an extra outfit in my diaper bag too. In quotes because I just never think we'll need it! One time when my son got his pants wet from jumping in a puddle, and DEMANDED he change right away, I had to go buy a new pair of pants from GAP to prevent him from stripping down to his diaper right there on the street. URGH.

But kudos for your 3 year old being all potty trained. My son will be 3 in March. I haven't even attempted to potty train him. Too lazy.


Oh, the kids and the potty. Just when you get totally comfortable taking them all over as if they are fully-functioning adults, they go and remind you how very much they still are children. It's weird that he did it twice, though. I hope it's not some sort of regression trend.


Oh my god. that is my worst nightmare. Cannot believe how u and P still managed to pull off the perfect dinner out with the kids. Way to go!!
Did I tell u Jo (age 4 1/2) has been sporadically wetting the bed since we moved? As much as I hate stripping her bed (top bunk), I would be mortified if she peed herself in public. And I am completely unprepared (lazy) and never keep a change of clothes in the car.
I couldn't leave a comment on parenting, but your idea of writing down your in-laws' life stories is SPECTACULAR!

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