First Contact

Last autumn we visited China for the first time together with Nathan. I stayed only for a few days however Nathan and his mother haunted Xi’an for nearly a whole month. During that time Nathan made his first contact with the other members of the Crazy Chinese Family.

Aunty and little little sister

For me as a grown up it was already much to get used to when I met them for the first time several years ago. Not that they are as crazy as my mother-in-law but they still are related to her so what can you expect! There is Granny who spawned crazy MIL and seems more often than not to be even more stubborn than her daughter, there is Aunty who always does everything wrong according to MIL,  there is Uncle who lives with his family together with Granny, my wife’s little sister (cousin, daughter of aunty) who is still trying to find some rich guy but in Japan (but he shouldn’t be Japanese of course), and the little little sister (youngest cousin of my wife, daughter of uncle) who needs two hours to eat a soup but can finish a burger in seconds. Alright,nothing really crazy about this all but imagine them all bunched up in one room with their whole attention on little Nathan. Yep, all attention on that tiny little Nathan who just wants to run away from them all.


Make them go away Mommy!

I guess you can imagine how Nathan reacted when seeing them all, crying and trying to get as far away as possible from them/ into mommy’s arms. Of course they all mean no harm but when all of them try to squeeze and feed him snacks at the same time it just can be too much for such a little human being. I mean I could barely survive each encounter when we went eating with the family and every person just piles up more food on my plate. I have the strong believe that they tried to create a new Jabba the Hutt out of me. Nathan is usually the kind of baby who is too trusting and not afraid of strangers at all but with his own Chinese family he turned into a crying mess.

Though all craziness poured into him in one go he managed to survive. He even calmed down and played with the crazy Chinese relatives but this was only achieved with a lot of bribing via fruits and snacks. Guess how many people it takes to get in China a baby to sleep? Nearly the whole family!! I am not joking but it seems that every female of the family has to be present when trying to get Nathan to sleep. As they all are pretty noisy when being together it takes a long time for him to fall asleep, long enough that they get hungry and need to make some food in between…but that is again a story for another time.

The first contact with his Chinese Family went rather well despite him being afraid like hell in the beginning. I wonder how it will turn out next time when going to China. I have no idea yet when there will be a next trip but I hope it will be soon and that I will be there as well. Not because I am so eager to meet the family once again but the food, the food!

Do you have people on the family with the ability to scare children away?

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42 thoughts on “First Contact”

  1. Haha. We had a few babies at our recent family reunion and I think they were just overwhelmed by all of the attention they received. They were in the centre of chaos until they went to sleep… So I think I know how your baby feels 🙂

    On Sunday, 17 January 2016, Crazy Chinese Family wrote:

    > CrazyChineseFamily posted: “Last autumn we visited China for the first > time together with Nathan. I stayed only for a few days however Nathan and > his mother haunted Xi’an for nearly a whole month. During that time Nathan > made his first contact with the other members of the Crazy Chi” >

  2. I can understand you are looking forward to the food in Xi’an. What about the noise and all that food in one sitting?

    1. I got pretty good in ignoring all the noise in the restaurants or street kitchen. The amount of food is another matter, I try to eat just as much as necessary but I fail most of the times as it is just too good

  3. I think it’s a problem that they are too noisy around children. Like with Mr.Panda’s niece. It was impossible to make her sleep because she got too excited with all the hysterical people around her.

  4. Ha, my white family is too reserved to scare anyone…unless it’s from a distance.

    My husband’s niece, on the other hand loved all the attention lavished on her at weddings. Not a word of complaint about being stuffed with food, having her cheeks pinched, and being hugged repeatedly by two great aunts, two grandparents, and tons of aunts and uncles.

    Maybe she doesn’t get enough attention at home?

  5. As a kid, I was terrified of my one uncle. No matter what he did (he spoiled me every time), I would look at him and hide behind my mother, or if she was wearing a skirt, I’d climb under her skirt LOL.

  6. Poor kid. It’s a lot of noise. Hmm…generally in our extended family, we don’t try to “please” the children if they are crying or intimidated. We just leave them alone and they’ll come to approach us later.

    Gosh, whole family getting 1 child to sleep….

    1. So far I have witnessed it only with my Chinese family and then basically any other family in Mainland China. Even when the family comes to Europe to visit there children/ grandchildren they continue with the same thing. Well, at least with the people I met thus far and of course there must be also some other standard in Mainland China.
      Thinking about it my wife showed me often on Chinese forums and blogs how whole families are exhausted taking care of one child, so I guess it is not that rare ..

  7. The whole situation must have been very overwhelming for Nathan. Even as a adult, I hate when the focus and attention is all on me which seems to happen sometimes in Taiwan.

    And Nathan may want to run away from all of them, but he is definitely rocking that NY cap.

  8. Maybe when he grows up, he will write a blog post that goes like: “When I was little, my parents would periodically bring me to this crazy place where a lot of strange adults try to play me like I am the best toy in the world! It was a nightmare and I am always traumatized by those trips…”

  9. Poor Nathan!

    I have read articles regarding child caring in WeChat and I saw a few where Chinese people were wondering: why in the West one person cares for 1 or more babies and still has time to do other things, and in China we need 3 or 4 people to take care of one baby and we are exhausted? I think part of the reason is that, based on what I see, they seem to believe babies cannot be put in a cradle, chair or play mat, they have to be hold at all times!

    1. Haha, yeah I read those articles too and my wife often shows me pictures about it. My wife’s friends are the same, they are sometimes up to 7 people taking care of one baby: parents, both sides grandparents and last but not least a nanny!!

    1. Oh the flight he managed like a champ, terrorizing all the other passengers by running around and taping there legs when they fell asleep.
      Of course it is all together but that amount of family members coming at him at the same time must have been very overwhel,ing

  10. It sounds like Nathan doesn’t like to be around noise…or maybe he really doesn’t like being the centre of attention. I can’t think of anyone in my Chinese family who scare children…they really like to give the children soft toys and that seems to make the little kids happy.

  11. My family wasn’t around little ones, so I felt really inexperienced when my brother started having kids or when I was around my youngest cousins. Being in Asia though has given me lots of exposure. Now, I know how to act 😉

    1. I also had zero contact with little kids till Nathan was born! I guess as a father I had no chance but to adapt quickly but still it took some time to get used to it and learn what to do 🙂

  12. I think I’m the one in the family who usually scares the hell out of kids. I’m not sure why, but kids always start crying, when they see me. Can you imagine what it was like, when I worked in a kindergarden after finishing high school? :):) I’m sure Nathan will get used to the rest of the crazy family, but I can imagine how overwhelming it must have been for him, meeting all of them, all at once:)

    1. Ah poor you. Once I was also at a kindergarten around the time I finished high school and the kids did not like me one bit :p
      These days it works though, only few run away screaming for their mommy 🙂

  13. Oh yes, overwhelming extended family, we’ve definitely had that experience! My son was totally overwhelmed when we visited Ghana for the first time when he was 3, because he was the focus of attention not just of our large family but also of all the kids in the village, who found him fascinating.

  14. What a nightmare. Poor little guy. 😦 My dad’s sisters have the exact same effect on people. In fact, when I had Naia, one of them came to the hospital to visit her, and had her so stressed out and crying (I am not kidding, when I say she NEVER cries), that I had to kick her out of the hospital. A big no-no to older relatives in Asia as I’m sure you know!

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