Tag Archives: crazy MIL

Unexpected Behavior

So far my Chinese mother-in-law has visited us three times. The first time together with her husband staying for a month with us, the second time for three months when Nathan was born and the third time this year again for three months. Besides that we have been multiple times in China spanning altogether again roughly 4 months, not to speak of all the video chats over the years. You might think that after so much time that I would know about MIL and what to expect. No.

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MIL and bloated Nathan

Each time she visits or we go to China I learn a bit more about her. This is usually a good thing however in this case it results that all my prior “knowledge” about her becomes useless. Every time when I have the feeling that I know what kind of person she is and how her mind works she destroys it by doing something totally out of her normal behavior. For example I always thought for years that she loves to share everything she has with her family that she likes giving. This was true for many years but then suddenly she was the exact opposite. When my wife was still a beauty consultant at the airport in Finland she got many cosmetic products for free so of course she gave tons of it to her mother. In fact she gave so many things that MIL wouldn’t be able to use them all up in the next 40 years, several suitcases full. When my wife asked her mother to give her some creme as she had forgotten to take it with her MIL just refused. She needs it herself urgently, she has not enough and so on. Not enough? Alright…

I told you already about her magical ability to twist reality as according to herself she has never done anything wrong in her life. The toaster she broke 3 years ago in Finland?  Wasn’t her, it just fell apart itself. All the bowls she dropped? Wasn’t her, they just fell down themselves as someone else has place them in a bad position on the table. The ugly clothes she bought her niece? Wasn’t her, everyone else remembers the story wrong. You see, it is a bit strange with her. When we told her not to spoil Nathan so much and be more strict with him when he does something wrong she didn’t understand. My wife asked her then how she raised her up and MIL said that she did the exact same thing as with Nathan now. Lets just say I could see my wife’s jaw drop after that remark. When my wife was little her mother was pretty much what you hear about Asian Tiger Moms. Yeah, MIL had forgotten/ twisted her view on the reality that she has never been a strict mother, punishing if needed with a slap or two.

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She smiles but you never know what will happen next!

Another thing she surprised me with two years ago was how and to whom she expresses it when she is angry. There was this one time we went to the Muslim Area in Xi’an in order to get some nice food. Aunty, MIL’s sister, had the idea to take us to a certain restaurant with nice food whileas MIL wanted to go to a total different restaurant. They both did not argue but something very interesting happened once the food was served. I immediately digged in and loved the food (a cold noodle dish) however when MIL tried her noodles she started shouting at the waitress how they could dare to bring her so terrible food, the noodles were too hard and all in all it was the most disgusting food she has ever tried. Another jaw dropper…all the huge argument starting like a fire between my wife and her mother is another story altogether. While they had their argument I ate the delicious noodles and was wondering about MIL. Later I experienced several times her “anger” directed towards other people when something didn’t work out the way she wanted. Funny though that this anger is always unleashed on people who are on a bit lower social status than herself. I am saying this because once she returned bread in a very expensive supermarket. The reason was that the bread had tiny worms crawling around just a day after buying it. Both my wife and I expected another furious clash but no, she calmly talked to the staff and the manager of the store and even said it is not that bad and that no refund was needed. Once again a jaw dropper!

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The most disgusting food ever

My crazy Chinese mother-in-law is surely a strange human being. I am not condemning her for that but it is always strange as she is so unpredictable, you never can even guess what will happen next. Despite all of that we still love her, even though she is a bit crazy and her next three month visit is already been planned in order to help us as I am mostly not able to do much due to my health. Without doubt she will surprise us once again with some unexpected behaviour.

Do you know a person who always surprises you with unexpected behavior?

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Nathan’s Crazy Photoshoot

Indeed, our little Nathan had also a crazy photoshoot same as his parents had several years ago in China. Okay it was not only one photoshoot but actually two different ones but that was due to my crazy Chinese mother-in-law. Why? Oh well, she messed up as usual but more about that later on. You might remember that the photoshoot we had back in 2011 is not one of my fondest memories as it was pretty much a day of torture for me. Now just imagine how to make a 1 1/2 year old kid pose for the camera for several hours…yeah it won’t really work.

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Meet Nathan the monk

Enough of the introduction and lets talk a bit about the first session Nathan had to endure. Appearently the first company they went to with Nathan was not the perfect one. MIL won from some kind of prize competition a photoshoot for children worth 500RMB. This was pretty great at first until they went to that place as everything was kind of run down and broken plus some of the items the children are supposed to pose with were empty German beer kegs. Each and every single thing was broken there and dusty enough that you might think that the place was a movie setting from Tatooine. The next problem were the clothes for Nathan. My wife brought some clothes she had ordered beforehand from Taobao and it was a good decision to do so as barely any clothes they had at the photoshoot were fitting or any good-looking for our little one. Needless to say my wife was not pleased at all about where her mother had taken them but MIL had already excuses as nothing is ever her fault. In the end she blamed her friend whom she had asked about the location and this friend said it was okay. So no way on earth it was MIL’s fault by not checking out this company beforehand!

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Posing with a beer keg

Apparently it was also not Nathan’s best day as he was very grumpy but I guess it was also due to the jet lag as it was just few days after the arrival in China. I don’t know how but through some dark magic the photographer managed in those two hours of demon baby running around to get few decent shots. You know when you pose for some pictures you know where to stand as the photographer will give you basic commands what to do, how to smile etc. This does not work with a little kid. Everything and really everything is just pure luck. Little Nathan the Satan won’t just stand there holding a toy airplane and smile into the camera, no…he will take that airplane, throw it in some corner, turn around and crawl somewhere as crawling on a dusty ground is so much cooler than walking. In the end some pictures ended up pretty well and my in-laws even got a huge picture for their wall (the monk picture above).

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Pumpkin tastes good

The second photoshoot company was a total different matter. My wife spent several days researching all about this topic until she settled on one company. Everything also went well except two things which somehow happens every single time we have to be somewhere at a certain time. First of all MIL never wants to “book” a taxi as according to her it is no problem to get a taxi on the street. Yes, usually it is not a problem but when your appointment is around the time the taxi drivers have their shift change it is a huge problem. This always results that the heavily crowded busses are the main mean of transportation. The next problem is that it is impossible for my in-laws and my wife to find the right location. I don’t know if it is normal in China but it happens all the time with them. They roughly know where to go and it pretty much stops there already. Going around buildings and asking people where to go for at least one hour is nothing special. Now you can see why for this photoshoot Nathan was nearly two hours late resulting that a long waiting time was needed as the photo appointments of other children which were supposed to be after Nathan were suddenly before him (thank you MIL).

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Coolest Monk ever

This second place was the exact opposite of the first company. Everything was clean, only few things were broken and the staff was pretty good in cheering up the kids to make them smile. Furthermore they did not push with one child through the whole session but gave after 5-10 min  the kids (and the family) some rest and took pictures with another child. Though Nathan was still very great in avoiding in front of the camera what he was supposed to do the photographer adapted always quickly to the new situations and was able to take many great pictures in the end. Also the whole family left less exhausted and annoyed than after the first photoshoot as everything (except the arrival) went very smooth.

What are your experiences when it comes to take pictures of children?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

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The Love for Animals

No today I won’t be writing about the general well-being of animals but about what my crazy Chinese mother-in-law things is best for them. Her thoughts about this topic are rather different than what the average person has in mind when it comes to taking care of animals. Besides you might still remember that she is not the best when it comes to identifying animals.

You all probably heard and read all kind of horror stories about the sad life many animals have to suffer in China. In case you haven’t thus far you just need to do a quick google search and you shall be horrified. In a country where many people just buy a new pet once a while because the old one died due to wrong care or even wrong living conditions (yes, there are people who throw a tortoise into an aquarium filled with water) it is no wonder that people might develop strange ideas about the perfect care for their pets. Dear MIL is such a case…

She has currently two dogs and I say currently as there are in between always all kind of animals she wants to take care of. Those poor little dogs, one Pomerian and one Poodle, are living the majority of their time in a cage which measures around 1m X 0.5m X 0.5m. In this cage they can’t even stretch or get some real rest. Everytime my wife is telling her mother to let them out or at least get a much bigger cage (our little bunnies even have a cage multiple times bigger than the dogs) she just blocks it or tells my wife that the dogs just feel like her stucked in the tiny 55sqm apartment, yeah right. When MIL was for the first time in Finland she was shocked about the people taking their dogs out three times a day no matter the weather conditions as she used to do that more like once every full moon. This thankfully changed due to the pressure of my wife and she takes those poor animals twice a day out for a little walk.

MIL crushing the horse with her 48kg

Another thing she she is doing could be actually a good thing if done properly. She takes care of the stray cats and dogs in the area. She brings them food, water and on rare occasions gets even some cats neutered. However the food is not exactly what you would serve your pet. Sure she does have some special cat and dog food which she sometimes gives them but the majority of the food are the leftovers from the restaurant. What dog doesn’t enjoy the occasional Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐 or leftover meat from a Hotpot which more often than not sends a poor tourist running towards the nearest toilet as the stomach cannot take it. This kind of mindset she brought also to Finland and Germany where she told us with some little proud how she feeds those poor ducks in the lake. Most people might feed ducks some old dry bread which itself is already not good for their stomachs but MIL goes 10 levels beyond that. Once again she collects the leftovers from her cooking, let it soak up all kind of stuff a couple of days placed in a plastic bag hanging in the sun and theeen brings it to the ducks. By now I wonder just how many animals she might have already killed through this feeding style. She is also always wondering how wild animals can survive in the nature when there are not people feedings them, she does not believe that animals are rather good in surviving without her food.

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Who’s a good little Panda?

Remember that I mentioned that she has currently just two dogs? In between she brings home a wide variety of animals from more common things like birds over turtles to tadpoles. Needless to say none of those creatures ever had a long life with her. So what motivates her for such behaviour or lets say why she keeps on doing this? One thing are the news shared on social media in China. She actually believes whatever is written there so when there is a story that water is very bad for bunnies and that you should cut their teeth with scissors (true story…) she believes it and tries to convince us to do the same. Another point is that she believes that animals need a lot of cuddling, taking a walk with a dog is not really necessary as long as the dog is cuddled enough. She also has a good way of telling when a dog is happy! No it is not the wagging tail but it is the tongue! When she was in Finland she was not only shocked to see people taking their pets so often out for a walk but also how unhappy they were. Why unhappy? Because the tongue wasn’t hanging out like her dogs have all the time. I think we know why dogs have their tongues out during hot days but MIL is not convinced of that science and calls it just a rumour.

You are next!

The thing is I could go on and on and on but I need to stop myself before writing an entire book about this topic. Last but not least I have to add that she wanted to catch in Germany some jellyfish from the ocean when we were at Flensburg and settle them in one of my fresh water tanks.

P.S. all these pictures are from my wife’s old laptop, some of MIL’s pictures are so shocking (makeup gone wrong) that I can’t even allow them to be shown online!

Do you have pets or are involved in programs to help animals in need?

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