Happily Home Again

I got back last night after a whirlwind tour of Beijing, and couldn’t resist sneaking into Leo’s room to say goodnight. He was more concerned about getting his blankets properly arranged so he could go to sleep than he was with saying hello to his long lost mommy, so it was a bit of a letdown – but I was nonetheless thrilled to see him and JM once again. It was nice to be free in Beijing for a few days, but it is good to be back home with my family. This morning I received a much more warm greeting from my son, who was jumping up and down to see me when I went in to fetch him from his crib. That’s more like it! I think JM is happy to have me back as well. Caring for Leo and working and balancing the household by himself was no easy task, and regardless life’s always better when shared together! Big kudos and thanks to them both for letting me go!

My last morning in Beijing was spent going out to a suburb to visit a friend I’ve made online – another mom who lives in China. She’s lending me all of her English birthing books so I can refresh myself on labor and delivery. She and her husband have lived in China for 5 years and have had 3 children here. Hearing her experiences gave me even more confidence to deliver in China. We are now decided that we will not be sending me anywhere out of country to delivery our baby girl, but will stay in Nanjing. We’ve had a good meeting with a doctor at a big Taiwanese hospital here, and feel good about the place.

After that I made a beeline for the train station and just made it! Happily, pregnant ladies get to cut first in line and board the train before anybody else. Whew! I sat next to an older couple from Shanghai and their 5 year-old granddaughter who had been touring Beijing together. They were adorable – it was really touching to see how obviously close the granddaughter and especially her grandfather were to one another.

It was interesting though talking to them. While in Beijing, it was about 10 times easier to understand people, because Beijing Chinese is basically standard Mandarin, which I study in the classroom. It made me feel better about how we’ve at times struggled to understand Nanjing Chinese, because essentially the accent and much of the vocabulary is just not the same. Talking to the couple from Shanghai, it was equally difficult to understand. While we could certainly communicate, it was not as simple as it was in Beijing. I’m glad to have had this experience; it really helps me understand how different the dialects really are.

I am also now considered officially juts a little ‘off my rocker’ – my ayi has been telling everyone just what I’ve been up to and they all think I’m INSANE for traveling to Beijing, by myself, for a few days while this pregnant (as she gleefully reported to me this morning – she kind of likes to shock her friends and the neighbors with our strange ways). So did a lot of the folks in Beijing. I heard murmurs and had many folks outright ask me WHY I was doing such a thing. Plus the fact that Chinese people really don’t do things all by themselves (it’s actually considered a pity and even a bit strange to travel all by ones self – whereas I actually really enjoyed it!). It’s a huge cultural difference and at times I ceased trying to explain, and just went with it. The upside of this is that at every point along the way, I had my big Chinese family helping me out (whether I wanted help or not) – carrying my bags, letting me cut in line, giving me food, etc. It’s really not a bad way to roll!

For now, I’m jumping back into our home routine. JM is just getting back into running after a long hiatus to heal an injury, and will be participating in a relay team for a triathlon this weekend. Leo and I will be there to cheer him on!


2 Responses to “Happily Home Again”

  1. 1 mjfalk October 21, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Praise the Power that was and is and always will be for the good news that the China Mullers are all home and together again!! Your adventures will make wonderful chapters in the book that the two of you will no doubt write together–hard to explain the reaction here–let’s see—maybe the experience of a toddler’s Mom and Dad, watching their tot climb a tall Jungle Gym—it’s more fun to think about the whole thing after it”s over.

  2. 2 Amy October 25, 2009 at 5:58 pm


    I have been spending some time today catching up on all your adventures. Leo kicked out of kindergarten had to be one of my favorites!!!

    Glad you made it back safely from Beijing and that you, your little girl and the whole family are doing well!!!

    Thanks for sharing the adventure with us via the blg!


    Chad and I are pregnant!!! It is very early but things look good so far! I found myself thinking yesterday I wish you were here as I have no doubt you would have all kinds of motherly wisdom to impart!!! 🙂 Other than that life goes on much the same for us.

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