I Never Want To Visit A Chinese ER Again

I was going to take a break this week from blogging since it’s Thanksgiving week and seems like the perfect time to take a break, but I couldn’t resist the Listicles. I’ll be taking a break the rest of the week. Unless I come up with something really great to talk about. Which means you probably won’t hear from me again until next Monday.

This week’s list is 10 Things I’ve learned in 2012, suggested by Kerstin. Check out the other lists at www.northwestmommy.com.

So, here’s what I’ve learned…

1. I learned that our children consist of a Bossy-pants, a Bully, and a Drama Queen. While one might expect these to be in the order of girl, boy, girl, all our children break the gender stereotypes these labels carry (Boy 1, Girl, Boy 2).

2. I learned what it’s like to take my child to a Chinese emergency room. And I learned that I never, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER want to do it again. I saw the in-hospital smoking, the tiny open-air plastic trash cans containing bloody what-not, the complete lack of privacy, and don’t get me started on the misdiagnosis of my son, which could have been determined with a simple throat culture and resolved with some antibiotics. Some may consider me to be a spoiled American over this. I’m cool with that.

3. I learned that eight minutes is too long to be at the library with my three year old daughter. By minute seven she has already banged on every computer keyboard she has passed, run behind the front desk, into the librarian’s office, gotten lost in the stacks while I’ve bent down to retrieve the six board books she threw on the floor, after she hit a kid on the back that took back the plastic cow she originally stole from him, all while using her “library voice” which really should be an “I’m at a Justin Bieber concert and I need to scream for you to hear me” voice.

4. I learned how using Twitter is akin to starting junior high. I felt myself wondering if someone could hold my hand and be my cheerleader as I sent out my first 10-ish original tweets, like on the first day of 7th grade, when my dad took me in to my class because I was scared. It was awkward for me starting out on Twitter because I began to follow all these really smart and funny people and I could see all the less-than-140-word masterpieces they were tweeting. Then some of them started following me back (pity follows, perhaps?) and I suddenly realized they could all see me and were watching me tweet, so I didn’t want to screw up and misspell something or worse, say something dumb or not funny, like the tweet where I called myself a butt-hole to backpedal from a previous dumb tweet, but just ended up making myself look worse (and you can’t untweet – once it’s tweeted, it’s there for anyone to find and ridicule you). Then I got jealous of all the really funny blogger-tweeters who are all friends with each other and I wanted to join their clique, so when I saw them tweeting, I would tweet my best stuff, but as they continued to tweet with each other, my tweets just sat there flat and stupid on my little TweetDeck, all lonesome and stuff, and were being ignored. So, then it was like being a wall-flower at that first junior high dance, watching everybody else have fun, praying somebody would ask me to dance.

After a few Twitter weeks (which is like two days in real time) I found a few friends that I depend on to hang out with at the wall and sometimes one of us will venture out on the Twitter dance floor and we applaud each other’s dance moves with retweets and “favorite” marks. And not just for the sake of encouragement, but because they really are great tweets. My BTFF (Best Twitter Friend Forever) is Mommy, for Real. She’s a great writer, hilarious, and she’s a Twitter novice like me. She recently wrote about how Twitter is like middle school here. Actually, another good post comparing blogging to middle school is by Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms, and that’s here

5. I learned how hard it is to get people to read my blog and that it takes as much time to market it as it does to write it. The good thing about this is that my audience is still small enough that I don’t embarrass myself too much when I write something that I think is great, but is actually crap. And don’t be leaving me a comment that says, “Crap – like this post.”

6. I learned that amusement parks suck when you take seven, six, and three year old kids together with you, all at one time.

7. I learned I’m middle-aged. I mean I see it every day when I look in the mirror – I should just break that thing – but I never thought I qualified as being middle-aged. As I think I’ve said before, middle-age is defined as whatever age I am now, plus 10 years. This truth hit me hard.

8. I learned that male giraffes fight each other for dominance by standing closely, side by side, and then beating  on each other’s necks with their necks. One will fling its neck around and slam it into the other male giraffe’s neck. Have you seen this? It’s kind of awesome. I saw it on PBS today (that’s what I do, I relax by watching PBS), but you can watch a fight in this clip too.



And here are two things I haven’t yet learned this year, but would like to, so any advice you have, bring it. On second thought, never mind, your advice will just make me feel like a loser.

1.  How to get my three year old daughter to obey.

2. How to properly use a hashtag on Twitter. For non-tweeters, hashtags (#) (I always thought this was called “number sign”) are used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet, created as a way to categorize messages.

Here are a few I’ve used that probably haven’t been used properly: #stinkytweet, #baddermommy, #slowwit, and #nolongersmelllikeaworkingmansarmpit. I’m sure that last one is trending high. Actually, they probably all are. Try writing a tweet that fits one of these.

So, what have you learned in 2012? Leave it in the comments.

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I Never Want To Visit A Chinese ER Again — 39 Comments

  1. Every household seems to have a requisite drama queen this year. Maybe that trend will be on the outs in 2013. Hopefully, no? And that giraffe thing is nuts. Who knew giraffes were so full of drama.

  2. Twitter scares me. I’d rather just say “hashtag” in normal conversation like it’s funny and I understand Twitter.
    I’m with you on denying the middle-agedness. It is not a fun nickname to have.
    Good luck with the three year old, and relatedly, have a great Thanksgiving.

  3. Love love love it. Especially the Twitter and hashtag stuff. Sigh. Brilliant. You are way better than you think you are. Great list, as usual. Plus, are we middle aged? How old are you anyway? My age, I would imagine. Thanks for a fantastic start to a Monday!

  4. I am with you on learning how to teach my 3 year old (and my 2 year old, too for good measure) to obey. If you learn that lesson, please share and let me know. Have a very HAppy Thanksgiving Kate :) :)

  5. Fantastic list! I had been “on” twitter for years before I actually started using it. I just didn’t “get it’. now i can’t imagine my life without it. I also felt REALLY REALLY weird promoting my blog posts on there but then I realized it works!

  6. Aww, what a great list! I’m with you on Twitter! I just started in August, and it totally feels like junior high or high school all over again. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Great stuff and love your list! I too have a bully and a drama queen (both boys). And totally relate to you on the Twitter stuff. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  8. I don’t get Twitter. I joined because it seemed to be expected in the blogging world (weird change from only 6 months earlier) but I don’t find it very interesting. I’d rather read blogs any day. I have been shocked at how hard it’s been to rebuild a readership after moving my blog. Last time I seemed to gather a group of followers quickly but it’s been much slower this time, even though it’s the same blog, just at a different address.

    It doesn’t help that I have no idea how to “market” my blog, because I don’t expect or want to make money from it or become famous. I just want to meet people and feel like enough people are reading and commenting for it to be worth writing a blog post instead of writing in my journal.

    Oh, and the giraffes were awesome! I especially liked the background gasps and whispers from the onlookers.

  9. She often fools me with random obedience, but then pulls her normal stuff the next time I tell her to do something. She’s definitely been harder to get to obey than my sons…and I thought my oldest was strong-willed.

  10. Except for all the parenting lessons, I can totally relate to everything on your list. Ok, so that’s only three things. Whatever.

    Twitter hashtags are fun. Do with them whatever you want. :-)

  11. I think Twitter is a great way to market your blog. You probably need to sit around and lurk for a while, start following some people and then promote your blog posts a few times a day. The followers will start rolling in.

  12. I have no clue when it comes to Twitter. At least I’m honest about it. I have so many people following me there, and I follow so many, but I have no idea what I’m doing besides that. C’est la vie! The library journey sounds like an adventure, to say the least, but not as rough as the giraffes beating heads. lol Great Post!

  13. It’s crazy isn’t it? Can’t we just spend 90% of our day writing and then a few minutes marketing, and that’s that?! I’ve also only just figured this out…it’s quite depressing, but it’s a necessity I guess. Thank goodness for Social Media though. Speaking of which, I love Twitter. Didn’t know how to use it properly a year ago…slowly finding my feet and gaining a few more followers. But it takes time. You need to post interesting things (not just blogs and writing), be relatable, comment on other people’s tweets…it’s pretty tiring and I only manage about three tweets a day if I’m lucky. Not sure if we’re following each other yet, but my Twitter name is MelChi. Catch you over there…will see if we can work out the hash tag thingies…I just go with what I think people will search for and what relates to my post.

  14. I’m not a big fan of looking in te mirror anymore. I do a quick check to make sure nothing is hanging out but that’s it. The whole aging thing isn’t so easily swallowable. Sounds like you have your hands full! Forgive me if I giggled a little :)

  15. You are so right on with the Twitter world being like junior high. I’m still intimidated. And I agree that blogging and trying to get others to read a blog is a full time job, and a hard one at that! Good to know I’m not the only one ‘on the wall’. Great listicle.

  16. This post was so great and then I saw you gave us a shout-out. Thank you so much! Your description of Twitter was great! (Just jump into convos! It’s allowed!)

    And this cracked me up: “all while using her “library voice”
    which really should be an “I’m at a Justin Bieber concert and I need to
    scream for you to hear me” voice.” Ha!

    And goodness gracious I need to read that Chinese E.R. piece. Yowzer!


  17. You are a very funny blogger. I really wouldn’t worry about numbers :)

    HUsband made me watch a really bad movie yesterday. The Expendables2! And I realized we are middle aged because I knew all the old dudes staring in the movie. And remember the movies that launched them into stardom… Happy Thanksgiving.

  18. I loved this post. Your three-your-old at the library sounds like my two-year-old…um…everywhere. If you figure out how to get said child to obey, well then let me know…or rather don’t. It will make me feel bad.

  19. LOL! So true. I want advice, but I don’t because it will probably be advice that worked that one person, but would never work for me and it’s only because their child is a saint anyway.

  20. Thanks Stasha! Isn’t it crazy weird to see heart throbs from our teen years now playing parents on shows. I mean, I’m a parent, why is it weird? I don’t know, it still is.

  21. Yeah. twitter has definitely helped with gaining more viewers? So you would think that I would not need to market as much, but I’m like a drug addict that just wants more and more. Ridiculous.

  22. Yeah, I have to remind myself that it’s OKAY!! if I don’t get a certain number of pageviews a day. The nice thing about twitter is that I can tweet the old stuff too. Love that!

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