Thursday, June 4, 2009

On Raising Kids Overseas

You know you're raising kids overseas when...

1. Your children don’t know your brothers or sisters, but they have at least 50 Uncles and Aunts who are no relation to them at all.

2. Your kids can translate between American, British, and Australian English.

3. When you say, “We’re going home,” your kids ask, “Which one?”

4. It’s 27 C outside but your kids want a jacket.

5. Hundreds of total strangers have photos of your children on their mobile phone.

6. When you’re in a restaurant and the server doesn’t try to pick up your toddler and carry him around, you’re surprised (and a bit disappointed since now you have to watch him yourself).

7. Your children know exactly how to behave when the customs official looks in your car at the border.

8.Your kids flew before they could walk.

9. Your kids can greet strangers appropriately in multiple languages and cultures, but they’re not sure how to relate to their cousins.

10. One of the first phrases you learn to say is, “Can you split that onto 2 plates?”

11. You wish strollers came in 4-wheel drive models.

12. You know that the best toys are twigs, rocks, and cardboard boxes.

13. Finding your children in a crowd is easy: they’re at the center of it.

14. Your kids think change is normal and normal is boring.

15. You teach geography by saying, “And Uncle John lives there, and the Johnsons are from there…”

16. The thought of sending your children on an unescorted plane trip doesn’t scare you nearly as badly as putting them back into your home country’s public school system.

17. You realize one day that your definition of “home” isn’t even on the same continent as your children’s definition.

18. Your kids have more stamps in their passport than most backpackers.

19. Your baby's never sat in a baby swing, but he loves the hammock.

20. You're too busy to write notes like these.

21. Your kids think another plane ride or border crossing is routine but the sight of a park with real grass makes them ecstatic.

22. Your kids would rather drink Pepsi from a bag than a bottle,

23. Your kids can sing the water buffalo song and mean it.

24. You had to get new pages in your child's passport before he turned five.

25. You put your children to bed at 9 pm and your neighbor marvels at how early it is.

26. Your children are as comfortable with adults as they are with their peers and don't like always having to be separated to be with their own age group.

27. When visiting the US, your kids look at their grandparents' back yard and exclaim, "Oh look, a whole park just for me!"

28. When you're on home leave, you're disappointed when no one comes up to you at the mall or playground and tells you your kids are cute. Just another blond kid running around.

29. When your kids think wearing shoes is optional.

30. When your kids want to hand thier lunch out the window every day to the homeless person at every stop.

31. When your child can fall asleep while riding on a motorbike.

32. When your child hates mashed potatoes, gets tired of bread after awhile, and love rice.

33. When your child can speak three languages very clearly: English, the national language, and broken English complete with an accent.

1 comment:

  1. Love it!

    So true!!

    I do pray for your transition. We did it with a 2.5 yr old and 1 yr old. It was super hard, but I can only imagine the vast difference between cultures you are transitioning heightens it even more.


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