Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I often take my children grocery shopping. In an expat land of housemaids who’ll watch the kids at home, a lot of people think I’m mad for taking them with me. In fact, in an expat land of housemaids who’ll also do your shopping, a lot of people think I’m mad for taking myself.
But if there’s one thing China has taught me, as mentioned previously in regard to haggling, shopping can be fun, even with the kids. Yes they pester me for lollies, but if, as the text books say, half the fun of parenting is being able to play God, you get few better chances than at the supermarket. There’s no system to it. Whether these young girls get what they want is usually up to my whim in that particular instant. Try doing that with a grown-up one!
Sometimes if they ask I’ll turn them down by pretending to be a soccer referee and hold up an imaginary red card. At other times I’ll go Roman, extending my fist with my thumb pointing sideways before tipping it down. The crowd groans. I eat a grape.
But on some occasions I’ll grant the request and we’ll get lollies. I’d estimate it’s probably about nine occasions out of every 10. For everything in life has to be weighed up: concerns over my children’s health and a far greater concern of getting in trouble from my wife are both blown away by seeing the joy on the girls’ faces when I cave in.
The girls do get a lot of exercise and we’re zealous about teeth brushing. We also have a potent reminder of the perils of eating too many sweets, in the form of a five-year-old boy at Evie’s school called Kevin Johnson. He's from Saudi Arabia. (OK, Kevin Johnson's obviously not his real name. It's actually Kevin Johnson bin Rashid bin Salaam al Maktoum.) Being from Saudi Arabia, Kev is filthy rich. He also plays the role of the portly, rich kid who gives hand-outs to his schoolmates from his well-stocked supply of sweets and chewing gum. He’s a lovely boy who loves to smile. And when he does you can instantly tell one thing – this he has fillings in several of his baby teeth, and that the teeth that aren’t filled are black and rotten.
Which leads me to today’s Parenting Tip of the Week:
Where possible, try to avoid having a five-year-old who has fillings in several teeth and whose other ones are black and rotten.
Now here’s what we did at the shops …

This product can be very useful in keeping
your kids quiet.

So can this. "Now kids, is this a
statement, a question, or a name?"

Well perhaps if they've had a head injury
they do.

If I was the Bonrds Food company I'd launch
a new investment program. To start with I'd
buy a vowel.

Leaving foods for homewares ...

Surely the most evocative pillow ever made.

Sounds good. But what does 'cosmos' mean again?

Sounds even better.

OK. But of course it's all too easy to wax sentimental
about your rubbish bin.

When buying a suitcase, make sure it comes with
a quality control sticker like this one does ...

Meanwhile, over in the personal section ...

Adult diapers: For when you're sitting at
home reading a document!

A-acks underpants: For the man who
doesn't play away!

Jieshi underpants: Now in XXXXL for the
slightly bemused foreigner with the
pillow under his shirt!

If the image of a squashed and bloodied
butterfly doesn't make women buy these
underpants, maybe it's a brand-name
promoting the virtue men desire most
in their ladies ...

"They come off at the drop of a hat!"


  1. Golf locally. Of course. Tiger Woods should have listened to the A-Acks.

  2. Those photos are nuts!

    Thanks for the laugh.

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

  3. Thanks again for livening up my day. I now have your blog saved as a favourite on my work PC. So when all the queries about taking parrot's ashes to Australia get too much I can click on your blog and live in your craziness for a while!
    Emma Tariket