Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Stepmomming It

We met M's daughter in LA, and she flew back with us to KL for a couple of weeks. Last time, she and her brother came to KL, it was over the Christmas holidays, and M and I had time off from work. This time, we aren't able to take off the whole time she's here, so of course I'm concerned that she is bored. We looked into several options for her to do volunteer work while she's here, and we came up with some volunteer work at the SPCA for her during some of her afternoons.

She went yesterday, and part of her job was to pull chicken meat off of cooked chicken necks to feed the dogs. I know that volunteer work isn't glamorous or anything, but she's sixteen, and we envisioned her being able to play with puppies and kitties all day, maybe scoop the occasional poop and what not. But I don't think chicken necks were part of C's plan, so she wasn't too keen on going back today. Oh well, we tried.

Since I work from home, I've felt pretty torn this week. I mean, I need to be working while I'm at home, but it's tough because I don't want her to be bored. But we are taking her to do some fun things in the evenings, and we are going to Redang this weekend, so hopefully we've struck some sort of balance between our work obligations and making sure she has a good time.

I'm also kind of worried because we would love for her to come and live here, so we are trying to expose her to all the fun and interesting things to do here. But she's experiencing some of the same frustrations that we did when we first got here. They are really not frustrations, simply differences that she encounters, but to a sixteen year old, every difference IS a frustration. Small things like the milk tastes different here, or salespeople follow her around the stores in the mall, or it takes longer than normal to get our restaurant bill. We try to explain that things are simply different here, but I'm not sure she's having a good time. And I'm feeling some major stepmom guilt about that.

What really sucked though is that on Tuesday, she went to the mall by herself. When she was walking home from the mall, she passed by a street where a lot of delivery trucks were parked. A couple of the drivers got out of the trucks and made kissy noises at her and asked her to marry them. That kind of freaked her out. So I got pissed because, they can do that to me if they want, whatever, but leave my stepkid alone. Ah, the protective parenting thing is in full gear. I'm sure The Triad is teary eyed and proud.

Once she got home, she went downstairs to swim. Of course, since we have lots of construction around us, that means that there are a lot of construction workers around. There's one building in particular, where M and I have watched them stop working and leer down to the pool and stare at whichever women are using the pool at that time. Well, that happened to her as well, which made her uncomfortable. I really can't blame her; it makes me uncomfortable too, which is why I don't use the pool very often. I don't need an audience, and she doesn't either.

So hopefully, this weekend will be really nice. Then, next week, we are planning to take her to Eye on Malaysia and some other cool stuff, then she and M will spend a day in Singapore before she flies home.

So, between the chicken necks, the leering men and the strange food, she doesn't seem to be enjoying herself as much as she did last time. I feel GUILTGUILTGUILTGUILT. Any ideas on some fun stuff for her to do during the day in KL?


At July 12, 2007 at 10:08 PM , Anonymous Triad 1 said...

First - OMG. If I could put that in great big font letters, I would. I had no idea there was a Triad Description on your blog! I must have missed it somewhere amongst the gravy description and gripes about humidity. You did an excellent job - although we must have more Triad Stories. We are truly hilarious. But you left out the part about how I look like Ashley Judd, and Triad 2 has just patented the ability to Kill Your Teenager And Get Away With It.

Second - this is what I tell my parents that are having guilt because their three year old will eat only ketchup sandwiches and ohmygoshhe'snevergoingtogrowandhewillbestupidandnevergetintocollegeandeatonlyketchupsandiwchesfortherestofhislifeandnoonewillmarryhimandI'materriblemother.

Except, your mind is going: ohmygoshshecameallthewayoverheretoseeusandherdadisatworkalldayandIhavetoworktooandsheissoboredandlaysinfrontofthetvalldayandthinkscrapwhydidIcomehereIwanttogohomeandIamthemostterriblestepmotherintheworldsheisnevergoingtolveme. I can say this because, as you've mentioned, our minds clearly were cloned.

So I will say to you what I say to them: your job is merely to present a nutritious meal/fun things to do in KL. It is her job to decide whether or not to eat it/enjoy those fun things. She will not always eat just ketchup sandwiches/hate KL. She will grow up just fine and get into college/want to come back and see you. You are not a terrible mother/stepmother.

But, I do know that I would be feeling the same way, worrying about entertaining her, making sure she had a good time, because THAT IS YOUR JOB. Now, that having been said, I will ponder the situation for you, as though I do not live in KL, I do remember what it was like to be a bored teenager, and alas, there is no Proctor in KL.

And remember, your maternal competition? CAN GO NOWHERE BUT UP FROM THERE, my little friend.

Yours in thoughtfulness and supermodel good looks,
Triad 1

At July 12, 2007 at 10:14 PM , Anonymous Triad 1 said...

Crapola. My little stream of consciousness thoughts did not fully copy. I will try again so as to get the full effect.

ohmygoshallhewilleatisketchupsandwichesandhewillnevergrow andnevergetintocollegeandnoonewilleverwanttomarryhim becauseheisbrightredfromalltheketchupandIamaterriblemother.


ohmgoshshecameallethewayoverheretoseeusandherdadhastowork andIhavetoworkandsheisboredlayinginfrontofthetvalldayandthinkscrapwhydidIcomehereIwanttogohome andshewillhatemeandneverlovemeandIamaterriblestepmother.

You can see how the mind runs amuck.

At July 13, 2007 at 1:03 AM , Blogger La NiƱa said...

Try going to Eye On Malaysia at night. The laser lights show is fantastic.

Travel agencies organize half-day tours of different areas of KL, maybe your stepdaughter can join that. At least she'll be with a group.

Some men here in KL have no manners. They call your attention, ask for your name and they like to STARE a lot. It just annoys the hell out of me.


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