Ain’t no cupboard locked enough

Posted by on Mar 1, 2006 in Uncategorized

My 20 month old daughter has decided that all of my personal hygiene items are Public Domain. Think of the most personal item you use for hygiene. Now imagine that whenever you need that particular item, your daughter is running around the house with it. When your friends and family visit, she must bring out the item for all to view. She tries to open it, the dog tries to eat it and you just hope the mailman outside your window can’t see you running around naked chasing a Chinese baby waving your much needed “Container” around.

So you try to find a safe location for the container – someplace out of her reach. Good luck with that one. She scoffs at any attempt to “keep it out of her reach”. One day I put the item back in the bathroom medicine cabinet, away from baby’s outstretched arms. Or so I thought. Later in the day, I couldn’t find the kid. Uh-oh. What’s she getting into now? I walked to the bathroom and – Remember that scene from Mission Impossible when Ving Raymes is lowering Tom Cruise into a heavily secured computer room by some industrial strength string? I swear I saw a bald black dude lowering my 25 pound baby on a harness toward the medicine cabinet.

Ain’t no cabinet high enough. Ain’t no cupboard locked enough. Good luck keeping personal items personal for a long time to come.

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“Are you going to tell her?”

Posted by on Mar 1, 2006 in Uncategorized

I’m a stay-at-home dad who doesn’t get out much. I have everything I need at home: computer, video games, TV, food and beer. I’m not big on social events, and I’m lousy at conversation. On the rare occasion I do venture out of the house, I’ve been subject to some awkward situations.

The first thing people see when my daughter and I go outside is a giant white dude with a Chinese baby. I get stared at a lot. Especially by unsmiling, older Asian women. People sometimes come up to me and ask about her origins. These are the social situations I respect and enjoy. It’s a subject I’m comfortable with and can talk about at length. I don’t mind discussing it with strangers.

So a few women (they are always women) have asked me “Is she yours?” or “Are you the Mommy today?” (as if I couldn’t possibly be the primary caregiver since I’m the wrong gender… but that’s another gripe I’ll get to in a future blog). One lady asked “What country did you adopt her from?” Perfect. Right to the point. Look, it’s obvious that the kid wasn’t designed with my DNA. Anyone who puts it this bluntly is going to win more brownie points than someone who dances around the subject because they are afraid of being “offensive.”

It is very difficult to offend me. But a hair stylist came close (question – If a hair stylist only charges $15 for a haircut, is she still a hair stylist?) A few months ago I went by myself to get a haircut. I had never met this particular hair stylist before, although I had often been to the shop. She looked to be in her early fifties and Middle-Eastern. Nice, welcoming smile. Looked like she’d been cutting hair for a long time.

I sat down in the chair and told her how I wanted my hair done. Before the scissors even touched my scalp, her mouth opened.

And so it began:

“Do you have any kids?” she asked.

I smiled politely and replied, “Yes I do. We just adopted a baby from China. She’s 13 months old now.”

“Really?” She stopped cutting my hair. “Why did you adopt? You can’t have your own children?”


“You are still young. You should have kept trying.”

“It’s okay. We really love our baby.”

“Hmm. You should have your own child next time.”

“Next time?”

“Your next child. You should have it naturally”

“I don’t think we’re going to have anymore kids. We’re happy with just one.”

“You cannot have just one baby,” she said, wagging the comb in my face. “It’s not right. You must have at least two. Have you tried any medicines?”


“You know where you should go to get treatment?” Uh-oh. And remember, she’d only just STARTED the haircut.

“Listen, I really don’t need any—”


“I’m sorry?”

“India has the best Fertilization Clinic in the world. You and your wife should go there for a month or two and…”

At this point, I think I burst out laughing. She looked REALLY pissed off, but this conversation was getting too weird. So I tried again. “Look, we’re fine with one kid. We don’t want anymore.”

“You should have adopted from Russia then. They have better kids there.”

“We’re okay.”

The hair stylist went back to cutting my hair. Both of us were quiet for about 10 minutes. I could tell that she was seething and really wanted to ask me something.

And then she did.

“Are you going to tell her?” she asked, finally.

“Tell her what?”

“That she’s adopted.”

“Um, I don’t think I can hide that from her since I’m a big white guy. My wife is Asian, but I don’t think…”

“You cannot tell her.”

“I don’t think it’s fair to keep that a secret from her.”

“You said your wife is Asian, right?”

I nodded.

“Just say your wife cheated on you with an Asian guy. Or tell her your wife was married before.”

I laughed again. “So it’s better to tell her that her mother’s a prostitute than to tell her the truth?”

“Yes. Your child should never know. It’s not right to tell her.”

This is a true story. And the haircut sucked.

NOTE: In the future if my daughter ever asks you who her “real” daddy is, tell her “Some Asian guy.” Furthermore, if YOU happen to be an Asian male and my daughter ever calls you daddy, just roll with it.

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