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That surely got your attention, didn’t it?

No worries, no weird perverse stuff ahead. Well, almost. Depends on how you define weird and perverse.

Today’s post is about Chinese babies.

It seems like having a baby in China means wrecking a lot of clothing articles. For the first few years the child will run around happily… with a massive gaping hole in their pants running right down the middle from the back to the front. Basically buy a pair of trousers, grab scissors and cut out the crotch (baby crotch-less panties? Now this is a disturbing idea…). It’s supposed to make it easier for them to have a number 1 or 2 and I suppose it makes some sort of sense… but at the same time I can’t stop imagining that all it really does is make the stuff end up on their trouser legs. Plus what if… well, what if I’m holding the baby at the time? Either way, things are bound to get messy. And what about when it gets cold? I mean, it’s perfectly normal to see a little boy’s thing staring right at you on a bus (again, there’s something deeply disturbing about this peep-show situation…), but what is he going to do when the temperature drops down to 3 degrees? Anyway, the whole discussion seems a bit void when you notice that some children will be wearing their crotch-less clothes over their nappies. So what’s the point of destroying the clothes in the first place? Maybe the nappies are just for special occasions, like when you’re going to a restaurant and things might get awkward. Anyway, forget about baby hand-me-downs. I’m not dressing my child in anything that your child relieved itself onto!

It’s also quite normal to see a baby with a hanging out bum, urinating or defecating on the street while being held by a parent. I mean, yes, children are children, sometimes they just can’t hold it, we’ve all been there, nothing to write home about, but, honestly… does it HAVE to be right in the middle of the pavement or right on the corner of a big junction when there’s a perfectly good bit of lawn with some bushes literally two steps away? It’s plain lazy, that’s what it is!

Hmm. Actually it might partially explain the strange anal and fecal obsession a lot of Asian kids seem to suffer from (pooh-shaped cushions, anyone?)…

Another thing. Sleeping habits. I really don’t know when these children get their nap time. There’s a 7-month-old baby in the noodle shop next to where I live. You come down at 11 pm for some late supper – and the munchkin is still up and about. What about the sleeping hours? Obviously if the parents are working all day long and there are no grandparents to help with the baby there’s really no other option than to have the kid around till you finish work, but it just seems so weird. And couldn’t they put it to sleep at the back of the shop or something?

Again, this might explain why adult Chinese seem to be able to fall asleep virtually anytime, anywhere: on a hilltop, in the office, in a shop, on a pavement… They just need to catch up on all the sleep they missed out on as babies!

(See? One month in China and I’ve already cracked two of the mysteries of Chinese psyche…)

Still, all this can be easily explained by local customs and necessities of life and there’s nothing really bad or hurtful about it as such (maybe except for the sleeping thing. But I’m sure they get their naps during the day). But the single most shocking thing I’ve seen was actually by a Western father. There he was, watching a football game in a pub, with his little baby in his arms. Sitting right across the table from him was a chain-smoking girl. And not only didn’t he ask her to stop – he was actually smoking himself! Holding the baby’s head on one arm and trying to keep the cigarette away from it, as if it was of any use. I was sitting against the light, so I could actually see all the smoke wafting from this (so considerately placed out of the way) fag… oh dear: right BACK INTO THE BABY’S FACE. After all the campaigns, all the health advertising and warnings – exactly how stupid and careless can you be*?!

And this is how one idiot effectively ruined the myth of superior Western parenthood. The thought of this guy will always make me stop any child-related anti-Chinese rant mid-sentence and say the meaningful word: “however…”

What do you make of the whole story?

* Yes, I know that it’s always easy to criticise other people’s parenting methods and there’s always more than one way to skin a cat, but somethings are simply wrong, full stop, and blowing cigarette smoke into your child’s face is one of them.