Some of you may be wondering, what exactly does Lani do all day during the week in Taiwan? Excellent question. I sometimes wonder that myself when I think, where did my day go?
My morning begins with Jennica waking up and saying, “I need something to eat!”. Her waking time can range from 7:30am to 8:30am – a little later than she wakes in the US because she goes to sleep later here in Taiwan. It is impossible to have an early bedtime for her here. I then get out of bed and give her a slice of bread with cheese, a banana, and make some oatmeal. Sometimes she asks to go down to the 7-11 downstairs to buy a strawberry yogurt drink for breakfast.
While Jennica is eating breakfast I’m also doing laundry on most days. We have a very small washing machine so I have to do small loads more frequently. This means I can actually wear the same 4 outfits over and over and over again which also means I WAY over-packed! Doing small loads works out well though because we don’t have a dryer so everything is line-dried – and the rack outside can only hold so many clothes. Since it takes a day for the clothes to dry, I’m limited to a load a day. If I need the laundry to be dry that night (or I’m tired of wearing crunchy, stiff clothing), I walk half a mile to the laundromat to dry a load.
Depending on the day, after breakfast there is usually something scheduled. Once or twice a week I meet with Shu-Fern to have a two-hour Chinese lesson. On those mornings my mom will watch Jennica. On Tuesday mornings Jennica has her music class, and now she also has art classes on Wednesday mornings. Both of these are parent/child classes and her cousin Ashley attends with her. If we have an unscheduled day, we use the day to go exploring Kaohsiung with my mom. We have a tourist map from the subway station that has “must-see places in Kaohsiung” that we are trying to work our way through. We walk everywhere. If a place is really far away, we’ll take the subway or bus. It is a 1.3 mile walk to get to my cousin’s place from our place and that’s also the general vicinity of Jennica’s classes and all the good places to eat. On a single day I might walk up to 5 miles just walking to and from our apartment to various places. This would be great for exercise except that I also walk right by milk tea places and bakeries…
Jennica and I almost always have lunch out with my mom after lessons and after walking around a bit or running a few errands, we’ll head back to our apartment for her nap. While Jennica is napping I will either A) nap, B) study Chinese, or C) watch a movie on TV. I’ll let you guess which one of those I do most frequently.
Jennica has recently been napping between 2-2.5 hours so sometimes her naps will take us right up to dinner time. If she wakes early, we may walk to the playground or go to the department store to play some games or ride the kiddie rides. If Mike comes home early and Jennica is awake, we’ll try to drop her off at my mom’s so we can go for a jog or go to the gym (this doesn’t happen very often). Then, we all go out for dinner. “All” is sometimes just me, Jennica, and Mike, but more frequently includes my mom. About 3 times a week it also means the extended family.
Night time is when Taiwan really comes to life, so after dinner we like to walk around town a bit and let Jennica run out some of her energy. This often involves excursions to the department store next door to us. Finally, Jennica winds down between 9:30-10:30pm and goes to bed. Usually, Mike and I are exhausted ourselves and follow soon after!
Jennica with her home-made drum, performing a concert in music class
Hard at work on her art project
Final results – Can you tell some parents helped their kid more than others?
At the Science and Technology Museum – some pretty fun stuff in there!
Play-doh fun with Ashley