Bǎo bèi 宝贝 is precious

This is one of the first Chinese words I learned because I went everywhere with my “little treasure” 😀

If you’ve never visited China with babies or kids, you will certainly find that China is one of the most baby-friendly and child-friendly countries in the world.

They may not have the best clinics or hospitals and you will also find many restaurants without high chairs or plastic cutlery for children. But, the Chinese have a lot of heart for children.

April will be the last month my favourite 保姆 bǎo mǔ will work for us. She’s the second lady I’d hired to help cook and care for the kids and I already miss her dearly!

I remember the first day she came to our apartment: she is about the same height and weight as I am. She’s fair with beautiful, large eyes and a big smile. The minute she stepped into the apartment, her eyes darted here and there as if wondering IF she’d like to work for us.

I had a good feeling about her because her serious face broke into a big, warm smile when she saw my baby girl, then just less than a year old. My little girl immediately warmed up to her and she let her carry her as if she’s one of her aunts!

The previous 保姆 bǎo mǔ actually made her burst into tears despite all her cajoling LOL Even the boy didn’t like her.

Besides being a natural with kids, she’s a fabulous cook with a lot of common sense. During the time she worked with us, I didn’t have to think of menu planning, which types of soups to cook during which season and which type of dish to match with which soup etc. as she knew better than me!

She took full charge of the kitchen, cleaned it and re-organized things around the place to make it more conducive for her to cook.

I was also touched when she’d steam an egg or cook various dishes for the baby girl.

Some of my favourite dishes include:

Simple fried rice
Claypot tofu
Steamed fish with suan and chong (delicious and healthy!)
Fish porridge and
ALL her soups!

She loves cooking and it shows in her dishes because each one of them look as if they were cooked in a Chinese restaurant! Sigh.

She also loves the kids as she’d play with both of them until they’d be giggling and climbing all over her.

A country girl at heart, she loves the outdoors and would quickly finish with the cooking so that she and the little girl can go out to the park for some time in the morning sun.

She’s not that into housekeeping but she will put things away so that the place looks neat and tidy. Hubby and I don’t mind since she’ll ensure a clean kitchen, crockery, bathroom and of course, the kids.

You should see photos of my kids when they were under her care – chubby, pink cheeks and bright, happy eyes!!!

She’s also lots of fun to be with because we can chat about anything under the sky. One of the topics we’d talked about was owning a small business. Naturally, she’d hope to do better than just being a maid if it means a better future for her kid.

I was heartbroken when she told me that she’s leaving us but after I got over the shock, the anger and the disappointment, I can understand why she’s doing it. I’d do it too if I am as smart as she is.

She’s not much of a dresser – in fact, she’s a very simple girl  but she’s going into the fashion industry LOL

I’m not sure if she’ll be selling wedding dresses but I know that she’ll be managing a retail store.

She’s unsure about the business opportunity and the big move but I said, “Just give it a try. At least you’ll know if you can do it.”

She agreed and said that she’ll come running back if things don’t work out.

I am sure the little girl misses her 阿姨 āyí a lot. Even the little boy asks if the “old” 阿姨 āyí will come again. We all miss her bubbly personality and of course, her delicious dishes already but we do wish her and her family all the best.

Definitely hope to see her again…