Chong Chong at Twelve Months

A bit over a year ago, Shanshan checked into Xie Hu Hospital. After going through admittance, she was assigned to an eight-bed maternity ward.

Well, this being China, the women in that ward (including one that preceded Shanshan) setup a group in wechat, and have been chatting ever since.

They thought it would be nice to do a joint birthday celebration yesterday (which is actually Chong Chong’s birthday), so we got together at the newly constructed Crowne Plaza Beijing Lido hotel.

The festivities included the obligatory eating of cake:

And, even though it is probably politically incorrect in this day and age to do so, I am going to point out the difference in eating styles between the girl on the left and my son on the right, and will unabashedly attribute it to a difference in their genders.

Oh, and after he finished with the cake, Chong Chong decided to continue eating the, well…

After this, the mothers successfully assembled all nine children on chairs.

Later on, seven of nine (sounds familiar in someway) fathers got together with their children for this shot:

Oh, just in case you cannot recognize me, I’m the one on the left.

We also had lunch, which was fantastic. (Kudos again to the staff for their work on accommodating us.)

Now, for those who read my blog (and don’t just look at the pictures), I’ll be happy to answer questions you might have about what it was like having a kid born in a Chinese hospital (which is considered to be one of the best in the nation) as well as the fairly typical middle-class Chinese way that Chong Chong is being raised (Yue Sao for the first months, maternal grandparents living with us for the most part thereafter, etc).


  1. What a fabulous idea! I hope they remain in contact all their lives!
    I remember putting “Bippy’s” first birthday cake on a low table for her–
    she crawled up, mashed it, then ate some. Just as it should be!

    Happy Birthday to all of you–the parents who made it possible, and the Worm who is enjoying it.

  2. Glad you pulled all the pics together for us and told the story. Very cool … BTW, the differences you attribute to gender in their cake-eating habits might be attributed to how their being raised in their gender. Food for thought, so to speak.

    1. Thanks. 🙂

      When I make such statements, I usually do so with at least a little tongue in cheek.

      For the record, no other kid at the table “ate” cake quite like Chong Chong.

      I’m in the nature + nurture camp.

      Although we are raising our son in a typical Chinese setting, his upbringing certainly isn’t.

      btw, I would hope that a daughter of mine would behave in a similar fashion…

  3. great set of photos. teethe on, chong chong…table, fingers, chocolate yummy. sweet photo with the fathers. also, anything you would want to write about what it is like bringing up chong chong, from the hospital experience on, would be enlightening to us who don’t know china or how you and shanshan integrate east and west.

    it is a pleasure seeing the photos and also having such extensive writing.

    1. Thanks. Yeah, I’ll be working on something about what is like for us to be raising him in a (somewhat) traditional Chinese household.

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