I have lived in China for 13 years, and my daughter was born there. This book is made up of my experiences – not just about becoming a parent for the first time, but then about bringing up a child in China. For instance, I have had to deal with traditional medicine treatments that I could not even pronounce, been embarrassed when my daughter at age two spoke more Chinese than I did, and worked out that stairwells are great places for shadow boxing when you find yourself as the only man staying in a maternity centre. Just do not punch a nurse when they walk past you.
This book is about being a Western father adjusting to parenting in Shanghai. It is about negotiating with our carer to actually get to hold my daughter, learning to sing Chinese lullabies using roughly the right Mandarin tones, and wondering if I could rob a bank with an ice cream.
I wish to share parenting and living stories from all over China, through the eyes of one proud, curious, worried, adventurous, shocked, confused, and really quite tired English Dad.