Mama Hungisms

Ever since we bought the house in Mimico, my mother moved in with us during the week to help out. She usually comes for Sun aft and then leaves Fri aft so that Dan and I have the weekend to ourselves with baby K.

Today's post is dedicated to all the weird and funny things my mom does - otherwise known around our house as Mama Hungisms.  This is my life - when not dealing with Kensi or Frankly, I'm trying to figure out what is going on with my mom!

1. Dan vs Den

Mama Hung speaks with an accent - duh because she's an immigrant.  This makes for some hilarity when it comes to pronunciation of words and also understanding what certain words mean. Her recent confusion: Dan vs Den

This started last year when she gave a Christmas card to Dan, but she wrote "Den" on it. To be fair - when she hears us pronounce the two words she probably can't tell much of a difference. Hence she thought his name was spelled "Den."  I obviously corrected her that it's spelled "DAN."

Fast forward to last week when she JUST learned how to text, and she texted Dan and said "Den, how did Kensi sleep last night?"

When Dan laughed and showed me the text I thought, le sigh - I need to remind her again how to spell and pronounce his name.

The next morning I tell mom, "Mom! Dan's name is spelled with an A. Not an E" Please insert look of confusion from Mama Hung. She couldn't hear what the difference was. I clarified: DAN is a person. DEN is like a small room, like an office or maybe a small living room. I was met with silence.

The next next morning: My mom confronts Dan before he leaves for work to ask him to clarify again what the difference is between Dan vs Den. He tried to explain.

AFTER he leaves - she confronts ME to clarify. Once again I explain: Dan with an A is his name. Den with an E is like a room.

Fast forward to 3 days later when it's thundering like crazy outside and Frankly is freaking out so she goes and hides in her tent. I could't figure out where she was at first so when I asked my mom, she said "Frankly is hiding in her DEN!"... *proud smile*


2. Leeks

Up until a month ago - it's as if my mom has never cooked with leeks before.  She's always hovering over me in the kitchen like, 'ooh what's that? ok now what are you doing? oh ok are you chopping it like that? hmm.'

I was making a stir fry one day and I was chopping up some leeks and she was confronted with the smell of sauteed leeks with butter and was floored. The scent was overwhelming.

Now she can't get ENOUGH of leeks and she pretty much cooks with it EVERY SINGLE DAY. It's like leek THIS and leek THAT and oh I just added LEEKS to it, doesn't it taste and smell wonderful!

I asked her, "Mom, did you JUST discover leeks? Because ever since I showed you - you can't stop buying it and you put it in EVERYTHING." Her response? Stone cold silence because she was strategically playing with the baby and ignoring me.

3. White babies and their "prominent" noses

I've had a bunch of people come visit with their babies, and there is NOTHING that Mama Hung loves more than BABIES! The one thing she will ALWAYS without a doubt comment on is babies and their noses.

Why? Well because most of the time Asians don't have prominent noses (i.e. high nose bridges). Our noses are usually flat and so she's always trying to prevent me from having Kensi do tummy time too long because if Kensi gets tired she falls flat on her face, and this poses a risk to flattening Kensi's nose (even more!). She's always yelling, "Don't do that! her nose will get flatter!"

So if there's a baby that comes through our door, especially a WHITE baby, she cannot help herself and exclaim, "Look at that nose!!! Look Kensi, look at this baby's nose! Why is your nose so flat? This baby has such a prominent nose!"


If you have a baby - then you'll know that your life is pretty much consumed by tracking their bowel movements. It's always like, "Did she poop yet? Oh no she hasn't pooped? Why is she pooping so much today? poop, poop, poop!"

For the record for those who don't have kids - babies poop really irregularly. It's apparently super common for babies to go days/week without a poop! I was warned of this upfront by my midwives - not to be alarmed if Kensi doesn't poop for 4-5 days. Apparently it's normal and it's just babies working out their digestion.

That's why EVERY day my mom will ask me after I change Kensi's diaper, "Did she poop?" and then she'll get a sad face if I tell her "Nope, just pee!"

But when I DO tell her Kensi pooped - her whole face lights up and she'll rush over to Kensi and proclaim, "CON-GRAT-U-LAT-IONS!!!!"

AND now I can't help myself - anytime Kensi poops I'll also say really slowly and emphatically, "CON-GRAT-U-LAT-IONS!!!!"

I'll also say this to Dan too haha.

5. Halloween Candy

Dan and I moved into our house last October, and we were confronted with something we had never experienced before: the need to buy Halloween candy!

Everyone told us that our street typically gets HUNDREDS of kids and so we needed to be prepared. Hence weeks before we bought several boxes of candy and chocolate bars from Costco expecting to get 200-300 kids!

I think we barely hit 150 kids and so we were left with a TON of chocolate bars left over. I was originally planning to take it to work but I totally forgot, so when I went on mat leave I was left with a box full of tiny chocolate bars in our cold room.

I totally forgot all about it because I rarely go into the cold room until one day Dan comes up to me and says, "Hey, did you know that your mom has been sneaking into the cold room and eating a piece of chocolate in secret everyday?"

I asked him how he knew this, and he said because 1) He was doing the same and 2) He ran into her doing it at the same time he was going to get one.

My only ask for the both of them was DON'T TOUCH THE BUENOS! Those are only when you REALLY need or deserve it, and not just for on the daily sugar fixes.

6. Peeling/cutting fruit

Lastly, one of the hallmark skills that Mama Hung is known for is her superior fruit peeling/cutting skills. ALL MY LIFE she's been trying to force me to eat fruit. Growing up after every meal, she would cut fruit and force my brother and I to eat it.

When I had friends come over, she would peel and cut a whole plate of fruit and present it in front of us. I would ALWAYS make whoever was visiting to eat the whole plate of fruit and then lie when my mom asked us if we BOTH ate the fruit to say we both participated :)

Pretty much nothing has changed as a 30 something year old grown up. My mom still is peeling and cutting fruit and trying to make me eat it every chance she gets - and now with Dan as well. And then if I have any friends come over - no doubt she's trying to push fruit onto them as well.

This fruit pushing tendency she has is precisely why Dan and I have no idea how to cut fruit really well - as she's pretty much been doing it for us for the past... ohhh 8 years (and for me my WHOLE LIFE).

But for serious - if anyone wants to come eat fruit at my house, all I ask is that when confronted about who was eating the fruit, you better tell her that I was actively eating fruit as well!

parenthoodKaty Hung