Shanghai Dad: A Q&A With Peter Lee

Find out how fatherhood has changed this father!

by SHFamily | Mon, March 05, 2018

Welcome to our monthly WeChat exchange, where we reach out to a Shanghai dad to discuss family, life, and being a father. This month, Peter Lee talks about spicy curries, running out of elevators, and Coca Cola.

Shanghai Dad Peter Lee

Name: Peter Lee

Job: Owner and Manager of Favorita

Nationality: British

Children: Ethan (2.5)

School: School of Mom and Dad

Time in Shanghai: 12 years

When did it first register that you were actually a father, and what did you start doing differently?

I don’t think it fully hits until the baby is in your arms. I started being more health conscious because I want to be around as long as possible for Ethan. Waking up at noon is obviously a thing of the past, but I can’t think of a better way to be woken up (at 6am) than by my son asking me to get out of bed and play.

How has fatherhood changed you?

I’m (slightly) less selfish. For example, meal options are more often than not driven by what’s suited to Ethan, so not many spicy Indian curries anymore. I also look forward to coming home at the end of the day or after a trip—I can’t wait to get there to see my little one (and my wife of course!). It’s only about five meters from the elevator to my door, but I usually run rather than walk.

What has been your worst parenting moment?

The day Ethan arrived was both joyous and extremely difficult. We got to the hospital but were kept separate from each other for over 10 hours until close to the actual delivery. The waiting without any communication was torture (we were in a public hospital), and then after the birth, during the first night, there was no real place for dads to sleep, so I just shared a tiny hospital bed with my wife. I’m glad to say that everything since then has been wonderful.

What is one of your most memorable parenting moments?

I’d just finished clearing after lunch with Ethan, and for some reason I really felt like a nice cold glass of Coke. As I came out of the kitchen, Ethan was standing there with a glass in one hand and a can of Coke from the fridge in the other, holding them up towards me saying “daddy”. I almost cried.

In what ways have you noticed that your child is similar to you?

According to my wife, in all the bad ways — he’s a picky eater and has a bad temper. I have a different perspective. I think he’s very intelligent, has a sense of humor even at two, and he loves tofu, just like his dad.