A few months ago when I was on maternity leave and occasionally opened the door to discover exciting things outside the house like trees and air. I also saw people that had time to shower, ants and there was (still) a pretty sky. One day I went to one of those “new mama and baby meetings”. I don’t remember any of it as I sat starring at the wall and sleeping with my eyes open.
These meetings are in a very busy building with a consulate on the top floor which means the elevators are crowded constantly and you have to squeeze in and feel like you are being humped by the person behind you. And this is without a stroller. So when the elevator actually arrives you need to run and do the demolition walk with your baby. This means you just push the stroller in front of you and pretend you don’t see anyone. If someone is trying to step in front of you, you just look the other way and just keep on walking and then do the the tired-mummy look and say “Oh, my god, I’m so sorry” and pretend you that you care. My stroller is like an off road version with extra wide wheels as well. I guess when we bought it we just didn’t know when we would end up chasing camels in very deep sand in the desert with a baby and stroller. (Modern beduism?)
After the mummy meeting me and baby managed to get a spot in an elevator on its way down. We squeezed in with people in suits or tiny little dresses and people that had combed their hair. My daughter was laying in the stroller awake and looking at the people. They were looking back and smiled and I was like yeah, I made that.
The elevator was dead quiet and suddenly my daughter farted something that could break the sound wall in to space. Even she looked surprised and a little scared. A little bit like you do the day after you had a spicy curry. I started laughing and looked up but everyone was just quietly looking away and pretended it didn’t happened. Ok, we are ignoring baby farts even though it almost started an earthquake. Fine by me. They obviously didn’t spend their day with poop and breastmilk leaks like I did. I was still smiling and looking around to see if anyone (come on, ANYONE?) would look back at me with a little smile.
I don’t know but they might be outside of their homes more then twice a week and are entertained by other stuff.
It’s too freakin’ warm outside to do anything right now in Dubai. Even the camels look a little bit bored of the whole summer situation. Enough now! Or as we say in the Arab countries: Khalas! Pronounced right from the bottom of your throat like you are on your way to spit something up. Dutch people must be awesome at Arabic. No I don’t speak Arabic. Just the main swear words and some other useless sentences.
They say (the people that knows things, whoever that is…God?) that the temperature will soon drop under 40 degrees Celsius during the day. That’s around 104 Fahrenheit degree.Now doesn’t that sound like winter..
This is my climbing like a pro. All summer entrainment can be found inside any of the huge Dubai malls. All I’m thinking is don’t – look – down. So what am I doing? Looking down of course.
You don’t need to activate your self very much in one of the big malls to feel that you have done your daily exercise. You just need to look at a map and decide to go to the store furthest away from where you are at the moment. Half an hour and five kilometers later you will reach your destination.
How forgetful are we as parents? I started thinking about this the other day when my husband seem to have forgotten that we have a baby. I was putting our daughter down for a little nap when my husband left the house to go grocery shopping. Half an hour afterwards he came back and entered the house yelling from the top of his lungs like our hallway was some kind of opera stage. Hello? Hello? Why is nobody answering? Hello?
During this time I was obviously sitting upstairs next to our baby that was just lightly asleep and plotting his murder. How short could his memory be? I cant possibly scream back. He started once again Hello? Hello? His voice echoed all the way from downstairs. He then entered our daughters room to see me sitting there all red in my face and I started doing the most angry gesture as quiet as I could and probably looked like the irritated charade player in the world. BE QUIET AND GET OUT is easiest shown with tensed mouth, angry eyes and continuously waving arms pointing at the door.
Then…The day after…
So we have a babysitter during the days as in the Middle East you get very little to none (compared to Sweden) maternity leave. We get 45 days and that includes the weekends! I added a bunch of vacation and unpaid days to be able to be off for a few months. Anyway we have a nanny as the little one is too young for nursery. The other day they were playing in the garden while I took a shower and got ready for work. When I got out of the shower I heard loud yelling and singing and I was like oh, they are having so much fun together, how cute. All of sudden there was water splashing on my bedroom window! I was on the second floor so I was kind of surprised but thought that’s fun, they are playing waterfall, guessing that is some kind of sensory game for the baby. I imagined my little daughter in her sitter watching the water splashing against the window and pouring down. She loves water. Maybe she was sitting there giggling. But then the water came on all windows and more fierce. (Can water be fierce? It felt angry). That’s when I realized, holy *uck, they are not having fun, they are locked out! This is a call for help!
I ran downstairs and opened the locked door out to the garden to find everything floating. My nanny was smiling at me. She was totally soaked with my wet baby in her arms. “You locked us out”…
Ok, so we all forget sometimes. It’s not like I forget that I’m a mum or my husband that he is dad (well…) but I read somewhere that it takes up to one year for your brain to program that you are a parent. I was laughing when I read that as I was at the moment up a million times a night to breastfeed or comforting baby. I thought to myself that this little one will never let me forget that she exists. And I don’t mind. But yeah, we might get tiny bit confused at times.
Our nanny is now watching me with hawk eyes every time she is in the garden and if I happened to close the door behind her. I do it carefully and S L O W L Y, nodding my head at the same time to confirm that yes, I remember, I promise wont do it again.
She might not love me as much as she loves the baby. Our deepest conversations since six months back has mostly been me saying DONT LICK THE BABY five hundred times a day but they just love each other. And my baby probably tastes like sweet potatoe and apple purée most of the time so I can’t blame doggie dog. Baby is tasty.
I’m telling myself that since I saved her from a life on the streets I have the right to dress her up every now and then. It’s the same logic I use when I tell my husband not to wear sneakers all-the-time. I SAVED YOU! No, I didn’t but yeah, kind of..?!
Actually I have nothing against sneakers. The discussion is more “Please just wear underwear for once”. Not everyone wants to see your ass when you move.
There is so much pressure on parents. We need to be role models, not swear too much, create routines and most importantly teach our children how to take a selfie. This is something our parents didn’t have to do and see how we turned out. Amazingly normal and incredibly beautiful but anyway..
Will the next generation love technology or hate it? Will they turn all the gadgets off and go live in tree houses? I doubt they will know how to build one. Or they’ll just google it.
My husband is English and I’m Swedish. I guess that makes our six months old daughter Swenglish. So far she is doing a great job being in between. We have weekly fights if she is more of a viking or a crazy Manchester United hooligan.
A few weeks ago my husband started taking Swedish lessons to be able to understand what me and our daughter are and will secretly be talking about. He has obviously already showed off in class that he knows important phrases like “mamma är din bästa kompis” (mum is your best friend) and “pappa är bajs” (dad is poo). Things that his incredibly talented wife thought him and made him believe it meant something else. I’m sure they were very impressed in class.
The other day he had a meeting at work with a Swedish supplier. My husband who is obviously proud of his new learning wanted to show off with shaking the suppliers hand and asking her “vad heter du?” (What’s your name?). He took her hand and his memory failed him slightly and he said “Hej, jag älskar dig” which means “Hi, I love you!”
The supplier was obviously flattered considering my husband is a handsome guy but she laughed and asked him if he was really sure about that considering it was the first time they’ve met.
Well, people that speaks more than one language knows how hard it is. I’ve done quiet some interesting mistakes like ordering a naked steak in France, asking for a blow job in Lebanon and asked my Arabic boss in Doha if he wanted to eat a road sweeper.
When going to a place that is called “Butterfly garden” normally you would be prepared that there will be…that is right, butterflies! We went on a little adventure yesterday to something I thought I would enjoy with my daughter and some friends but it turned out I couldn’t stop waving my hands around. Fuckin’ hell, they were everywhere. In my face, on my back, on my head, was that one flying up under my skirt? Aaah… And at the same time I tried my best not to leave the place being a butterfly killer.
We got used to them after a while but we did leave some casualties behind. We didn’t mean to but being a baby and grabbing things, you might just get hold of a pair of wings and ooooops, we are so sorry mister butterfly. We accidentally shortened your three days long life to one.
Today’s casual outfit: Butterfly and suspicious baby
After a few months of giving birth I thought I needed to do something about the fact that my body contained of zero percent muscles and 100 % coffee and a whole lot of cookies. I went to a personal trainer that specialized in post pregnancies and yummy mama bodies. She started measuring my thighs and abs and she also checked my belly. After the examination she informed me that she had good and bad news. Bad news: there was no difference in my muscles when they were relaxed versus flexed. Good news: there is a huge gap in my belly muscles, also known as diastatis recti. She looked at me and smile. That means that you at least have core muscles! Ok, awesome, I thought to myself. I really have no muscles and the ones I got have a huge gap in the middle. Oh, the joy of being a woman!
I trained with her for about five times before she went on vacation. She took a short break of 2,5 month and I haven’t seen her for just as long. I promised to keep on going to the gym while she was away. That was a lie. Well, I did buy a gym card. Easiest money that gym ever made. They have seen me twice in four months.
She is back next week and in a weak moment I signed up for an eight week program. This means training three times a week for eight, freaking weeks. I will hate myself so much for this. But after 24 sessions I will be doing push ups like a rock star, all of them. Perhaps also the 26 pairs of tiny trousers that I have in my closet will fit.
Until then, where are the chocolate chip cookies i bought yesterday. There is no way I ate all 18.