Happy weekend ya’all! Hope it’s relaxing and fun and whatever. Enjoy it while it last. I’m speaking from the future. Mine is already over as we work Sundays to Thursdays in this part of the world. Actually crazy Saudi Arabia has weekends on Thursdays and Fridays.
Yesterday I was hanging out with a little missy that vomited on my foot. It was warm and nice and I took a picture of course. The suspect is in the background. Parents take nice pictures and share. I guess the kind of pictures you sent to each other as couples change through the years. It’s used to be oh, hey look at my ass. Now it’s more Oh, my god babe, did you see this poop explosion she had in the mall. Must be a world record. What’s for dinner tonight? xx.
The other day was Fathers Day in Sweden. It feels like it’s a “parents day” every other day as an expat. We have the UAE one, there’s a UK one, Swedish one and an American one and I’m sure a million others. Anyone with a flower shop in Dubai is making loads of money considering we are about 200 different nationalities here.
My dad is in the middle of fixing the kitchen in his house back home in Sweden and I thought a big bouquet of flowers would make a nice change to the messy place. I clicked on the “large” size as I ordered them online and I guess they kept their promise. He was complaining he can’t see out of the window.
I was having an interesting conversation with one of my Filipino colleagues. We were discussing the differences in how we grew up, challenges in the daily life and missing family back home. A lot of the female Asian community here in Dubai leave their children back home with grandparents to go abroad to work and send money home. The dads are all mysteriously uninvolved. It hurted my mummy heart to listen to this but I have learnt to understand to be grateful for what I have and sometimes people just got to do what you have to in order for their families to be safe. Even if it means seeing your child once every two year. I know, we can’t even start to imagine. We take so much for granted in our lives.
While having this discussion she looked at me and said that so much is different here in the Middle East. How we live, how we talk, expressions….like “you have something in your nose”. I was like oh, ok what does that mean? I was wondering what that expression meant while she walked away to do grab on another desk. I told her that we have some funny expressions in Swedish. For example “there is no cow on the ice” means “don’t worry”. Makes sense right.
She came back and sat down and said “your nose” again. I nodded slowly and tried to look interested while thinking this is a weird expression. Is she going to tell me what it means. I looked at her and waited for her to explain.
She handed me a napkin and said “your nose…” and pointed. And that’s when I understood that I’m a stupid blond and actually had the biggest booger in my nose and the sentence didn’t have a culture meaning. It was just a straightforward wish from her side to remove the disgusting booger in my nose while I was sitting there doing nothing and just looking at her talk.
I nodded and walked slowly and embarrassed away from the situation and to remove what was hanging out of my nose.
Sometimes my child looks at me like she wants to chew my face. I take it as she is hungry or a new tooth is coming. Or she is a sociopath. She has so much from her dad.
She has a new hobby that we call The Hook and it’s goes a little something like this:
You need one big nose (an adult will do). One baby fist with long finger nails that nobody dares to cut. The baby sits just above your head as you lay down and her fingers goes in to your nose and gets STUCK. It’s called lock and pull. Baby now pulls her fingers upwards against herself making you look like a pig in pain. This is extremely fun to watch if you are like me and get very entertained by other people getting hurt.
And then we just have the normal nose grab. When you think you go in for a cuddle and want to take a cute picture. Occasionally you get a foot in your face at the same time.
…..said no new parent ever because once they do, they don’t.
Getting out of the door with your little one can sometimes feel like you have packed for a travel around the world. Twice. Sometimes I feel like packing our house, buy a caravan and forever stay in it. I’ll just bring my entire home wherever we go.
The other day we went to one of the shopping malls. Yes, one of those again. The ones we have been to 240 times this summer as to been a kazillion degrees and we chose to live in the desert. I unpacked baby, stroller, life etc out of the car. While walking away from the car I felt complete and cool. Like I was born to be a relaxed mum. I had everything under control. I grabbed the car keys from my pocket and in an insanely cool way, I reached the hand over my shoulder and locked the car without even turning around! My 7 months old baby even looked at me and said “cool as ice, mum”. Well, I’m sure she would have if she could speak.
After shopping we walked our little walk through the parking garage to search for the car. And we found it straight away, which never happens, but the reason why was because it was easy to spot.
This cool mum left the trunk open! Nothing to worry about. I bet it happens all the time… (anyone..?)
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.