I can remember it as clear as daylight… I was stuck at home with a 2-month old baby and a bored 4-year old. It was getting too hot to go outside for walks and play; I didn’t really have friends yet; Bunny was hogging the TV as
I didn’t feel like playing the whole time we were running out of ideas of things to do; Monkey was napping long stretches and/or calmly being fascinated by the toys hanging over him while lying on the play mat; I didn’t have a laptop yet and thus had an abundance of time to clean the house and make supper and lounge around… I remember complaining that I was bored and asking for advice on what to do as a new expat arrival in Doha.
And I remember how I got remarks of disbelieve, ranging from “How can you be bored with 2 kids?” to “You must be Superwoman”. I remember how I didn’t understand what the hell these other mothers were on about. Of course, I was bored! Both my kids were content with doing their own things, the house was clean and supper was made… there’s only so many times you can check into Facebook to see what the rest of the world is up to.
Slowly but surely things started changing and we were getting out of our hell-of-a-summer-limbo. Bunny started going to school; so we had to add the getting ready for school, doing homework as well as his swimming lessons to our daily routine. This had to be done while Monkey had just started crawling and thus was getting more and more mobile (a new challenge all by itself).
Things started getting busy now… More juggling required…
As the weeks passed, the even busier it got as Monkey’s confidence in crawling grew. He was/is now cruising at high speed; sometimes even while having one toy dangle from his mouth AND dragging along another toy in a hand. He’s also now walking; holding on to a couch or table; and has started trying to let go of 1 and sometimes both hands while standing up; not really allowing me to be too far away from him, in case I need to ensure a soft landing. He has also recently started climbing onto the bed and other small tables, making it almost impossible to leave him for a few seconds. (I don’t believe in playpens, so I can’t even put him in there to give myself 2 minutes to go to the loo). And then, of course, he has hit the “separation anxiety” step where I cannot, or may not put him down at all. Man, I thought the 4-month fussies were bad…. THIS is worse!! It’s like when he realizes that he is dropping down vertically, the tears start. Do not even try to sit down on either the floor or a couch with him still in your arms… THAT IS NOT THE SAME AS STANDING!!!
Now my daily routines are out the window and I do things as and when I can. Mainly when Bunny is at school and Monkey is having a short power-cat-nap or hogging his brother’s toys. Because once Bunny is home from school it’s the battle of him eating lunch, changing out of his school uniform and doing his homework. This activity can range anything from 30 minutes to our record breaking 2-hours to get done. Quite frankly by that time then, I’d had enough of a roller coaster, emotional, frustrating, working day to last me the rest of the week.
And so if the floor hasn’t been mopped in 2 weeks and the dry washing, is still hanging on the washing line waiting for me to fold it up and iron, then well, so be it. Supper is at least always made. Kids are always
alive bathed. The house will be relatively neat. But if you do plan on dropping in, just give me at least 30 minutes heads up. And under no circumstances are you allowed to check my shelves to see if it will pass a white-glove inspection.