My mum and dad arrive next week. I can’t wait! Mum’s trips to Dubai usually include a whirlwind of organisation – projects that I’ve wanted to do get finished, things that I’ve craved to get in order suddenly get the Beryl treatment. (Beryl and Cheryl – “the rhyming names reflect the closeness of our relationship,” my mum used to tell me.) When the folks are around, stuff just gets done – and, above all, I’m looking forward to someone else making a few darn decisions for a change.
“F*k sake Mummy. Why do we say f&*k’s sake?” Molly asks innocently as we are driving home one day. The husband and I look at each other, slightly horrified, trying to stifle our laughter.
“We don’t say that Molly, it’s not very nice,” I try to explain. “Who says that? Where did you hear that?”
“But Mummy, you do. You say it. All the time, in the morning.”
“You’re so naughty to me Mummy. You’re always cross,” Molly interrupts my bedtime story to tell me. “You need to calm down, Mummy. Just calm down,” she says, gesticulating by waving her hands up and down with her fingers spread wide. She is referring to the fact that I am cross because she won’t lie still and just listen to the darn story. I keep having to stop and start while she tosses about, chats to some of her teddies and then tells me she needs to get up for some water. “Will you settle DOWN! Are we reading this story or shall I just turn off the light?”
“You’re looking great!” a friend of mine told me this week. “Seriously?” I reply. “Have you seen these dark circles? And look at this belly!” I say, grabbing a handful of flesh from my mid section. In my head, I’m asking myself if she’s actually seeing the same person that I do when I look in the mirror. I mean, I feel pretty haggered most of the time. I look pretty haggered most of the time. Can she not see that too?
I want to tell you the tale of a first time mother. She had read many books in preparation, to help her become the mother she always hoped to be. A calm, centred mother who took the challenges of parenthood in her stride – who rolled with the sleepless nights, the changes to her body, the changes to her life – with complete ease.
I nearly didn’t write to you this week. It has been one of those weeks. We sold the house. We’re buying a new one. The washing machine broke down. Molly’s visa needed sorting. Henry got sick. I haven’t slept much. The old ladies’ holiday is approaching. Yes, one of those weeks where it feels like someone has written a huge bunch of “to do’s” on separate post it notes, filled a sack full of them and then emptied that sack over your head.
“I feel like I’m 100 years old!” laments the husband. It’s 3am and we’re lying awake just after Henry’s feed. While he’s back in his cot sleeping peacefully again, Molly has started coughing in her room, interrupting the possibility of sleep yet again. We’re tired. So. Dog. Tired! And in the wee small hours we begin to debate many things: will Henry ever sleep through? Is Dubai the healthiest place to bring up our children? Is our AC full of dust? Will there be a housing crash soon?
I’m going to start by telling you that I’ve shed a few tears this week, and at times I’ve been feeling the need to escape. Nope, it’s not from the desert heat that is still lingering around the squelching 40 degree C mark. It’s not from the husband who has actually been a great help. In fact a certain little person is at the heart of the reason why I’ve been feeling frustrated of late.