(Started on Friday night, completed on Saturday night… as usual)
Panorama at 8 p.m. on a school break. Not some place I recommend. But we had a different ‘family day’ today. I had to be up at an obscene hour (after sleeping at an obscene hour) to meet my mother who was arriving back to Riyadh at 5.50 am. So I decided we will skip the usual restaurant brunch because I fully intended to get back into bed the second I was able to. That second was 7.38 am.
I stayed in bed for a few more hours during which S went to friday prayer with his father and J did arts and crafts after breakfast till I was fit to be a mother after an appropriate amount of sleep. I LOVE that J loves arts and crafts. All I have to do is layout the table with supplies and let her at them, she could go two hours straight.
M and S went to prayer and didn’t come back for ages. This was a good opportunity to train myself to stop the stupid cycle of insanity that goes on in my head when people are late or don’t answer the phone. It doesn’t help that he forgot his mobile at home. When they finally did get home I learned they went on visits. My little S went with his father to do some grown up men visiting men stuff. And he was so serious in his thob and all.
We had lunch, J took ages as usual but when every one started getting up but me while she was still eating she said “thank you for keeping me company mama”. Something I have noticed, we never wait for everyone to finish before getting up from the table. I remember when our nanny first arrived she had so many issues with the kids getting up when they were done and not waiting for everyone on the table to finish. I went with it at first but then I would finish and want to get up! So I explained that it is not mandatory. As long as they ask to be excused and don’t leave someone at the table on their own then it’s fine. Is that just in our family? or is it an Arab thing?
After lunch we spent a large part of the afternoon on the floor rolling around and dancing and playing games. Baby B got so excited he kept falling over, bumping his head or running into the door because he was looking behind him at me or one of his siblings who was chasing him that he ended up in tears a few times. But there were no serious injuries.
J kept complaining that her eye hurt her… actually it was her eye socket. I hate when obscure things like that bother the kids. It worries me and I don’t know what to do about it. It’s not a cut I can disinfect or a bite I can put ointment on. It’s some weird thing that doesn’t make sense. I have developed a method of dealing with situations like this that has worked well so far. It they go an hour without forgetting about it I call a doctor. If they are extremely uncomfortable or in pain I take the to the er. If they are ok, only mention it occasionally I wait 24 hours. These mysterious ailments almost always go away the next day.
I have tried to keep them awake late these days because my sister’s wedding is coming up. It’s a small affair in my mother’s house but J is a brides maid and I would love for her not to look like a sleep deprived, miserable child while she is walking in front of her aunty.
At around 4 p.m. Baby B went down for a nap and I took S and J to Jareer book store cause J asked me if I could buy her some Arabic books! We spend about 40 minutes there with S bargaining with me on how many toys he can buy, He tried to sneak 6 bags of marbles in the basket but that was a no no. The he rationalized a mini tennis set toy thing with the idea that it was for exercising. I let him have that one. After choosing a couple of toys I said no more toys only books.
S loves the independence he is gaining as he grows up. When we go into a store he always wants to go ahead and choose his things without me shadowing him. So when we walk in he asks me where I will be, he tells me where he will be and says he will come and find me after. I usually spend the rest of the time wondering if I am crazy for letting him go off but he is 8 in less than a month and we are in a book shop during the day so I stop being silly and let him go.
J chose a few Arabic story books and a couple of english ones while S chose a book about magic tricks and another about football. J also chose a few books for Baby B, one for her and another from S. The rest of the day was spent with family and the Panorama at 8.
We walked into the mall and instantly a woman started screaming and shouting. She had her face covered with a niqaab and looked like she was having a break down of some sort. I swear to you, 2 seconds into her first scream the whole mall had crowded around her. I stopped for a few seconds and then continued to walk because I had the kids and because it’s not helpful to stand and stare at someone having a break down.
The kids play area was crowded and annoying and loud as you would imagine. We stayed an hour during which the kids were only able to play a couple of games. I managed to keep them up till 11.30.
Saturday updates: J’s eye is fine, she forgot about it. They both woke around 9 am. It’s not 10 am as I had hoped but at least it’s wasn’t 7 am.
Our kids get up from the table when they’ve finished eating too. They have to wait for everyone else at kindergarten (but not at school), but it’s impractical with the Butterfly. He also *always* needs a bath straight after eating and so I get up then too (I have learned to eat very quickly!), Craig has a bad back and can’t sit still for ages, so he gets up too. There can be the issue of one kid not finishing because the other one has and is playing, but not too often. As long as they are polite while they eat (closed lips and small mouthfuls) and they excuse themselves properly – I can’t see any issue.
When I was little, we had to ask “to be excused” from the table, but my husband and I did not follow that with our children. I seem to remember that we just naturally stayed at the table, we all enjoy eating and talking.
Slm-came to ur blog after a long time! Please tell us all about the wedding in detail with some photos also-after ur sister gets married! Would love to learn more about Saudi Weddings!! And ur next trip/holiday must be to South Africa! Do u know of any Saudis who have visited my country? And did they enjoy it here? Hope u don’t mind me askin tooo much-im soooorrryyyy!!