Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yep...Here We Are Again!

Once again, my husband has gone off to present at a conference, this time in Shanghai. He will be gone for almost a week, otherwise known as a month in The Land of Outnumbered Parents.

I got a head start on being Extra, Extra Organized, which is the mode that I must go into whenever Jabiz leaves town. So, on Sunday, I ironed and hung up in my closet complete outfits for the week, coupled with matching accessories.

I was clearly not thinking ahead, though, as I planned to wear white pants today. Why wouldn't I wear white pants? I wear white pants almost everyday! Well, it turns out the reason NOT to wear white pants this week is that I have to take the kids to class alone, so when Skye wants to be picked up and carried, I'm the only one to do it.

Needless to say, within a matter of exactly 47 seconds, the ironed, put-together and matching outfit that had looked so fresh and crisp on me a mere 30 minutes earlier was now sporting two toddler-sized shoe prints on each thigh, as well as about three dozen wrinkles in my linen top from carrying all of the school and lunch bags in addition to Skye.

Fresh and crisp? Not so much anymore. More like wilting and raggedy. Fortunately, only about 400 people were going to be seeing me all day, so....there's that.

Hold on for a second while I go and switch all the pants on the remaining hangers with black pairs...OK.

Not that anyone noticed in the slightest what I was wearing, since they were too distracted by Skye's phenomenal tantrum that was thrown on the playground when I committed the unthinkable sin of *gasp* trying to PUSH HER ON THE SWING! Apparently, the swing was too low to the ground, which resulted in her having to *gasp again* HOLD HER FEET UP while swinging.

This was absolutely unacceptable to Skye. And she was going to let everyone know that. Every. Last. Person.

There really is nothing that gives you more of a sense of dignity and pride than carrying your screaming child to the Time Out corner while you are AT YOUR JOB. This is seriously one of the downsides of teaching in the same school that your children attend. It's usually an ideal situation. When they are good, anyway. When they do cute things, like sing in assemblies and run around in their tutus for their after-school ballet classes. THEN everyone tells you how adorable your children are.

When they are in the throes of a wretched, sense-deadening tantrum? There are only quiet stares and soft, sympathetic noises.

Anyway, the tantrum ended. Eventually. And we could begin our day.

Kaia had her first soccer practice today, and I promised her that I would cut short my afterschool meeting in order to have time to watch the second half of practice. Needless to say, I ended my meeting at exactly 3:30, grabbed my camera and sprinted over the the elementary gym.

Just in time  to see her wipe out when she tripped over the ball while running too quickly and began sobbing uncontrollably. I saw the coach making sure that nothing was broken or sprained, and was inclined to give her a few minutes to see if she would shake it off and keep going with the practice.

However, this apparently was NOT the course of action that the other mothers would have taken, because the looks that they gave me sent me slinking in shame into the gym. Where I wiped off the tears and fell straight into the trap of 5-year-old manipulation when Kaia shakily asked me if she could get ice cream on the way home.

Obviously, I said yes. Because I'm NOT a monster. Do you hear that, Other Mothers? NOT A MONSTER!

Skyelar decided to continue her screaming tantrum of death the second the door shut behind the nanny on her way out. I'm still unclear of exactly what the hell happened, but from what I can decipher, Skye did not want milk in the pink cup. Or she did. I have no effing idea, all I know is that everything I did was met with a response in the form of a high-pitched shriek  and a full-body shake. Which was sometimes accompanied by the throwing of her entire body onto the ground.

Which was, of course, the perfect time for a Skype call with Jabiz, during which he gave us a virtual tour of the 2-room suite in which he was put up. Yes, TWO ROOM SUITE. Fortunately, the internet cut out during the tour of the Awesome, Awesome Bathroom Complete With Walk-in Closet, or I may have gone into his closet and started cutting one leg shorter than the other on all of his pants.

Mercifully, the aforementioned events of the day culminated with a quick and easy bedtime, and by 7:30 I was staring at the ceiling and trying to forget that I have ears.

OK, so Day One is down, only five more to go...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Singapore...

So we just had a week-long holiday to celebrate Eid al Fitr, and we decided to go and visit friends in Singapore. Singapore, I should add, is a glorious 90-minute flight from Jakarta, which is good because we quickly discovered that the secret formula for making a 90-minute flight seem like a 90-hour-flight is as follows:

2 hour delay + 2 overtired and hungry kids - 1 decent meal of any sort

I really don't think I need to go into detail about the flight, but just to REALLY paint a vivid picture, I'll just ask if you've ever held  a feral cat who's just consumed a Venti-sized triple espresso on your lap for 90 minutes? A cat who can scream loudly? Like, LOUDLY? Because then you would know.

Anyway, we made it to Singapore and spent a fantastic four days visiting with good friends. And just in case you have been thinking about a trip there with your family, here is my list of some entertaining things to do in Singapore with kids:

1.) Bask in your 5-year-old's complete and utter amazement at being able to brush her teeth before bed using WATER FROM THE TAP! Poor Kaia stood in the bathroom for over five minutes, waiting for me to bring her a cup of purified water in which to dip and rinse her toothbrush. When I explained that no, no- you can drink the water from the sink here, her response was? "Wow!"

2.) Confound your children by actually WALKING as a means of transportation, rather than driving 30 minutes just to get anywhere. We took the kids to a few parks, just to walk around, and Kaia kept looking around and asking, "But where are we GOING? Why are we walking?", followed by the inevitable, "I'm tired of walking!" about 10 minutes into our stroll.

Please understand that this is not the result of bad or negligent parenting, but rather of having spent the past 4 years living in places that are as opposite of pedestrian-friendly as you can possibly get. Sometimes we get the kids out to walk around our compound, but we are usually chased back inside by the swarms of Possibly-Dengue-Carrying mosquitoes that love to envelope us as soon as we walk out the front door.

3.) Walk past a candy store that has a front display of Marshmallow Peeps. Marshmallow Peeps! Buy one, get TWO free! Decide not to buy any. Seriously? Seriously. Get home and spend first few nights back wishing that you had Marshmallow Peeps. Just one Peep. Sigh.

4.) Validate your decision to not have any more children, because if your friends' baby, who is quite possibly the cutest baby in the world, does not make your ovaries tingle, then nothing will. Bring on the vasectomy!

5.) Be grateful that your husband has finally seemed to accept- nay, EMBRACE- your food-hoarding tendencies by allowing you to go to the grocery store to stock up on things that cannot be found at home without even ONE conversation that involves him saying, "But WHY do we need ten boxes of chocolate pudding to last us the rest of the semester?" or "Why can't we eat it until it's gone, enjoy it, and then be happy that we had it and move on?"

You know what kind of talk that is? That is just crazy talk, that's what that is.

6.) Watch your daughter tremble with the anticipation of giving a street performer some money, because he is actually out there attempting to make a living with an obvious, hard-earned talent instead of forcing a chained monkey to ride a rocking horse while wearing a doll's mask.

And if that is not the freakiest thing that I have ever written, then I just don't know what is.

Anyway, it was a fabulous four days, and I look forward to returning again soon! Oh, and in three weeks, we are taking the kids on an 8-hour flight to Shanghai for a training workshop, so be ready to deal with THAT post...