Thursday, December 22, 2011

Monster Mommy

I seriously should look into getting some sort of anger management therapy. Went ballistic with the children today and made them scamper around me like terrified bunnies. Poor babies.

I wasn't just yelling at the children, I was roaring at them. I flung their scattered toys and clothes and screamed at them to pick it up. Big girl later asked me, " you're going to be sick again after this, right mommy?" Asked her "what do you mean?" She then said I usually go all monster mom with them a week or two before I get sick. Then I understood. I am absolutely amazed at how perceptive my big girl has become. She is absolutely right. It is almost that time of the month before Aunt Flo's debut. A week before Aunt Flo, I'd get bad cramps, lethargy, nausea and headaches. A week prior to that, it's attack of the mood swings and this is that week.

The trigger for the mood swings are often the same, a messy house and bickering children. I keep telling them, clean up after yourself and Mommy won't yell. I don't remember how it was when I was a child, but my children all suffer from temporary amnesia or something. Maybe it's inherited...from their dad obviously. He still suffers from it till today but his temporary amnesia has evolved to convenience amnesia. Very exasperating.

Anyway, usually the day Monster Mom emerges, kids will immediately transform into super efficient cleaners. By the time house is tidy and everything spic and span, I would usually have cooled off and everything becomes lovely between us again.

I hate myself when I go nuts on them like that. But I am practically single handedly running our home and taking care of the kids. Hubs tries to help as much as he can but he is always away for work. I love my hubs, I love my kids and I love my family. But if I knew then what I know now, I might not have gotten married. Big girl got it right when she once declared that she will never, ever get married. Her reason was, first you have to worry about finding a guy, then worry if the guy would want to marry you, then worry about being pregnant, then worry about childbirth ( she thinks all babies are delivered via C-sect btw, thank goodness she hasn't asked me about the birds and the bees yet), then worry about taking care of the babies. Big girl's exact words "I think it is just not worth the trouble, mommy." Told ya she's extremely perceptive. LOL.

A few days back, hubs was saying that after he turned 40, it seems like time just passes so fast. I nearly choked when I heard that. Only after he turned 40 he started feeling that. He turned 40 like only 2 years ago. WTF???!!! I quickly replied,"after you impregnated me some 9 years ago, half of my 20s and early 30s completely disappeared! So please spare me from your melancholy." He gave me a sheepish smile and quickly shut up. Smart man.

The kids are all asleep now. Looking at their innocent faces right now, I feel absolutely wretched that I was acting like such a jerk today. Mommy is sorry babies. I love you very much despite those times I go mad woman on you. Forgive me for being human.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy birthday little princess.

My youngest baby turned 3 today. She is growing up so fast. She is my unexpected surprise. The one who is everything that I never knew I ever wanted. My Abu Dhabi baby.

Baby is quite the little princess. She may be the youngest but I think she is the one that rules this family. Among my three, she was the easiest to handle as a baby. I don't know if the reason being was because I had more experience or she was just naturally born that way. Maybe it's a combination of both. However, as she grew older, she is also the clingiest of them all. Don't get me wrong, she is quite independent but only when she wants to be. She started walking by 11 months, started eating on her own by age 1 and could hold a pencil well by 18 months. She sleeps like clockwork, never needing to be told to sleep, she just does and still do. She is also very strong willed. Still refuses to cycle, not because she doesn't know how, it's because she just doesn't want to. She still demands for her stroller and just can't bare to be without me. She gets very possessive over me and even daddy is not allowed to touch me whenever she is around.

When I was pregnant with baby, I had managed to lose over 20lbs prior to her pregnancy. I was overly concern about my appearance and was just starting to enjoy shopping again. My body was the fittest it had ever been. So when I got pregnant with her, my extreme vanity was just me getting carried away from my newly formed habit. I needed to get my hair washed and blow style every other day. I shopped for new clothes at least once a week throughout my pregnancy. I was obsessed with my skin ( with her I was absolutely radiant!) Both my older children, although are momma's child, they loved being with their dads. They jumped at going out with daddy if the opportunity arises. I kept telling everyone, this one's mine. She is going to be Mommy's little girl. You know the saying 'be careful what you wish for'? Well, this time I got my wish.

Baby's vain about her looks. Even at a tender age, she s fanatic about matching and wearing the prettiest of dresses. She loves her dresses and her skirts. Can't stand pants. Everything about her must be pink and princessy. She hates a change in routine and can't stand being without mommy. You could try bribing her anything under the sun but if Mommy's not there, she won't budge. She just refuses to leave my sight. Gets to me sometimes.

Baby was 2 weeks late when I delivered her. It was the coldest time of winter when she came out. She was 2 days short of being a full 42 weeks inside me and no matter what I did to jump start the labor, my little girl just didn't want to come out. That should have been a big clue of what I was to expect later. I had to threaten the doctor to get her out of me ASAP, otherwise I'd go in and yank her out myself. Lol.

Although the longest labour, it is the easiest labour that I had to endure. My little princess came into the world on a Saturday, 20th of February 2008 at 7.30 pm, weighing at a healthy 3.65kg. Till today, I still don't know if she is a type O blood like her daddy or a type B like me or her older siblings. She looked exactly like the other 2 but had the most gorgeous dimples on her face. Even the nurses kept commenting on her dimples.

Gosh, feels like it wasn't too long ago that I had given birth to her. Can't believe she has turned 3. Happy birthday my little princess, who makes me melt every time she flashes me her
fantastic smile. I lobe watching you grow and can't wait to see you blossom into your fullest potential. Don't grow up too fast baby, I still need you to be my little girl. Mummy loves you, now and forever. :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bunnies in da House

We have 2 new additions to our household. Hubs bought 2 little bunny rabbits for the kids. Typical of hubs to buy his way out of guilt. He had gone to Mauritius with some of his lads for a fishing holiday earlier this month. Now comes the school holidays, he is so busy with work, he has no days off to take the kids anywhere. The bunnies are his peace offering to the children so they would get off his back for not having time for them and to my annoyance, it worked!

So big girl chose a little brown and white girl bunny that she is calling Ms. Fluffy, and cheeky boy picked a chubby little grey boy bunny he named Speedo. Hubs told the kids that they have to take care of it and help me around the house, otherwise, he threatens to release them into the vicious and wild desert of Abu Dhabi. His exact words. Annoyingly again, he's scare tactic worked like a charm.

So the kids came home, ran into the house and started to help me out with everything. When they were done, they asked me to give them some homework. I didn't know that they had the bunnies outside and was immediately suspicious. Either those 2 are not my children or something was up. Knowing that no way in the world can they fool their cunning mommy, they blurted out that daddy got them bunnies and it's outside, hiding out with daddy. Grrr.

So now we have bunnies. The kids were exceptionally wonderful today. They behaved beautifully, were extremely polite and nice to each other. Helpful, charming and thoughtful. Seriously. Who the heck are these kids??? If I knew the effect the bunnies would have on my kids, I really should have gotten them sooner. However, I told them under no circumstances are these bunnies allowed into the house and no way will it be my responsibility to care for them.

So tonight, after the kids went to bed, I went out to check on Ms Fluffy and Speedo. Saw these two fur balls huddling together in their cage and shivering from the cold. Poor things. My heart went out to them. I picked up the cage and carried them into the house where it will be much warmer. *Sigh*. Broke rule number 1 already. I figure, from experience, rule number 2 will be broken soon.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The One Who Left a Hole in my Heart.

While Googling advertisement for maids, I stumbled into Dubai Sally's blog. It's a journal about her life as a house maid. Despite being badly written, I find her writings compelling, inspiring, thought provoking and touching, all at the same time. I feel she is a very interesting person and wonder if by chance, had her working for me, would I be able to get to know her as the person she is in her blog or would she just be someone who helps me at home?

Throughout my childhood I was raised by a legion of maids. The one whom I really got to know was our last maid who is still with my mom till today. I remembered helping her write letters to her children. I remembered knocking on her door, begging her to let me sleep in her room at night because I was scared. I remembered her covering up my mistakes so I would never be caught. Yet, as I grew older, that bond we had when I was a child started to grow further apart, and she changed in my eyes from mother substitute to becoming hired help. The affection I had for her is no longer there. Yes, I do care about her but I no longer see her as part of the family as I busied myself with moving on with my life.

Before I came to Abu Dhabi, I was lucky enough to have a wonderful maid. She was more than a maid to me, she became my friend. Hubs was very busy back then. Busy with his work and his life. Sometimes, it was like he did not exist. My maid, Sutik and I were like kindred spirits. We knew each other thought and could finish each other's sentence. We had so much chemistry between us. I stopped introducing her as my maid and would tell people that she is my sister instead. If either of us was feeling bored, we would think up things to do together like hanging out in the park, catching a movie, getting ourself coffee and even try out new restaurants together. The children was very attached to her as well. She was the sunshine in our home. Bringing us love, happiness and laughter with us.

I had begged her to come with me to Abu Dhabi. Her family was against it but I knew it in my heart that she wanted to go. I was banking on that alone and didn't beg hard enough. We cried so hard the day we left. She told me to try and be more patient with children and care for them well. She was the children's refuge when I become all Monster Mom with them. I feel sad that they now have no one to turn to when I am in one of my moods. I took her words to heart and vowed to be a better mom.

I heard she has now left, got married and have a child of her own. I have no idea how to reach her now. I wish I could have her back in my life. When I left her to move to Abu Dhabi, I had unknowingly let her leave a hole in my heart. Good help is hard to find, but there is no replacement for a friend that has touched your heart. I miss her everyday. May our paths cross again one day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Maid gone A.W.O.L

45 days. That's how long our maid was with us before she decided to abscond. I am still bewildered about her running off like that. A bit sadden too. I have heard the many horror stories of absconding maids. Never thought it would happen to me. Guess anyone with the same experience would feel the same way. Why did she run away? Was I such a bad employer? She tells me over and over again that I have been a good employer to her, so what motivated her to run off like that? I've spent the entire day scrutinizing every conversation, every action, every incident that has occurred between us but I am still clueless. Saying that she was fantastic at her job would be over stretching it but she is adequate and having her to help me with the chores has eased my burden tenfolds. There are things about how she does her job that irks me, but I don't hold it against her. I do not expect her to cook and she has almost zero contact with the kids. I could see that sometimes she does seemed bored to death although there are things around the house that could have used some initiatives from her, but I let it be and do not hound her about it. I let it go and chose to do it myself. So what could have possibly gone wrong? I should have gone with my gut and turned her away the very moment I laid eyes on her however, since I am a strong advocate of the the whole 'don't judge a book by it's cover' theory, decided to give her chance. Look at the result, should have followed my instinct. Fortunately for me, it's the last day of school. There will be a three weeks holiday. I am going to give a good long think about hiring another help. Otherwise, I'll just have to try and manage on my own again. Did it before, will do it again. Do I want to do it again? Hmm. Not by choice. :(

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's all about the money.

      My wallet's been hemorrhaging lately. As the year is coming to an end and the holidays are fast approaching, I thought I could look forward to a relaxing, no stress month. Instead, I have been ambushed left and right for money.

       For starters, the school had sent out an email requesting parent s to cough out a deposit of AED550 for a trip that the kids will be taking in March. The deposit is half the amount of the actual cost of the trip for one child. Couple of days after that, I received another email from the school for AED60 for some Vegucation (whatever that is...think it involves picking vegetables in some organic farm) trip in January. That email was quickly followed by another one for my cheeky son's year group asking us to pay AED25 for a trip to Abu Dhabi Heritage Village which he has visited countless of time and other than gas, did not cost me a single cent. I was tempted not to let him go but I don't want my child to haunt me 10 years down the road, accusing me of depriving him of a school trip with his friends that could or would have been an important life changing experience for him.

     I paid all of the above and handed the school a total of AED635. That's AED635 gone in just 2 days after my payday. During the 3 days UAE National day break, I received an email from their sporting club informing me that if I paid next terms fee before the 8th of December, I would be entitled to receive a 10 percent discount. Yeah, they made it sound like they were doing me a favor. So being a sucker for anything with the word discount tied to it, I quickly coughed out AED1500 to secure my kids a place for next term.

     Thought that was it. Chanced upon a book sale in school and ended up spending a further AED600 on books that are now sitting untouched on the kids book shelves with the other books that are still waiting to be read. Then came the many birthday parties, Christmas presents for teachers and a cake sale followed by a chocolate sale all in the name of charity. I could restrain myself and look the other way, but how could I possibly do that without setting a bad example to the children. ( I have a niggling feeling that I've already done that).

     Just as I was thinking, "when will it all end??", TAAADAAA!! The school's invoice for next term came out. Ouch!!!Yeah, sure, milk me off every penny I have, will ya? All the money going out is making me dizzy. I've already spent over half my monthly budget and I haven't even done my first monthly grocery shopping.

Baby's nursery informs me a couple of days ago that they will be taking her on a school trip to Corniche Park. The trip will cost me AED5. Sigh.

Who am I kidding? It will never end.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tournament, test and an assessment.

The one thing I look forward to most each week are the weekends. Weekends in Abu Dhabi starts on Friday and ends on Saturday unlike elsewhere where it is Saturday and Sunday. In Islam, Fridays are considered an Eid day. It is the most auspicious day in the Islamic calendar and most Muslim countries adopts this day as a day to devote themselves to prayers, wind down and rest. Most shops in Abu Dhabi remains close and only opens themselves for business from 4pm till late.
I look forward to Fridays as I would fully utilize it for resting. I wake up late and since everywhere is usually closed, I have no reason at all to get up early. It's my break day from my usual 5am onwards schedule. Absolute bliss.
However, this week I had to fore go my weekend break for the sake of (who else?) the kids. Sarah had insisted on taking part in a tennis tournament scheduled for Friday and which means I had to be there by 8.30am to register her. So having committed myself to my child, my Friday proved to be no respite for me. I woke up at 6am, which was a bad mistake as I ended up rushing everything and everyone in order to be at the courts by 8.30am. Made breakfast that everyone got to eat, except for myself as I had to use that extra minutes to get myself ready after making sure everyone was ready.
The tournament was, well let's just say it was interesting. Big girl had enjoyed herself despite not making it into semi-finals. Her performance wasn't her best but I guess the important thing was that she had loads of fun. I'm glad at least someone was having fun. I spent the time minding my other squabbling duo, M and H. I lost count on how many time outs I had given them. In between time outs and threats, I was also attacked by tennis balls. Must remember to wear a helmet the next time I decide to come to one of these things.
Saturday morning was lost in a haze of screaming, getting the kids out of bed and ready, making breakfast and running around looking for uniforms and belt. Both S and M had their green stripe taekwondo exam today. I am happy to report that both did very well and now the proud owners of a yellow belt with a green stripe. Another level up for them in the world of martial arts. S performed well and did try hard while M, well, I strongly feel that he had earned his stripe from the examiner due to cuteness alone. At least he tried to put a very serious face during the test which magnified his cuteness. IMO, a stripe is a stripe regardless how he earned it.

Now tomorrow, just as I thought of giving a sigh of relief from the hectic weekend, I received that dreaded email summoning little H for an assessment to get into school the following academic year. Baby is a wonderfully happy and sociable child, at least when she wants to be that is. I am worrying myself silly right now. I really don't know what her mood will be tomorrow but I have been consistently training her throughout the weekend about what to expect and what should she do. I am not sure how much of my 'training' is she getting so I decided to throw in bribery as well. If she does well, we will go to Toys r Us and get her a Barbie Dreamhouse. The mention of the dollhouse has made her a very eager recipient of my 'training.' Taught baby to say her name and age when asked. Also told her to throw in a couple of songs to enhance the adorableness factor which hopefully would appeal to the headmistress conducting the assessment. So far, so good. Only thing is whatever she has done correctly is followed by 'You buy Barbie House, okay?' Hope she won't do that during the assessment tomorrow. Last thing I want is to create a bad impression.

Am really nervous about tomorrow but at the same time, I just can't wait to get over and done with it. Desperately in need of good luck!