A Downer Day

I just haven’t been feeling like my usual fun-loving, sparky, gorgeous self lately, which is why I haven’t felt like writing. Sorry, dear readers. Well, sorry Mummy and your aqua aerobics group, that is. I’ve asked her to tell her online Scrabble cronies about my blog (ha, crones more like, lol, jk Mummy!!), but she said it’s not the kind of thing they’d read. Hmmmmm. Not v well-read, these Scrabble people, then.

Actually, my lack of readers is part of why I’m feeling less than great. I’ve been blogging for over a week now, but I still haven’t gone viral : (

The more mis and emosh I start to feel about my non-viral state, the more obsessively I check my viewing statistics. Yesterday I must have checked over a hundred times, including throughout my lunch with Dull Kelly, and I just think it’s so tacky to be constantly fingering one’s phone when in company or at a restaurant. It’s so unlike me.

I’m also feeling down because I had a hard night with Milly. She was up twice, saying she’s worried about spiders in her room (honestly! I’ve seen more spiders in the UK than in Singapore), and she also had a nightmare that our dog had grown into a giant dog and kept kicking her. Then when we went downstairs this morning, Milly immediately laid into the dog to get her own back. Poor little Froo-Froo. I told Milly quite firmly that it’s just not on.

While all that was happening, Max was glued to his iPad, playing Minecraft, and although that’s partly nice because he’s less annoying when he’s occupied, it made me worry that he might be developing addictive tendencies. Parents are just powerless when it comes to new technologies.

Then I opened the dishwasher to look for my favourite mug (the “Best Mummy in the Universe” one that Max gave me for Mother’s Day), and lo and behold… There were plastics in the lower section!! I have told the helper about this at least a billion times, and she absolutely persists in continuing this insulting behaviour. I really think she does it to annoy me.

It all was so upsetting that I went back to bed for an hour, until Max left on the schoolbus, and the helper took Milly to daycare. So that meant I couldn’t go to meditation for the second week in a row, and I really needed to go today because of how I’m feeling at the mo.

I had better go for a massage and a facial instead, to nip this mood in the bud. I don’t want to feel like this while Don is in Dubai, and I’m on my own with two small children.

It’s times like this when I think that married men just have it so easy. They can just swan about (or fanny about, as my South London friend says lolol; it’s ruder in British English, but still funny-ish in American English), do whatever they want, go off to play squash or golf whenever, have interesting work nights out, and take trips all over the place. Then they pop home, like the big provider, and expect everyone to fall at their feet. Max and Milly think the sun shines out of Don, and they don’t understand that, as a mother, that’s extremely hurtful for me. I’ve tried to explain it to them, even crying occasionally to really emphasise my distress, but they still don’t get it.

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Are Expat Kids Lucky?

Because of my interest, and growing expertise, in psychology, I have decided to start a new page, to discuss issues faced by expat children. From what I hear, some expat children and young people struggle with the transitions, so I want to explore that. Not my kids, of course. They’re totally well-adjusted and we’ve never had any trouble from them. They don’t even mind long haul flights; they just sleep, especially if I give them that anti-allergy stuff.

Saying that, since we got back from the UK in the summer, Milly has started kicking the dog, which is unlike her. She’s quite big (not fat, you understand, just bigger than other kids her age, probably because she was exclusively breastfed), and the dog is quite small.

So I’m not sure what that’s about. I hope she stops soon. The dog hopes so too LOL : )

Anyway, because I don’t have any readers’ questions, I thought I would start this page by asking Clara what she thinks is an important issue for expat kids, and then discuss that. She mailed me yesterday, and we had our first Skype session, hence… (drum roll please lol!)….. On the Skype Couch with Emma-Jane. My first topic is whether expat kids are lucky, and you can read it here.

 

The Help

The main problem with my helper is that she has absolutely no idea how normal people live. It makes me feel so sorry for these people, when I think how they must live at home.

I am a late-comer to Downton Abbey, and it has been a real eye-opener watching it this past year, now that we have full-time help. It has made me realize that I would have been a lot happier if I had lived in those times, when you could get an army of local domestic staff who spoke your language, and really knew what they were doing. Our helper didn’t know how to polish silver when she started : ( Training her was such an exhausting task that I decided to send her on a course. They have some excellent helper courses here, thankfully. What is really nice is that they run them on Sundays, which is her day off, so we don’t have to manage without her during the rest of the week.

I have to say though, she is a true gem when it comes to the kids. I hardly have to spend any time with them at all now. I’m more in a supervisory role really, and that’s what I am mostly good at because I have read a lot of books about child development, I did a six-week certificated training in counseling children, and I keep up to date on what products I need to buy to best support Max and Milly through these vitally important early years. I dread to think how other, less well-informed expat parents deal with the challenges of raising nomadic children. Perhaps I should set up a course on that. I do have a certificate, after all.

Expat Wife Dilemna: Pool Towels

We have been here a while now, but I still have pool/ beach towels on my to do list. It’s getting pretty embarrassing actually because I’m still showing up to condo pool parties with cartoon towels we got in Costco three years ago. They were only supposed to be for-nowsies!

Everyone else at the parties, all the other expaterati, have lovely Lacoste towels, and I’m so divided on what decision to make. First of all, I’ve looked in all 12 of the Lacoste outlets here and they don’t sell towels (so where are these people getting them from?!), but then I’m also thinking, hey I don’t want to be an expaterati sheep! So I just can’t decide whether to order some from Lacoste anyway and risk the import tax as well as the sheepyness, or to get other ones. It’s been 18 months now that I have been unable to make this decision. Poor Max and Milly, still turning up to social gatherings with Costco towels : (