On time, order, and the lack thereof

Today, for the first time since we arrived here, I have time on my hands. Not for too long though. The husband has taken Miss Munchkin out to get us breakfast and I have the house to myself for the fifteen minutes it is going to take them to walk down and grab something from one of the nearby eateries. There are a lot of things I would love to do: finish the book that I have been stuck on for the last two months, take a good hot soak in the bathtub to help my backache, and sit on the balcony and gaze out into nothingness with not a thought in my mind. That I choose instead to write this post must say something about my need to just let it all out.

There is nothing that I desire in this world more than time and order and these are the two things that I have missed the most for the past week. I need some “me” time everyday to unwind, for the sake of my sanity, and ever since we arrived here, Miss Munchkin has made sure every minute of my time is hers. Even her nap time and bedtime which used to be mine, is now hers because she chooses to sleep on me, or latched on to me, or just plain holding me to make sure I am not gone. What this means is when she sleeps, I sleep too; whether I want to, or not. I chalk it to the settling down period and I do understand that she needs me right now to help her get used to the new environment but man, is it draining. She suddenly also wants to be carried around everywhere, and would cling on to me with her legs wrapped around my waist anytime I suggest she walk on her own. As for the tantrums, if anything they have become worse. The other day she demanded to be nursed while we were waiting for a tram, and cried so loudly the security guard had to come and ask the husband if everything was okay. Yesterday she threw a wailing tantrum because I opened the plastic wrapping on her cheese slice that she had wanted to eat. Days like these, times like those, I almost look back at her quiet newborn days with yearning. I was utterly sleep deprived and thoroughly drained but at least my sanity was intact.

As for order, I need order in the house, with things where they belong all the time, and although with a toddler around it seems near impossible, I have developed a bad habit of pottering about picking up things after her. But with our stuff still floating somewhere between Singapore and Dubai I feel like we’re in limbo. We know our stuff is coming so we don’t really want to buy more stuff given the limited space but there’s only so many disposable spoons and forks I can wash and reuse. Now I know, less things means less to organize, right? But for me, order is having everything I need exactly where I want them to be, so until I have my full fledged kitchen I will moan about the lack of order. One thing about a bare kitchen, though. It does bring out your creative best. Right now, I have precisely one pot, one saucepan, and one flat pan and I cook everything ranging from morning tea to dinner in them.

But like everything else in life, it can’t be all bad. It won’t be fair if I keep lamenting about what I don’t have. The more I spend time in kitchen the more I love the openness of it. We have gotten into the habit of having breakfast over the counter, with Miss Munchkin on her highchair beside her Dad. I love that I can watch TV and cook at the same time. Once baby girl’s play area is set up I can have eyes on her from the kitchen and she’ll know I am around anytime. This being a small apartment, I do feel like we’re all together all the time and it’s a good feeling. Also helps that the husband’s work place is five minutes away which means he can drop by for a quick lunch on days he has time. As for the tantrums and lack of time, I keep telling myself it is only a matter of a few years before she’ll stop needing me altogether so I might as well make the most of her needy phase. After all, it is kinda nice to be needed. So I indulge her a bit; cuddle up with her and sleep, or splash in the bath tub for as long as the bubbles last. I do what she needs me to, even if it means I have to stop doing everything and sit with her and watch the washing machine because she likes to watch the clothes spin around but is too scared to do it alone. We go out to Marina Walk and I let her run around; specially since I love how she breaks into a dance every now and then because she is so happy.

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So far so good, Dubai. Now if only the toddler will start letting the harassed Mom get some time. One can dream…

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