Well, maybe not bad, per se...
Just small bundles of highly charged non-listening overreacting attitude and naughtiness.
I didn't actually smell sulfur, so there's still hope.
I think having a mobile weekend with Daddy and then the first day back of being stuck in the hotel room with just Mommy was not so fun for these guys. I had hoped that cooking and playing together would suffice, but that was not to be.
We weren't out on the playground until after the bumblebees had gone in, due to some behavioral issues, and when the bumblebees retire it's too hot for bigger creatures too. Here is how pink Bethy looked when we came back in. (They didn't want to come back in but I insisted). That's not a sunburn, just red from the heat.
As the day progressed the transgressions increased, culminating in the crowning moment that evening.
Bethy chose to stand outside on the balcony screaming "It's NOT! It's NOT! It's NOT MY BEDTIIIIIIIME!!!!"
That was a proud parenting moment for us.
Today I upped the ante a bit, determined to have a good day, and took them to the grocery store early. I made the colossal mistake of changing their drink order from chocolate frappe to mango, thinking that would be healthier. (Especially since I'd already bribed them with Flake bars during our Skype calls to the Grandparents). Thomas' response to the drink switch was loud and repetitive. "Choclit Milk! Choclit Milk!"
I love you little dude, but tough toodles.
The lovely Cheryl (whom we'd met before at Costa Coffee) managed to see past the noisy antics (or perhaps took pity on me because of them) and spent some of her valuable away-from-her-children coffee time to provide me with phone numbers for everything from paediatricians to a toddler nursery, a book store, and a children's' hairstylist. ("They can make a terrible hash of your hair here", she told me.)
She's a surgical nurse who, like me, has young children and didn't want to retake her health care registries for a UAE license. I am convinced that nurses are the most giving and empathetic folks in the world. Even if her charity was actually a clever ploy to get me to show up without the children and thus considerably lower the decibels, she's still a darling.
Just to be an indulgent Mommy I took Bethy for a surprise visit to the manicurist. She'd been good at the coffee shop, at least. I figured it'd up my cool quotient, or at least make her nails look pretty if all else failed. I certainly am not going to win any popularity contests with our style of parenting, but I hoped to make her feel a little extra special. Hard days are hard on everybody, after all.
Bethy had 2 Filipino manicurists take her under their wings, little girls themselves, really; they led her by the hand into the spa area where she chose her nail color (sparkly yellow to match her Belle dress), drank the water they brought her and chattered gaily with them. They put perfect tiny butterflies and roses on alternating nails as a finishing touch, exactly matching the color to the roses on her dress. (It's worth a click on the "hands" photo to see how cute her nails turned out).
Thomas overcame his shyness and was rewarded with a few butterflies too. He thought that was pretty nifty.
Worth every penny of 35 Dhs ($9.34).
The grocery visit dragged out too long, and by the time we got home the room guys were upon us, early today.
Now normally, like any good housewife, I prep a bit for visitors. In the sink I had left a hand washed bra to soak. Apparently they circled it warily and decided that sink could go a day without cleaning. Thank goodness it was at least a relatively modest-looking undergarment! Poor dears.
Bethy and Thomas immediately launched themselves onto our freshly made bed, much to the bed-maker's distress. "No no Bethy! Thomas! No no!" as they paid him absolutely no mind, and flung themsleves gleefully onto the pristine puffed duvet. Then he apologized to me for the rumpled bed and straightened it up again. What naughty children I have.
Of course, it got better when Thomas got his little toy hammer and started whacking another very indulgent room guy with it, who obliged Thomas over and over again with pretend yelps and real smiles.
Gawd, I'm mother to little oppressors and dictators. Like I need more guilt.
In case you are now saying to yourself, geez, I can get onto any blog to read about a woman mortified by her children's behavior, here are Mike and my favorite "regular" buildings in Dubai:
Sorry Mike's buildings are a bit blurry. I took that photo from a moving car.
"My" buildings are behind another one in this photo I took at the grocery store, but you get the idea.
I can't wait to buy a guide to the various buildings in the city, and another guide to the flowers, and another guide to the birds...