(2) Sushi and Screamer hosted their very first playdate today! A milestone that couldn't come quickly enough if you ask me. (Always on a mission to ferret out the worst-case scenario, I had already steeled myself to the possibility that I would need to serve as their sole playmate for the next 24 months, should they be unsuccessful in finding new buddies here in Dubai.) Never mind that the little girl had to be practically dragged weeping out of her mother's car (did I not appear welcoming enough at the front door? should I have put on an apron and displayed some of the kids' plastic kitchen food on a plate?)... or that the older brother alternated between being glued to the tv and trying to convince Sushi to wrestle him on the playroom floor-- all that mattered is that, for a whole 90 minutes, each of us was happily engaged with a person *not* of our immediate family! (The mom even managed to have birthed a playmate who was Baby's age, how considerate, albeit useless.)
I must admit that I was a wee bit intimidated by this family-- we'd been put in touch by a friend of a friend, and I figured we were off to an inauspicious beginning when she immediately dropped into conversation that she had just cobbled together some throw pillows out of old placemats (check, please! we've got a Luddite in the house!)-- but I am happy to report that I eventually managed to stop picturing her as having a placemat pillow head every time I looked at her, and we ended up having a fair amount in common. So what if the little girl was only really interested in our cat, and if the only words I actually heard her speak to Sushi were, "Do not put rocks on my clothes, you will dirty them!" (in Sushi's defense, the rocks were their pretend dinner)-- in my book, this is Sushi's First Friend. May you two share a lifetime of dance parties and princess dress-up sessions and uninvited raids of Mommy's meager makeup collection.
(3) Things continue to go well with our housemaid, Alice, barring one nerve-racking incident where she did not timely return after her day off (I promptly informed the children that it was all their fault and that she had been scared away by their terrible behavior). Turns out she had had some sort of family situation to deal with, though I guess her English is not as good as I originally thought because I didn't understand a single word of her explanation when she showed up several hours later (just nod and look empathetic, Mommy!). Below is a picture of the children continuing to take unprecedented interest in housework-- this time, it's laundry-- as they accompany Alice in her duties. Is this when I start to suspect that they're going to soon tell me they want to be housemaids when they grow up? Not that there's anything wrong with that... as long as they complete their Ivy League educations first of course...
Finally: pity me, people, 'cuz after tomorrow, school is closed for a TWO-WEEK BREAK, followed, FIVE DAYS later, by ANOTHER TWO WEEK BREAK. Which is great because, you know, I haven't been able to spend any time with the kids lately. Slash, I fear that at the end of December, Sushi will be the new author of this blog, as I will have headed for the freaking hills.
Wish me luck.