We always get a bad rap on cartoons or on TV or in real life. Kids and adults alike are often afraid of us even before they meet us (Yes! I’m a Dentist by profession but a mother by trade – if that makes any sense). I think one of the things that makes us unlikable is the very “intimate” invasion of personal space by a complete stranger on the first meeting (talk about first impressions, am I right?). Poking in your mouth like its nobody’s business and if you’re lucky you get to meet Mr. Drill (every Dentist’s best friend and partner in crime).
So with my own kids I made a conscious decision to ease them into the whole dental experience as smoothly as I can. As a dentist myself, it’s my personal nightmare to have children who are afraid of the dentist and especially ones with bad teeth, I mean, can you just imagine? I didn’t want to have “that kid” who wouldn’t sit on a dental chair because they were so scared (when in reality their own mother is a dentist – ok none practicing, but still!)
When my eldest was younger, I used to bring him to my friend in Manila and I’d let him sit on the chair and have my friend check him. Since we go home every year, it kinda substituted for his yearly check up. (I’ll give you details of her clinic once I get in touch with her)
My youngest was a different story, he’s only 3 which means he hasn’t seen my friend in Manila (only because last year instead of meeting her at her clinic, we went out for a buffet lunch-priorities, right?!). But as I was brushing his teeth, I found early signs of cavities on his upper molar teeth which is actually not a surprise since he eats gummy bears like there was no tomorrow. There really is no one to blame but me, I have no excuses.
Not willing to wait until we go home for the summer, we went and saw, Dr. Eva Gorton, she’s a partner at My Dental Clinic along Al Thanya road. I knew about her because I’m very good friends with her assistant Malene. All these years that I’ve known her I have never heard her complain about her boss or her job or her working environment which tells me that the clinic and the people running it are doing something right. And having been an assistant myself, it means a lot to be taken cared of and valued by your employer, on that basis alone, I knew my boys would be in good hands.
She doesn’t actually specialize on children but they are welcome to see her. Most of her patients are children of the adult kind (if you know what I mean!). To be perfectly honest it’s exactly what I want for my boys, I want someone who will give it to them straight, no sugar-coating. These boys are smart, if you give them an inch they’ll take a mile and this is something I am passionate about, so I’m not taking any chances. Going to the Dentist is something they would have to do for the rest of their lives so might as well get used to it, NOW.
I’m happy to report that all the procedure went well. We did have to come back a couple of times for some sealants and we even managed a visit to see Sara, their hygienist. My boy was the bravest, on our second last visit, he even got an injection to help them clean the tooth deeper (too technical? I know, I’ll stop). Point is he was braver than most of the adults I’ve seen and no one could be prouder than mommy, DMD!
On our way home today, we ran into a couple of men who needed a lift to the nearest mall. It was an extremely hot day and they seemed harmless so I agreed I’d take them. It was only 4.4km and about 9 minutes away so it really wasn’t a big deal plus it was on my way home. I know it seems like a pointless story to write about but the best part of this story were my boys!
In 9 minutes (or less) my eldest had introduced himself and his brother to the men and even asked them their names. He even went above and beyond by offering his chocolates (treats he got from their field trip) to them, something which I know is considered precious to him since chocolate is a contra ban in our house. My youngest, not willing to be out shined by his brother offered his juice to them. All this without my direction.
At the end of the trip, my eldest said he wished he could have spent more time with his “friends“. I was tempted to tell him not all strangers can/may be trusted and that he shouldn’t be so willing to help others. But I was so proud of how accommodating and friendly they both were that I decided not to. I figured there will be more opportunities for me to explain this to him next time.
Besides we watch TV Patrol every night so that should be enough to teach him the world isn’t all good.
Call me crazy but I really miss blogging. I was feeling deflated and uninspired about 8 months ago that I decided to keep my site on private. I didn’t add anything to it but I was also hesitant on deleting anything as I consider this blog as my personal journal (a personal journal that I share with the WWW haha).
But talking to a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old all day may be a little taxing sometimes. Honestly I think the problem is that they are just too smart for me and it’s exhausting for me to keep up. Of course I always have the husband to entice me with good meaningful conversation that is if the WiFi is off, which of course never happens in our house soooooooo…
I’ve always liked writing (whether I’m good at it or not is another matter) and I like having this outlet available to me. So with these words I guess what I really wanted to say is…
Welcome to the inaugural run of the #TrailingSpouseStories blog crawl hosted by Tala Ocampo and Didi of D for Delicious.
This November we talk about our First Voyage as trailing spouses and what we’ve brought with us, rather: what’s in your suitcase?
Please see the end of the post for other #TrailingSpouseStories.
This November, I will be celebrating my 10 years of living here in Dubai. It seems like a long time but it felt like it went by so fast. I’ve seen many changes in this city and in return it has seen me change from being a single woman to a married one and now a mother (of 2!). In some weird way I feel like an adopted daughter of this city feeling great pride about its growth and success like I was a local. I may just be an expat with no major significance but this city is what my small family calls home, in fact it’s the only home my boys know off and because of this it will always be special and dear to my heart.
So when my friend mymommyology thought that I might be interested to join their #TrailingSpousesStories blog crawl. I was eager to get my blogging juices pumping again that I immediately jumped in on the opportunity and joined in. Our first assignment was to write about our “First Voyage” and it seemed like the perfect timing to look back on the first time I came over 10 years ago. The description said to write about…
What was in your bag? What did you fit in your “suitcases” when you first left your home country to become a Trailing Spouse? A favorite book? An obscure object that reminds you of home? An identity?
I had to check with the blog crawl coordinator, Tala about this because 10 years ago I was not a trailing spouse and NOT at ALL a mother of 2 boys (Hey! I just had to say it because some people tend to reverse this order – no judgement!). She was very accommodating and friendly and welcomed me into their circle. I hope in a small way some people can relate to me as well and maybe pick up some nuggets of wisdom from our humble experiences.
Ten years ago I was definitely not the experienced traveller I am today (naks! akala mo jettsetter – in reality yearly trips home lang and if I’m lucky a side trip to neighbouring ASEAN countries).
I borrowed my mother’s old suitcase, the one without the wheels, remember those? I filled this suitcase with mostly work clothes, I knew I was coming to Dubai for work and I didn’t want to spend most of my pocket-money buying new work clothes when I could be buying GOLD! (Kidding!). But because I also knew that I was coming over and was planning to stay for an indefinite period, I wanted to bring with me some items from home that will help me deal with the homesickness.
Anyway, 10 years on and I can only think of two meaningful items that I brought with me.
- A photo album my cousin (also an expat, my idol actually – naks!) has given me and I filled it with pictures of my family. You have to understand that 10 years ago although digital photographs were already out there some people (i.e., me) still hang on to printed photos.
- My collection of novenas, my bible, and a rosary. Venturing on my own in a foreign land, dominantly Muslim at that, my faith was stronger than ever and prayers were my only means to get by. But I am happy to report that in Dubai and in most part of the UAE they are very tolerant and respectful to different religions as long as you respect theirs too – of course! It is their country after all.
These items with a bit of cash saved up helped me survive my first few months here and of course as soon as the ex BF (now husband) came over we were stronger together than apart (Does that make any sense?)
So I guess in the beginning I was not the #trailingspouse in the story but even as GF-BF we decided that being apart was not gonna be an option for us so it didn’t matter who followed who we were going to “trail” each other up to the ends of the earth (naks!)
That is all!
LINKS TO THE OTHER #TrailingSpouseStories AT THE END OF YOUR STORY / INTERVIEW:
Jenny’s story on MyMommyology
Marc’s story on Fatherland
Tala’s story on Tala Ocampo
Shine’s story also on Tala’s blog
Nix’s story on Driving Spiderman
Glendale’s story on My “Kandy” Crush
Char’s story on Ice Cream Sessions
Tracy’s story on Tala’s blog
Milen’s story on Tala’s blog
Didi’s story on D for Delicious
Cath’s story on D for Delicious
Sometimes I have moments where my brain simply can’t write a decent word. Even when interesting things are happening, I just can’t seem to put words together to make into a sentence and form paragraphs to form a decent post. I call it my writer’s block moment. The husband calls it the effects of my anesthesia from 2 CS operations (he’s such a hoot isn’t he?). But surprisingly, yesterday that was definitely not the case.
I was able to write or at least form the intro to a post for SEVEN different entries. I think it’s the most number of posts I’ve ever written in one day!
So what’s so exciting lately that I’ve caused this so much activity on my keyboard??? Well don’t laugh (or judge) but these post are all about the future.
No I haven’t gone NOSTRADAMUS on you and started predicting the future. I’ve been simply writing about the days that are about to come and how I’ve come about to plan them. I put them all in writing so that when the event actually happens I will not miss sharing the planning details with you. Of course I will not post it until it actually does happen and I’ve added the pictures but at least my thoughts and feelings during the prep period are all there already. I’m so excited about the coming events that I can’t wait to share it all with you! In fact I was enjoying writing about it so much I was just typing non stop. I think I wrote all the way into the month of July!!
In fact I still have some thoughts on my mind, so if you don’t mind I would like to get this post out-of-the-way and let me write more from the future.
Last night I was at my wit’s end. Housework cannot seem to get done because either one or both boys need my attention for something. I know I’m suppose to leave whatever I’m doing and attend to them and after doing this for almost 5 years, it still bothers me not to finish my chores. There’s this nagging thought in my head that I’m being a terrible mother and that someday my kids will resent me for losing my temper at the drop of a hat.
But what do I do? … no seriously tell me!
What’s incredible about my boys is that they don’t hold grudges, well at least NOT YET! I get angry at them and scold them but once I calm down they are there to accept my hugs and apologies.
If only we can buy patience from the store then I’d buy them in bulk and store them for days like these. But because we can’t I got the next best thing, an hour to myself out of the house. I know I’m going to get crucified by saying this but I really needed time away from my family. Oddly enough as soon as I settled my things, got my coffee and muffin I started making calls to schedule my son’s haircut.
The mothering never ever ends…
Ever since I wrote my school woes I have lived life-like a hermit* although I know some people who may argue that I live like a hermit all the time, but let’s talk about that on another day. These past weeks I have stayed inside my shell and just worry worry worry about my son and his (future) school.
My husband tells me to have faith in my son, my cousin tells me to have faith in God and even went ahead to say that “When we are not focused on our blessings we tend to lose our peace and joy and that’s when anxiety comes in – which is an attack from the enemy” wise words from the elderly (I kid but I appreciate it a lot ).
But alas! Good news all around. First, we got positive news from one school and I know that this alone should already appease me but the husband was really counting on the second school we applied at. And when he is not satisfied there’s this buzz in my head that tells me I shouldn’t be either. Of course we were happy about my son’s success, he even passed 2 grade levels up which brings him in line with most kids his age. We were so proud we treated him to Little explorers (for my Manila friends, it’s an equivalent of the Mind Museum here) which delighted both my son and his father. The husband excitedly pointed out that IF we were paying for his tuition we would’ve saved a whole year! Which means a lot when you are paying for tuition here in Dubai from your own pocket. I think it’s safe to say that we were happy with this news and was ready to go ahead with this school which by the way is only like 5 minutes drive from our house.
But early this week we got the news from Raffles, our first choice school and of course my son was accepted, didn’t know why there was any doubt. They were asking us to pay 1/2 of the first semester’s tuition in the next three days or else he would lose his spot. The husband forked out the cash immediately. Before handing over the cash to the school, I asked the husband if we were doing right by paying the registration for both schools (which definitely is not petty change and non refundable) when I know that he’s always the one who is teaching me to save and count my pennies (especially this year). He answered me with a resounding YES he went ahead to explain that for the boys education he will not sacrifice to save money over their chances of getting a better education. 👏👏👏 ladies and gentlemen for my sons have the best dad ever!!!
So now I am at peace. As I write this post it’s 6:51am and the boys are still asleep so I have my coffee by my side and the house is still and quiet – definitely a very peaceful ambiance (for now!)
With this, I wish everybody a happy weekend and let me leave you with something my cousin told me. He said to always confess this out loud to God every time I feel unsure of my future…
I am blessed and I can do ALL things in Christ Jesus!
He is in control of all our circumstances. All we have to do is just ask him anytime 24/7 and He will guide us in all truth. Thank you Tony for helping me get through this. Even though we are miles apart you still find ways to inspire me. Love you lots!
*Hermits are people who tend to not want to socialize with other humans all the time.