It’s been close to six months since Emma and I moved to Muscat (9 months for Danny), and I feel 100% settled into our new home and life over here. This month’s post is very Emma centric and to be honest I’m surprised it’s the first time I write a lot about Emma considering we spend close to 11 hours a day, every day, together. It’s a huge amount of time for anyone to spend with each other and no doubt I get on her nerves, just as much as she gets on mine sometimes, but I guess that’s how this whole stay at home parenting thing works, would I swap it to go back into full time employment at this moment in time, absolutely no way!
Over recent weeks the tantrums are starting to become a regular occurrence, now I know it’s just a form of expression for Emma and it’s part of the growing up process and blah, blah, blah……but it is bloody HARD! When she has an episode at home I can handle that, no worries, as I just walk away and do something else until she calms down, however it’s the tantrums when we are out that can be the most challenging and during a trip to the supermarket she had the mother of all tantrums. Now when we do the supermarket shop, I am very organised, I have snacks, toys, a dummy, water and her kindle, but on this particular trip nothing would appease Emma and she just wanted out. I had turned my back for a couple of seconds to bag up some potatoes and I turned round to see Emma standing up in the trolley seat, one leg hanging out so I grabbed her before she managed to get the other leg out. As I tried to guide Emma’s legs back into the trolley seat she suddenly had the strength of a baby elephant and went loose limbed to the point where I had to put her on the ground to get a grip of her, it was here she threw herself to the floor screaming.
I proceeded to stand in the middle of the fruit and veg section not knowing whether to laugh or join Emma screaming on the floor.
A lady then walked past giving me a sympathetic look and told me to walk away, Emma would soon follow…..anything was worth a shot. I started to push the trolley away whilst saying ‘bye Emma’, Emma jumped up right away and started to follow me….. YES, blimey this is actually working….then she bolted! Ditching the trolley and chasing after my sprightly toddler whilst looking like a slightly deranged person I eventually caught up with her, scooping her up in my arms with my super mum strength and I somehow (can’t quite remember how) managed to fit her into the trolley seat. All of this whilst she is screaming at me like a banshee….
It’s fun this parenting thing isn’t it and I whole heartedly believe that it can only be a good thing to have a little cry every now and then and by this I mean for me to have one.
This month saw our first trip to the hospital with Emma. One evening as Emma was getting into bed she was complaining that her foot hurt and being the concerned parent that I am, I put it down to her wanting attention and not wanting to go to sleep, so I kissed her foot better and thought that was the end of it. The next morning whilst at jitterbugs, she wasn’t her usual self in joining in with the songs and she started to cry saying her foot hurt and I also noticed she was walking with a slight limp,
cue me feeling like THE worst mother in the world and that I needed to take her to the doctor asap.
So, this is how it works over here, I checked our medical insurance to see which hospital I could take her too and was also given some recommendations from friends out here who they thought the best paediatric doctors were. I ended up taking Emma to the Burjeel hospital in Al Khuwair. Within minutes of speaking to the receptionist and presenting our medical insurance card we were seen by a nurse to take Emma’s vitals. I would then say it was about 15 minutes before we saw Dr. Amal whose bedside manner was excellent. She checked Emma out and couldn’t see there was an issue, so recommended an x-ray just to make sure there wasn’t any slight fracture. The x-ray was done within 15 minutes and we were back in Dr. Amal’s office within another 10 minutes. Thankfully the x-ray showed up nothing, but Dr.Amal still wanted to do some blood tests to make sure there was no infection (talk about thorough)!
The blood test results were back within 8 hours and the Doctor whatsapp’d (yes that’s right the Doctor’s whatsapp you out here) me to say that the queen (those were her actual words) was very healthy,
so it was hopefully no more than a slight sprain, but it’s so comforting to know that they are ON IT out here.
Since coming to Oman I have been on the lookout for swimming lessons for Emma. Seeing as we go to the pool at least once a week, it makes sense that I want her to start learning the swimming basics from a professional. I was recommended Aqua-Tots which is out in Seeb (a 30 minute drive from where we live), and it’s a global brand so I had high hopes. Before going I thought it best to be a bit more reserved than usual and chose to wear my swimming costume, rather than a bikini…
not sure if you could call it reserved though as it’s bright red and a little bit ‘booby’, but thought it covered more skin than usual, however on arrival I noticed everyone had ¾ length trousers and long sleeved tops on in the pool…
I recall ’oh shit’ were the words I muttered under my breath. I spoke to the gentleman at reception who said it was part of their policy as some people may find it offensive to see too much skin. Thankfully the instructor said on this occasion it would be ok as the other participants in the group were fairly open minded. I think it’s safe to say my cheeks were probably similar colour to my swimming costume when I walked out of the changing room to the pool area! Besides the costume fiasco, the swimming lesson was excellent, and Emma absolutely loved going under the water, so we signed up for 3 months, I just have to make sure I dress appropriately for future lessons!
So we have frequented the Grand Hyatt brunches a few times now and they have been amazing, but last week we finally went to a different brunch at the new Crowne Plaza (there’s two Crowne Plaza’s in Muscat) and this brunch did not disappoint, I’d actually go as far to say that’s in my new favourite. We went with a large group of people and it’s definitely a boozy affair.
The food was excellent, but they also make it fun with games such as beer pong, spin the wheel to win and limbo (which I’m proud to say I came second)!
As I mentioned in the beginning of my post, I am starting to feel more settled in our new home. I’ve made some great friends and I have recently taken up the position of vice chair and website coordinator for the Muscat Mums, which I am loving. The website is a hefty project as it needs a fair amount of updating, but its great being able to do some creative content aside from this blog. Muscat Mums is a support network for families living in Muscat and is run entirely by volunteers. I joined the group as soon as I arrived and I found it to be invaluable to both Emma and I as I have met some incredibly lovely people through it and the playgroups that we attend most weeks have been a godsend.