Sometimes I think I bungle this whole parenthood thing up. If I only had more patience, if only I relaxed more, if only I could be one of those zen like moms. I love my kiddos with all of my heart but mornings have become challenging. I pack bags and lunches the night before, arrange coats and shoes, everything possible to try and make the day go smoother, but the point remains that we have to be walking out the door a full hour before we did in Houston. And it is rough. It means that everyone is up around the time Hans leaves at 6:00 am, exactly 1 hour before we walk out the door. Sometimes they are happy to be awake, sometimes not. Sometimes breakfast and the walk to the bus is joyous and other times it is closer to stubbing your toe slowly and purposefully.
I wish I had a magic wand to make it all better. I wish I had a deeper feed sack of patience. I wish we had a little longer in the mornings so breakfast was not so rushed, but waking up earlier is not an option. I wish every morning at the table was spent discussing our hopes for the day. I wish there was a little less sass and a little more twinkle from the kiddos in the morning, but at the same time I know I need to do a little less nagging and a little more silliness to solve it. I wonder if other moms feel this way.
I would love to just take them to the zoo and play hooky for a day to break out of this rut but this is not Houston. At this point we cannot even leave the country until the end of this month since we do not have our multi entry/exit visas. So, I am forced to continue to reach further into myself to try to find even more strength and even more patience to turn this cart around. I just pray I can bring more joy to all of us in the morning. It would make a world of difference!
So remember when you got your first apartment in college and you were soooo excited to go to ikea? I remember pouring over the catalogue, dog earring pages and wandering through the store and leaving with my plunder. Well, after almost a decade of home ownership and more years than that since I stepped inside of an ikea I find myself once again overly excited about my ikea shopping cart.
IKEA is a rite of passage here given the lack of storage and lamps and desks and many other things. So, we arranged a car for the hour long drive to Dharan for our first trip to ikea (yes, there will be more). The boy loved the drive down and spent the entire time describing every.single.truck we saw on the road in a not so inside voice, which was amusing in its own rite. For the record, there are a lot of trucks.
To compete my adult regression, we saw camels roaming on the side of the road. There is nothing that will release my inner three year old faster than a herd of camels. Well, maybe a particular pelican on a specific road trip, but I digress. So there was much rejoicing in the vehicle. After the camel distraction we made it to the largest mall I have ever seen, ate accidental breakfast for lunch and tackled Ikea. While the husband may not have enjoyed being reacquainted with the Allen wrench, I deem the trip and bounty a success.
We have this beautiful sandy field behind our unit (and the concrete/barbed wire fence of course). I wake up every morning to the lovely sound of birds, not unlike our home in Houston. It is a nice taste of home but also serves as a stark reminder of the lack of freedom I have here. The last few days have been hard, the kids are bored, the husband is busy with work and nothing is really available on the compound for entertainment purposes.
Normally, I would take the kids to the park or let them run in the sandy field behind the unit but the field is off limits and the park involves a driver and is easier to do with a man than without. It is hard to describe the mental and physical adjustment required to exist in this country. You have to suspend your individual freedom of free movement and plan for every movement you will need to make, hours or days before you need to make them.
The trips we take off compound are exciting, not because of the destination – grocery stores, panda, etc, but because we are not confined by these small concrete walls. The irony that grocery shopping with two kids represents a relative taste of freedom here is not lost on me. I have tried to explain the internal turmoil to the husband but my words fall short. The only imaginary I have available that comes close is a birdcage. I can only hope that as time marches on I find ways to see past the bars. Today is not one of those days though.