3:00 AM I convince my sleeping husband that it is not time to turn off the alarm clock. Then I convince him that he shouldn't turn on the light either. Then I explain to him, again, that he's sleeping under mosquito netting. Then I say, "Andrew! What are you doing?" He says, "Sleeping." And then he does. But I don't.
6:15 AM I convince my sleeping husband that it is time to turn off the alarm clock.
6:25 AM I convince my sleeping husband that, once again, it is time to turn off the alarm clock. Somehow I manage to get him out of bed without hitting snooze again.
7:25 AM I wake up again to kiss Andrew goodbye and climb back in bed.
8:45 AM I wake up to the sounds of Rachel playing in her room. I go in to get her and we get back in my bed to nurse.
9:20 AM Rachel and I go out to get breakfast. I don't know why she thinks she needs breakfast after nursing, but she does.
10:00 AM We get dressed. I squish Rachel's finger in the drawer accidentally even though I checked to see if her hand was in the way before I closed it. She doesn't cry. I don't notice. I start walking away and she flips out and points to her hand like, "Duh, mom!"
10:30 AM I call Melissa to see if she's going to playgroup. I don't want to be the only one there. She's not going. I decide to go anyway.
11:00 AM We finally leave the house. I forgot the stroller at the CSA last night so I use the baby leash and make Rachel walk. She trips and falls multiple times because she never looks where she's going.
11:25 AM We finally make it to the CSA. I walk in carrying Rachel, who is all dusty and bloody from falling in the street, and put her on the couch of the library along with our swimbag. I take off my backpack. I pull out our library books and walk up to the librarian, who watched me come into the library. I hand the librarian the books and turn to leave. "What would you like to do with these?" she asks. "Return them," I say. We grab the stroller and head out.
11:35 AM We finally make it to the Maadi House. Lydia is there. I am happy because, even though I brought a book, it will be nice to talk to a grown up. Jacquie and Rachel throw sand at each other, but mostly just put it on their own heads.
11:45 AM Jacquie throws a fit about wanting to go swimming and starts to strip off her clothes.
11:46 AM We decide to go swimming.
12:00 PM We get changed, in the change rooms not at the playground, and get in the pool. Except Jacquie. She doesn't want to swim anymore. But Rachel does. She's a swimming machine. She spent most of her time at the wall, but also enjoyed climbing out of the pool and jumping back in over and over again. I'm not sure that counts as leaving the wall.
12:20 PM Lydia and I switch children. Jacquie stops whining and focuses on trying to decide whether or not I'm going to drown her. We play "The Wheels On the Bus" and "Motor Boat, Motor Boat." Rachel lies on her back with Lydia and kicks her legs.
12:45 PM Lydia and Jacquie leave. Rachel and I go to play on the steps. Rachel is being very independent and doesn't want me to hold her in the pool, although she will let Lydia. The steps are a good place to be since they allow Rachel's head to be above the water and thus prevent drowning.
1:00 PM I teach Rachel how to move around the pool holding onto the wall. She thinks this is the best ever.
1:30 PM We get too cold and decide to get out and have lunch. I tell Rachel she has to use the potty first. She does. So we stay for lunch.
1:45 PM My hot dog comes out. Apparently they (meaning the restaurant personnel) don't think a hot dog and fries are enough to split between two people so they bring out unlimited cucumbers for Rachel. Maybe they just think she's cute.
2:00 PM Rachel leaves me to play in the park. By herself. With other kids. Without me forcing her to.
2:10 PM She is sharing toys with other kids. And playing with them. And looking too grown up.
2:15 PM She starts coming over to me to show me a toy. I ignore her and continue to read my book hoping she'll realize that it's alright to just play with her new friends. She biffs it and lands on her face. She screams really loudly so I put down my book and pick her up. She keeps squeezing her nose and yelling. It's not that bad.
2:20 PM Rachel goes to play again. I start reading again.
2:29 PM I look up to check on Rachel's location and panic. Some kids have moved the baby play set underneath a whirly swing-thing. A girl is standing on top ready to jump off and spin around on the whirly swing-thing. Rachel is just about to come out the door of the play set, which just happens to lead to right underneath the whirly swing-thing. I yell.
2:30 PM Too late. Rachel gets nailed by the jumping girl and flies across the playground and lands facedown in the sand. She screams louder than before.
2:40 PM She stops crying and we head back over to the CSA to choose some new library books.
2:45 PM I have found a travel book about Spain. I gave up trying to find one about Morocco. The library is organized, but not well. Things are alphabetical by author's last name under the following categories: General Fiction, Romance, Oprah's Booklist, Middle East Books. The travel books are alphabetial by place name--so Spain is with the esses but Madrid is with the ems. The children's books are categorized mostly by size, shape, and brand of book. All the Golden books are together, etc. It's enough to drive me mad.
2:55 PM Rachel and I pick out three children's books, all of which have animals in the pictures. Of course. We take them to be checked out. The librarian, who was watching us select our books and hemming and hawing everytime Rachel squwaked says, "What would you like to do with these?" I answer simply, "We'd like to check them out." "Do you mean take them home?" she asks. I grit my teeth and nod. My patience is wearing thin. It's nap time.
2:56 PM I decide that I should ask the librarian about a Morocco travel book. There is no available catalogue for patrons so asking the librarian is my only hope. "Do you happen to also have a travel book about Morocco?" I ask, "I wasn't able to find on one the shelf."
2:57 PM I wait while the librarian glares at me in silence. "Then it must be checked out," she finally answers in a curt way that I know means she thinks it was a stupid question. Just because a book isn't on the shelf doesn't mean it's checked out. It could just mean they don't have it. The library is only three or four times the size of my mom's office at the HBLL. I think my mom probably has as many books in her office as the library here has in total. I didn't see any travel books about Guinea-Bissau, Belize, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Nauru, or Tuvalu on the shelves, either, but I will assume that those also were checked out.
3:00 PM I wrestle Rachel, the books, and my backpack out of the library and we sit outside on a bench to read because I don't feel like being in the library anymore. Libraries are supposed to be welcoming, happy places. The CSA library could use some more cheer. Like storytime. Maybe I'll volunteer to do storytime. But only if the staring librarian who thinks I ask dumb questions leaves for the duration. No. Scratch that. She must stay. And she must enjoy herself. I don't think she has enough fun.
3:15 PM Rachel and I get home. She goes potty, I give her a drink. And then I put her down for a nap. She goes down willingly.
3:20 PM Rachel is still awake, talking to her dolls.
3:25 PM Rachel is still awake, talking to her dolls.
3:30 PM Rachel is still awake, talking to her dolls.
3:45 PM I hear a little knock on Rachel's bedroom door, accompanied by a timid, "Mama?" I open up her door. She has taken off her diaper so is almost nude. She shrugs her shoulders the same way she does when she just can't go potty. It's the "I just don't need to go" look, but this time it means "I just don't need to sleep."
4:07 PM Rachel plays nicely while I work. I occasionally get interrupted so that she can go potty, etc. But for the most part she's perfect.
5:23 PM I stop working and start thinking about dinner. Rachel and I share some yogurt and play and read stories instead.
6:03 PM Abra calls. Skype is having a hard time so it takes us several tries to get a good connection. Abra and I talk while Rachel and Malachi colour. They show each other their pictures. Rachel has a snack. Kai wants a snack, too. He suggests ice cream. Abra says he needs to come up with a better snack than that. So he suggests an ice cream sundae. I think that is hilarious. He should come to the library to help cheer up the librarian. Kai ends up with a pickle. He is happy.
6:29 PM Abra and I decide we need to tend to our wifely/motherly duties of housework and hang up. I boil some water in our nifty water boiler only to realize that we have no clean pots because I didn't do the dishes last night.
6:30 PM I give up making dinner and play with Rachel again.
6:45 PM I decide that I really ought to make dinner because Andrew will be home in a half hour. Before I can do that I have to do the dishes, so I start scrubbing a pot. There is rice stuck to the bottom and I can't get it off even though it was soaking all night long.
7:02 PM Andrew comes home and finds me scrubbing a pot and Rachel sitting on one doing her business. She's been so great about taking herself recently. It rocks.
7:30 PM We finally have dinner. Spaghetti. I couldn't think of anything more exciting. But Sara gave me yummy, real tomato sauce on Sunday so tonight's spaghetti actually tastes good. And Andrew made garlic bread. Well, kind of. He started the garlic bread and I finished it. I started the spaghetti and he finished it. So we ended up making dinner together.
8:00 PM We finish dinner. Rachel goes potty again. And then again. She's always surprising me with how much she can hold inside! We read Slowly, Slowly, Slowly said the Sloth and then get Rachel ready for bed, even though she didn't want to.
8:46 PM Because Rachel didn't want to get ready for bed it took quite a while to get her that way. We have scriptures and prayer and put her to bed. She doesn't cry.
9:13 PM I am happy because Rachel is in bed. Andrew and I talk for a bit and then I let him do homework and I start writing this.
9:15 PM Andrew IMs me to inform me that he hasn't started homework and instead wants to write a shopping list by saying "If you are a racist, I will attack you with the North. We need to make a shopping list." I have no idea what he is talking about so I say, "If you are a pie, I will eat you with anyone who wants a smaller piece. Yes, my guest, we do."*
9:17 PM We commence writing our shopping list.
9:23 PM We finish writing our shopping list and I go back to the computer. Andrew IMs me again, "asdfiul;kafdgsdf." And I write back, "That didn't make sense. And neither do you!"** Then I continued writing.
10:04 PM My cousin Mary IMs me and we chat for a bit.
10:23 PM I finish writing this blog post. It took a long time and I didn't even put in everything that we did today. I don't think I'll do it again. I'm tired. I hope that I can sleep tonight. I hope that Rachel naps tomorrow and that today's non-nap was just a fluke.
* He was quoting The Office. I didn't catch on so I made up the line about the pie and quoted one of the tour guides we had in Istanbul.
**reference to a poem by Ibn al-Rumi.