We all love our weekends. Whether we decide to chill at home, go out shopping or indulge in a ‘stay-cation’ at a fancy resort, weekends are our chance to blow off some steam. My little one already has his share of fun and games at the nursery, but Fridays and Saturdays are our chance to do things together as a family. But with my poor husband down with the flu, battling a migrane, a tooth cavity and a root canal, it was up to me to take the little one out for some weekend fun. But the thought of going to a mall on a weekend and having to deal with the nightmare of finding a parking spot with a super fussy kid in the car was just too painful. Then I remembered that Al Barsha Mall has this childrens play area that my Yehia always cries and nags to go to whenever we go grocery shopping. We drove over and we were there in ten minutes. On the first floor right after the co-op is Kiddie Ville. It’s not your typical children’s entertainment zone. It has a number of rides (carresole, flying airplanes, a mini ferris wheel, go karts and the usual race car games) that you pay for by card. The area also includes a number of places to eat. So you can sit and enjoy a quick meal while watching your little ones play. The rides are also priced 11AED each, unlike many other play areas around. At the very end is a soft play area, priced at 25 AED per hour) Overall, its good value for money and for those living in TECOM/Al Barsha areas – this is a great place to check out if you run out of ideas a need a quick place to go to with your little one for some fun and games.
They say mothers of boys work from ‘son’ up till ‘son’ down. Well it’s true, and it comes with perks too. Here are 15 ways you know you are a mother to a little man.
- You have endless drawers, boxes and bags of race cars, trucks, and more race cars.
- You’ve become accustomed to stepping on Lego blocks and Spiderman action figures in the middle of the night.
- There’s always a finger in your eye, ear, nose and mouth during cuddle time.
- You have an obsessive, unhealthy knowledge of Pixar’s Cars di-casts.
- You find yourself randomly running in shopping malls yelling things like: “No you can’t take off your pants here!”
- You have a bag full of orphan socks.
- There is no time for you to sit and watch a movie yourself and memorized lines and sequences from Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and Turbo.
- The Barbie isle is the least of your concerns – you whizz through and spend a good 40 minutes deciding which car race track is more kick ass.
- You don’t think bracelets, hairbands or skirts – it’s football jerseys, Nintendo’s, PSP’s and sports sneakers.
- A separate budget for laundry detergent is a must to get rid of all these inexplicable stains.
- Whether it’s a towel or a pillow-case, you can turn it into a cape and play superhero games.
- You’re always prepared to catch a flying toddler boy as he jumps off the table or couch yelling: “catch meee” or “big hug”.
- Your car always has socks, slippers, jumpers, sneakers and of course, toy cars.
- You always talk about the day he turns into a rebellious teenager.
- You’ve thought of ways to torture your son’s future gf/fiancee/wife if she upsets him.
Oh God – looking at my last date post is a terrible thing – I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that so much time has passed and I’ve done so little on here. Yes – I feel guilty for not giving my blog some major TLC. I mean, it’s 2015 – the chance to start fresh, list down all these resolutions that I want to accomplish by this year, live the dream and get all psyched up about my new beginning. Hell – I didn’t even make the time to list them, so chances are I won’t even be able to achieve them.
My point is – and I think so many mothers and fathers out there will agree – we’re literally kicking butt by making it through every single day with all the other responsibilities that life throws our way. We should all give ourselves a huge pat on the back, maybe treat ourselves to some fatty Hershey Pie for making it this far, going through each day like a fighter and being amazing parents. So to all those who are in my shoes; who feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders, from juggling a dzillion things from managing to make a career and a living, to changing diapers and folding through endless piles of laundry – you are doing an awesome job. WE are doing an awesome job. Lets keep doing it the way know best and don’t bother by anything or anyone else.
I recently took off three weeks from work and traveled back home to Egypt with the fam. It’s been more than a year since I boarded a plane with my little Yehia and I must admit – it wasn’t as easy and breezy as travelling with him when he was younger. In short, yes – there was a lot of running around, chasing, hiding under counters and trying to jump on baggage belts. But there’s hope; there can be some tricks that can help you keep tabs on your excited little traveler and minimize your urge to pull that exit door handle and just jump off the plane.
Rise and shine early in the morning: I’m not really an advocate of using cough drops to make your little one drowsy so they can doze off on the plane. However, if your child happens to have the sniffles, then you’re in luck. You can give him his regular meds an hour before the flight takes off. What I strongly recommend you do is wake your toddler up really early in the morning, so by the time you’re at the airport for passport control, baggage claim and your duty free shopping, your little Columbus would be worn out and exhausted; all ready for his nap. At least this way you can enjoy a hassle-free trip on the plane, read a book in peace or enjoy a good movie.
- STROLLERS, STROLLERS, STROLLERS: For some odd reason, I gave in to Kais’s constant pleads to leave the stroller behind. I ended up having to run after Yehia in terminals, duty free shops and toilets and the killer part: carrying around for what seemed like hours on end. Yes, I was plotting Kais’s ‘accidental death’ on my three-hour flight to Egypt and kicking myself for not doing it my way and taking the stroller anyway. Rule of thumb: ALWAYS TRAVEL WITH A LIGHT-WEIGHT STROLLER.
- Charge up that smartphone/iPad: If you have some animations or movies that you know your baby likes on your iPad/Tab or smartphone, then make sure to charge up your devices. You can also purchase a power bank from the airport’s duty free, if you already don’t have one in your hand luggage. Most airlines have a good set of movies on their in-flight entertainment programs, but just so you can keep your little one distracted while you shop or as you roam around the airport terminals, some movies or games can be handy. I also had to resort to Youtube, since Yehia seemed to want to watch some random car videos rather than his actual favorite cartoons. So a device with an enabled data package would also be a plus.
- Pack your toddler’s favorite items: If your little boy has a favorite stuffed animal, book, blankie that you know keeps him sane – make sure to pack them in your hand luggage. Avoid small toys that can be easily lost – otherwise, you’ll have to deal with constant tantrums once when you can’t find them in the airport or on the plane. Also make sure you have extra diapers, a change of clothes and a whole bunch of pacifiers – we all know how they magically disappear when you need them the most.
- Where you sit on a plane makes all the difference: When my kid sees open spaces, he gets a sudden urge to just get up and run around. For that, I insisted that we get three seats by the window and have him sit in the middle. With not much to see and barely any room on an EgyptAir Economy class seating, he was settled and dozed off since we woke him up at the crack of dawn. If you are travelling with a younger baby, it’s always best to sit at the very front facing the separators so you can ask the flight attendant to get you one of those baby cribs for your munchkin to sleep in.
Traveling with a child will never be easy; so say goodbye to those old days when flying solo was a walk in the park, but I do hope that these tips help make your travel experience a little less painful.
If you have any other tricks up your sleeve that work wonders for you – share them in the comments section below!