I was always one of those moms that played in the park with the kids...kicked the ball around...pushed them on the swings etc. I did this, mind you, in a country in which its considered a no no for women to be doing much of anything outside that can call attention to her. Running after a soccer ball and screaming and laughing with your kids definitely calls attention your way...but I didn't care...I loved playing with my kids.
Need I mention how often complete strangers would hiss at me to "mind my place" so to speak. Not to mention throw out the word "haram" all the time. Yes people, it was haram for me to play with my kids in the park. I was supposed to act like all the other moms and just sit on a blanket stuffing my face, making a mess, and gossiping with the other moms that weren't allowed too (or didn't want too) play with their kids.
Not me. I played.
Anyhow, when we first arrived in Hamad Town it was practically a ghost town. The houses were mostly empty and the area itself was basically bare. No trees, flowers, shrubs, color...all tan...very dead looking. Home sweet home....but...I was actually able to play with my kids outside without too much hassle from the very few neighbors that we had. We had a lot of fun and I pity the women who don't play with their kids when they are young (men too for sure)...you don't know what your missing.
Anyhow, at some point I met a lady that lived 2 round abouts away from us and we became good friends. Trouble was...we didn't have a car at that time so whenever I wanted to visit her I generally had to walk to her house. It took about 40 min probably as the walking was slow with the little ones.
At some point I remembered that I had one of those backpack type things you can carry babies or small children in. I figured we could walk faster if I could carry my littlest one on my back (I didn't have a stroller then) and the 3 older ones could ride their bikes. Started out as a good plan...but my second youngest was just too small to pedal for long...he pooped out quick...so I had to come up with another plan.
AHA!!! I tied a rope around his bike and the other end around my stomach...so now I was basically pulling him along while he pretended to pedal..lol. Off we went. The two older ones on their bikes zooming back and forth...the little one being dragged down the street while waving at strangers like the parade Marshall...and me huffing and puffing with the 50 pound 1 year old on my back...and the 100 pound 3 year old on the bike creating drag.
Or so it seemed at the time.
While I started out all eager and spry...half way there I felt like I was training for a marathon or something. I was gasping and sweating and wondering whose bright idea THIS was?
Did I mention the affect we had on the people we passed by? No? Well put is this way. People literally stopped what they were doing to stand and watch this little procession pass by them on the street. I swear I felt like I should have been throwing candy or something the way they were lined up wide eyed and mouths agape.
I suppose we did make quite a sight. I had never seen any woman use a baby backpack type thing in Bahrain before (maybe they did but I had never seen one) and to be doing something like pulling my kid on the bike at the same time...LOL I could only imagine what was going through all those shocked minds.
Gave them something to break up the blandness of the life that was Hamad Town for sure.
It was worth it. We had a great time that day at my friends house. Only trouble was...
I had to walk back home like that too. *sigh* Couldn't walk without pain for a week.