Tuesday, November 14, 2006

what's up today and this past weekend

For the last week our office has been under construction. They're repairing bathrooms and the main hall for meetings and such. The fumes have been horrible. Yesterday I decided to stay home, day before I went home at about 10:30 a.m. and today I'm thinking of just taking some vacation until all the work is done. It's just not healthy to breathe this crap in, and since I don't have a choice when getting up to go to the bathroom and such, I'd rather just go home.

Tonight I start my exercise class... I'm excited. My back is killing me and I hope I get some great tips on how to stretch it out or even pop it.... that, I think, would feel just fabulous. My tail bone is also killing me... it's weird the things that hurt... things you wouldn't imagine. I know that the hips move and such, so I'm assuming that's why it's hurting the way it is... but let me tell ya, it's not pleasurable.

Friday night we went to a BBQ. It was the first time in meeting everyone at the party, except for the hosts. I so enjoyed it. Everyone there - except the hosts - were expats married to Bahrainis. There were three British women and one Indian woman. They were sooooo nice. I've never really talked to British women before. My hairdresser is British and I post on some blogs of British women, but I've never had one-on-one chats.... and I loved it. They were nice. Different and better than I expected. We've been to the British Club a few times and the Brits weren't very open and accepting - sorta clickish, so I imagined it to be the same, but it was nothing like that. And the hubby got along nicely w/ their husbands, so it was a nice time all around.

It was good to meet women that have the same issues as me (as an expat married to a Bahraini man), same or similar probs w/ in-laws, and all of them had children, so we were able to discuss so many topics relevant to that.... it was a little slice of heaven. They gave me great advice, told me some secrets on what to expect and such after having kids, as well as how differently ppl treat you after having children in this part of the world.

We also discussed the whole issue of what language to teach the child. I had been leaning towards only teaching English at first for the mere fact that it's my native tongue and since I'm the mother, but they all disagreed. One lady had done precisely that and regretted it. Now, her two sons were having major probs w/ Arabic in school and she's had to send them off for private lessons and whatnot so that they could catch up. So... now, I'm reconsidering all of it and we're thinking that I'll speak English and the hubby will teach the baby Arabic. Plus, what a great way for me to really pick up the language. I know some Arabic... or I should say that I know LOTS of words, but I can't really speak in full sentences... so this will be a great way for me to learn it as well. I had wondered if two languages would only confuse the child but all of them said no. One of the ladies there said that her little girl now uses Arabic as her first language, interestingly enough.

We also talked about schooling and how it can be for kids of American, British or Indian mothers that are married to Bahrainis. They are treated badly in school, depending on where they go, for the mere fact that their mothers are different and this is something that I don't want. Most agreed that it's the public school system that has this problem, altho some have had the problem in private schools. I think a lot of it depends on the name you give the child, what they look like and if they know Arabic. So teaching Arabic will be key, I realize this now. It was nice to see their kids... what they looked like. Sorta gave me a feeling of what our child will look like. Isn't it sad how mean/cruel kids can be. I had my own issues in school from bullies and such, but I can't imagine being picked on, teased and tormented over the fact that your mom is American, British or something different. It's hard enough in school w/ peer pressure and just wanting to be accepted but to add on this... well, I just hope when the time comes that we pick a good school that doesn't have all of these problems. But really, is there any way to escape it? I doubt it.

Gosh, it was just so nice to meet others like myself and to have ppl to talk to. We had a really good time. Oh yeah... and GREAT food. They fixed bbq kebabs, lamb chops, grilled chicken and beef sausages - which were heavenly, and some spicy rice w/ all sorts of things in it, green chilis stuffed w/ pineapple, grilled cheese, salads, garlic bread, and some of the best desserts. I had this divine choc. cake... and I ate every last drop of it! :) I love me some choc. cake, that's for sure. I crave sweets now that I'm pregnant... prob why I've gained so much weight... you think??! :)

But at least I have the exercise class tonight. I hope it'll stretch me out and help me to sleep better. I used to be the drill sergeant that would push my husband when we went out walking/running and such, but not any more. We walked the other night and I wound up laughing at myself. I guess we walked for about 20 mins or so and by the time we were on our way back, I was having to hold my back and wobble like the child was gonna pop out at any moment. Not that I had overdone anything because I now walk at a snail's pace... but it's just funny to see me like this - in seeing the way I use to be - so driven and everything w/ exercise. Now I get tired really fast, my hips start killing me and I can only last for prob 30 mins.... nothing longer. It's weird how your body changes.


The Moody Minstrel said...

I still remember that court case in Texas a few years ago where a judge warned a Hispanic woman that, if she spoke Spanish to her children at home, she was guilty of child abuse.

There's really nothing wrong with a bilingual household. I use mainly English at home with a little Japanese, and my wife uses mainly Japanese with a little English. Our kids speak Japanese as their first language and have no problem with it at all in society or at school, and they also understand native-spoken English without much difficulty (though my daughter is much better at it than my son, who is basically lazy and hates English).

I think bullying of multi-ethnic children is something that can tend to happen anywhere. Children definitely have a herd mentality, and they're quick to shrink away from and then gang up on anyone that is different enough to present an issue. Of course, a lot depends on how the mixed-parentage children behave, too.

gazza27 said...

On a recent trip to Wales,we met a lady who was looking after her grandson,she spoke Welsh to the boy who was only a baby about 2 years old,so i said to the lady "does the boy only understand Welsh" and i got the reply"he speaks English but he also speaks Welsh as his parents did and their parents!Told me ey ?

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Don't worry TODAY about what language to use - time will work it out. Lots of households I know are bilingual - Mum might speak mainly a Fijian dialect, Dad mainly English and the kid frowns a bit at first then realizes which language to use on who! Good to learn two languages early though.
And the backache - well, that happens, but do what you can to help. Massage, gentle exercises I guess.
Pop out? I don't think so honey! It's hard work!
Anyway, take one day at a time for now.

Olivia said...

You're scaring me a bit. I already get really tired just being me, but one day I want to have kids. I was told to get my heart tested beforehand, so...we will see.

I am so glad you enjoyed the BBQ! It is nice that you got to meet other mixed couples and their kids. Going to anyone's for Thanksgiving???

YEs Tooners, definitely give both languages to your children. It is a gift.
My father's mother refused to teach the boys Icelandic; his father refused to teach them Greek. So they grew up with just English, admittedly it was in the years surrounding WWII and integration was the norm, but still...

It is all down to me to regain lost ground, which is hard going. The burden of learning heritage languages over a certain age is well nigh impossible.

Give it to them while they're young!

Tell me more about these green chillis stuffed with pineapple. I love green chillis!

IRC President said...

I knew many Egyptians here with bad Arabic and really you can't imagine how hard their social life is...since not all people here accept that much English contact (though they actualy know English). I really encourage the bilingual raising. It will be great.

I was raised up in a multi-cultural school, so from my personal experience when your children know the two languages, this will really broaden their experience and double their chances in better life.

Fast recovery in shaAllah

tooners said...

olivia, not meaning to scare you or anything... but it's really something how tired you get. your muscles change so much while pregnant, but if you were highly active beforehand, then you won't have lots of probs when pregnant. the tired thing is tough though... i get tired easily and it's supposed to get worse in the 3rd trimester. the green chilis were the really long ones and she stuffed it w/ pineapple and then grilled it. they weren't hot but highly flavorful. very good stuff. not sure if they're actually called green chilis or not... i'll find out for sure.

i agree w/ all of you.. i realize that it'll be much better to teach all the languages. my husband also speaks egyptian, so we'll teach that too! ;)

moody, i agree w/ you, i think bullying happens all over. i hope when that time comes, it won't be as bad as i predict... but whose to say. i just hope for the best. and like wendy says, i won't worry about this stuff right now and concentrate on what's important.

wendy, believe me, i KNOW the baby won't just pop out, i was only kidding. i wish it were that simple. :)

Leilouta said...

OMG!! I am so ignorant. I didn’t even know that the hips moved during pregnancy...ah... well maybe my ass will look bigger if I ever get pregnant :)

My father didn’t speak English, so my mother talked to us in French. I always blamed her for not teaching me English. Things would’ve been much easier for me when I first moved to the States if I had known the language. I probably wouldn’t have an accent either. Of course, my husband loves my accent so there is always a trade off in life.