Winter’s approaching slowly this year, yet though the mid-twenties temperatures of late may be deceptive enough to lure feet back into loose sandals, the sun’s rays aren’t quite bright enough to hide the fact that we’re into autumn now, and remembering the long weeks of last winter – when M and I drove each other crazy bounding off walls – drives me to take us out and about whilst the weather allows. We’re getting good at it, this getting around lark.
Considering how much of a nightmare it can be with just one baby in tow, I’m surprising myself at the routes we are navigating but then, I have got a great kid mashallah; M not only helps strap himself in, but obediently (most times) climbs and in and out as needed, or wanted, to take an independent seat on a metro, snuggle into my lap on a bus, smoosh his nose against a port-hole on a ferry. And through the bus rides and the long walks and the kerfuffle and rush of it all, T sleeps snuggled against me, waking only to breastfeeding or to flash me a beaming bright smile of awareness.
As time goes on, I’m finding it bothers me less and less what the people around me are saying – perhaps my skin’s toughening, perhaps I’m accepting my role as strange, uncultured yabanci mama or perhaps I’m just so utterly in love with these boys that no distraction of gossip can pull my attention away from their questioning eyes, M’s incessant incoherent vehement speech or chubby hands holding tight onto me. Whatever the reason, as my pram-plus-toddlerhands-plus-babywearingababy skill set improves – to the level I can now sup coffee, push a pram and carry a baby, yay Starbucks! – going out and about, exploring the city and expanding our daily life becomes easier, less stressful and, slowly but surely, I’m starting to enjoy it again, piece by piece, place by place, day by day.
But too I am grateful for the days when those temperatures drop and the rain clouds roll in, when instead of pushing myself to take us into the chaos, we can stay home, with no guilt, and create our own manic in the calm of those self-contained walls.