Despite being located in the same geographic neighborhood as Kenya, where we started our Foreign Service career, Rwanda strikes us as more dissimilar than it is alike its regional neighbors. In one respect, however, our experience in Kigali parallels the two years we spent in Nairobi almost exactly: being an expat in East Africa is a study in contrasts.
Posts tagged ‘kids’
It pains us a bit to admit it, but there is no denying that we have become homebodies. Munchkin was barely three months old when we strapped him into his car seat for his first international road trip – and we stamped him into ten other countries by his first birthday. Junebug just turned four months and we’ve barely taken her out of our neighborhood.
At four months, Junebug is definitely putting us through our paces. The fear of missing out apparently runs strong in her because no sooner do we get her to fall asleep than her eyes pop open again. D’s sister used to take ten-minute naps when she was Junebug’s age; the first time she slept more than half an hour in one stretch, D’s mom must have checked on her at least a dozen times to make sure she was still breathing. Junebug is trending in the same direction, with each “nap” typically requiring multiple interventions to lull her to sleep.
There are only so many hours in a day, and they clearly are insufficient, especially on weekdays. We want to play with our kids after spending a long day at the office, but we need to get them fed, bathed, and into bed. We want to unwind, perhaps with a glass of wine or our favorite album on full blast, but it’s hard to get ten minutes of quiet time when one kid persists in popping out of bed with a litany of requests and the other requires constant, hands-on attention. Books? Movies? Going out? In an alternate universe, a short lifetime ago we used to enjoy these things too, but given the current state of play it’s hard to imagine how we ever had the time or energy for them.
Munchkin turned three-and-a-half over the weekend, which means he is almost but not quite on the cusp of reaching self-sufficiency. At lunch the other day, he gave S a rundown of all the things he can do by himself. Unfortunately, getting dressed, feeding himself, and putting himself to bed are milestones that remain miles away. He’s made some progress on independent play, but only when we’re around – as soon as S heads upstairs to nurse Junebug, for example, Munchkin breaks down.