Thursday, October 18, 2007

Salma's New Game; Worrying About the Kid

In the past, whenever we got home from a big shopping trip, one of us would have to care for Salma while the other put the groceries away. Not anymore. We have discovered that all we have to do is put Salma down on the floor with a bag of (non-breakable) groceries and she will happily spend an hour stacking the items on top of each other, knocking them down, and sorting and re-sorting them. Sometimes she gets stacks of three!

I worry about her a lot. Most of the time she is energetic, playful, happy and talkative. But she seems to get sick a lot. Little things like colds, fever, mysterious rashes that come and go... For the last two days she's been very irritable, not sleeping well and wanting to be held all the time. Today we noticed a rash on her chest and back. It could be insect bites and frankly I hope that's the case, because that's easy to fix. Put some ointment on her, air out her mattress and bedding and make sure there are no bugs around.

I've found that being a parent means worrying a lot. I worry that she'll fall down, eat the wrong thing, become ill, get stung, or simply be unhappy.

When Salma is irritable and weepy like she has been lately, we have a standard set of distractions that we employ to keep her occupied and entertained. We take her to the Centro Commercial - the main store in town. She knows all the employees, the store has two cats and several pigeons living in the store or the storeroom in back, and they have a small tricycle that Salma likes to sit on.

Then we go down the street to the open air market. Again, Salma knows the vendors there and often there are children or babies for her to look at and interact with. I enjoy walking through the aisles and browsing the crafts, though I rarely buy anything except perhaps some fruits or vegetables.

Back at home we try reading books to Salma, walking around the house with her, or even letting her play with things that are normally forbidden, like my cell phone.

If none of this works and Salma is still grouchy, there is a last resort: the TV.

Well, what are you gonna do? Idealism is fine, but when you've got a crying kid, believe me, you're glad for Sesame Street. No matter how bad Salma's mood is, if I sit her down in my lap and put Big Bird and Elmo on, she gets a big smile on her face and settles down to watch peacefully and happily.

By the way, we don't curl Salma's hair. That's 100% natural.

1 comment:

sarah said...

Wael!!! Hello to you in Panama :) Laura just passed along the URL to your blog and I am looking forward to getting caught up with your news and activities by reading all about it here...I have a lot of backstory to get through I can see :) Salma is beautiful and sounds very engaging the hair...and is that your car that I see in the background of one picture--?! I did not know you had one. Wow.

Looking forward to learning all about your Panamanian life,