Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Reluctant mom taxi

The girls started Year 2 and Year 4 yesterday, at a different school than the previous three years. Another change for this year is that, for now at least, I am driving them instead of having them take the bus.

This is the part where I am a bad mom (maybe) because I am not a fan of driving my kids to and from school every day. I think it's borderline ridiculous, at least when other options exist, like walking/biking (as I did in elementary school) or taking the bus (as I did for middle and high school until I could drive). My mom never drove me to school. If I recall correctly, nobody else's mom drove them to school, either.

But the bus service at the new school costs more than the old one did, and it doesn't even come with a lovely female bus attendant to keep things in order. There's a chance we'll switch to the bus in a few weeks, but it's a slim one.

In the perpetual meantime, I'm trying to look on the bright side. Driving my kids to school means I get some time with them at the beginning of their day, and some time with them in the afternoon to debrief. I will see their teachers on a more regular basis. They can stay after for activities without missing the bus. And, of course, we'll be saving a bunch of money. (Just don't bring up the cost of my time.)

Since I'm a novice, I'm still trying to figure out the best way to do things. I've known for years now that Sharjah has some seriously weird road patterns, but now I've discovered that one of the traffic black holes is located right outside the gate of the primary school. It's literally a can't-get-there-from here spot, unless I go a further 20 minutes out of my 10-minute way. So I have to park outside the gate of the secondary school and trek across campus on foot to get to the girls' classrooms. This could be a lovely walk in December, but for now it is a dash through the fires of hell - hotter, though, since I'm clutching a sweaty baby in my arms.

I'm keeping my eyes open to see what norms emerge after this first week or two of school is over. Maybe it will eventually be acceptable to give a cheery goodbye to the girls at the gate (even the secondary one), instead of walking them all the way over to the morning line-up area.

Do you drive your kids to school? What is my problem, anyway?

Fossils and chicken necks

August 2014 books