Tuesday 10th June 2014, 10pm
I received a good dose of friendship this evening. Rio came a calling after work (we hadn’t seen each other a little bit too long) and in the most easy-going manner possible, did everything in her power to relieve me of stress recently wearing me down…just for one night.
Some background: Tuesday is hump day in Dubai because we have already worked (slavishly, may I add) on Sunday and Monday. So Tuesdays are always a real struggle for us working folk and especially for me: Erroll today is flying; we’ve dropped Kingsley off at nursery early in the morning (the guilt over which I suppress and I am sure it is manifesting in gastrointestinal disturbances); I am still expressing milk at work, twice a day and in the least relaxed manner – rushed and feeling awkward (downstairs in the Lady’s Prayer Room among the kindly, but curious Muslim women busy prostrating themselves in the direction of Mecca); my all-day headache is now pounding away at the temples, and being short of staff, I am working at an unsustainable clip.
How I will ever complete the work on my desk, collect the child before closing time, meet Rio, be on time to my hair appointment, feed, bathe, change and interact with King, and enjoy some time with my friend before she flies on her honeymoon, is any body’s guess.
And then Rio calls me and sets me straight: All I have to worry about is leaving work and meeting her. The rest…we’ll just make up as we go along.
We rendezvous at the Emirate Towers Metro Station at 5:45PM, and like two birds on a branch, chirp away, and exchange tales as we walk to fetch Kingsley. I finally exhale…
My friend takes the reins; I take a back seat and relax: we pick Kingsley up from nursery and Rio makes every effort to connect with him there (easy for these two; the bond is instant between these two at any rate), among the colourful balls and high chairs. From this moment on Rio is hands-on with the infant. All the way home. Once in the apartment, she talks with him, plays and entertains him, changes him bum-bum, bathes him and dries, dresses and cradles him; feeds him mango puree then rocks him to sleep.
I am thus granted the freedom tonight to get my hair done, order Lebanese for dinner, take a shower and actually sit with a friend and dine in some sort of adult manner I am now unaccustomed to. No stopping there, Rio washes the dishes, puts them away and tidies up the place.
With the baby in bed, and a clean home, and time to make a cup of tea, I DON’T KNOW MYSELF!! But I do know to thank you, Rio. You made my week.