These are the expected road closures for Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 ... expect some changes and probably some additional closures or checkpoints in Salwa too.
By Jamie Etheridge
Inspired by Tom Chiarella’s What is a man
A mom is sound – the first sound a baby hears. She is the first cry, the squelch of a wet kiss, playground laughter, whispers in the dark, a gentle lullaby.
A mom is touch – every hug, every scraped knee, baby's first bath and a tear wiped from crying eyes.
A mom is color – the snow white of spilled milk, the fuchsia pink of an infant’s lips and the aquamarine of a newborn’s eyes. She is the mustard yellow dirt on the carpet, the deep ink of an eggplant’s skin. She is the texture of sand and silk.
A mom radiates the rainbow in her child’s eyes.
A mom is comfort. She doesn't think twice about holding a sick child through the night, singing softly at 3am as she rocks her baby to sleep.
A mom is a woman. A vibrant, intelligent, curious creature with a lust for life and for the physical touch of her partner. She reads, studies and learns.
A mom is a teacher. She shows by doing. She weighs her actions because she also knows she’s a model, an example her children will live by.
A mom is a gardener. She tends and waters and cultivates. She grows.
A mom is a friend to other moms. She offers and accepts advice. She shares recipes, birthday cakes and information. She does not horde things or people. She is humble.
A mom always carries a tissue or baby wipe, an extra snack or pair of shorts and a bottle of water. She considers and plans for the needs of her family. She cooks and cleans and shops and sings and deeply appreciates five minutes alone in the bathroom.
A mom is the smell of fresh baked bread, of breastmilk and the lightest, sweetest perfume. She smells as clean as lemons and as sweet as oranges. A mom remembers the scent of her newborn’s hair, the soft fragrance of baby powder on a freshly washed bum.
A mom is memory. Their first steps. Their first word, first day of school. First day. She remembers and gladly shares her memories.
There are moments when a mom forgets to be a mom – when the aroma of fresh coffee or a song on the radio will remind her of the days ‘before’ and she’ll lean out a window or sit at the kitchen table and reminiscence.
But a mom never regrets. Never chooses any path but the one she’s on. She’s proud of her choices. She walks on.
When she slips, she gets back up and keeps going. Of her mistakes, she makes them and she learns from them. She laughs even when the house is full of sick kids, hubby is working late and there’s a pile of laundry as tall as Everest waiting to be washed.
A Kuwait mom is daring, capable, resourceful and willing to take on a challenge. She can find an obscure park for a picnic, sit for hours in slow moving traffic, have brunch with friends, shop at Sultan Center, pick the kids up from school and still make it home before 2:30pm. Kuwait moms travel and explore.
A mom loves. Wholeheartedly, unreservedly, without conditions and forever.
She is the sun around which her family revolves. She doesn't need to brag about it. She just is and that's enough.
Dedicated to my mom, Dusty, who showed me how to be a mom.
We found this lovely opuntia cactus at the Starbucks in Salmiya (in the Sheikha Complex on Balagat Street). Also known as paddle or prickly pear cactus, the opuntia is a native of Mexico but is great for arid climates and the paddles can be eaten or used in soup. Any moms in Kuwait have opuntia in their home or garden?
I've read that there were some pilot programs to introduce opuntia into the farms in the UAE as a means of fighting desertification. It would be lovely to see more of these wonderful cacti in Kuwait. Opuntia is a great plant for local gardens as it takes little water, produces flowers and some varieties even grow edible fruits. Moms with small children, however, may want to avoid it as the spines can be painful.
We saw cacti at the nurseries on the Fourth Ring Road before ... not sure if they can still be found there. Does anyone know other places to buy it?
"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." - Robert A. Heinlein
By Jamie Etheridge
Like any place, Kuwait poses its own unique set of challenges to raising children. But whether expat or local, we all share many of the same concerns when it comes to our kids. We want them to be healthy and safe, to learn, to grow and be challenged, to succeed and most importantly, to be happy. As a mom in Kuwait, giving my children the best life in Kuwait has meant enjoying what Kuwait has to offer, accepting its limitations and laughing as much as possible.
Here are 10 things I’ve learned for getting the most out of life with kids in Kuwait.
1. Grass is at a premium. Finding and having access to a clean, well-tended lawn really is like finding Atlantis. Kids love to play on the grass so find a bit for them when you get the chance. The Corniche by the Scientific Center is one option. Some of the Kuwaiti neighborhoods have public parks with a bit of green. I also love the walking track/play area sponsored by Wataniya in Mishref, which usually has fresh flowers and lovely patches of lawn from fall through spring.
2. Playdates are a lifesaver, especially in the slow summer months. Having a good network of friends with children of similar ages is a must for survival in Kuwait. Find a local community or moms group – there are plenty listed in our directory or check out Kuwait Moms Guide's Facebook page for more info.
3. Strangers will give your children candy, nuts, chips, soda, bubblegum and pretty much everything you don’t want them to have. Don’t get upset. They are trying to be nice and friendly. Just smile, accept and say Thank You and if you want, bin the items when you leave.
4. There are dozens of great parks, play places, entertainment zones and learning places to visit with the kiddos but sometimes the best afternoon is spent simply picking up rocks on the beach. Don’t forget to spend time outside!
5. Your children are in a multi-cultural, multi lingual environment, take advantage of that to help them learn another language whether it be Arabic, English, Tagalog, Tegulu, Malayalam, Polish, French, Spanish or Amharic.
6. Children love the 100 fils shops in Salmiya Souq (where City Centre is)...it’s like a little bazaar for them. Take a whole group of kids, give them each a basket and a dinar each and watch them go nuts! It’s also a great place to find toys and trinkets for birthday party swag bags.
7. Cover baby and children's car seats with beach towels or baby blankets during the summer when parked out of the shade to protect your children from burning buckles and hot seats.
8. The local coops often have lots of fresh herbs for incredibly cheap prices (around 25-150 fils) and are great for adding to soups, stews, rice, casseroles, pastas, etc.
9. Take advantage of the desert to teach your kids about their environment. Winter and spring the desert is full of camping sites. If you drive down toward Wafra, you’re sure to see camels roaming freely. You can rent a desert camp for the weekend or even just visit friends.
10. Smile. People don’t smile enough in Kuwait and they certainly do not smile enough at each other. But I’ve found that when you smile at someone – in the checkout line in the grocery, while walking along the Corniche, in the playplace or at the bookstore – people generally smile back and that moment of community can brighten your whole day.
Originally published in the Kuwait Moms Guide 2013.
A trip to Barakat
I took my daughters recently to visit Barakat Showroom in Salmiya for the first time. I love to crochet, though I haven’t practiced in a while, and wanted to get some new yarns. If you aren’t familiar with Barakat, it’s located in Salmiya in the same shopping complex as King of Glass.
Barakat is a craft store that carries fabric, beading, ribbons, art supplies and paints, Swarovski crystals and lots of other fun crafty stuff. They also devote an entire section to yarns, hooks, crochet and knitting books (including many in French) and patterns. Its a great place for #Kuwait #Moms who are into crochet or knitting and a fun place to take the kids to introduce them to the ideas of crafts, knitting and crochet.
I bought eight skeins and have started working on my first granny square blanket. I’ve done six squares so far, and though I’m following the same pattern/stitch, none of them have turned out exactly right (and none are the same size!!). But I’m not giving up.
Barakat’s winter collection of yarns is now in and I’m planning to visit again next week to see what the new colors look like and which ones I can add to my blanket. Has anyone been recently and if yes, what are you working on?
Mabroor Complex, Hamad al Mubarak Street
Telephone: 2574-6727 / 8
Awtad Complex, Ground Floor