So I took Erin to Ikea tonight to try to find a cheap solution for toy storage for his room. I think we were successful. Yes, they have Ikea here - its huge and often crowded. My new favorite time to go - Monday night..almost crickets chirping. Lovely.
Erin had a blast letting me push him around the store. And Ikea is never big enough because he had a blast using the funnel I picked up from the kitchen section as a megaphone. He can already be pretty loud if he wants - he needs no magnification really. He was quite successful in disturbing people. Most people laughed at him. I tried to do that whole "use your inside voice please" and all that good calm mommy stuff - he could care less. My favorite was when I decided to ignore him and I'd just get those stares - you know the ones. The people who look at you like "don't you hear your kid?". They don't know if he's just mental, or if its just me...no worries, its me :-) He's fine.
He desperately wanted to play in the ball pool they have for kids, but they wouldn't let him because he was not tall enough yet. He was so upset. I knew there was another play area further in the mall attached, so I took him there as he protested the entire way - even louder than before and without his megaphone.
As he was playing there, much to my surprise two children were fascinated with his hair. The boy who was maybe around five or so kept coming back to touch it. This happens sometimes, but usually by adults.
When then proceeded to dinner, at Chili's. Yes, we really do live in a "foreign" country. I hate these chain franchise things with a passion, but unfortunately that is almost all there is here. Yuck. But it was one of the better choices believe it or not. I'm mostly pleased Erin was most happy with his milk rather than the greasy food. He ate well, but he is not a big fried food or junk food person - with the exception of his liking for crunchy cookies and biscuits which he gets from me!
After dinner we went to watch these large inflatable balls they have on the water that they rent out and let people run around inside. If you ever want to feel like a hamster, I think this is it.
As we were watching, two Gulf Arab women and their children came by. I overheard them discussing Erin's hair - its quite long now as we haven't cut it yet - more than 2 years. And they were debating if he was a boy or girl. The women knew, but her young daughter was insisting it was a girl. So with what little Arabic I recall I turned to them and said yes, he was a boy. The little girl was shocked- not at my Arabic, but that Erin was a boy :)
They were all incredibly kind and the one woman asked if she could kiss Erin. Of course I didn't mind. If I were to be asked this same question in the US, there is probably no way I would let a stranger kiss my child. But here, that's what they do. And her face was completely covered except for her eyes. I am assuming they were from Saudi, but I am not sure. Erin got a kiss through the veil. Wow...not many males if any are so lucky!
Erin was in a good mood, so he didn't overly protest. He quickly became very shy, but he was polite. Thank goodness he didn't start growling like a lion as he often does these days.
He seems to have a lot of luck with the local ladies. I recall him as a young one year old flirting with some local girls at a nearby table during lunch one day. They love children, and I guess especially young blonde ones. Even when we were in the Maldives, one Arab woman, who I think was on her honeymoon wanted her photo taken with Erin!
The family kept moving on with the exception of the little girl who stayed behind a few more seconds to keep taking video of us. I didn't realize until she was almost finished. I didn't mind, but I just found it funny. I am so interested in their culture and always taking photos of local things. I don't really see anything so unique about us. It was interesting to be on the flip side. I didn't mind, but I just found it very strangely so being a foreigner in a foreign country!