Summer in London

I’m quite stressed out at the moment.  I have all these thoughts going round and round in my head – and I can’t do a lot about some of it.

Sorry – let me start from the beginning!

V was born in London.  There was never any question as to where I would deliver.  I lived in the UK for 15 years before I moved back to Lagos.  My parents had a flat there and there was plenty of space for LagosDad, me and a new baby.  Although, my parents did have to move into the smaller guestroom and we took the larger master bedroom (to fit the crib and changing table, etc.).

This time round, we decided I’d deliver in Dubai.  Because that’s where my parents are now.  I want to be with my mum.

We toyed with the idea of London briefly.  Very briefly.  But decided it might be easier in Dubai.

But, it’s really not that easy!

Here’s why.

1. We’ll be there over the summer – it’s very, very hot.

2. It will be Ramadan.  No eating or drinking in public.  I would have to stay home all day!

3. My parents’ driver is going on leave during Ramadan.  That’s ok.  I figured we’d manage.  I could drop V off at summer camp on the Metro.  Then I realised it would be too damn hot to even walk to the Metro station (17 minutes walk).

4. To enroll him in a nursery, I need proof of residency.  I’m not a resident there, and neither is LagosDad

5. My mum said there won’t be space for all of us in their flat, so we’d have to rent an apartment.  Where do you even start?

6.  I don’t know anything about the process of registering the birth or applying for a baby’s passport in Dubai.  However, from what I’ve read, it’s not a straightforward procedure.  And – ONLY THE FATHER CAN REGISTER THE BIRTH!

7. It is illegal for a single woman to give birth in the UAE.  I know this doesn’t apply to me – but I still find it unsettling.

8. I would probably only get a three-month visa for the nanny – but I’d need her there for four.  I know – it sounds ridiculous – but it was stressing me out.

9. Everything is so expensive there – I didn’t want to buy all my baby clothes there because it’s so expensive.  A pair of pyjamas for V costs about $28 in Mothercare.  ONE PAIR!

10. And lastly… I just found out on Friday that I actually can’t deliver the baby in Dubai because neither LagosDad or myself are residents there.

So my last six weeks of research – summer camps, nurseries, serviced apartments, visa requirements, buying online in the US and delivering to my sister-in-law, etc has all been a waste.

Now we are back to London.

And to be very honest – although I’m finding it stressful to start my research all over again – I am much happier.

1. Fresh air.

2. Taking V to Regent’s Park to play and feed the ducks.

3. Walking on the high street.

4. Selfridges.

I could go on.

I love the thought of summer in London.  But there are a few things I have to do.

1. Apply for the nanny’s visa!

2. Book in with a doctor.  I’ve emailed the one who delivered V – I loved him and would want him to deliver this baby.  I think I may have left it a bit late though.  Last time I booked in with him at 10 weeks.  Now I’m 16 weeks and I’m hoping that he’ll fit me in.

3. Find an apartment to rent for four months.  I’ve been looking – but we may have to make a trip to secure somewhere I think.  Or maybe I’ll ask LagosDad to go.  If you know of any two bed/two bath apartments for rent in St John’s Wood – please let me know!

It’s all very daunting – but I’ve got to do it!

Wish me luck!


V has always been a little quiet and reserved (but never at home).  He’s always been a bit nervous around new people, and never speaks to anyone he’s not comfortable with.  He’s very particular about a lot of things and I put that down to being a Virgo.

I’ve always called him ‘shy’.  And sometimes, ‘peculiar’.

My mil gets a little exasperated with him and his habits – she likes to tell me about what she thinks he should be like *eye roll*.  And although I sometimes think the same about certain things (especially when I see some other kids) – I will never admit it  to her.  I will defend him until my last breath!  I always say to her, ‘He is who he is and no one can change that.’  She doesn’t like that.

V and his personality take up a lot of my thinking time (and there is a lot of it), and I can’t help but wonder why he is the way he is.  Oh – my mil also thinks it could be because LagosDad and I are a bit ‘shy’ and ‘quiet’ and because we like to stay home a lot (I don’t even know where to start with this one – so it’s better I just bite my tongue!).

I came across an article on Facebook a few days ago, and it really helped me put my thoughts into perspective.  I think it’s even helped me to understand him a little more.  It’s called, Don’t Call Introverted Children ‘Shy’ by Susan Cain.

Please read it if you get a chance.  If your child/ren aren’t introverts, it will help you to better understand children that are.


I’m a bit confused as to what to do.

It’s V, you see.

Ok – let me explain first…  He goes to nursery every day for four hours.  He loves it.  It’s taken him a little while, but he now participates fully (almost) in all activities and, according to his teacher, is doing well.

His school day finishes at 12.30pm and then we have a looooong afternoon ahead of us.  What to do?  Let’s keep in mind that just chilling at home isn’t always the best option as we’re often without power and it’s hot!

So what to do with him?  How to keep him entertained in ways that don’t involve the television or the iPad?

What most parents do here is get a group of kids together (3 or 4 of them) and organise afternoon classes for them.  Gymnastics, swimming, hip hop dance, art and craft, cooking.  There is a lot going on.

At the moment V does Hip Hop on a Monday (he’s been twice and has only watched so far), gymnastics on a Tuesday (his participation level depends on his mood), on a Wednesday he does cooking.  He loves this class, but his teacher travels often.  She’s been away since December and won’t be back until May.  So Wednesdays are open at the moment.  He also won’t eat anything he’s made unless it’s chocolatey.  On Thursdays he does Art and Craft – he loves these classes too.  And on Fridays he stays home.

I know some of you must be wondering why I keep him so busy.  And when does he get a chance to do ‘children’s things’.  And why don’t I do things with him?  Why don’t I just take him to the park?  Why not organise play dates for him?

So here’s the thing.

First of all, the classes are only for an hour.  Secondly, even though he goes to nursery every day – the children he does these classes with all go to different schools.  He’s still quiet and a bit reserved and I want him to spend more time with other children.  I could do stuff with him, of course I can – but I’m tutoring twice a week, he misses out on being with other children, and I’m struggling a bit with this pregnancy.  As for the park or other places to go…  We’re a bit limited here.  Playdates?  That could work.  But most of the children he would meet are in all the classes he does!

So, just to be clear – I’m not confused about his classes – as you read, that’s all sorted.

My problem is…  V.

He loves art and craft.  He loves cooking class.  A friend of mine is homeschooling her son this year and V sometimes joins in their lessons – and he loves them.

He does not, however, like dance or gymnastics.  I thought about trying football – but he’s not interested in that.

So what do I do?  Do I pull him out of those classes?  Even though I know he would benefit greatly from taking part.  But he doesn’t enjoy them.

At the moment there are no other options for him on a Monday or Tuesday.  And there’s no cooking classes until May – so that means he’s home on Wednesdays too.  Don’t get me wrong – he LIKES being at home.  And he likes being alone.

But I feel that he should be with other children more often.

I’ve realised that he’s one of those children that enjoys doing ‘learning things’, rather than ‘active things’.  And maybe he probably won’t be an ‘all-rounder’.  And that’s fine with me.  He is who he is.


So what should I do?  Force him to go and hope that he might eventually want to take part?  I feel so silly stressing about it when he’s only three-and-a-half.