Since becoming a mom I have become the most unsocial person on earth! Not because I choose to be unsocial, well honestly maybe it is, because Id rather be chilling on my sofa watching tv making sure my baby sleeps well the whole day… Than running around Cairo meeting friends and having a grumpy baby that can’t sleep due to the noise and stress around him! Especially now that he’s reaching his big FOUR months and his sleeping routine is a little bit messy and is having problems falling asleep! I always thought Cairo was a pretty baby-friendly city as everywhere you go you see huge families with children, cafes and restaurants are full of families. But now that I have a baby Ive realised how NOT baby-friendly Cairo is… But people don’t really care about their children… It seems like the Egyptians attitudes to new babies is that they join their life and follow their lifestyle, not the opposite… Normally you have to change your lifestyle when you become a parent, you can’t really continue living as you were living before the little one came along! Going out late at night, for example doesn’t work anymore… People bring their newborns to cafes where people are not only smoking shishas and cigarettes, but they sit on their mother’s lap WHILE they are smoking too! They continue living as before they had a baby, they just have one extra human being to drag along with them!
Before I gave birth we were out pretty late one night and just before we were leaving the cafe a family with a newborn and a 6/7-year-old sat down at the table next to us. The dad ordered a shisha and his son, who sat next to him, spent a few minutes coughing. Then with a sad voice the 6-year-old asked his dad to please stop blowing the smoke in his face… The father laughed at him, took a deep breath and blew a huge cloud of smoke in his sons face! I mean I don’t even know what to say… There is the person who is supposed to love you the most in the whole entire world and protect you against anything bad in this world, and he is sat there trying to slowly ‘kill’ you with his smoking! Not to mention that his newborn was sat on the other side of him and it was nearly 1am… We left the cafe because it was getting late and we wanted to go home, and here is a family with a newborn and a 6-year-old just arriving! BEDTIME PEOPLE!!!
After countless times trying to arrange meetings with my husbands friends before 7pm (When the little one has to be in bed!) I kind of gave up! Egyptians are known for being out late at night and sleeping all day! Nobody here understands how our 3 month old can have such an early bedtime! Well most of the Egyptian babies don’t have a bedtime, they just go to sleep when they fall asleep! What they forget is that we are talking about babies, that can’t do much themselves, and telling you he is tired is one of them… So please just use some common sense…
Anyways a friend of my husband had a baby girl 2 months before we had our son. Thank God she was born before or else we would have to spend years telling them why our son and their daughter should NOT get married… Now that he’s younger we are ‘safe’! Anyways he had been calling my husband for months telling him to prepare for absolute hell when the baby arrives… All you will want to do is smash your head against a wall due to all the crying! He said their baby girl constantly cried… And my husband confirmed that 90% of all Egyptian babies constantly cry…. Now if I used my common sense I would know that if my baby is crying then he needs something or something is wrong… My role as a mother is to find out why he is crying… Check when he last had milk, last time his diaper was changed, last time he slept!?
Okey im going off-topic again! So my husband really wanted me to meet this friend and his wife and their new daughter, as he had not met his daughter either. We agreed that they could come visit us after work one day, if it wasnt too late for their daughter… Bedtime, what bedtime? So he said he should be at home at about 5 and would come directly to us, we live about 30 minutes away. We told him that our sons bedtime is 7 and we have to keep this as he usually gets over-tired if he’s not in bed by then… He laughed, still not understanding that a baby should have a bedtime.. At 5 he calls and says he is going to be at least 2 hours late! AAAHHHHH was my first thought! Not because my baby had to be in bed by then, but that it would mean that they would be late and I was already thinking about MY bedtime! I could put the little one to sleep and close the door, but I would have to stay awake until they leave, and who knows when that would be… It was obvious that this 5 month baby wasnt stopping them from being outside until late.
Anyways they ended up arriving at 8.30pm… Yousef had been asleep for more than an hour and this poor little girl was wide awake when they arrived! First let me mention that it was about 25 degrees that evening, my husband’s friend even asked to turn the air conditioner on because it was so hot! So this baby arrives fully clothed, with two tops AND a huge winter jacket…. I was sweating just looking at her.. Her dad suggested she take the jacket off and the mother rudely said no, that she had taken a shower before they left the house… WELL then I would suggest you take the jacket off or else she will sweat so much that she would have to take another shower when you get back home…
So this was a very awkward meeting… My husband’s friend is super nice, but his wife however, hmmm is all I can say after just one meeting! She does not have a low voice, trust me! We had a baby sleeping in the apartment and the last hour me and my husband had been walking around on our tip-toes and whispering to make sure he doesn’t wake up! She walks into the apartment with the loudest voice EVER known to man (yes MAN, ive never heard a woman THIS loud!). HIIIIIIII, HOW ARE YOU?!?!?! CONGRATULATIONS ON THE BABY AND THE WEDDING AND THE APARTMENT, HOW IS YOUSEF?!?!? WHERE IS HE!?? All im thinking is ‘don’t wake up, don’t wake up, don’t wake up!’ I spent 30 minutes trying to get him to sleep and your going to come in here and scream!? I had to control my hand not to slap her in the face and tell her to shut up and have some respect! Haha that would have been the best first meeting ever! I quietly told her he is sleeping in the room, and her response was: OOOOH NO WE WERE SO EXCITED TO SEE HIM, AND WHY HE SLEEP SO EARLY! Oh my god WOMAN I just told you he is sleeping… Do you normally sleep well with someone screaming in your ear all night? Didnt think so, so lets take it down a notch, and leave your loud excited voice at the door… This is a super small apartment and im standing next to you, we all have perfect hearing so I think we should be fine with your NORMAL voice! Thank god Yousef didn’t wake up… I mean it was a miracle, my ear drums were hurting from her voice! So we sat down on the sofa and their baby girl starts screaming at the top of her lungs! So her mom starts shaking her and singing to her LOUDLY in her glass-breaking-loud voice! All I can do is sit there and pray inside me that Yousef doesn’t wake up… AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH the baby did not stop scream-crying! I mean this guy wasnt joking when he said that she constantly cries and welcome to hell… Shit I dont know what hell is like but I can’t imagine it gets any worse that this.. Her screaming was so high-pitched and intense I was scared the tv and glass would smash, and my ear drums where shaking!
The dad took the baby and started running around the apartment, jumping up and down with her, shaking her! I mean im not by any means the perfect mom, but it took one look and I instantly knew this baby was tired to an extreme! Every time they sat down they baby started crying, so they desperately started running around with her, throwing her in the air, and playing with her… this just distracted her from the fact that she was tired and as soon as they calmed down she would feel tired again and start screaming! I mean honestly it was about 10pm and I (a 27-year-old!!!!) was tired, so I can’t even imagine what this 5 month old was feeling! Babies shouldnt be awake for much longer than 2 hours or else they will get over-tired.. This little girl had been awake since 4, so more than 6 hours with no sleep…
Anyways I don’t know what planet this woman came from, but she had not read the baby manual AT ALL… these were a few of the things that shocked me and made me want to kidnap her baby!:
1. Apparently her baby constantly needs attention, she can never put her down anywhere because she will start crying… Seriously? Yeah a baby needs a lot of love and attention but they also need a little alone time…
2. When her dad plays with her it consists of: Him sat in front of the laptop or xbox and her on his lap… No interaction whatsoever, and that’s for maximum an hour at night when he comes home from work…
3. Her baby NEVER sleeps before 12pm and the last couple of weeks she hasn’t gone to bed until 2am!?!? WAIT are we talking about the same thing here… YOUR baby doesn’t GO to bed until 2am? Since when has a baby been able to make any decisions?! You see that the baby is tired and you put him to bed, and this should always be before 12pm, are you insane! I havent been awake at 12pm since I gave birth, so I can’t imagine why a baby would be up that late! I would be crying if I was awake at 12pm too!
4. The doctor has told them that if she isn’t hungry and has a clean diaper and she is still crying, then she is just crying for attention, so leave her alone, and in the end she will stop crying! If you hear her crying, put her inside a room and close the door.. Yeah because those crying babies are just SOOOOOO annoying! WOW great advise ya doctor! Where did you get your education from? The school of ‘do not look after your child’, or the university of ‘lets close the door and abracadabra I no longer have a baby!’
5. So I asked her if she went full-term with her baby… No I had a planned cesarean at 8 months… Why at 8 months? because the doctor wanted it… Yeah who gives a rats-ass about the baby here, who cares if he/she is ready.. the most important thing is that the DOCTOR is ready… Oh no why did you have a cesarean, did you have any complications? QUOTE OF THE CENTURY: No, I was scared of the pain from a natural birth so I told my doctor I want to be sleeping and they cut the baby out of me… I was sat there in shock and horror thinking of this poor baby being ripped out of here stomach 2 months early because she didn’t want to experience FREAKING PAIN! And there I am reminiscing about my lovely birth with 24 hours of insane pain and a baby ripping out of my body and stitches and days of pain later… But hell I did this for my baby, to make sure he was safe and delivered the NATURAL way as God had intended it to be done!
6. Her baby doesn’t LIKE sitting in the car seat so she normally just puts her on her lap with her in the front of the car… Why not?… I mean car seats are for the built for the babies to enjoy sitting in right, not to make sure the baby survives if you have an accident… In this case, you might even be the reason she gets killed, if you do have an accident, you will end up squashing her… I mean YOU have the choice to not put a seatbelt on and ignore your own safety but this 5 month old baby does not have the choice, so it shouldnt be up to you to decide. I mean outside Egypt its illegal to have a baby in the car not strapped up a car seat… Okey one quick question stupid woman, why were car seats invented? For the child to sit in or to make sure the child is safe when travelling by car?! Okey this woman did just get a new car and the next day she went to a garage to get the airbags REMOVED.. Its not an option like leather seats, its FREAKING safety! You know why she wanted to remove them? Honest to God she didn’t want them to explode if she had a minor accident because they would damage the dashboard, and the whole dashboard in the car would have to be replaced… This is an educated woman, and she believed it will save her money if she removes the airbags!? Wait, what about when you smash your head on the steering wheel and die… Damn it was good you saved some money and your husband wont have to change the dashboard, just clean up your blood!
Sorry this post is starting to sound angry, but with the lack of respect for safety in this country it just gets to me, it gets me soooo angry! Imagine when 90% of the country doesn’t care about their own or anybody elses safety… They have invented something to put in the seat belt socket to make the fasten seatbelt alarm shut up… Because the fasten seatbelt alarm is so annoying and is just there to make you life complicated right? Not because you should ACTUALLY wear your seat belt!? I actually got into one of my husbands friends car once and put my seatbelt on… He said ‘oh don’t worry, you don’t have to wear that, this car doesn’t have a fasten seatbelt alarm!’ Ummm okey, im sorry but im actually putting the seatbelt on for safety reasons, not because a beep beep beep beep noise will annoy me! My mother in law actually un-clicked my seatbelt once and laughed at me.. She said you don’t need this we are not driving that fast! Yeppp!! Apparently the seatbelt is for fast driving cars only!
Back to the visit from friends… To summarize it was an evening full of shocking revelations, ALOT ALOT ALOT of crying and two extremely stressed parents that have not heard of keeping the noise level down because a baby is sleeping! Thankfully Yousef didn’t wake up and at about 11pm they left.. Had they waited any longer I would have started crying because I was sooo tired… I can’t imagine that this is what they go through every single day.. I witnessed just 2 hours of this screaming chaos and I honestly was thinking of getting a gun and either shooting both of them or me, depending on what would be quicker.. That child did NOT shut up! She cried more in two hours than Yousef has cried his whole life and that is honestly not exaggerating!
My husband called his friend the next day and told him that between you and me I want to give you a tip: When your baby starts crying that late your baby is probably super tired and when you start running around and shaking her, you’re getting her more exciting which is then leading her to get more tired… Every time you stop she will feel it and start crying because she wants to sleep but is not given the chance.. He said ‘but I thought if she is tired, she will sleep!’ How the hell is someone supposed to sleep when they are being sang to in a super loud voice, and shaken! My husband said that most babies need up to 16 hours of sleep at this age… He was completely SHOCKED!!! Our baby doesn’t sleep at all during the day and only a few hours at night! Shiite, and he wonders WHY she is crying!? Even the Hulk would be crying with the amount of sleep she is NOT getting!
So as a conclusion, dear Egyptians, please don’t listen to your mother or doctor or neighbour… LISTEN to your child and once in a while please think a little bit about the safety of your child… You do want him/her to grow up right?
Yousef just got a new chair so he can sit with us while we eat! Not sure he is very pleased about it, but its super sexy!