Thursday, August 31, 2006

Egg-Run & House Shoes

Yesterday, we ran out of eggs. This is a very rare occurrence in my house, because we usually get them fresh daily, form the chickens outside. Recently, I’ve been told the weather is too hot for egg collection, something I find odd since it’s cooling down now, but won’t argue with.

Off my son and I went to the supermarket. For the record, I’m not the type to dress up to the nines and plaster my face with makeup for a trip like that. I don’t push this on my son either, so we both left in flip-flop, house shoes. In the car, my son saw a pair of his ‘outside shoes’ on the floor where I’d forgotten them the night before as I carried his sleeping body from the car to bed.

“Mama!” He screamed at me, “Why am I wearing house shoes?”

“No problem baby,” I couldn’t help but giggle while I said it.

“But Mama! You’re wearing house shoes too!” He responded quickly, and was unimpressed with my cheerful, nonchalant reply, “What will the boys and girls say?”

“Baby!” I glanced over to see the serious look in his eye. The boy wasn’t joking one bit about the serious nature of this problem, “Who cares what the girls and boys think? Don’t worry about them.”

“No. The boys and girls will say you’re not beautiful.”

And that’s how the conversation ended. How do you teach a three year old away from vanity, and where in the world did he learn this in the first place? Does this say more about the nature of the UAE than I’d like to generalize? I don’t remember caring what people thought about how I looked, before I was at least ten or eleven years old. I don’t even think I had inside and outside shoes as a child. In Canada, bare-foot was the way we pranced around when the weather permitted it.

UAE is very much a plastic place where appearance is everything. I’ve believed this for a long time, but what I didn’t realize is that it could affect our children from such a young age.

And you bet right if you put your money on my baby putting on the outside shoes before we entered the supermarket, and not the house ones he had on his feet.


Blogger nzm said...

Yeesh - I know what you mean, but I think that it has to do with a plastic world with maybe more emphasis on it in Dubai.

J's younger son (who lives in Germany with J's ex) is 6 - won't go out of the house without his socks and sandals (German thing!) even in the Dubai heat, the right clothes, and his hair just done right. He point blank refuses to move if he can't prepare himself properly.

At the moment, he's wearing his hair long on one side like Gary Oldman's character Zorg in The 5th Element and even has the long bit dyed red over the rest of his shorter surrounding black hair.

All this in a 6yo - and his ideas definitely did not come from us! God knows what his flamboyance is going to be like in his teens! lol.

5:16 PM, August 31, 2006  
Blogger BuJ said...

oh dear.. the message is all so much stronger when it comes from a weaker voice.

6:38 PM, August 31, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...


When I opened that picture I jumped! That style on a 6-year-old, and colored on top of it?!

The funny difference with this is that my son's attitude is defiantly a taught one, and not from his own choice or preference, at all. His house shoes were better quality, more expensive and even more to his personal taste (black and florescent green from Adams) than the outside ones he saw in the car (cheap, local-style plastic sandals, from God-knows-where).

I can see how J's sons ways are learnt too, when it comes to refusing to leave the house without being 'perfect' but at least that perfect is to his liking it seems!

What world are we living in?

Buj!! It's been a long time! Yes, it's too strong a statement for my liking! And I hate my little man speaking so big, that's for damn sure.

7:03 PM, August 31, 2006  
Blogger Destitute Rebel said...

Very True, Dubai effects us all in a different way, and i'm afraid the younger and innocent the person it wffects them more.

9:00 PM, August 31, 2006  
Blogger nzm said...

Well - you can imagine how we felt when we first saw him with that hairstyle! Thankfully he's not bald on the sides like Gary Oldman, but does have shorter hair under the longer top bit! From across the street as he got out of the car, we kept wondering who the little girl was! lol.

We think he's being influenced by J's ex, who is a complete fruitcake!

9:10 PM, August 31, 2006  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

My friends son who is 7 has a cell phone!!! I asked my friend why does he need a cell phone at this age..he is too young to have one...he doesn't need it.
She said "oh he keeps on saying other kids at school have one, I don't want to look less"
That response made me MAD! I asked her, and that was enough as reason to get him a cell phone?
She said "you don't have kids, you have no idea how its like these days"
I don't have kids, but every generation had a similar kind of struggle, wanting things that parents don't approve of. I remember wanting things that my mom would not want me to get for various reason, and it was not negotionalbe...never did I feel that I was less nor did I feel my mom loved me less. It has alot to do with what you teach your kids in your own household and how you handle such comments "I dont want to look less" cause by providing them, you are just opening one big door that you wont be able to close.
And yes, Duba and Abu Dhabi put alot of emphasis on how you look and how much money you appear to have...thats what makes you worthwhile. Its sad...I guess tainted you should just continue to be a role model and show him how its ok for you to leave your house in flip flops and how your friends (true friends) still love you.
Cute kid :)

2:38 AM, September 01, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...

nzm... mama's always the strongest influence, isn't she? Doesn't matter to the child what she is. (My worst fear for my son is that he'll grow up looking for someone similar to me in a wife!!!)

hl&h... it's funny you mentioned mobiles, because the boy is going through something similar now with his young brother. Only, the boy's brother is in his early teens and says he wants one for the same reasons. I remember how much a bitch peer-pressure was and I bet I'll be giving in when it's time for my baby to ask for one, simply because kids can be that mean.

But I agree with you 100% here. The mom you mentioned seemed to worry more about what she looked like than her child (at least in the wording I read here).

On a similar note, while I was getting my sons hair cut the other day there was a woman there. She had a little girl that must have been no more than 3 years old also getting her hair cut.

I was snapping photos of my son during the process (because I can't get over the animated faces he makes, hating it!) and she held her daughters chin up as they blow-dried her beautifully curly hair strait. Only once it was completed, did she take a photo. It hurt a little bit to watch, from my angle as the young girl was accustomed to the pulling of the brush and the heat from the dryer. That can't be good for her hair! I can't help but think this is a pattern she'll keep for the rest of her life.

10:10 AM, September 01, 2006  
Blogger bklyn_in_dubai said...

so this is what happens when you run out of eggs? did you give in to his demand to put on your outside shoes? one of my first nites in dubai i went to meet a friend in madinat jumeirah and quickly realized i was the *only* male wearing flip flops -- decent, sturdy looking ones mind you -- in the whole place, perhaps the whole of Dubai outside Naif. I wear shoes here more than I ever did in NYC, even when teaching university classes.

But for a 3 yr old to be so in tune with such demands of status games is something. At least he's not demanding specific brands. Yet.

10:50 AM, September 01, 2006  
Blogger Tainted Female said...


Welcome to the UAE. How many people were looking at your feet in Madinat? My bet is, it was the looks that caught your attention and thus made you realize it.

My outside shoes were at home, and I’d have NEVER given in had I had a pair in the car as well. What in the world would I be teaching him?

11:41 AM, September 01, 2006  

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