Well, some moms' days start at night, or never ended to begin with. Like this:   Little man woke 8 times in about as many hours. Then he wanted to get up at six instead of seven and while Daddy and I drooped bug-eyed on our bed gasping for breath from lack of sleep, he brought his toy box into our room and threw his balls around and bounced off the walls in happy boisterousness.

I said,  "I think our son has worms and wheat intolerance and milk allergy and ADHD and insomnia." Daddy  said, "There is nothing wrong with him." I said, "Then why has he been so wound up and grumpy the last couple weeks?" Daddy said, " Because he was wound up and grumpy." I said, "Why did he sleep the way he did last night? " And Daddy said, "Because he woke up so often. "   =) =)

(And lest you think that is an uncaring, unsympathetic husband, let me tell you that he is only very practical and wise, and the above conversation was
all in fun. =) We decided that the natural dewormer we were doing that week was what made for some interesting nights. We have some interesting nights
on a regular basis with our almost two year old who's pet peeve is sleeping, but we are working on it and we'll sleep better some day.

So....the day. It begins with all the normals in this house of three people- a daddy, a mama, and a little boy on top of this mountain in East Africa. Getting dressed, breakfast...and that may be porridge, which is the little boy's favorite, but not the daddy's, or it may be pancakes or biscuits, or eggs, which is the daddy's favorite. Then Bible time, which is beginning to include a younger version for our littler person. It may be interrupted, depending on the day or time, by a knock on the gate, which may be either the milk man or Mama Tuombe. They both come three days a week at about the same time.

If it is a Mama Tuombe day, she will begin by diligently sweeping the yard, every corner. We have lots of trees and flowers and grass and while it is the delight of my soul, it does make for more upkeep. Mama Tuombe does a good job. (She doesn't know that I don't do it the days she isn't here.) She stays about three hours, has just started helping me and we like each other so far, I think. Her name means "Let's pray". (Actually, that must be her oldest child's name. Here, that's what you go by.

Once the house is in order and dishes done, I begin laundry. If it is a laundry day. Mama Tuombe and I do it together so we have a chance to talk, so I have a chance to practice my slowly progressing language skills. In the meantime, Little Man thrills to the outdoors and the water and the dirt. We have chai together and then....school! Yes, fairly basic, but a good thing for a little man who needs the structure and direction. Coloring, counting, puzzles, stories, matching, practicing the sounds he knows.....We both enjoy it a lot.

It may be a no-Mama Tuombe day and hence a no-laundry day. Maybe it is shopping day. Market is far enough and my son heavy enough that I cannot just run when I need to. What is working very well for me is to do it once a week and keep a shopping list. I enjoy the challenge of using what I have on hand and seeing the fridge almost clean for the next batch of produce. Then Little Man will either stay with Daddy while I go all the way into town (.5 mile?) or they will both go along if Daddy has some business there or Little Man and I will go to a variety of nearby dukas to get what we need.

Lunch time...almost always leftovers from the night before. I just cook once a day. =) And naps! Mama's free time, right? Well, this mama is still in the language learning stage and is trying to discipline herself to use that valuable time to study. Sometimes that means going over to the neighbor girl to talk. Sometimes it means self study ....on the couch...with a pillow and blanket....and that usually means fall asleep a bit. =) Other times I cheat a bit and...maybe write a story for TCK mom. =)

At this time, with the Bible translation project barely beginning here, my sweetheart is still working some for a company in the US (he's a computer programmer), usually studying in the mornings and working in the afternoons. It is very much of a blessing to have him so much a part of our day.

Afternoons vary, obviously. They usually start when little guy wakes up with washing lunch dishes and then we may go outside. We actually have space for a garden and there are tiny little spinach and lettuce and onion and tomato and sweet corn and cilantro and mint plants shining green, and strawberries that are growing well....so fun!!  Little Man enjoys helping me water the garden. There may be other yard work - pulling weeds or just playing together in the dirt or throwing a ball. Or maybe going over to the elderly neighbor lady sitting on her porch, sewing...a place where ladies seem to gather a lot and a valuable place to make friends and practice language. Or there may be bread to bake or laundry to take care of... and of course supper to cook. Somewhere in there is a little quiet time when Mama gets to read her Bible and Little Man plays on a mat by himself, usually with a container of rice and some spoons or something, saved for the occasion.

This week we had one of 'those' evenings. You know, when the power is off. The kitchen is too dark to see in, and the mangos you are cutting up are very tasty, but slimy and stringy and your two year old very helpfully holds a flash light for you, shining...in your eyes. You were going to bake a delicious eggplant lasagna, but because the power is off you change your menu and run to the nearby duka for some last minute pasta. The sauce you made is chunky instead of blended, because, of course, you can't use the blender. Your little boy needs to go potty in the middle of the meal and it's too dark to see properly and it goes on your dress instead of the accepted normal place....and.....you finish your meal. And tell your husband, "Now wasn't this romantic? We just had a candlelight dinner!"  And you smile and go on. =)

Then dishes and floors and baths and bedtime for a little person, and maybe a few minutes for Mama to write while Daddy puts him down. (THAT has been a situation in itself for the past year and a half, the getting him to sleep.....and sometimes took an hour or two,  It's going better now.) And then...is he and me time! =) And if I am still sweeping the floor, my dear husband just may take the broom from me, put it away and steer me to the couch to begin our time together. =) "It's not necessary to work in the evening, " he says.

So that's a brief glimpse of what a normalish day may be like, in this season of life with just one little TCK. I love being a wife and a mama and though it has it's unique challenge in a different culture and away from family and friends, I am very blessed and thank the Lord for his faithfulness.

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