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The little things in life

Living in England for over 20 years you get used to “popping out” to the shops to get milk and whatever else you may need. You strap a child into the pram, the other on a scooter/ bike, whatever mode of transport was age-appropriate, and the whole trip takes an hour or two.

An hour or two, not because the shop is far away, but because it takes you 20 minutes to wrestle two children into coats, gloves, scarves and hats while you start to sweat. Oh and suddenly the left boot goes missing as if little elves stole them at night, because you are 100 per cent positive you put them both by the door yesterday.

You step out, ready to face the world—remembering you only need milk. Suddenly, one child is crying because they are hungry—crying so loud it sounds like you have never fed them in their entire life. It’s ok you are just by the house so you run in as fast as lighting and come back equipped with a box of raisins or a banana or whatever else is handy—obviously you get two of everything as the other child suddenly remembers that they are hungry too.

Right, on your way, again. While walking, every speck of dust, every rock, every leaf is interesting and you must stop for a good five minutes to investigate it all. You think to yourself, “Shall I pressure them to move on and risk a tantrum or stand there waiting patiently?” 

Two hours later you are back from the shop. You unpack these mountains of bags, which were very carefully balanced on the pram and somehow you have bags of food, toys, knickknacks, pencils and items you never knew would be useful or needed, but hold on a minute! Where is the milk? You sigh. It’s loud. The whole world heard it.

You shoot off a message to your husband, “Can you please get milk on the way home?”

Picking up the phone for a call is futile. It would automatically get the children asking a million questions or an invitation for sudden outbursts of random screams.

He messages back, “Thought you were popping out to get milk?”

How do you respond? “They didn’t have any/I forgot/We didn’t go out” or a simple reply of “Get chocolate too.”

Living in Doha, you cannot “pop out” to the shops. Here you need to get into the car, wrestle an octopus into a car seat and make sure they are belted in properly. At least you do not need a mountain of clothing to deal with the cold weather. Although, we do have sandals, flip flops and Crocs, which like to fly off your children’s feet and get lost in a black hole which seem to only exist in your car.

Right, octopus is secure; off we go. Similar to a shop visit in England, you still end up with bags of food, toys, knickknacks, pencils and items you never knew would be useful or needed, but here in Doha, you have a lovely man at the end of the checkout packing everything neatly for you. You leave the supermarket with the milk and the chocolate as a reward for making it through the supermarket without a single tear from neither mum nor child. Victory is mine!

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Doha Family Blog

Exploring life as expats and parents living in Doha

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We all come from different backgrounds and have different stories to share. Yet one thing brings us all together—Doha.

From posts about relationships to first-hand accounts of moving back home, these posts cover all aspects of life for families and parents living in Doha.

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