Wednesday, April 26, 2006

On Letting Go...

So, if you've lived in the US for any period of time, you know that things run a bit differently. You know, simple things like standing in lines at banks, government offices, airports. People actually wait their turn, grumbling and annoyed by delays in their hyper-busy schedules, but wait they do. You get used to knowing the government has put rules and regulations into place to protect you. And, this is omnipresent. Today El 3atal and I went to look at a Pre-K and a pre-school for the beans. When we got done, El 3atal asked me if I thought that Junior Bean and Joojoo Bean would be safe. Weren't there some toys there that weren't age-appropriate. I had to smile. How very American he sounded. Now, don't get me wrong, while touring the facility, I had the same thought. I've had the same thought MANY, MANY times. {Warning tangent approaching.} Like this morning when I realized anew it would be impossible for me to child-proof our temporary apartment. JoojooBean came to me crying with some foul smelling gunk on her foot. I couldn't figure out what it was until she took me to the kitchen. Apparently she had pulled off the cover to the drain (wait, a drain in the kitchen floor?), the drain top itself, and stepped into the hole of icky, gross water... I don't think this thing has been flushed in the last 10 years (do you flush these or something?). So, again, I understand El 3atal's issue. {End of tangent} But, as I told him. This is one of the many things I've realized I will simply have to let go. There aren't governmental standards checking daycares, pre-schools, and schools for compliance with child safety regulations, food preparation regulations, etc. The health department doesn't go in, review the kitchen and shut you down if you aren't meeting appropriate specifications. That's just not where things are. Where I can control safety, I will (where does one get outlet covers for these round outlet plates anyway?). All three of my beans are, unfashionably, in car seats and will so remain until the 65 pound limit of the seat we currently have. Our temporary apartment has as little within reach as possible. The beans' bedroom has nothing in it except the travel mattresses they are currently using. I mean that literally, nothing. We try to keep their surroundings as safe as we can. But, when out in public, I just have to let these things go.

I also have to let go of my expectations about customer service and customer focus. In the US, banks (one of the least customer friendly establishments) open late on Fridays to allow to customers who work to actually transact business. Shops intentionally open later so that people can leave work and make purchases. On any holiday from work, every business that can will be open to make as much money as possible. In Jordan, the banks open from 10-2 every other day except the holiday each week, as far as I've been able to tell :). Okay, so I could be exaggerating just the tiniest bit, but... At any rate, car dealerships were all closed on the recent holiday. Car dealerships, can you believe it? In the US, car dealerships are typically open until 9 every night to allow people to buy a car anytime, every day. They also have special sales on holidays to try and lure people in to buy a car. It is almost impossible to find a more customer-friendly business than car dealerships. So, it takes some adjusting, but mostly I think it just takes letting go. I've realized that the fewer expectations I start with, the more likely they will be met. And, if you can simply go with the different flow, it makes things much easier. I have to admit, it helps that I'm not working and I don't have the pressures of a business day to worry about. At any rate, until next time...

Sanity.

MommyBean

1 Comments:

At 10:13 AM , Anonymous Rebecca said...

Welcome MommyBean!
I was so glad to hear you started your blog. I'm looking forward to hearing your perspective on your transition here.
I know there's just about nothing that bugs me more than seeing kids standing in the back of a car or leaning out a window as it's speeding along! Today the thought crossed my mind... if I ever have kids, it's one thing to put them in a car seat as long as I can, but how do you get them to stay in their seat-belts once they're older? Especially if they're strong willed? I'm sure my parents told me something like "the police officer will arrest you if you don't wear your seatbelt." But any kid with eyes in Jordan can see that that's not true!

 

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