Last weekend I received an email from the gym club DD attends. A government department issued a ban on local sports halls being hired by private clubs for use by gymnastics clubs and the like. The ban was effective immediately. With 2 weeks of the term left and fees paid in advance, there were more than a few irate parents out there. But, this is Dubai and I am sad to say that, after a while in the Emirate, this kind of thing does not come as a surprise.
Whilst I was slightly agitated about the decision, a little part of me was happy not to have to spend almost an extra hour in the car, most of which would be in rush hour. A drive-free afternoon is a thing of beauty in the city that does not walk!
I began to plan my Wednesday afternoon. DS1 had been invited to a birthday party. DH was on pick up duty, leaving me, DS2 and DD at home to entertain ourselves! BUT then, DS2’s best buddy asked him round for a playdate. Another quiet smile of contentedness spread across my face. One child for the afternoon and no driving duties…….this is like a moon eclipse, something beautiful and very, very rare!!!!
I was so excited to be able to have a girlie afternoon with DD, I rushed to share the news with her, telling her she was Queen for the afternoon and she could plan our afternoon. She told me she would think about it and tell me the next day!! Regal restraint indeed! I didn’t mind what she chose-I was just excited to have an afternoon of QT with DD – another beautiful and rare occurrence!
But then, true to form, Dubai turned the tables. 3 days after the first email from the gym, I received an update. The gym club owners had met with the government department responsible for the decision, to discuss options and gymnastics’ life going forward. They even brought along video evidence to provide the decision makers with a glimpse of the budding talent the club was nurturing (Shawn Johnson of Olympic and World Class glory recently visited the gym and this is the level to which the gym aspires!).
Won over, the government did the all too familiar political move known as the ‘U-turn’ and lifted the ban. Gymnastics classes could resume with immediate effect. And in another well practised political move, the government declared that full details of the ‘entente cordiale’ are yet to be hammered out. There is no doubting this will involve a price increase to cover the government’s cut.
BUT WHAT ABOUT MY MUMMY-DAUGHTER DAY??????? Not one second of brainpower was spent on that dilemma…..how am I supposed to explain that decision to DD???? She was as excited as me about our afternoon out. How can I now tell her that she has been relegated to ‘handmaid’ for the day????? Thanks for putting me in this position gym club/government!!! As happy as I am that the club scored a positive result with the government, I shall miss my afternoon of, what I am sure would have been Daddy-disapproving spendthrift abandon with DD (and no, given the amount of days we have missed due to illness, tiredness and Mummy-driving-lethargy, I won’t be keeping her off to make up for it!).
Almost 5 years here…I should have known better…..one can never know when a decision is final. Chopping and changing is par for the course. I blame the heat…..