I like food. So when I found out that they had a festival for food in Doha, I knew I had to go and be there.
We decided to visit the second day because we were busy on the first day. The Chubby Hubby planned to meet us there from work and I brought the two kids with me from home. We didn’t expect these festivals to be so popular (Doha newbie here) because when we got there, it took 40 minutes to make the u-turn going to the venue. Chubby Hubby complained that he couldn’t find parking and that the organizers were turning cars away to go park somewhere else. So he tried to find parking outside the Museum of Islamic Art vicinity and found himself in a lot of competition with other QIFF attendees.
Meanwhile, the kids and I after being stuck in the cab for 40 minutes at that U-turn, decided to get down and just cross the street. I forgot that I was going to cross the street with a two year old and a little boy strapped to my body. Not to mention the baby bag and Aria’s backpack (which always ends up on my back). We managed though but the area where the event was being held was quite a walk from the entrance too and it didn’t take long until Aria started insisting I carry her.
At this point, I called the Chubby Hubby and asked where he was, to which he replies in an annoyed tone that he is still looking for parking.
It’s already been an hour and I haven’t sampled any food yet at the festival, which was taking its toll on me. But I was determined not to go home until I had experienced at least something with food. So I told the Chubby Hubby that I will be walking around with the kiddos to check the place out.
So I held Aria’s hand and navigated through the different stalls, looking at all the scrumptious looking food, salivating at every corner. I didn’t have enough cash with me at the time and I was saving up for something I felt I had to have. So I was being a stingy woman while I searched for that one thing I had to have in my mouth.
My daughter was thrilled to be outdoors but got bored and tired with all the walking. She would occasionally ask me to carry her to which I would reply that I can’t because I was already carrying Marcus. My little boy was already fast asleep while strapped to me and was snoring a bit.
We have been wandering for about 40 minutes when i decided to give the Chubby hubby another call to which he gave me the same annoyed answer. I concede and tell him that I’ll go and find him and that we could just go home. I was tired too because I haven’t eaten anything.
So I told my daughter that we are going to find her dad. She follows me for a few steps and then stops and insists that I carry her. I say ‘no’ and tell her why. She starts her tantrums. I walk away. She cries louder. People walking by ask if they can help me by carrying her. I politely decline because I know Aria will throw a fit if a stranger will carry her. She cries. I carry her. With Marcus strapped to me. In other words, I start carrying both my kids at the same time. One 15 Kg kid and another 8 kg kid.
I walk for a few minutes and put Aria down. She wants to be carried. She cries. I walk away. And the cycle repeats.
Marcus, bless his heart, was calm throughout the ordeal.
We finally reach the car about 10 minutes away from the park gates. I had both kids in my arms hoping the Chubby Hubby sees that I too had struggles of my own. But when we got closer, his car was empty. I put a distressed Aria down and checked my phone.
4 missed calls. MAAAAAN!
I immediately called back, and Chubby Hubby answers that he is inside and that he’s been trying to call me. I say, ok, I’ll go to him. Aria insists again to be carried.
SO I carry both kids back to the park.
Well, I had some good and not so great food that night. We stayed to watch the fireworks along the very beautiful Westbay skyline.
When we got home, my baby girl had a slight fever. I gave her some medicine and put her to bed and when I got back I saw her in convulsions. Seeing my daughter like that is the most terrifying thing in my life. I called the Chubby Hubby. Aria loses consciousness and I was afraid to check so I asked him to bring her to the hospital. Tried to be as calm as I could but kept playing worst case scenarios in my head. I was in my jammies as I left Marcus with a dear friend and rushed after Aria and Chubby Hubby to the closest hospital (which was thankfully just a few doors away from our building). They, however, turned us away and sent us the Hamad Pediatric Emergency Center a few blocks away.
At the Emergency Center, they did tests to rule out as many infections as possible. We stayed till the wee hours of the morning and found out that she only had an ear infection and that her seizure was caused by her high fever. Apparently febrile convulsions are common in children from 6 months to 6 years. They happen without doing any damage to a child’s brain. Even though the doctor kept telling me that it is normal, it is still a scary sight. He gives me tips on how to handle the episodes and some medicine and sends us home. Thank God for health cards in this country! I wonder what it would be like if the same thing happened to us if we were in the Philippines.
She was fine earlier that day. I immediately felt guilty for putting my daughter through that just because I wanted so bad to be a part of the QIFF and had to be there.
We got home around 3 am. I didn’t sleep well and kept checking on Aria. She looked fine. As a matter of fact, she started snoring.
I whispered a prayer of thanks as I held her that early morning.