‘Sana! The posting signal has arrived, we have two weeks to pack everything and leave for the new place.’ Alan informs me sixth time in our nine year long marriage.
Yes I know that people often get fascinated by the idea of a military life. To them it’s fun getting to live in different places, getting to furnish and decorate different houses in different ways, having the luxury of an independent life, with lots of traveling, partying etc. But they are in for a surprise! That part only forms a small portion of our lives.
Shivers run down my spine when I think about our fourth posting : from Quetta to Rawalpindi. It was a cold November night, the truck to pick up our cargo was due the next day and my hubby and I were busy in packing everything that was still left behind. My son was only a few months old and Yusra started throwing up pretty badly. When you have packed up nearly everything, tending to a sick child becomes very difficult. At that time she was recently diagnosed with Autism and her therapies weren’t started yet. Throwing up and loose motions on repeat had dehydrated her and both Alan and I didn’t know what to do. At the break of dawn we took her to ER got her hydrated through IV and came back. The truck came and for the next three hours I sat with my kids on the only sofa that belonged to the apartment while Alan was busy getting the truck loaded. A puking sick child on one lap and an infant (who was constantly trying to squirm his way down on the dirt covered floor) on my other lap, every second felt like an hour long. Sometimes you are stuck up in situations so badly that you can do nothing else but feel utterly helpless. After the truck was loaded and gone we again rushed her to the hospital where she spent the next six days on IVs and injectables. Thank God my sister lived nearby in the same city who sent us meals and looked after my little one.
Since Alan had to report to his new duty in Rawalpindi and we had our tickets booked we requested the doctor to discharge Y and from hospital we directly took off for the airport to our new destination with no hope for any proper accommodation for the next two months. Thats how military life is! We get posted to different cities but have to wait for atleast two months for accommodation. The two months we spend in different messes, guestrooms, shelters whatever is available. We usually don’t have any choice. The houses we do get after weeks of waiting are usually not what one would consider living in under normal circumstances.
And when you have toddlers at your heels nagging and arguing and wailing and complaining and pulling at your skirt and throwing up tantrums and making a racket you just go nuts. You become a shouting monster! That’s exactly what I have become these days.
And when you have an ASD child who refuses to live in guestrooms and when shown the new house you are alotted , she refuses to accept it as her own house no matter how you try to make her understand. Things get frustrating when your ASD child enters a meltdown on seeing an empty house (not yet furnished with the stuff she is accustomed to seeing in her house). Then slowly and gradually as things start getting unpacked and the bedroom is set up with the same bed, with the same bed linen and pillows and cushions she’s comfy with, she starts accepting the new place. Thank God after the first thing, the sofa, was unpacked she finally stopped wailing and accepted the fact that this is infact Yusra’s new house!!
I have not yet tried to introduce the concept of postings to Y. She is usually good with traveling related transitions. But this time she gave me a tough time.
And here we are sitting on our recently unpacked sofa and refusing to go any where else while my son has gotten hold of some long forgotten toys and is busy setting up a mine field with his toys !! Grrr!!
P.S. did I forget to mention the part where your toddler interferes with packing, for every carton you pack there is another carton being unpacked by the toddler. And bouts of tantrum while packing unwanted toys, which somehow become hard to live without just because you decided to throw them in the carton of unwanted things.
Thanx for bearing with my posting related rumblings!