where is your child, ma’am?

Ma’am, your child?

That feeling of wearing a wristwatch for years, in a rush one morning, forgetting.

Later, panic.


  • ….next to the bed  ….in the drawer  ….on the dresser  ….by the coffee pot ….the bathroom sink.

I left it on the sink. I must have left it on the sink.

And then I remember: I don’t have kids.

no bbq ing the baby


  • How many children do you have, ma’am? (Followed by confusion & disbelief & confusion.)
  • But why not, madam? (Oh, that familiar judgement.)
  • How old are you, ma’am? (The answer is still none.)
  • What school do your children go to, ma’am? (Perhaps the most presumptuous, with bonus points for acknowledging the judgement that’s coming.)
  • Where are you from? (That, I’ll answer.)

Cab drivers, Filipino expat women who work service jobs, the apartment agents, people I meet at cafes, in the elevator… everyone wants to know.

Every grocery store in Dubai has shelves & shelves stocked with condoms. Stocked, I joke, because no buys them. Everyone here has kids. So many kids.




2 thoughts on “where is your child, ma’am?

  1. Have you ever considered telling a story of darkest woe? And what does that sign mean? Don’t poke the baby with a stick?

    1. hey! darkest woe? is that a baby’s name? tell me more of this story you have in mind. i have no idea what the sign means. we saw it in central park years ago. makes me laugh. not sure if that’s a bbq grill or a baby carriage. don’t bbq the baby? don’t poke the univision logo with a churro? don’t force feed the android robot a churro while it’s standing on its head? oh, churros.

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