Category Archives: kids

A Rare Braid

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My fingers are clumsier as they form a braid in Z’s hair. The hair lifts and folds as I tighten the braid and I realize I am rusty at braiding. I will typically make a quick braid when Z goes to school, but the benefit of summer is that our routine softens while we take it slow. Meaning not many braids. I step back to admire the neatness that the braid brings to Z’s face.

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I thought this summer that we would have pancakes and eggs often for breakfast, and at the beginning we may have, but now Froot Loops and Apple Jacks welcome little hands in the pantry.

One of the beauty of summers is that is appears so Endless. Summer days are long and lazily stretch.

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So that when August does come around, and pencils, erasers, and notebooks grace the aisles of Target, it is easy to walk around wide-eyed, wondering Where did the summer go?

I read this article about how it’s good to take a leap when you’re almost ready. Reality is that you may never feel ready and you need a push to do things. Ready to go to college? Ready to walk across the stage to pick up your diploma? Ready to stand in front of a classroom of twenty students and teach? Ready to get settled and married?  Ready to give birth while in the painful throes of labor? Ready to nurse, rock, diaper your baby? Ready to sweep grimy floors, wipe sticky counters, and raise children? Ready to now send Z off to second grade and A to pre-K?

Sigh. But a Grateful Sigh.

We have a few more days before school officially starts, a few more opportunities to make French Toast/pancakes, to swim in cool, blue water, to practice easing back in a routine and sleeping earlier! A few more moments to savor time. Until then…

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pre-Eid mehndi

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scent of childhood

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When you have a box of crayons and nice paper

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biking into August…

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Rice Bubbling happens a lot here

Enjoying Cam Jansen books!

“By time, indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” (Quran 103:1-3)

 

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Toddler on the loose…

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Putting Your Oxygen Mask on First…

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Putting Your Oxygen Mask on First…

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. You are connected to your child and to all those who touch your lives. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”- Sophia Loren

But what happens when you’re on a flight? Prior to take-off, one is always advised in case of an emergency to put your oxygen mask on first, before assisting others.

As a mother, you are always helping your child first. I can imagine if there was an emergency, moms would adeptly be able to simultaneously put their masks on and their kids’ masks on. It seems as each month goes by with a little one, there are more things you get better at with multitasking.

Obviously there must be some logic in putting your mask on first, or putting your needs first. You’ve got to help yourself first before helping others. Make sure you’re ok. Breathe. Then serve.

I noticed when Z was all accessorized down to her hair bow and shoes whereas I would be out of the house without any accessories that I wasn’t putting my mask on first. Now I just keep a handful of colourful bangles (aka Oxygen mask) in my car so I can keep up with Z’s fashion (even if hers is put on first!). It is oh-so-easy to put your children first. You don’t even realize you’re doing it. You don’t even think about it. Motherhood is a job. It becomes you. Defines you.

I would still choose Marie-Claire over Parenting!

But then we read articles and hear people say that we’ve got to have ‘me time.’ Which means? I bet even Webster has trouble defining that term. Even when the baby’s napping, and you attempt a nap too, you never know when the alarm clock (aka baby) will be set off.

I remember having high hopes and being set on getting my ‘me time.’  A few months back, I felt extra artsy and painting-ish so took Z out on the deck and got to paint some canvases. The story behind them is that they were done in a great hurry with Z strapped into her blue recliner chair. I did let her out which then led to her picking up my tubes of paint and getting v.offended(lower lip thrust out with big teary eyes) when she wasn’t allowed to touch them. So as you can imagine, my ‘me time’ was v.much interrupted. But whenever I look at my painting, I smilingly remember the story behind the painting, interruptions and all.

So to all the articles and whatever I’ve heard, I really don’t know if I will get the aforesaid ‘ 100% me time.’ I might get a few snippets here or there, and will cherish them, but I have a hunch I’ll be cherishing my ‘Us Time’ more.

 

Inside my mittens I’ve got…

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Inside my mittens I’ve got…

I know the drill. We were reading Toes, Ears, and NoseLately, Z loves to label her ‘pao’ aka feet, haat aka hands, mou aka mouth, and naak aka nose. I’ve been trying my best to teach her some Urdu so I’m happy she’s picking up. When we get to the page that says, “Inside my mittens I’ve got…” Z usually says her hands (haat) and holds them out jubilantly. This time, she matter-of-factly replied “High-Pie” aka “High-Five”. I couldn’t help thinking that was pretty cool. We had been practicing High-Fives, something Z, and I think every kid loves. You’re right Z, we don’t just have hands, we have high-fives! We have hands that should be used for high-fives. When was the last time you gave a high-five? We need to praise and appreciate more. So Inside my mittens I’ve got…high-fives!

Note to Baby: Sometimes you’re not liked!

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Z used to be “polite.” Upon seeing my brother and sister-in-law, she would smile, wait a second, and then ask about “Bee.” In Urdu, a cat is “Billy” and Z likes her uncle and aunt’s cat. Actually, she loves the cat and now is obsessed with Bee. Now, when Z sees my brother and sister-in-law, she will instantly grab onto them for dear life and shout, “Beeeeeeeeeee!” She will not let go and will repeatedly ask about Bee until she gets her way and is lugged over to the cat, who Z’s aunt informed her is afraid of her. The cat will hide under the bed and does not like Z. Z is known to be loud, and will even go so far as to reach underneath the bed, and grab whatever she can get of the poor cat.

Which got me to thinking, sometimes Z is not liked, and she luckily does not know it. For example, whenever I am in an airport with Z boarding a flight, I bet a whole bunch of people are like the cat and would like to run far away from Z. I once asked a friend who traveled internationally if there were any babies on board, to which she replied, “No thank goodness!” People generally do not like babies on board planes. Usually, Z does receive the baby stare/glare (i.e. Why is that baby on board?), sometimes even from flight attendants. However, there are times when we are pleasantly surprised and I’ve seen a tall, serious, burly looking passenger, stop in his tracks upon seeing Z, bend over, wave, all while simultaneously smiling a huge smile.

Z likes to smile and will innocently dole out smiles to those around her, regardless of who they are, even if they’re not returned…something I need to try.

Stringing a necklace without a knot…

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“Keeping house is like threading beads on a string with no knot at the end.” – Anonymous

Everyone knows that cleaning lady or has heard about her. You know the one who barely walks into your house and with every step she takes, your floors get less grimy and everything sparkles around her. Well, I wish I had one. But I don’t. My inlaws have one.

She will often offer great advice to me. Vinegar-water-with a squirt of Dawn Soap till you can see a faint tinge of colour, FYI, is an amazing houeshold cleaner and you don’t have to worry about the chemicals around kids.

I was telling her how Z gets into everything and keeping things clean at my house was impossible. It reminds me of this quote I read, that trying to keep your house clean is like trying to string a necklace wth no knot at the bottom. I feel that extra with a toddler. I’m not an overly neat person to begin with, but I try. With a toddler, trying is like the aforementioned quote.

So upon telling her my cleaning woes, I waited for some great advice. Something life-changing like the vinegar solution.

And sure enough, she delivered.

Her blue eyes twinkling, she said, “Just enjoy the mess!”

Now, when my house is a mess, like it usually is, I don’t walk around aimlessly picking up things, only to be dumped back a few seconds later. I revel in the mess that involves Cheerios, stray toy animals, and more. Plus, why string a necklace without a knot?  I do the stringing when Z is tucked into bed, when I know she can’t undo my cleaning…atleast for a few more hours, that is.