Your baby is crying inconsolably. She is cranky and clingy, clingy and cranky.
The usual things that work are not working and you are not home.
Once she is home again, she starts to settle. Maybe the familiar walls and clutter soothe her. Maybe the way the familiar sunbeams befriend her transform her from an inconsolable infant into a consolable one.
Home, the one syllable word, has more weight than you think. As your feet brush against crumbs on the kitchen floor, you do not think of sweeping, but are simply grateful to be home again.
Later, when you are at the grocery store buying frozen waffles (the waffles to help you reach school by the dreaded time of 8:00 am), the cashier strikes up a conversation, the way they often do.
“Enjoy these days,” she says. You nod an “Of course,” in agreement before confiding, “I really am trying to, but there are moments when the baby is crying and I haven’t got enough sleep… ”
The other cashier joins in, “I do not miss these days,” she says shaking her head vehemently, confidently. “I do not want to have another one,” she says before casting a quick look at your baby, complimenting her, turning her back, and resuming checking out groceries.
When you’re pregnant, the cashier will look at your belly and confide, “My labor was the worst pain I ever felt in my life…” before she resumes to dutifully scan apples.
When your toddler sobs when the cashier scans items because she thinks the cashier is taking everything away from her cart, the cashier will look at your toddler and say, “Spoiled, isn’t she?” before going on to scan the toothpaste with a resolute beep.
I admire the conversations of cashiers. The way they comfortably slip into a place where they can offer unabashed advice, controversial or not. Direct. Quick. Honest.
So as you walk away to your car, you ponder over what was just shared, wondering if you agree or not. You hope that honesty can coat your tongue the way it coats theirs.
Photos below from this month:
Author Umm Muhemmed wrote this enlightening book, A Quranic Odyssey. The book is illustrated by Azra Momin and is written for an adult audience. I had wanted to review this book in Ramadan, but didn’t get a chance to! Glad I get to share it with you now!
This book is a great read for parents who would like to instill a love of Quran for their children. The book is split up into bite-sized-nuggets of information, short chapters in which a main character Khadija teaches Ibrahim lessons about Quran in a beautiful and engaging hands-on manner. I liked how young Ibrahim sometimes ended up teaching his parents his own unique lessons he got from the Quran.
I also liked how Ibrahim’s grandmothers are both of different faiths and cultures, but steadfast friends. Ibrahim’s paternal grandmother is an Italian Christian whereas his maternal grandmother is a Pakistani Muslim.
The story touches on Ibrahim’s challenge with having a grandmother that doesn’t share his religion, but also emphasizes the openness and acceptance and love that he has for her.
One sweet moment I liked from this story is when Ibrahim’s mother teaches him and his toddler sister Amna about Surah Quraysh, a chapter from the Quran which talks about peace and safety. At one point in the story, the family goes to a nature reserve in which they wish to spot endangered whooping cranes who are currently experiencing trouble with migration.
Ibrahim then has this idea, “I’m going to recite Surah Quraysh. I think it will be just the right solution to bring the whooping cranes to safety. Allah will keep them safe in the winter and the summer when they’re migrating just as He explains. So reciting Surah Quraysh will help them.” Following his statement, Khadija writes, “Abdurrahman and I look at each other and share a rare moment of profound parenting joy.”
If you have little children, this is an educational and inspiring read to get started in helping your children not only memorize Quran surahs but learn and apply little lessons from them.
My mother’s at it again. I’m sitting looking at the mess on the floor underneath the highchair with a mixture of awe (how did Z make so much mess?) and horror (cleaning is going to be such a pain), when my mother swoops down with a wet towel, and the mess is gone. Before I can protest (Don’t! I’ll clean it!), she has already proceeded to lift the highchair table and is soaping it up in the sink. She is very efficient. I, on the other hand, feel sluggish so I give up and announce that I am going to take a nap. She doesn’t pay much attention, so I say that she should take one too. She insists that she doesn’t need one. I insist that naps are good for the soul to which she retorts that my soul must be perfect. Far from it.
Naps are amazing though. They can make your skin shinier, hair glossier, eyes awakier, etc! However, upon much dwelling and a class on prayer, I know that naps are good for the body, prayer the soul.
When we feel happy, sad, healed, broken, we need to stop, drop, and pray.
Before praying, we need to stop what we’re doing and take a few seconds to clear our minds.
Drop your phone/laptop/technology distraction (preferably place it gently on a high counter away from toddler, not literally drop it) and look away from our little white screens. Distractions such as email can wait, and iphones be gone!
“…remember God standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides” (Quran 4:103).