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Posts Tagged ‘toddlers’

On route from DC to LAX alone with all four children. So far so good. Except…you know how we are supposed to be good to our fellow travellers. Well!! the Virgin America counter was right next to Saudi Airlines- plenty of Muslims around to salaam to. We did not even get ONE!! When my seven-year old said salaam to the Chanel clad sister with her Gucci luggage encased in plastic cover- all she got was a cold stare. LF#2 looked at me bewildered.  “Its ok jaani you still got the reward”, I said stroking her back. Undettered, I tried with another sister. Total ignore- my brother-in-law who was dropping us off smirked- he makes fun of my “muslim” antenna- ‘it beeps whenever a Muslim esp. a desi passes by and she HAS to make contact”. Oh well- maybe I can smile at the ladies at the counter- sorry I forget we aren’t in LA anymore- don’t people smile on the East Coast?

Maneuvering my brood, 3-year-old in his stroller, 4 backpacks on my girls, my camera/laptop case and purse, the 4-year-old on a monkey leash up and down Dulles Airport, I smiled.

I smiled at security even after they threw away my baby’s organic chocolate milk box- LF# 1 said “but but they let us bring it when we came from California!!” Californians are nicer we all agreed. I smiled when they asked me to take off my abaya- “it’s not a jacket, sir.” I smiled when they wouldn’t give us priority boarding even with so many little kids.

We get on board. An empty seat next to us. OH look someone left their head phones – trying to be the good Muslimah, I pick them and turn around to call the steward in black uniform, “Hi, someone left their earphones” I say to the young man in black leaning over my seat.” ERR those are mine” That was his SEAT yikes- he probably thought I was stealing them. Grrrrr, next time should I be so quick to ‘help’??

Mom packed Persian kebabs & rice for lunch for us, they smell across the whole plane!! I see fellow travellers twitching their noses. Some have a dreamy look in their eyes. Should I offer them some, I should shouldnt I? They have a right over me.“ No thank you!!”  It is hard being nice. I pack up the rest envisioning  lawyers suing us because I shared my lunch. Things were simpler in the past, you could share a meal with strangers and fulfill your deen’s requirement.  The more we become technologically advance the less we connect.

“I wanna drink, I wanna drink” ” I need to go to the bathroom”- oops the trolley was blocking the steward motions at us, “Go use the bathroom in the front.” After standing in line for seven minutes as two people use it, as my little one is hops around. “You can’t use this restroom- it’s for business class passengers ONLY!” My hijab makes me wimpy at times. Maybe if I didn’t wear hijab I would have thrown a hissy fit and told her off, “My kid can just pee on the floor and I’ll make you clean it”. Wimpy or a better human being- I don’t want her to hate all Muslims because I yelled at her.  Without it I could be from anywhere where people are brown, with it I am conspicuously Muslim.

I am just glad I am home. Alhamdulillah

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Its been more than two month since we switched off the cable- but we still have the basic channels, like PBS and ABC. To be honest I miss my favorite shows on Food Network and Home & Garden TV but do not regret turning it off for a second.  People are getting all worked up about some out of control satellite killing their cable, it was on the radio this morning and then I read this on the LA Daily News:

A TV communications satellite is drifting out of control thousands of miles above the Earth, threatening to wander into another satellite’s orbit and interfere with cable programming across the United States, the satellites’ owners said Tuesday. Communications company Intelsat said it lost control of the Galaxy 15 satellite on April 5, possibly because the satellite’s systems were knocked out by a solar storm.

If this does happen around May 28th as predicted, please take the opportunity to kick the cable. I grew up in Khartoum, Sudan. There was no TV, except a poor excuse for a local channel that played old ABBA songs and grainy ‘iftah ya Simsim’ the Arabic version of Sesame Street.  My siblings and I spent many lazy afternoons biking, making zip lines and reading Enid Blyton. We baked mud pies and jumped over walls into our neighbors’ yards to catch our rabbits.  Treasure hunts and impromptu plays ruled the bougainvillea-covered house on 33rd Street.

If you ask my kids, their memories revolve around cartoon characters or Disney princesses. I have to prompt them to talk about vacations or fun trips, which they enjoy but come second to the GREAT TV moments. I am jealous.

We were totally TV free (except for some pre screened DVDs) for at least 6 years after my daughter was born.  Then one day, Mr LF sign up for three months of free cable, thinking we would turn it off after the offer expired.  I was away visiting my parents during summer break. So three years went by and we never shut it off.  It is depressing to see the look of total absorption when the kids are watching and 1/2 an hour turns into two and soon the whole afternoon is gone.

I lived in constant fear of inappropriate ads and uncensored language. They would wake up in the morning and switch it on and would want to watch something before being tucked into bed. It wasn’t that they were watching too much by ‘normal’ standards. I was following most of the tips suggested by parenting websites. The incessant asking for more and the whining was out of control and I felt it in every part of my soul. I was sick of saying NO no more, turn it off- Listen to ME- they were wearing me down.

I threatened to have the cable turned off and when the words came out of my mouth, I realized if I didn’t go through with it they would never take me seriously. It was my moment of truth.

So far the biggest change is in LF#4. Since he can’t watch his favorite shows ie. Diego he doesn’t want to watch TV. He is no longer throwing hissy fits when we turn off the telly; his tantrums one of the major reasons I ‘pulled the plug’.

It is amazing how he knows that those shows are no longer available and so he is stopped asking for them.  I let him watch one or two ‘educational’ cartoons. He wants to play with blocks and his train set. I am working on going 100% TV free, please pray for me.

If you need more info check out this e-book the Awful truth about TV.

Trashyourtv.com has some great info as does this great website filled with articles and resources to help you make the decision of turning of your TV.

Unplug your kids has great alternative activities for TV free kids as does this site. For a Muslim perspective read Brother Khalid Baig’s article and this kutbah by Brother Shareef on TV-The Third Parent.

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We don’t celebrate a lot of the Hallmark ‘holidays’ but this year I had a whole mother’s week rather than just one day. There was a very cute invitation in my son’s pre-school mailbox, inviting all mommies for circle time with our 4 year olds. LF#3 and I had a lovely conversation on how EVERY day is mother’s day in Islam, that’s the way we roll! I so accepted his invitation to his special day.

He was at the door waiting to greet me with a kiss in his lilac colored dress shirt that he ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY did not want to wear but wore for Mama. Ya Rabbi (My Lord)! keep him on the straight and narrow. Ameen.

We sat in a circle and heard poems. Then played with them at their favorite spot in the classroom LF#3’s was….. LEGOs. Among the adorable handmade gifts he had made was this hanging flower pot. There was a card and a flower for my hair which he tucked into my hijab.

The table set in lavender was where we were served iced tea and cookies.

Then the kids iced the cookies for their mommies.

Notice how all the icing is on HIS cookie

But the icing on the cake was when they told the class their favorite food that their mom makes:

These were his exact words: Mac and cheese that comes from the store and it is in a box ready to eat so she doesn’t have to cook it. Wishful thinking sweetie!! I detest mac&cheese from the  store, don’t allow it in the house. So much for having an all natural foodie mom!!

My daughters who are 9 and 7  made me breakfast in bed, ALL by themselves. I was so surprised and so proud!! Omelette and Paratha (a flaky flat bread), one whole glass of milk and one of OJ (16oz).  The 2 year old ran in to ‘spoil’ their surprise and it took all my motherly control not to rush downstairs, when he said ‘they are cooking eggs, Mama’. Visions of splattered oil and burnt fingers ran through my mind but alls well that ends well. It was perfect, yummy. God Bless them!

My sister just left for back home, so she delivered my mother’s gifts for her- she loved the card that my sister in Seattle and I chose for her. It was her favorite present. It was one of those recordable types and we spend hours laughing hysterically trying to get it just right.  Our speeches of love had to be edited to fit into 30 seconds. I found this FUNNY poem which I had to post. Love you Ammi.

After weekend school at the masjid, I got to take a long nap while Hubbie picked up dinner from our favorite Kebab place, Red Chili. Wish everyday could be Mother’s day.

Update just linked this up to 5 minutes for Mom.

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Right in the middle of the masjid, my little lovely takes his thobe (long shirt) that his Aunti just bought back from Medina, and shows his Pull ups for all the world to see. Mortified I look around- all the older women have that ‘look’ on their faces. She gives parenting advice- ‘look at her kid’.

Do all moms forget what it was like when their kids were two? Hope that’s not me in a couple of years-Even though its embarrassing, I know I will miss these days when he is all grown. I already do with the other 3.

He refused to put it down and laughed… he laughed every time I asked him to pull it down.  He wants to wear his dino outfit everywhere. During winter it was fine, its made of flannel-like material but it’s getting hot in CA  now.

We were out at the Sonora Desert Park in Arizona, one of the guide said ‘hey no dragons allowed in the park’ he was so offended, ‘I am dinosaur! ‘LF#3 says,”Oh God! he is embarrassing me” she has obviously forgotten her obsession with a certain hot pink & black dress.

Your life now according to babycenter.com:

You used to be able to dress your child in the adorable items of your choosing, and so long as she didn’t decide to strip naked, that was that. Now she seems to have opinions about everything she wears: This shirt is too “scratchy,” or “I want my blue top (again).” A budding fashionista? No, just a typical preschooler exerting her independence.

Try not to get hung up on what she looks like. Unless she’s being formally photographed, it really isn’t worth a power struggle. One tricky situation is refusing to wear a coat in the cold. Instead of insisting, try giving her a little face-saving space: “Okay, I’ll just bring it along in case.”

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After my children go past a phase, I think I tend to forget the bad and ugly and remember the good- so when my angel baby ( LF#4 has been my easiest baby yet) started acting like a rebellious teenager- I was stumped. He doesn’t scream  or yell, he just lies down on the floor and rolls around.

I try not to use bad words at home but when LF#3 comes home from pre-school having just learned B-U-T-T, he has to teach it to LF#4. So now I have Mr. I am such a two-year old MAN spouting private parts of the body in public.

Shake your boom-boom! What the heck! Kakka peepee toutou!

I tell him not to say bad words so much he’s started saying:

“I don’t like Shaytan- he says bad words”

“I don’t like bugs- they say bad words”

so when I got this email from babycenter.com- I was like ummm they know!

Your 2-year-old now

You’re so proud of your angel’s burgeoning vocabulary — until words like “poopie head,” ” stupid,” “dummy,” and worse creep in. “Bad” words are all around your child: They hear grownups cursing at traffic, pick up foul language from TV, and trade exciting words (the ones that seem to get a rise out of Mom or Dad) with playmates and siblings. Alliterative silly words (“poopy doopy”) are favorites because they are so fun to say and hear. The quickest way to make this kind of language disappear is to ignore it. If you make a fuss, you’re only showing them how powerful certain words are, which makes them want to say them all the more. Babycenter.com

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