Archive for January, 2006

The best person for the job is me

Before I start with this post, I want to make sure that all of you understand that I don’t intend on being offensive to ANYONE. I sincerely believe that everyone practices there own level of hygiene and I do not look down on people for the way they live their lives or raise there kids.

Now, onto the good stuff…

I’ve been at work for 2 days and Iman has been in daycare for the same. So far everything has been running smoothly. I think I had more anxiety than her! She was so thrilled to be with other kids. There were so many toys, so many games, and they do all sorts of fun stuff like singing time, outside play and loads of “hands on” activities. It’s potentially the best place for her to be, and did I mention that it’s only a 1 minute walk to get to her?

Amongst all this perfection is an underlying dilemma. The administration is trying to work out a contract for me so I can join the school from here on. This is actually perfect, because we could use the extra money and Iman is already having a great time at daycare!

BUT…

There are a lot of things about the daycare that I am unhappy with. First off, there are 2 nannies and 10 kids (all under the age of 3). When it’s feeding time, the nannies literally “stuff” the kids, hardly giving them any time to swallow. When they change diapers, they don’t wash the kids, they wipe. And I am a strict believer in running their tushies under the tap to make sure it’s bacteria free. Then… I’ve noticed that after a diaper change, they don’t wash their hands. So the next time when they hand someone a cookie… you can only imagine!

This morning I went in after my class and my personal nanny (Hilda) said that Iman wasn’t hungry and she only ate half of her breakfast and didn’t have any milk before her nap. When I checked her water bottle, it was near empty and Hilda told me that she had had a lot to drink (basic rule… never give your kids water/juice before meals and milk… they’ll fill up and eat less).

Last week I felt I was ready to go back to work, but looking at Iman, I keep thinking that nothing is more worth my time and effort than my own child. In another year or so she’ll head off to school, and then I’ll never have this time with her again. And no matter how experienced or caring a nanny is… she’s not the mother, and no one can raise your child better than yourself.

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January 29, 2006 at 5:06 pm 9 comments

Bringing the "other woman" into my home

I have to put Iman in daycare for 5 days while I take a friends place as a teacher this coming week. Luckily the daycare is on school grounds, and luckier still is the fact that my friend (whose place I am taking) has a full time nanny who is going to watch Iman at the daycare. In order to break the ice between the nanny (whose name is Hilda) and Iman, I arranged for a “meeting” at our house yesterday. When Hilda first walked in, Iman tried her best to hide behind me. Soon enough (and thanks to Hilda’s efforts to be fun and interactive) Iman loosened up and started sharing her toys and books with the new woman in our house. I was thrilled to see the two of them getting along, because that meant that on Saturday morning Iman wouldn’t be scared to death when I handed her over for the day.

All good things have a bad silver lining, and here is mine…

Round 1
When it was time to feed Iman her lunch, Hilda offered and I honestly told her that “Iman doesn’t eat from anyone, not even her grandmother! She’s very picky about who feeds her, and I’m the only one who can do it”.

Crash and Burn

Hilda insisted, took the bowl, and Iman ate.

Hilda:1
Mommy:0

Round 2
We decide to go the park and let them play together… I take out Iman’s jacket and shoes. Hilda offers to get Iman ready and I say… “I don’t know, she hasn’t had anyone do this for her, she might be reluctant”

Crash and Burn (again)

Hilda gets Iman ready and Iman happily takes her hand and walks to the door.

Hilda:2
Mommy:0

Round 3
I drop them at the park and Iman leads Hilda in by the hand, she doesn’t even turn to look back at me. When I come back after half and hour, Iman spots me in the distance. I extend my arms expecting her to run towards me.

Crash and Burn (yet again)

Iman clutches onto Hilda and says “go away” (to me)

Hilda:3
Mommy:0

Round 4
Hilda says to me, “I taught her a new word! Iman… say see saw” Iman says “thee thaw”

Wow. For the past 20 months, I have taught Iman everything she knows. I was the first to hear all new words, and the first to see them used. Now here is another woman who has known my baby for only a few hours and now she’s teaching her things???

Hilda:4
Mommy:0

Round 5
On our way back to the car, Iman trips and falls. Both Hilda and I rush to her side. With tears rolling down her cheeks she gets up and puts her arms around me.

Hilda:4
Mommy: priceless

January 27, 2006 at 2:28 pm 5 comments

Having to eat your own words

I’ve been told that I should never threaten my child with something unless I know I can act on it. As Iman turned into a toddler there were several occasions where I WANTED to say… “stop that or else the goat will come and take you away” (she has a fear of goats) or… “If you don’t stop spilling water on the floor I am NEVER going to give you a bath again!” and those horrible days when she would spray her food all over me and herself, I would want to say… “Ok, that’s it! I’m never going to feed you again!”

Futile.

You can’t threaten your kids unless you’re going to act on it. Otherwise, they know you’re just kidding, and they’ll get away with anything.

So we made a rule. If we ever threaten Iman with something, we’re going to follow through on our word. And if we know that we can’t comply, we’re simply not going to use that threat at all!

All that was good, until yesterday. I went out shopping with Iman, knowing that it’s impossible to keep a toddler in control when there are SO many exciting things to touch and see. I tried EVERYTHING in the book. I handed her something to play with, I gave her paper and pencil to write on, I even tried to engage her in what I was doing. But no avail. So finally after running after her, telling her to sit down for the millionth time AND THEN, watching her squiggle her way out and run away again… I made the stupidest threat ever!

I got down to her level, looked her straight in the eye and in a serious tone, I said… “You keep running away from me and I am not happy with this behavior, so I am going to leave you here and go away.”

She looked me smack in the eye, smiled and said, “ok, byeeee!” waved, turned around and walked away.

January 25, 2006 at 2:02 pm 8 comments

Scrapes, bruises, cuts… MAJOR TRAGEDIES

There comes a time in our lives where we experience an event that can make us stronger or weaker, depending on how we deal with it. While raising a child, you’ll learn that all your “reactions” can cause equal and opposite “actions” by your baby…

Yesterday Iman got her hands on our industrial tape measure (the self-retracting one, made of metal) (also, please no comments on WHY she had it in the first place). She was using the tape measure to measure the heights of all her toys. Cute to watch, but a disaster waiting to happen. Moments into the game, the tape measure suddenly self-retracted (as it is meant to do) and in the while causing a deep gash in Iman’s cute little paw. She stood there stunned, as did we, watching deep red beads of blood starting to trickle out of her finger. This being our first “bloody” experience, we weren’t too sure of what to do and where to start.

As I said before, children look to their parents for a reaction before they respond to a situation. So after her initial facination with her own blood, Iman turned to look up at us to see what to do next. I had two choices,

#1, PANIC, start hyperventalating and instill a life long fear of cuts (and blood) in Iman.
OR
#2, Applaud her facination and look at her cut with her and then wash it off and bandage it.
OR (the hidden)
#3, Be myself and cover my eyes and start shouting “Omair! Iman’s bleeding! Oh my God! Oh my God! Do something!! She’s bleeding!! Oh my God, do something, you know I can’t handle blood! Do something before she starts to panic!!”

Oops, a boo boo on my part.

But listen, in these situation you HAVE to be there to understand 🙂

So I watched Iman’s first blood spill (through my fingers, with my eyes still sort of covered), and saw Omair step up and make the best of this situation. As he washed her hands off, he explained to her that playing with “big people toys” will get her hurt, and she needs to be careful. Then he took her to the kitchen and put on a band-aid, and kissed her cut. Telling her that everything will be all better.

Thank God parenting is a 2 person job!

January 21, 2006 at 12:04 pm 9 comments

Babies all around!

Over a year and a half ago when I gave brith to Iman, I felt as though I had joined an elite club of parents, later to realize that I was the only member in my circle of friends. At first it seemed as though it would have been better if we had waited some more, but then I realized that 3 years was long enough for us, and having the “only child” in the group brought endless advantages.

Iman is doted over by all our friends. They love her like their own. She’s been cherished since the day she was born. I’m glad that she’s had that chance, because now it’s time to move over and let the lime light shine on others…

Three of our friends have had babies so far, and one is in labor as I am writing this. It’s nice to see these new couples starting a family, seeing as we know the drill, I feel like Yoda (Star Wars). I’ve been asked so many questions… “Why is my baby is sleeping so much?”, “She won’t drink enough milk”, “I think she isn’t gaining enough weight…”, “Why does my son have a constant eye infection?”, “How do we get a passport and residence visa for the baby?”…. the list goes on and on and on and on. I’m just glad that I can be here with the answers.

It’s a good thing that one of us had a baby first, because I remember being a new mom and being endlessly confused about what to do and how to do it. On Iman’s 1st birthday, Omair and I sat and went over the past year, recalling our moments where we were so freaked out over the smallest things. First time parenting is the hardest job in the world. But I still hold true to my word… it’s also the most rewarding.

I think we’re ready for round 2.

January 18, 2006 at 11:50 am 9 comments

Something to make you smile

Whenever I put Iman down for a nap I have her put her head on my shoulder while I sing to her. This has always helped her settle down and fall asleep. Today as I was humming our usual tune, I saw her reflection in the mirror. Iman had her head down, eyes closed and she was smiling. I stopped singing and she immediately lifted her head, and said “Mama no sing?” and touched my lips. So I said… “ok put your head down, mama will sing”. After a minute or so, I asked her “Iman are you happy?”and with her head on my shoulder, eyes closed my baby smiled and said… “happy”.

January 16, 2006 at 9:17 pm 4 comments


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