Archive for March, 2006

The things they say…

I just can’t get over the fact that Iman can properly “talk” to us. Although she still babbles a lot of things, but more frequently we hear her say proper sentences and reply to our questions with complete answers. You’ll hear parents say this all the time, but it’s seriously true… it feels like it was just yesterday that she said her first words.

I stare at her in awe as she tells me about something she’s seen, or when she takes the phone and talks to Omair, using correct words to describe her day. It’s amazing at how much she can communicate. But my favorite is when she comes up with a complete sentence, the most recent addition has been SO cute, that when she said it the first time, I just HAD to call Omair right then and have him hear it too!

And the story goes like this…

When I went to collect Iman from daycare, I noticed that she had written all over herself with a pen. So I pointed to it and asked her, “Iman what is this?” and she looks at it carefully and then looks at me, shrugs her shoulders and uplifts her hands and says… “I don’t know”.

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March 31, 2006 at 9:21 pm 4 comments

Mom is also a movie critic

Among the many many many many MANY jobs that a mother has, being a movie critic is one of them. The images that flash across our TV screen are now carefully scrutinized by my mind at split second speed. While enjoying the show, I have to be careful of the language content, sound effects and images that are on display in our house.

Toddlers have very sharp memories, and they can usually pick up new information by only being introduced to it once. So we have to be on guard to make sure that Iman doesn’t come across something we don’t want her to.

For example, a few days ago Iman was busy playing with her toys while we were watching one of our TV shows and she overheard someone say “damn it”, and she decided that it would be her new pet phrase. We heard her say “damn it” ALL the time. Normally we don’t react to such things, because our reaction causes her to repeat things, but this was just too much! Previously if she dropped something, Iman would say “oopsie”, now she replaced it with “damn it”. If she got angry… “damn it”. If she was finished with her juice… “damn it”. If she was struggling with a new toy… “damn it”. So yes, you must always “listen” carefully to what your child can hear.

Sound effects and images are a whole other problem on their own. Most of the time kids retain a scary image along with its background score and then they are reminded of it in the middle of the night. When Omair and I were watching King Kong, my innocent husband suggests that we can watch this movie with Iman, because it’s “about a giant monkey”. Well… if you’ve seen King Kong, you know that the monkey isn’t the cute and cuddly kind that Iman is familiar with!

Moms are naturally inclined to do this critical analysis of TV and movies. We don’t have to learn it, I think somehow we are born with it, and when one such word or image or sound comes across our radar, the red light flashes and sirens blare in our head and we change the channel.

March 27, 2006 at 10:14 pm 4 comments

The apple of our eyes…

Omair and I were at a shopping mall a few days ago, and outside a photo studio there was a sign saying that we could get our child’s studio picture taken for FREE! The catch was that we would have to enter that photo into a competition, and at the end of the day the cutest child’s parents would recieve a DHS. 500 (a little over $100) gift voucher for that mall.

At first we (me only!) were quite tempted… so what’s the harm? Iman would never know that we had her judged on her looks, and to be quite honest, she was the prettiest girl in the group of kids (ok, this is the mom in me talking). But really, she IS so adorable! I decided to go ahead with it, and we stood in line waiting our turn. But then I started looking at Iman more critically. Was her hair in place? Was her face really “glowing” or should I wash it once more? Is the color of her shirt flattering?

And after those three questions, I realized that in my eyes my daughter would always be the prettiest girl on the block, and I would never have any judge peer over her picture to determine if she was “cuter” than the next kid.

I am not that kind of parent, and I never will be.

March 25, 2006 at 9:41 pm 6 comments

Morning Mayhem

If you’re a toddler’s parent, you’ve seen one of these mornings, and if you aren’t… one day you DEFINATELY will.

Imagine that it’s 6:35 in the morning. You’re on a clock and every minute counts. You’ve “oh so perfectly” timed every move, keeping traffic in mind, so you make it to work on time (when you work in a school, timing is important). As you’re gathering your last minute things (keys, purse, lunch, cell phone…) your little one realizes that she won’t take one step out of the house until she has a particular toy. The ONLY toy that you can’t find at that particular moment.

Ok, sudden panic attack! Can’t leave the house without it (child will hear none of that). Finding it in the vast spaces and corners of your home seems like a task that will take minutes (seemingly HOURS).

What would you do?

Put everything down and look for the toy, of course!

This morning we saw a similar situation. Where Iman decided that she couldn’t leave the house without her “baby” (a doll that she is extremely fond of). She was adamant that she was going to take baby to school today. So Omair and I frantically started our search, and when we finally discovered baby, she was UNDRESSED! I tried to get away with it, by telling Iman that sometimes baby doesn’t need to wear clothes, and upon hearing that, Iman started undressing herself. And the search was on AGAIN, this time for baby’s clothes.

Finally Omair discovered her faded pink jumpsuit under the sofa and now… keys, purse, lunch, phone, Iman AND the now clothed baby in tow. We headed toward the car. Horribly late, but immensely satisfied.

March 19, 2006 at 8:21 pm 5 comments

She who talks more will win the man

Out of all the things that Iman could have inherited from me, her talking skills came out on top of the list. I have noticed that since she was very young, Iman could “babble” in a conversation with strangers with astonishing ease. She likes to draw attention and make herself heard, but most of all, ever since she’s found words, she loves to talk NONSTOP! Funny enough, I can’t even complain, because I’m usually the one striking up conversations in line at the bank, or at the grocery store. So as far as I can see, she’s picked up these genes straight from me!

Now the poor guy who gets stuck in the middle of all this is Omair. He’s the “thinker” in our family, and does most of his talking in his head. So the poor soul has to listen to the two of us chatting away all the time.

The best is when he comes home. As soon as he walks through the door I’m usually bursting with things to say and stories to share, but Iman also has her share of “talking” to do. Some days it’s really funny, because Omair sits and tries to talk to the both of us at the same time, but Iman soon loses her patience and just keeps using her hand to turn Omair’s face towards her. The other day she finally reached the end of her patience and turned to me, put her finger on her lips and said “Mama, shhhh!” and then turned Omair’s face to hers and said… “Baba, listen, Iman talking.”

March 13, 2006 at 12:35 pm 5 comments

Making memories, not just brownies

Iman loves helping out any way she can. She’ll be more than happy to carry clothes to the laundry basket, or get me something when I ask for it. She loves clean up time (probably because we sing Barney’s clean up song!). Any activity where you can get her to do something “grown up” she will be more than happy to oblige. And today Iman and I shared a very fun and exciting afternoon, which gave her a new opportunity to help and indulge herself at the same time!

Being busy with a new job and my mom’s illness, I haven’t been able to make any treats for Iman lately. But on my drive home from work I vowed that today would be the day that I would find the energy to bake some brownies for the family.

So here we were, mother and daughter, surrounded by eggs, milk, cocoa, butter, flour and more! She had a great time participating. I had her hold the cup as I measured out the ingredients. Then I let her pour them in. She loved it when her hands got all sticky with the egg whites, and she laughed when I let her play with the flour. Finally when our batter was ready, I let her stick her finger and put a glop of it in her mouth. She got so excited by that, that she wanted to do it again and again, so we managed to let her enjoy herself until we ran out of clean fingers.

In the end, I poured the batter into the pan and let her set the timer. 20 minutes later all three of us enjoyed hot brownies and milk.

Making the brownies was loads of fun, but making the memories was even better!

March 9, 2006 at 7:52 pm 3 comments

A picture that’s truly worth a thousand words

The most priceless thing that all parents can own is a picture of their newborn. That one picture can signify so many feelings and emotions, and as I have learned, that one picture says more than it shows. Most newborns aren’t that attractive (parents will agree!), when kids are born, they’re all swollen and wrinkly. It’s a while before your little one becomes adorably edible! But ask any parent and as far as their memories serve, their child was the most beautiful baby in the world. That’s because when your child is born, you don’t just see what’s in front of you, you see a future, you see the love you share with your spouse, and you see all the world’s happiness wrapped up in that soft little blanket.

I’ve always had Iman’s first picture framed in my house. Every time I look at it, it reminds me of the day she joined us. The day when Omair and I graduated from “coupledom” to “parenthood”. The day a tiny little creature tightened the bond between me and my husband and made us a family. The picture floods my mind with so many memories and always makes me smile. Even on the toughest parenting days, that picture reminds me where it all started and why I became a mom in the first place.

Although kids’ faces change as they grow older, there is always a little piece of them that remains the same. Sometimes it might not be physical, but in spirits, the child that you held on the first day will always be the child that will hold you for life.

March 6, 2006 at 2:59 pm 4 comments

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