Archive for December, 2007

Going Back to Work

I was offered a chance to teach evening classes to adults. Three hours a day, four days a week. The institute was really short on teachers because most had headed out for Christmas/New Years. I knew that there would be backlash. Whenever a system or routine is upset, kids always have a way to let you know. So I was expecting something…

I had talked about it with Iman, and she had made it clear that she didn’t want me going back to work. I tried persuading her that she would have extra “daddy time”. He will take them out every day. She would get special privileges, and most importantly… this was only for a couple of days. In the end, she accepted it, giving me her permission, but she didn’t like it, not one bit.

 After working for two days, Iman decided that I wasn’t her mom anymore. Her new mom is Barbie. Naturally I was devastated. I am trying to do whatever I can to make sure she doesn’t get upset, but in the end I have to compete with a plastic doll?? Omair thinks I’m being stupid. There is no competition, she’s being silly, I should just indulge her. So I am. I am playing alongin this stupid game, but I’m hating every bit of it. I even took Iman for a movie with her friends, and on the car ride home, she took my cell phone and “called” Barbie and spent most of the ride telling her about how much fun she had. If I made any attempt to talk to her, she brushed me off by saying “Please wait your turn, I’m on the phone.”

Oh great. I know that this is ridiculous. But it really hurts. She’s my child, and I love her. Going back to work for two weeks was supposed to be something fun where I got some extra cash to play around with, but now Iman has made it into this horrible thing I have done, which apparently in her books can’t be redeemed.

Ayzah is quick to follow. She’s dealing with abandonment in her own ways. She waked up crying hysterically in the night. Nothing can soothe her. If I try the pacifier, she spits it out. If I try to bottle feed her she out right refuses. Nothing works, except nursing. And then, she latches on and keeps at it. She’ll OVER fill… spit up and then latch on again!! No matter what I try, she just needs to be attached to me.

Ok, so I might be overplaying this in my head. But it’s only started now. And the kids are so used to having me hear 24/7 I know they would react. I was just hoping in my heart that they wouldn’t notice I was gone.

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December 26, 2007 at 3:16 pm 6 comments

Choosing her Wheels

Iman’s decided that she’s outgrown her tricycle, and she’s ready to move on to more “mature” wheels. So she says to me…

Iman: “Mama my legs are too big for my tricylce.”

Me: “Ok, so we’ll get you a two wheeler.”

Iman: “But I want more wheels.”

Me: “Ok, how many?”

So she counts on her fingers…
Iman: “One, two, three, four. I want four wheels.

Me: “But that’s a car

Iman: “Ok then, you can buy me a car.”

December 25, 2007 at 12:01 pm 4 comments

Honest Advice

I have these moments where I look at Iman and my heart overflows with emotion. I just can’t believe she’s so amazing, and she’s ours! I take these opportunities to remind her how much I love her, and sometimes she doesn’t understand my melodrama.

Yesterday was one of those moments, so I held her tight and looked her straight in the eye and said…
“Iman, every time I look at you my heart hurts because I love you so much I just don’t know how to control my feelings.”

So she replies…
“Stop looking at me.”

December 24, 2007 at 11:41 am 3 comments

To Maid or not to Maid

Parenting culture is changing, and couples are increasingly depending on hired help to be able to “escape” the troubles of being full time mom and dad. I’ve thought about it a lot. In fact, I thought most about it after having Ayzah and being offered a really good job. But then I decided to stick to plan A. I was going to be a full time mom. But recently though, I’ve come to realize that almost everyone I know, has some sort of “support system” to help them while raising their kids. Whether it’s in form of grandparents, family or a nanny, most couples have someone they can rely on while they maintain fragments of their lives as they used to be.

Wanting to be full time parents has been a bumpy ride. Of course in our lives, there is no such thing as “couple time”, unless we’re talking those couple of hours where both kids are sleeping. But there’s no way we can leave the house without the kids. It’s really funny, because having no one to help, means the girls follow along, no matter what time of day or night. So in some cases where I am out with the kids past regular bedtimes, I feel I get looked down upon. Other moms will ask “Isn’t it really late for your kids to be up?” or “What time do they go to sleep?” — all this makes me feel really bad about coming out in the first place. Almost as though I’m desperate for a social life that I’ll drag these innocent kids out at the wee hours. Of course I don’t take the time to explain myself because I feel like I shouldn’t have to. In general, I’m a great mom, and shouldn’t be questioned about basic things like sleep, I know how long my kids need to rest.

At first everything worked really well. We had met other moms and dads, and it was fun to schedule outings according to kids schedules. Making sure naps weren’t disturbed and venues were all child-friendly. But now, the worst thing is… a lot of our parent friends have maids to help out. So once again… I find myself in the company of great people, who don’t have kids around to distract them. Damn.

December 22, 2007 at 10:28 pm 1 comment

Prince Charming

It’s funny how little girls never grow “into” or “out of” the fantasy of prince charming. Somehow it must be tied in with our DNA. We dream of castles and white horses… flowers and beautiful weddings. We never really tire of the prospect of being whisked away by our one and only true love.

Yesterday Iman came to us and said…

Iman: I’m going to get married.

Me: Really? Right now?

Iman: Yes, right now.

Me: But you know what that means… you’ll have to leave our house and go live with a boy.

Iman: Not a boy, I’m going to get married and live with my prince.

Omair: Your prince?? You want to live away from your daddy?

Iman: Yes, I have to. I have to get married to my prince because then I have to live in my castle.

Me: But we’re going to miss you honey.

Iman: It’s ok, you can come visit me in my castle.

Omair: What about Ayzah, she’ll miss you too.

Iman: No she won’t, she’ll be living in her own castle with her own prince.

To my sweet little angels Iman and Ayzah, may you find true love in your prince charming. I promise to come and visit you in your castle.

December 17, 2007 at 6:45 pm 10 comments

Good Dad, Bad Dad… is a relative term

It was interesting to write something so close to my heart, yet so personal. The macho man image will always be heavily imposed on by culture and surroundings. It may seem easy (or necessary) to hold your own during a mocking session, but out of those that I have witnessed, it’s not that easy. The loud talkers don’t leave room for debate, but then really… who’s trying to argue?

When Omair read this post he wasn’t offended. We all see things in our own ways, and I had already mentioned that it was something I thought. At times I am quite worried, because Omair really does excel at fatherhood, so I naturally get cautious whenever we come across guys that are less enthusiastic. But I’ve seen it come and go many times, and I know that Omair might not be one to spark an argument, but then again, he’s definitely not one to change his ways. He knows what he wants for his family and kids, and we all admire him for his contribution! As our close friends embark on the road to fatherhood, he serves as an excellent example, a guy who can be a good friend, a great father and a loving husband. 

I’m happy that you all responded. I guess what I want to say isn’t at all original. Someone has already said it in their own way. Those of us who are blessed with caring spouses should be grateful, they are hard to come by. Omair remains an inspiration to all the dads who know him… and on most days, an inspiration to me.

December 15, 2007 at 10:16 pm 1 comment

The Affirmative Discipline Program

 It might sound fancy, but I just made it up last night. I’ve noticed that Iman’s developed “selective hearing“. Although her ears work perfectly well, she chooses what she wants to hear, and what she wants to ignore. Since being a kids involves a lot of listening, her new found control isn’t working too well in our house.

Discipline is tricky business, you want to use it wisely. We never troubled ourselves with any fancy tactics. Thanks to Jo Frost, we use the naughty corner and it works well. But I feel that some actions don’t require time outs. We’re just better off doing something milder, but equally effective. So I thought of my brilliant Affirmative Discipline Program (ADP).

Since Iman has her bright and shining moments, we need to reward those equally. So first I thought of making a chart and giving her stars for good behavior and black dots for bad behavior, but then I figured that both would be too permanent. Whether I reward her or punish her, I don’t want it to be set in concrete. Behavior can change, so should the outcome of her actions. And then, a bright light shone overhead and I thought of the ADP… perfect.

I’m going to get two jars, one will be labeled with a happy face, and the other with a sad face (representing how I feel). I’m also going to buy a bag of marbles. Here’s how it works… every time Iman does something good, I add a marble to the “happy” jar.- signifying that her actions made me happy. If she does something bad, I take a marble away from the happy jar and put it in the “sad” jar. Working vice versa. Now in case one jar is empty… we bring in a new marble. So if she doesn’t have anything in the “sad” jar, and she does something good, I’ll add a new marble to the “happy” one.

I’m hoping that when she gets a visual display of her actions, she will understand feelings better. I will explain that the marbles represent my feelings, and when she is good, I feel happy, but when she is bad, then I feel sad. At the end of the day… all 3 year olds want mom to be happy with them. So I’m hoping that for a while, this might work. In fact, if the ADP is effective, then maybe we can use it for much longer, after all… it’s just a visual of how her actions effect my feelings.

By golly… I think I’ve hit the jackpot!

December 13, 2007 at 10:55 am 4 comments

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