So we make plans, but Allah is the best of planners, so the visa for Joy’s replacement won’t be ready until Joy herself gets back. So Khalid will only start going to school once she’s back again, because as his Case Manager said, there was no point in him coming for snack + playground to drink his juice and play and then go home again, especially without a shadow, because we didn’t want him to be reinforced in negative behavior patterns that he would most likely develop in a trained shadow’s absence.
So we’ll stay home and play PBSkids.org and practice our handwriting in the mean time 🙂 Alhamdulillah, I know there’s a reason for everything so I don’t feel annoyed at the time lost. And the last thing I want is Khalid running amok in the class (and me hobbling behind him) while the teachers look on warily and then give him the boot after his three week trial is up.
Also, Iman is lately into negotiating. She asked me for a piece of cake after she had already had one, I told her no. So she asked if she could share a piece of cake. Then she asked if she could borrow a piece of cake. Then she asked if she could buy a piece of cake. When it all failed, she grinned at me and said, “Momma, chokit?”
No sweetie, no chocolate.
It’s strange being one hand short at home. On a daily basis, we’re usually a party of 5- Me, Cindy, Joy, Khalid, and Iman- and I remember once shopping in Lulu Al Barsha and turning to look at my entourage- it looked like I had one shopping cart and one nanny per child. And you know, here in Dubai, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen it. I saw a woman with triplets and matching nannies last night. I used to scoff at mothers with nannies but now that I have two kids and limited mobility, I figure as long as they’re happy, well-paid, and earning a halal income, good for them. If a woman who lives in an extended family is allowed to have the grandma and aunties and cousins all pitch in and help without that making her less of a mother, then there’s no reason why hiring help (instead of just being related to it) should make you less of a mother either.
(And besides, you don’t need a nanny to be a bad mother. There are lots of really bad mothers out there who do all the laundry and diapers and the emotional abuse themselves. Maybe if they had help they’d be less frazzled and more loving. AllahuAalim.)
Heh- can you tell I still have a wee bit of existential egalitarian typically American guilt about needing help at home? Once upon a time, I was adamant about doing everything myself. My own mother refused to get help, even when we lived in Pakistan as children, and we only hired our first housekeeper when I was 20- long after my mother would have needed help with diapers and hair-pulling. This too was because both parents, as well as every single one of us siblings was working. Daddy and lil’Bro were running Chez Daddy, Momma (mine) was teaching English, I was teaching American accents to diplomats and Owlie was running a news agency. So a sweet young lady named Najma did the sweeping, mopping, and dusting, and because our Momma raised us right, she was a member of the family that my father still checks in on when he returns to Pakistan on an annual basis.
But I digress. I used to feel guilty. Sometimes, I still do, but I’ve come to accept that help is a blessing from Allah as well as a test of my character as a Muslim, so I ask for help when I can’t get into the cabinets beneath the kitchen counter (you’d be amazed at how important a functioning knee is) but I don’t ask anyone to get me a glass of water. And my kids say please and thank you to Cindy and Joy and obey them- else suffer the Wrath of Momma.
I never planned to have a housekeeper and a therapist on staff, but then I never planned to wreck my right knee and have a child with autism. And Allah is the best of planners.